Journal: News & Comment

Thursday, September 18, 2003
# 9:28:00 AM:

Tooting my own horn

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I still think of myself as pretty new to the writing and editing business, probably because I only started making a real living at it a couple of years ago. Still, I've been doing this kind of work in some way or another for nearly 20 years, since I was 14 and edited a computer club newsletter.

Twelve years ago, in 1991, I called up the people at Western Living magazine here in Vancouver asking if I could volunteer as an editorial intern, helping them with proofreading, fact-checking, and general gofer duties. I spent one day each week that summer (unpaid) at the office. Once, associate editor Jim Sutherland, who had often talked to me about the publishing business over lunch, hired me to do some research for an article he was writing.

Last night, Jim (who has worked at a number of other periodicals but recently returned to Western Living as its editor) kindly came to talk to the Editors' Association of Canada B.C. branch September meeting, which I helped put together, and revealed that the article he wrote with my research won a Western Magazine Award in 1992. Apparently, I had also been Western Living's first intern—but they've had them ever since, so it was sort of my idea.

Mass-market magazines are a cutthroat business, and other than a few articles here and there, I've been out of that field since a bad experience (not with Jim) in the mid-1990s. But maybe I should consider getting back into it once I'm easing off the daddy track in two or three years, when both my girls are in school.


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