Reading Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami

Page 46: Oh, cool! There’s a guy who can talk to cats! I wish I could talk to cats. And he gets paid to find them when they’re lost! Aww, yay! Cats! (=^;^=)

Page 145: 

Spoiler alert: CATS DIE AND IT’S THE WORST

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“Dispatches from an Editorial Intern” Is Fascinating, Depressing

Recently, the Editors’ Association of Canada blog has been running a series called “Dispatches from an Editorial Intern,” which for some reason I am completely obsessed with. On one level, it reminds me of my own halcyon days as a publishing intern – the terror, the eagerness, the awkwardness.

And on another level – and I say this with no disrespect intended toward Kate Icely, the series’s author – I think it shows exactly what is so terribly, terribly wrong with the publishing industry today.

Continue reading “Dispatches from an Editorial Intern” Is Fascinating, Depressing

Quickie: This Is What Companies Expect from Volunteers?

Always on the lookout for part-time and contract work, I was trawling WorkInCulture.ca today when I came across a copywriter/web editor position. A Toronto ballet company is looking for someone with an undergraduate degree, writing experience, knowledge of RSS and online research, and ideally video editing experience. Sounds pretty standard for an entry-level position, right?

Except this job doesn’t pay. The company is searching for a volunteer.

Look, I get that arts-based organizations are severely underfunded, and that most of them would not survive without volunteers and interns. I offer several of my services for free, and I volunteer for Shameless magazine. I am pro-volunteer! But a (presumably) long-term, regular position that expects specific skills and experience is not a volunteer position. It is a job. The person who gets that position will be working for the company’s marketing department, and as far as I can tell, the company is for-profit. So essentially, they’re looking for someone who can help raise their revenues. That deserves to be compensated.

(Not necessarily with money, by the way! The ad does not mention anything that prospective volunteers can hope to get out of the position – great experience and references, free tickets to the ballet, a postgraduate college credit. Nothing.)

Obviously, if you love the ballet and can afford the time, by all means you should apply for this position. But I think it says a lot about the value of an undergraduate degree (not to mention journalism experience) when it’s considered a prerequisite for jobs that don’t even pay.

If you’re wondering how to advertise for volunteers in a way that doesn’t sound totally obnoxious, take a cue from Shameless.

Possible Slogans

I’m having a logo and business cards designed as we speak, and it’s making me think about my identity as a business, and as a woman. I like my current slogan (“Editing for everyone”), but can I do better? Here are some of the options I’ve been kicking around. Let me know which one is your fave!

“I will pull out redundancy’s still-beating heart and feast upon it.”

“Putting the ‘u’ in your creative endeavours! Or taking it out, if your house style prefers American spelling!”

Continue reading Possible Slogans

Can’t Wait to Meet You, Neighbour: Spelling and Grammar Are Political

Over at The Editing Company, I’m blogging about Target, the letter “u,” and the power of words.

The word “neighbour” wasn’t chosen merely to fit with the how-d’ya-do tone of Target’s Canadian promotional activities. The little “u” in the distinctly Canadian word serves a political purpose. We don’t want to take your culture away from you, Target is saying (or wants you to think it’s saying). We want to be a part of it! Imagine the outrage if Target had announced how pleased it was to meet its Canadian “neighbors” and to become a major “center” for shopping.

Continue reading Can’t Wait to Meet You, Neighbour: Spelling and Grammar Are Political