Aside

Last week was a very, very good week

I’m still recovering from last week’s festivities and surprises.

This recovery process included sleeping for 12 hours last night, which is almost unheard of for me, and spending most of yesterday afternoon and evening lying on a couch and trying to avoid anything resembling work. Last week was the MagNet/PWAC conference, the National Magazine Awards, and the Arthur Ellis Awards. I was involved in some way with each of them. In the end, I finished the week having given out two awards, won two of my own, and connected with editors and freelance writers from all over Canada.

It was a very, very good week. Allow me to share the highlights.

A super “super conference” — For the first time in its more than 30 years of existence, the Professional Writers Association of Canada joined with other organizations for its annual conference. I’m a former Quebec Chapter president of PWAC and currently sit on its board of directors, a volunteer position. This year we teamed up with MagNet, the big magazine conference, the Canadian Authors Association, and Canadian Society of Magazine Editors to create a joint conference. I love my fellow PWACers and it was great for us to be able to mix with other organizations. The result was that Canadian magazine editors and writers (among other industry folks) were together in workshops and at meals. I met several editors and made some good connections.

Giving Out Awards — As PWAC’s Quebec Regional Director, I handed out the award for Regional Volunteer of the Year. Then, the next day, I announced that Jennifer Walker of Best Health magazine was the winner of PWAC’s Editor of the Year Award. That was a lot of fun. Congrats to her and the two Honourable Mentions, Diana Swift of Canadian Health and Ian Johnson of CBCNews.ca.

Taking Home Some Hardware — On Thursday night around 10:30 pm, I found out that Michal Calce and I had won the Arthur Ellis Award for non-fiction crime book of the year. Mike was at the ceremony in Ottawa (I was in Toronto at the conference) and I can honestly say that we are both shocked and thrilled by the win. The other books on the short list were very impressive and I didn’t think we’d win the award. I also didn’t expect the win to generate so much press coverage, which then resulted in a ton of congratulatory emails. Then, on Friday night, I received a Silver Medal at the National Magazine Awards. (Read the winning article here.) The gold in the humour category went to Bruce McCall, who contributes to The New Yorker, Vanity Fair etc. So, uh, pretty good company. And one hell of a good time.

Thanks to PWAC, MagNet, the Crime Writers of Canada, the National Magazine Awards Foundation, Penguin Group (Canada), Maisonneuve magazine, the Transatlantic Literary Agency and the other groups and people that made it possible.

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