Cupids res­i­dent wins edit­ing award

Sandy New­ton re­cip­i­ent of Tom Fair­ley Award for ex­cel­lence

The Compass - - NEWS -

An edi­tor and writer who has adopted the scenic and his­toric Town of Cupids as her home­town is this year’s win­ner of the Tom Fair­ley Award for Edi­to­rial Ex­cel­lence.

The Edi­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada (EAC) an­nounced ear­lier this month that Sandy New­ton was awarded the $2,000 prize for her work on “Here’s the Catch: The Fish We Har­vest from the North­west At­lantic.” The book was writ­ten by Wade Kear­ley, and pub­lished by Boul­der Pub­li­ca­tions.

The award was pre­sented at EAC’s an­nual awards ban­quet, which took place on June 8, in Hal­i­fax. New­ton was un­able to at­tend the award cer­e­mony, but was hon­oured to hear she had won.

“I was absolutely de­lighted to find out they liked it,” New­ton said of the book and her work on the pro­ject when con­tacted at her home on Burnt Head June 26.

New­town was born in Toronto, and has long been a mem­ber of the EAC. She has worked on many lit­er­ary projects, but it never oc­curred to her to en­ter the award of ex­cel­lence com­pe­ti­tion.

“But this book about all the species har­vested here re­ally … it was a long pro­ject, but a lovely book I felt good about. So I thought, ‘why not en­ter and see if some­thing hap­pens, and if more peo­ple hear about the book, then that’s a great thing,’” she said.

New­town has been self-em­ployed as a writer and edi­tor since the late 1990s, and has worked on four other pub­li­ca­tions for Boul­der — all field guides.

New­town and her hus­band be­came en­chanted with this prov­ince’s rugged beauty and nat­u­ral splen­dor more than three decades ago, and resided in the tiny South­ern Shore com­mu­nity of Port Kir­wan for sev­eral years in the late 1980s.

“The air is so beau­ti­ful when you’re liv­ing by the sea,” she said, not­ing that dur­ing a re­cent walk along the road on Burnt Head, she could hear a whale in the dis­tance. “It’s just a fan­tas­tic ex­pe­ri­ence.” She added: “Win­ning this award gives a tremen­dous boost to both my per­sonal con­fi­dence and my be­lief in the merit of the edi­to­rial pro­cesses I have been ap­ply­ing.”

“Here’s the Catch” is an il­lus­trated cel­e­bra­tion of 52 fin­fish species that are the rea­son many com­mu­ni­ties in At­lantic Canada re­main linked to the north­west At­lantic Ocean.

The book is also a com­plex two-and-a-hal­fyear pro­ject. New­ton was nom­i­nally the man­ag­ing edi­tor, but in re­al­ity played a much larger role. New­ton had a hand in ver­i­fy­ing fac­tual in­for­ma­tion, guid­ing the book’s de­vel­op­ment through stylis­tic edit­ing, and as­sist­ing with page de­sign. The judges praised her metic­u­lous at­ten­tion to de­tail and her thoughtful in­sights, which con­trib­uted to the high qual­ity of the fin­ished work.

“The value [New­ton] added to this book is most con­se­quen­tial,” com­mented one judge. “[She] clearly ad­heres to the high­est pos­si­ble pro­fes­sional stan­dards.”

Not one to down­play the group ef­fort re­spon­si­ble for the book’s suc­cess, New­ton re­mains hum­ble about the achieve­ment.

“The suc­cess (and plea­sure) of my work was di­rectly linked to the re­spon­sive­ness, pro­fes­sion­al­ism, ded­i­ca­tion and good-hu­mour-un­der­pres­sure of the team: author Wade Kear­ley, re­viewer Richard Haedrich, ad­vi­sor Ge­orge Rose, il­lus­tra­tor Derek Ped­dle, copy edi­tor Iona Bulgin, de­sign­ers Ali­son Carr and Sarah Hansen, and the pub­lisher Gavin Will.”

New­ton said edit­ing is an in­ter­est­ing process, since it is both col­lab­o­ra­tive and also re­quires in­di­vid­ual ef­fort.

“You have a hand in help­ing ideas and sto­ries

“Win­ning this award gives a tremen­dous boost to both my per­sonal con­fi­dence and my be­lief in the merit of the edi­to­rial pro­cesses I have been ap­ply­ing.” — Sandy New­ton

be shared more clearly, in help­ing peo­ple pol­ish their words. You work hard and ded­i­cate your at­ten­tion whole­heart­edly, but you get to step back when the pro­ject is done and let the real cre­ators go for­ward into the spot­light — this is ap­peal­ing to me. Edit­ing is a bit in­vis­i­ble as a pro­fes­sion … but there is an air of wiz­ardry to it, too.”

The other two edi­tors short­listed for their edi­to­rial ex­cel­lence were Cather­ine Plear of Van- cou­ver, BC, for “Seek­ing Sick­ness: Med­i­cal Screen­ing and the Mis­guided Hunt for Dis­ease,” by Alan Cas­sels (Grey­stone Books) and Adele Sim­mons of Whitby, ON, for “The Cos­tumer’s Note­book,” by Rae Stephens (The Cos­tumers In­sti­tute). Each was awarded a cash prize of $500.

• About the EAC — be­gan in 1979 as the Free­lance Edi­tors’ As­so­ci­a­tion of Canada to pro­mote and main­tain high stan­dards of edit­ing. EAC is the voice of edi­tors in Canada, with more than 1,500 mem­bers, both salaried and free­lance, who work in the cor­po­rate, tech­ni­cal, govern­ment, not-for-profit and pub­lish­ing sec­tors.

EAC’s pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment pro­grams and ser­vices in­clude pro­fes­sional cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, an an­nual con­fer­ence, sem­i­nars, guide­lines for fair pay and work­ing con­di­tions, and net­work­ing with other as­so­ci­a­tions. EAC has six re­gional branches: Bri­tish Columbia; Prairie Prov­inces; Saskatchewan; Toronto; National Cap­i­tal Re­gion; and Que­bec/At­lantic Canada, as well as five smaller branches (called twigs): Kitch­en­erWater­loo-Guelph, On­tario; Hamil­ton/Hal­ton, On­tario; Kingston, On­tario; Peter­bor­ough, On­tario; and Nova Sco­tia.

Sandy New­ton has resided in Cupids for the past three years.

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