Friday, January 28, 2011

Tips for those Magazine Tweets

On January 26 in Calgary, and January 27 in Edmonton, AMPA hosted the seminar "Social Media Fundamentals" with guest speaker Liz Hover, digital media manager for Canada's National Screen Institute.

I've decided that - after two awe-inspiring hours (no exaggeration, this was a lot of info) of tips on everything from twitter and facebook to website and blogging - it's safe to declare Liz Hover the Social Media Maven. Just check out her website, especially the Resources page, and you're guaranteed to agree that this gal has done her homework.

Every great presentation should have at least one quotable, that catchy line that succinctly sums it all up and has you scrambling for pen and paper. You really know your speaker is a pro, and a tweetophile at that, when you're left with pages of quotes of fewer than 140 characters. Thanks to @dibegin, who tweeted her fave tips throughout the seminar, for sharing these gems: "If your website isn't kick ass, you shouldn't start with social media," and when it comes to that tweet content, "Share good shit" (and if it ain't good, why bother?).

Here are a few of Liz' other tips for magazine tweets:
  • Don't be afraid to post non-magazine content - reach out to your followers by sharing links and info on anything that may be of interest to your magazine's readers
  • Run contests through twitter, drawing people to other social media or to your website
  • Seek out reader/follower opinions and encourage them to contribute story ideas
  • Engage and interact with your followers, respond to their inquiries
  • Never post a link without explaining what it is or why you've posted it
  • Do a keyword search on Twellow and find twitter registrants who fit your magazine's target audience and niche interests
  • Find out (live!) what your fellow tweeters are saying about your magazine, or a topic of interest, by searching for keywords in tweets at
For more twitter ideas, or for insight on any social media (and I mean any), visit

There will likely be a social media frenzy from AMPA for the next few months as I work through my new tips and tricks, and then I'll probably be hooked and the frenzy shall continue. So I'll see you here again soon ... and on twitter @albertamags ... and on our facebook page ...

--- Rebecca Lesser
AMPA Communications & Programs Coordinator

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Social Media Maven's Magazine Insight

"Get your website ducks in a row before you attempt social media marketing." With these wise words AMPA's latest guest speaker Liz Hover sums up her sentiments about social media and magazines.

There was so much fabulous info that I need another day or so to succinctly present the highlights to you, but in the meantime here's more of what Liz had to say on her website (great resource for all!):

Thanks to the AMPA website I was able to look at all their member magazines online. One thing struck me – like a minus 44 windchill – social media is a waste of time if your website sucks. Yes, I know, there are website naysayers who predict the end of blogging and websites as we know it. But I love a good website. And I think I can say with 100% certainty that the good ‘ole website is here to stay for a while. Perhaps you’re even scratching your head saying ‘Of course social media is a waste of time if your website sucks.’ I think I’d just taken it for granted that folks knew that. I’ve learned that they don’t... 


--- Rebecca Lesser
AMPA Communications & Programs Coordinator

The Organized Writers' Dream Job?

Program Coordinator, Writers Guild of Alberta
(posted January 27, 2011)
Deadline to apply: February 14, 2011 

The Writers Guild of Alberta is looking for an individual with strong organizational, communication and administrative skills for the position of Program Coordinator in the WGA Edmonton office.

This individual will be responsible for the coordination and implementation of Writers Guild of Alberta programs, including writing retreats, monthly WGA Edmonton events, the Alberta Literary Awards, conferences, outreach programs, summer day camp programs, and developing other programs and services to meet the needs of the membership.

The successful candidate will possess strong writing and editing skills. She/he will be a strategic planner, meeting short-term commitments while remaining focused on a larger, long-term vision. Diplomatic, problem-solving, and teamwork skills are essential. Knowledge of the literary community is a strong asset, and familiarity with budget and office practices is desirable.

This is a full-time position at 35 hours/week. Competitive non-profit salary with benefits after three months.
Please submit cover letter and resume by February 14 to:

Executive Director
Writers Guild of Alberta
11759 Groat Road
Edmonton, AB T5M 3K6 Subject line: Employment application

Monday, January 24, 2011

Access Copyright Grants - deadline February 1st!

It's not too late to apply for the Access Copyright Foundation's new Research grant!

Canada’s creative community is receiving a significant boost with the announcement of $300,000 in new funding for 2011. The grants will directly support the creation and dissemination of publishable Canadian works.

The Access Copyright Foundation (ACF) is partnering with the Saskatchewan Arts Board to administer the grant process. Awards are granted to Canada’s writers, visual artists and publishers to support professional development opportunities, research projects and events. All three activities are vital to ensuring that Canadians will continue to create new cultural works that will be enjoyed by their fellow citizens, and those around the world.

Applications for Research grants are currently being accepted. The application form is available at the Access Copyright Foundation website

The deadline for applications is February 1, 2011.

Get Publishing 2011: At the Edge of Print

May 6 and  7, 2011

Get Publishing 2011: At the Edge of Print connects writers with editors and publishers to explore the outer limits of the written word. Registration is now open for this essential conference to get your passions into print and beyond. This year, the Get Publishing Communications Society takes you to The Edge of Print so you can keep pace with the shifting landscape of publishing in Canada — from magazines to books, from page to screen.

Pitch your ideas to a publisher. Draw inspiration from our keynote speakers. Attend the panels, browse the marketplace, don your thinking caps at the writers' circus. Join Get Publishing May 6 and 7, 2011, at the Robbins Health Learning Centre, Grant MacEwan University—and go where no pen has gone before.

This year's presenters, panels, and workshops include:
  • keynote speaker Minister Faust, the award-winning novelist and radio broadcaster
  • Sarah Ivany, managing editor of Freehand Books (“The Big E Made Easy,” panel)
  • co-writer of the comic book Cowboys and Aliens, Andrew Foley (“Pop Culture Confidential,” panel)
  • Jennifer Cockrall-King, author, magazine features writer, and foodgirl blogger (“Tales From the Blogosphere,” panel)
  • Rose Scollard, Frontenac House (“21st-Century Publishing,” panel)
  • food, travel, and memoir writer Judy Schultz ("The Multi-Niche Writer," workshop)
  • "Shifting Gears: New Trends in Magazine Publishing"

To register, visit

Thursday, January 13, 2011

MagaScene: Conference Dates, Alberta Mag Awards, Design and Digital Seminars + more Events, News & Jobs (Issue 79/Jan 2011)

2011 Alberta Magazines Conference Save the Date! 

Canadian Magazines Canadiens A Publication for Publishing Professionals
New Grants from Access Copyright PD, Research and Events Support 

The Art of Redesign January 19
Social Media Fundamentals January 26 and  27
Conference on the Coast 2011 January 28 - 30
So You Want To Be A Freelance Writer? February 15 - March 22  

National Magazine Awards deadline January 14
Alberta Magazine Awards deadlines January 31 and February 22
Kenneth R. Wilson (KRW) Awards
deadline February 4
Routes Magazine Short Story Contest deadline April 15   

Bookkeeper/Administrator, Alberta Views
Ad Sales Representative, Western Horse Review

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Alberta Magazine Awards

The Alberta Magazine Awards will be presented at the Alberta Magazine Excellence Gala, on March 24 at the Carriage House Inn in Calgary, as part of the 2011 Alberta Magazines Conference. This is a celebration of you or someone you know in the Alberta magazine industry, featuring new Showcase Awards and Achievement Awards, cash prizes, plus all that glorious glory — and we need your submissions! 

Showcase Awards (Sponsored by Transcontinental). Submissions due February 22, 2011:

Showcasing excellence in magazine design and editorial. Submissions must be published and have appeared in an AMPA member magazine in the year 2010.

o Best Cover
o Best Short Editorial
o Best Feature Design
o Best Photo (new!)
o Best Illustration (new!)
o Best Alberta Story (new!)
Winners in each category will receive a $250 cash prize, as well as gift prize and conference pass. Winners will be announced at the Alberta Magazine Excellence Gala held Thursday, March 24. 

Achievement Awards. Nominations due January 31, 2011: 

This is your opportunity to nominate a person or publication that has contributed significantly to the Alberta magazine publishing industry. Nominations are free. Nominees must be current residents of Alberta.

o Editor of the Year (Sponsored by Fairmont Hotels)
o Achievement in Publishing (new!)
o Volunteer of the Year (Sponsored by Magazines Canada)
o Best New Magazine (new!)

Editor of the Year, Achievement in Publishing and Best New Magazine winners will be announced at the Alberta Magazine Excellence Gala held Thursday, March 24. Volunteer of the Year will be announced at the Friday Wine and Cheese, March 25.

Click here for full Alberta Magazine Awards details

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Redesign and Social Media seminars

The Art of Redesign: How to Make Your Next Magazine Redesign Powerful and Pain Free

Magazine redesigns can be a great way to alienate your readers and stress out your entire magazine staff—if you don’t go into them fully prepared. Design guru Dave Donald draws upon 18 years of experience to provide sound strategies and practical tips on how to make everything from a touch-up to a full remake seamless and sparkling, while ensuring what you do optimizes your brand and draws in new readers. It's never too early to think redesign, so make sure you catch these valuable tips now.

This AMPA event will be held January 19, 2011 in Edmonton.

Social Media Fundamentals: Digital Learning Series Seminar
Liz Hover covers the basics of social media: what it is, how it works and what is it good for. As well, through case studies and practical take-home tips, she illustrates the best ways for businesses to use this burgeoning medium to grow audiences, deliver branding and generate revenue. This session is geared towards those involved in the magazine publishing industry but may be of interest to anyone looking to make social media an effective part of their business strategy. 

This AMPA event will be held January 26, 2011 in Calgary and January 27, 2011 in Edmonton.