Wednesday, May 11, 2011

AMPA Goes to the Edge of Print

This past weekend I loaded up my wee Yaris with boxes of member magazines, and hit the road (literally, that poor bumper was weighed-down) for At the Edge of Print, the 2011 Get Publishing Conference at Grant MacEwan University.

This was my first time at the bi-annual conference, which this year reached a record 100-plus participants. It was also my chance to meet more of our Edmonton members, interact with the larger publishing community, and ultimately get the word out about Alberta's magazines.

The Friday night keynote address connected our Edmonton audience via live video-conference (a brave a/v feat that went off without a hitch) with Andrew Steeves in Nova Scotia, the founder, owner, publisher, printer, editor (you name it, he does it, and it's all self-taught) of Gaspereau Press.

I missed the Saturday keynote, Minister Faust, to set up AMPA's tradeshow booth, but I hear it was a hit. And so was our booth! Writers, editors, publishers and students crowded to get their hands on the free samples of Alberta magazines, and to pick up their colourful AMPA swag (many compliments on our branding, courtesy of Gillian Bishop):

I started off my professional developing for the day by attending the AMPA-sponsored "Tales from the Blogosphere: Passions, Politics, and Profit" with panelists Dave Cournoyer (, Jennifer Cockrall-King ( and Kathryn Burke ( Each panelist shared their unique blogging stories, and you can read the highlights on twitter (through @albertamags and/or #GPEdge).Link
I was also keen to hear from Joyce Byrne (@joyce_byrne), associate publisher of Venture Publishing Inc. (think Alberta Oil and Alberta Venture, amongst many others) with her session "Shifting Gears: New Trends in Magazine Publishing." Here are a few of her many quotable tips for writers (with my own comments included, of course!):
  • Many editors no longer read the resume with your pitch, they just Google you (LinkedIn and blogs are the new resume)
  • As a writer, breadth can be as important as your ability to write in different styles (specialization is so 1990)
  • No Dumping Online: take care with your online writing, ensure that it's well-groomed & edited
Never fear, however, you aren't dependent on me to glean the gems from this presentation, since Joyce has kindly posted her presentation for you to read in all it's glory:

The evening ended with a banquet and entertainment, as all evenings should, to cap off a great event. Kudos to the Get Publishing Communications Society, and the many volunteers who helped pull off this year's conference!

--- Rebecca Lesser
AMPA Communications & Programs Coordinator