Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Magazine Editor Shares MagNet Conference Experience

Travel bursaries for voting magazine members are just one of the many benefit programs that we provide at the Alberta Magazine Publishers Association. We've asked bursary recipients to share their professional development travel experiences. 

Karen D. Crowdis, former editor of AMPA member Birthing magazine, saw the AMPA travel subsidy as her opportunity to attend MagNet, the national magazine conference in Toronto, for the first time.

Rookie on the Road 

Off to the MagNet Conference 
By publishing industry standards, I am a rookie in the biz with six years under my belt. In terms of the big show, I am the quintessential newbie—everything is still so thrilling to me about this industry.  This is my rookie voyage to MagNet. I work mostly remotely so the prospect of being in the company of industry pros always pulls at me.  Rookie or not, it’s nice to be with people who understand what I do. 

The Conference Experience 
Walking into the lobby of the Courtyard Marriott downtown Toronto quells my tenderfoot excitement just a bit. I am struck by the sheer number of people there. A flash of regret surges through my body as the introverted—aka: painfully shy—me questions my sanity for coming at all. 

I try to look like I know where to go, but I miss the room I need at least three times. Eventually, I run into some cohorts from the Professional Writers Association of Canada and dutifully become their ‘cling on’,  following them to the Marquee presentation room.  From keynote speaker Evan Hansen I learn that I really need to buff up my online skills.

Soon I find AMPA Executive Director, Andrew Mah, and AMPA’s own Editor of the Year, Kathe Lemon. Familiar faces were just what this MagNet virgin needed to stay the course.  In terms of seminars, MagNet did not disappoint.  The seminars completely whet my appetite for this industry.  I took something new away from all of them—that is the rookie advantage at these things.  

Love of the Magazine Industry Refreshed 
As the plane engines rumble under my feet again too soon, I realize my rookie season at MagNet is over. Witnessing the size of our Canadian industry was inspiring. I leave recharged and in love with this industry all over again. I know this is my industry; it’s where I belong. 
Thank you AMPA for the opportunity to attend MagNet—it was so worth the investment!

--- Karen D. Crowdis

Karen D. Crowdis is an experienced writer and editor, whose work has appeared in Alberta Conservation’s Discovery Guide, Ottawa Outdoors, Birthing Magazine, various corporate publications, as well as her recently launched blog about balancing life as a writer and family. Clinging to the rebel within, she still listens to music too loud, wrote her honours thesis on heavy metal culture and denies driving a minivan.