By Adam Crymble
Thanks to a successful workshop held in Vancouver last month, the Popular Publishing Writer’s Guild has added a new Western Canadian chapter. The guild is a support network of new scholars who are trying to engage a wider public with their research and ideas through newspapers, magazines or online.
Every five months, the group holds an internal call for participation that encourages members to draft a submission for an editor of a popular publication. The group offers feedback and encouragement when requested – though some members have submitted content directly to editors on their own.
Originally the group consisted of a handful of members who attended the first Popular Writing workshop in London, ON in the fall of 2009. That group managed to publish six articles out of eight attempts in various Canadian publications out of the first call and many of the Active History editors are part of the team. For some participants, it was their first ever popular article.
Now they’ve got some friendly competition from the folks out West who will be holding their own first call for participation this month. Some may suggest this will once and for all settle the East vs. West dispute. We in the guild like to think everyone wins when academics engage the public.
Right now, membership is limited to people who have attended one of our Popular Publishing workshops. We don’t claim our guild is responsible for our members successes, but we’re pleased to be expanding and hope to have more content out for the world on a regular basis.
Some of that content will be coming your way in the form of new or revitalized blogs. At the Vancouver workshop, co-organizer Dr. Sean Kheraj led a popular session on “Controlling your Google” and has convinced at least one of the participants to start blogging.
Read what the participants had to say about the event (two of whom started their blogs after being converted at the workshop):
- Merle Massie, University of Saskatchewan, History
- Sean Howard Atkins, University of Alberta, History & Classics
- Lauren Wheeler, University of Alberta, History & Classics
If there are other similar groups out there working towards the same goals, I’d love to hear from you. And if you’d like to learn how to set up a similar group with your friends or classmates, drop me a line and I’m happy to help.
Thank you to the Network in Canadian History & Environment (NiCHE), The History Education Network (THEN / HiER), Canada’s History Magazine and the University of British Columbia for their support bringing the last workshop together.