Environment 101 for Freelancers

Event Date: 
April 14, 2011

The Professional Writers’ Association of Canada in partnership with the Society of Environmental Journalists (SEJ) presents

WHEN: Thursday, April 14, 2011; 7:00-9:00 p.m.

WHERE: University of Toronto, Health Sciences Building: 150 College Street, Room 106 (wheelchair accessible), Toronto, Ontario

Is climate change having an impact on the stories we tell? With school boards renovating their buildings for energy efficiency, and municipal governments spending millions to clean up sewers and promote local food, and the entire financial world watching Japan’s nuclear crisis unfold, there’s no escaping the environment. The environment may not be in the very best shape, but the flip side is that there’s a bumper crop of stories to be told.

How, then, might you find information that’s under-reported, or navigate often-conflicting scientific evidence, bogus claims, or efforts to downplay environmental concerns? And, how can you successfully pitch your ideas to editors? Our panel of experienced journalists from both the reporting and the editing sides of the business will discuss strategies the country’s top environmentally-minded writers are using to tell and sell their stories.

Victoria Foote is director of communications for Ontario Nature, a leading non-profit conservation organization that has been at the forefront of numerous high-profile environmental campaigns to save important habitats and wildlife in Ontario. Victoria is also editor-in-chief of ON Nature magazine, published by Ontario Nature and widely regarded as the definitive source of information for current issues of provincial environmental concern. Under Victoria's tenure as editor-in-chief, ON Nature has won numerous National Magazine Awards for excellence in coverage of environmental issues.

Stephen Leahy is an independent journalist who has covered international environmental issues in the public interest for the past 15 years. He now mainly writes for Rome-headquartered Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), the world’s sixth-largest global news agency. Stephen has been published in dozens of publications around the world, including New Scientist, The London Sunday Times, Maclean’s Magazine, Earth Island Journal, The Toronto Star, Wired News, Audubon, BBC Wildlife and Canadian Geographic. In 2008, he was a Green Party candidate in the federal election and appears poised to do so again in 2011.

Sharon Oosthoek is a Toronto-based freelance science and environmental journalist. Her work has appeared in New Scientist, The Globe and Mail, Canadian Geographic, cbc.ca, Today’s Parent, Canadian Family, ON Nature and Canadian Wildlife. Sharon has more than 20 years' experience working for daily newspapers, magazines and online news services. The Canadian Science Writers' Association has twice honoured her with the Science in Society Journalism Award, and she is also the recipient of a Western Ontario Newspaper Award for feature writing.

Moderator: Saul Chernos is a Toronto-based freelance journalist specializing in environmental issues.

FREE for PWAC (Professional Writers’ Association of Canada) members and students – MUST PRE-REGISTER ONLINE

$10 for members of associate writers’ groups – online advance registration only

$15 for non-member – online advance registration only

PLEASE NOTE: Advance registration up to midnight before the event

$20 for registration at the door

For more information, and to pre-register: http://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=nyq9xqcab&oeidk=a07e2zmohvbe5cb6e5a 


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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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