SEJournal Fills Associate Editor Slot, Expands Feature Content

August 25, 2021

Backhouse, in her natural environment in British Columbia. Photo: Mark Zuehlke. Click to enlarge.

SEJ News: SEJournal Fills Associate Editor Slot, Expands Feature Content

The SEJournal has named award-winning author and freelance environmental journalist Frances Backhouse as its associate editor, part of an initiative to expand content for the Society of Environmental Journalists’ weekly online magazine.

Backhouse, based in Victoria, British Columbia, brings to the publication wide-ranging experience in journalism, with bylines in a variety of Canadian and U.S. publications, and time as a contributing editor for British Columbia Magazine. She has also produced an hour-long radio documentary, and written six nonfiction books for adults and one for children, with two more volumes pending about wildlife for kids.


‘Frances brings a wealth of journalism background

and strong editorial skills, but also deep connections

to environmental journalism and to the SEJ family.’

— SEJournal Editor Adam Glenn


In addition, Backhouse taught creative nonfiction and journalism in the University of Victoria Department of Writing for six years, where she has a Master of Fine Arts degree in creative writing, along with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from the University of Alberta.

SEJournal Editor Adam Glenn explained that the long-vacant associate editor post is being filled as part of an effort to increase contributed features for the long-standing publication, which relaunched from a quarterly print magazine to an online weekly in 2016, and is produced by a staff writer and a team of volunteer editors, along with countless contributors.


‘Opportunity to deepen my relationship with SEJ’

“We have been wanting to bring more of the experiences and know-how of SEJ members and other environmental journalists onto our pages,” said Glenn. “Frances will without doubt help us do that. She’s a standout editor, with a wealth of journalism background and strong editorial skills, but also with deep connections to environmental journalism and to the SEJ family.” 

Backhouse has been an SEJ member for 20 years and has taken part in at least 10 annual conferences since 2003, organizing and moderating a freelancers’ “meet the editors” panel, and hosting or co-hosting network lunches and a beat dinner. She has also mentored several SEJ members since 2007 through the organization’s mentorship program, and recently contributed to its BookShelf book review section.

“During the two decades that I’ve been an SEJ member, I have gained a tremendous amount, both professionally and personally,” said Backhouse. “It’s an honor and a delight that I now have the opportunity to deepen my relationship with SEJ and contribute to the organization in a new way.”

Backhouse formally joined the SEJournal staff in July, and will work closely with Glenn in a range of editorial duties, as well as support the work of the publication’s volunteer editors, including the current features editor, award-winning journalist Cheryl Hogue.

Editor’s Note: Reach out to Backhouse and/or Hogue about contributing to the SEJournal’s feature pages at and

* From the weekly news magazine SEJournal Online, Vol. 6, No. 30. Content from each new issue of SEJournal Online is available to the public via the SEJournal Online main page. Subscribe to the e-newsletter here. And see past issues of the SEJournal archived here.

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