2015 Editors’ Weekend

2015 Editors’ Weekend


The Place to be for OPSEU Communicators

This year’s Editors’ Weekend will be held on November 13 to 15 at the Chelsea Hotel in downtown Toronto.

The Editors’ Weekend is a biennial conference and educational for OPSEU local editors. From noon Friday to noon Sunday, there are workshops, speakers and an awards dinner to recognize past excellent work.

If you are doing a newsletter, a website, a strike bulletin or bargaining communications, you should come.

OPSEU pays for one person from each local. Applications (see attached pdf below) should be accompanied by two editions of your newsletter published between Sept. 1, 2013 and Aug. 31, 2015, or the URL from your current local website. OPSEU will cover travel, accommodation, meals, parking and child/dependent care for one person per newsletter or website.

If space is available, we may be able to accommodate a second person at the local’s expense. Sector/committee newsletters and websites (produced by members) can send participants, with costs from their own budgets. Limited additional tickets for the Awards Banquet will be available, provided arrangements are made before Oct. 19.

Applications, accompanied by copies of two editions of your newsletter or the URL of your current updated website, must be received by Greg Hamara, OPSEU Communications, 100 Lesmill Road, Toronto, Ontario M3B 3P8, NO later than Oct. 19, 2015.

Phone 416-443-8888 or 1-800-268-7376 ext. 8777

Fax 416-443-1762. E-mail: ghamara@opseu.org

2015 Editors Weekend Workshop and Accommodation Application.pdf

2015 Editors' Weekend Entire Document.pdf


Awards dinner

Celebrate the success of OPSEU’s local communications. Knowledgeable judges will evaluate your best work and present the awards.

Editors' briefing

You will get an update on what’s new at OPSEU from President Smokey Thomas.

Skills workshops

Choose four sessions from among 12 skills and interest workshops, facilitated by top-notch instructors, to make your local communications better than ever.

Workshop descriptions

The program is designed so you can choose a selection of writing, design, and technical workshops.

All communication, whether in print or electronic, needs a combination of content, writing, design and technology to reach readers.

"Coming in new" covers four sessions, educating you on the basics for new newsletters. "Breaking news with social media", "Photos that tell a story" and "Labour through a video lens" run for two sessions each. All other workshops are one session each.

Coming in new (four sessions)

This workshop offers a little bit of everything – writing, design, editing, and production. It’s for new editors, editors’ assistants or others who are new to the process and want it all. Bring a copy of your local’s current publication, if you have one (no matter how primitive). You do not need two editions of a newsletter to attend this workshop.

Beginners web (two sessions)

This two-part session will give you the tools to get a local web site up and running. Using the popular (free!) web and blog program Word Press, learn the basics of setting up your site, adding content and how to make it available to your members (and the world!). You do not need a current website to attend this workshop.

Advanced web (two sessions)

This session builds on what was learned in Beginners Web.


Learn how to reach your target audience quickly and efficently. MailChimp acts as a type of traffic cop by ensuring your emails reach their intended members. It eliminates redundant and inaccurate email addresses so that you know your message is getting through.


An image tells a thousand words. This course introduces participants to creating a visual story using statistical data.

Legal or libel?

“Will I get in trouble if I write that/print that/ quote that/put that on the web?” If you have ever asked these questions, this course is for you.

Learn how the libel laws work and how you can get your point across without attracting nasty lawsuits.

Breaking news with social media (two sessions)

The breaking news with social media workshop follows up on the Legal or Libel session. Now that you know what can get you in trouble, this two-part skills-based workshop provides information on what makes a good social media strategy and provides “hands on” experience with various social media platforms. Participants will explore various social media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Blogs. Participants need a smartphone or tablet to fully participate in this workshop.

Plain language and the art of editing

Plain words deliver the most punch. Learn how to avoid using “ten-dollar words” and find out how to write and edit strong clear prose that will reach and motivate your members. Bring 20 copies of your work and turn blah into brilliant.


Blogging is your journal for the masses in the 21st century. Learn how to be an effective blogger that will stimulate debate and capture the attention of your readers.

Design basics

Do your newsletters need a visual punch? Learn how a bit of eye candy can suddently elevate your message and increase your viewership.

Photos that tell a story (two sessions)

If pictures are worth a thousand words, you can break a lot of news in a very short period of time. In this two-part workshop, learn how good pictures can tell a story all on their own. Learn how to take good digital photographs the first time, no matter what camera you are using. Then get the basic software skills to get the most out of your pictures for web or print. You MUST bring your own digital camera to this workshop!

Labour through a video lens (two sessions)

The use of video for telling a story has exploded thanks to smart phones and YouTube. However, getting a good short video is much more than point and shoot. Learn what makes for good video and how proper preparation, framing, background and sound can get your video noticed…and watched! A video recorder or video-equipped phone would be an asset for this workshop.

Important! Second applications from the same Local

As stated, we will try to accommodate a second member from the same local if space permits, at the local’s expense.

These applications are NOT approved until after the application deadline (Oct. 16). At that point, available spaces are filled by the date order that the application was received.

Also, if sending two applications from the same local, you MUST indicate which is the first and which is the second application from the local to be considered.

Courses are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Deadline for applications is October 19, 2015.

Elections – In Solidarity Editorial Board

This is an election year for the In Solidarity Editorial Board. This five-member committee writes and gathers articles for the In Solidarity newsletter, produces daily updates at the OPSEU Convention, and plans and helps facilitate the biennial Editors’ Weekend.

You must be a participant at the Editors’ Weekend to be eligible to run for a position. The election for the editorial board takes place at the closing plenary at noon, Sunday Nov. 15.

Members interested in running for a position should:

  • Have experience working on a local newsletter or website.
  • Have the ability to write thought-provoking, topical articles geared towards OPSEU’s activist base.
  • Be able to work towards demanding deadlines with minimal oversight.
  • Be able to commit to at least four one-day Editorial Board meetings per year (usually in Toronto).
  • Be able to commit to working long hours at each day of Convention to produce the daily updates.

Five positions are available for election. Three alternates are also elected. The Editor/Chair position is elected by the five members on the committee themselves.

If you are interested in being elected to this dynamic and rewarding committee, you have to be nominated by another member at the election on Sunday, Nov. 15.

Awards for Excellence in Newsletter and Web Communications

It’s back! The 2015 Editors’ Weekend Awards for Excellence in Newsletter and Web Communications will be presented at the 2015 Editors’ Weekend, Nov. 13 to 15.

There is a new format for the awards, and an expanded period of time covering eligible entries.

The deadline for OPSEU’s 2015 newsletter and website awards is Oct. 19. Check out your work and enter your best efforts.

To enter, your local must have produced at least two editions of a newsletter or have an updated website between Sept. 1, 2013 and Aug. 31, 2015. The 2015 Awards cover newsletters and websites between those two dates.

The awards are offered in three categories:

  • BPS Locals – any size
  • OPS Locals – any size
  • CAAT (Academic and Support) Locals – any size

The awards will be presented at the Awards Banquet (Nov. 14). They will be judged by two independent judges, who know unions and communications.

The entry form is attached below. For each entry, have a separate copy of the story, art work or edition you are entering. Do not clip multiple entry tags onto a single edition leaving the judges wondering what you are entering. For electronic entries, please submit a printout of the entry or a sheet of paper with the URL and a description of the entry.

The deadline for submissions is October 19, 2015.

Awards Application.pdf