I’m a strong writer with the ability to take complicated material and present it in a simple, concise and easy-to-understand manner. I have several years’ experience in government writing, editing and proofreading, journalism, and writing for the web.
Summary of Knowledge, Skills and Experience
Editing and Writing
- Briefing notes: Wrote for senior officials (ADM, DM, Minister) of the Income Security Programs branch of what was then Human Resources Development Canada (8 months).
- Editing and proofreading: Edited, proofread and fact-checked Transport Canada regulations and other statutory instruments as a legislative revisor for the Department of Justice (2+ years); edited and published the Ontario Herpetological Society’s quarterly newsletter (2 years).
- Journalism: 120+ articles written to deadline as a full-time reporter for The Equity, an English-language community newspaper based in Shawville, Quebec (5 months).
- Web writing: 4+ years’ experience authoring weblogs (“blogs”), on multiple subjects, with hundreds of thousands of words of output during that period.
- Past communications products: academic papers; articles in herpetocultural newsletters; book reviews; briefing notes and related materials; brochures and public education materials; letters to city bureaucrats regarding proposed by-laws; news releases; presentations to City Council and provincial task forces; and weblogs, web pages and other online materials. The Writing section of my home page includes a list and samples of my publications.
- Statutes and regulations: Knowledge of the legislative and regulatory processes, Parliamentary procedure, principles of legislative drafting and issues of statutory interpretation. Able to read and understand statutes and regulations.
- Briefing senior managers and Ministers: Have prepared briefing notes, briefing books, Q&As and House cards for senior managers (ADM, DM, Minister).
- Security clearance: Level II (Secret).
- Bilingual French: E/C/C.
- Good knowledge of HTML 4.01/XHTML 1.0, CSS 1 and 2, PHP and RSS.
- Content management: configuring and templating blogging applications (especially Blogger and Movable Type); mailing lists (Mailman, Majordomo); wiki software (several packages).
- 10 years experience coding web pages “by hand” (writing raw code with a text editor).
- Web portfolio available here.
Other Computer Skills
- Applications: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, iWork, Quark Xpress.
- Other skills: digital photography.
- Operating systems: Mac OS X, Windows 9x, some Unix/Linux (shell).
Random and Esoteric Knowledge
- The history of 19th- and 20th-century France and Germany.
- The husbandry of North American colubrid snakes.
- Master of Arts, History, University of Waterloo, 1996.
- Bachelor of Arts (Honours), History, University of Winnipeg, 1994.
- Legislative Drafting and Statutory Interpretation courses, Department of Justice, 06/02.
- Ph.D. student, History, University of Alberta (09/96 07/99). Withdrew from program.
- Reporter, Pontiac Printshop Ltd. (08/0301/04). Full-time reporter for The Equity, a weekly English-language community newspaper (circ. 4,000) based in Shawville, Quebec. As a member of a two-person news team, wrote approx. 5-10 articles a week to tight deadlines on a variety of subjects.
- Legislative Revisor, Department of Justice (05/0002/03). Edited and proofread drafts of legislation, regulations and other statutory instruments for Transport Canada at the Department of Justice’s Transport Regulations Unit, including the clear-language Transportation of Dangerous Goods Regulations.
- Planning and Analysis Officer, Human Resources Development Canada (09/9904/00). Prepared strategic notes and briefing material, including recommended positions, for senior officials (ADM, DM, Minister) of the Income Security Programs branch of (what was then) Human Resources Development Canada. Files included relations with Veterans Affairs and an appearance by the ADM before a parliamentary committee. Contract position through an agency.
- Web Page Designer, Health Canada (08/99). Short-term contract to design and code a web-based project proposal. Contract position through an agency.
- Teaching Assistant, Research Assistant, University of Alberta (09/9604/98). Various projects for history and classics professors ranging from managing the database of the departmental slide collection to historical research in a psychiatric hospital in Paris. Marked papers and final examinations for introductory history and history of science courses.
- Assistant Archivist/Summer Student, Hudson’s Bay Company Archives (0708/96). Designed and coded the first version of the HBCA’s web site (since redesigned).
- Teaching Assistant, University of Waterloo (09/9404/95). Marked papers and final examinations for an introductory history course and a history and film course. Participated in distance learning course development.
Volunteer Positions (Selected)
- Volunteer, Pontiac Archives (Mid-05present). Design and management of web site; ongoing.
- Volunteer, Pontiac Environmental Protection (Mid-05present). Design and management web site and other online activities; ongoing.
- President, Ottawa Amphibian and Reptile Association (11/0104/03). Successfully negotiated with City of Ottawa staff in respect of the new animal care and control by-law; set overall goals and priorities for the club; organized events and activities; chaired meetings.
- Editor/Publisher, Ontario Herpetological Society (11/9911/01). Edited and published the Society’s quarterly newsletter, The OHS News (circ. 100-150). Set overall editorial direction, solicited and edited submissions. Redesigned newsletter to improve readability and appearance. Circulation increased by approximately 60 per cent during my tenure.
- Layout and Design, Manitoba Association for Rights and Liberties (08/9604/98). Designed the layout of MARL’s newsletter; pagination; some copyediting duties.
- The Map Room (03/03present), a blog about maps and cartography with more than 1,500 daily readers.
- DFL (08/04, 02/06), a blog about Olympic last-place finishes that drew nearly 200,000 page views in a single week and attracted heavy media attention from Canadian TV news and from newspapers and radio worldwide.
(For a more complete list of projects, see mcwetboy.net.)