New Heights – Getting Your Small Business Started

Usually we hold New Heights in the spring, but this year we’ve decided to experiment with different timing because STC’s current president, Katherine (Kit) Brown-Hoekstra, is coming to Calgary! She will be presenting a half-day workshop for us. If you have started your own business, are thinking of starting a business, or just want to know what is involved, this workshop is for you!

Getting Your Small Business Started

Are you tired of working in a cube farm? Do you want to be your own boss? Or, maybe you just want to make a little money on the side? Have you been freelancing for a while and want to take things to the next level?

Having your own business can give you flexibility, increase your income, and improve your quality of life. But, it’s not for everyone. Join us for an interactive workshop where we will explore what it takes to start your own business, how to stay sane while being self-employed, and identify some common mistakes so that you can avoid them. The workshop includes discussions and exercises. The handouts include strategic questions to ask, a needs-analysis spreadsheet, and other useful tips from Kit.

Workshop Objectives:

    At the end of this workshop, you will have the information you need to:

  • decide if owning your own business is right for you
  • know how to start your own business and which mistakes to avoid
  • have a mission statement
  • understand where to go from here

Katherine (Kit) Brown-Hoekstra

Kit is a small business owner with over 23 years of experience in technical communication. She is currently the Principal for Comgenesis, LLC, which provides consulting services and training to clients on internationalizing and improving the usability of their documentation, developing a coherent content strategy and content model, and more traditional technical writing and editing services.

Kit is a Fellow of the STC and the 2014-15 Society President. Her STC experience includes stints as ITC SIG manager, two-time chapter president, international publications competition manager, competitions judge at local and international levels, Nominating Committee at the local and society level, book reviewer, article peer reviewer for Technical Communication, guest editor for Intercom, and co-chair of the Global Strategies Task Force. In 2007, she coauthored (with Brenda Huettner and Char James-Tanny) Managing Virtual Teams: Getting the Most from Wikis, Blogs, and Other Collaborative Tools. In addition, she is the former editor of IEEE-PCS News, a contributor to Multilingual, TC World, and Intercom. Kit holds an M.Sc. in Technical Communication and a B.Sc. in Biology, both from Colorado State University.

Workshop Details

  • Date: Saturday, November 1, 2014
  • Time: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Meals: Coffee break, and lunch after the workshop. Note: breakfast is not included. If you have any dietary restrictions, please email Jeanne Gonnason before October 29.
  • Location: Innovate Calgary (formerly  CTI), 3553 – 31 Street NW, Calgary (Alastair Ross Technology Centre) Plenty of  free parking is available and the building is located near Brentwood LRT  station (map).

Registration Rates

$150* for STC and affiliate members; $300 for non-members

* If you are a student in a communication program, you MUST present your student ID at the workshop to receive a $50 rebate.

* If you live more than 50 km from Calgary, please pay the full fee and email the Treasurer for $50 reimbursement.

Remember, if you have your own business, or are starting your own business this year, the cost of this workshop is tax deductible.


Contact Jeanne Gonnason, New Heights Manager.

Register for Event

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APMP Maple Leaf Chapter Presents “Winning Executive Summaries” Workshop

Your APMP Maple Leaf Chapter is thrilled to present “Winning Executive Summaries” led by Shipley Canada!

This one-day workshop begins by exploring the concept of customer focus and how it can be achieved. It continues with information on the many uses of customer-focused executive summaries in business development documents, especially proposals. A process for creating effective summaries is then introduced and practiced, step by step.

Workshop Schedule

  • Time: Friday, November 7, 2014 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:40 p.m. (Doors open at 8:00 a.m.)
  • Location: ABB Canada, #110, 4411 6 Street Southeast, Calgary, AB (Map).
  • Cost: Registration fees include workshops materials, morning and break refreshments, and lunch.
    • APMP members: $899 Early Bird to Oct. 7, or $949 thereafter.
    • Non-members: $949 Early Bird to Oct. 7, or $999 thereafter,
    • 3 or more registrants per company: $799 Early Bird to Oct. 7, or $849 thereafter.
  • Registration is available at the workshop’s Eventbrite page

In this workshop, you will learn to:

  • Understand the nature of customer focus and how to infuse it into your documents.
  • Create executive summaries focused on your customer’s most important issues.
  • Use customized planning and organizing tools to quickly craft effective executive summaries.

By the end of the workshop, you will have a completed executive summary you can use as a model or share with a customer. At your discretion, this can be an executive summary related to an historical business opportunity (won or lost), a live opportunity you are currently pursuing, or a case study furnished by the presenter.

For more information, download this PDF: Winning Executive Summaries.

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November and December Usability Workshops

Communications and Training International (CAT-i) is hosting two usability workshops: one in November and another in December.

What is Usability Mapping®?  Usability Mapping  is a behaviour-based methodology to produce enabling documents such as procedures, processes, standards, reports and more. Usability Mapped documents measurably reduce the risk of misunderstanding, foreign language interference, and performance errors.

Workshop Dates

November 7 and 8, 2014
December 5 and 6, 2014

Workshop Schedule

  • Time: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Friday) and 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. (Saturday).
  • Location: WinSport Institute, Canada Olympic Park, Calgary, AB (Map).
    • Parking is free.
  • Cost: $1,100 per participant. Registration fee includes:
    • Books and handouts
    • Snacks and lunch
    • Tour of the athletes’ training facilities
    • A learning experience you won’t forget
  • Registration: Write to the training coordinator, Kimberley McRae, at

For more information about CAT-i, please visit their website.



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The September Issue of SuperScript is Now Available

Hello everyone! The latest edition of SuperScript is now available. In this issue:

  • Our chapter president provides an overview of the Fall Coffee Night and introduces New Heights.
  • The programming team outlines the Fall Coffee Night event, which is titled “Growing Your Career in Technical Communication!”
  • The upcoming New Heights event, featuring Katherine (Kit) Brown-Hoekstra, is discussed in detail.
  • A chapter member provides tips in an article on the best practices for interviewing Subject-Matter Experts.

Comments welcome to the Newsletter Editor.

Essential Accounting Services

Essential Accounting Services specializes in small business accounting and bookkeeping services. In addition to corporate taxes, they also do personal taxes. They will manage all of your accounting, so you can focus on your business.

Email or call Helen today

cell: (403) 826-0659

(403) 249-6693

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Welcome back, JobLink!

After a long break (and many long hours for our webmaster), the JobLink is back online! Thanks to the tireless efforts of Kevin Nazareth, the JobLink has a new lease on life. In addition to changing the login format, the postings themselves have been migrated from our previous PHP webpage to our WordPress styles, for a seamless look and feel with the rest of the website.

As a volunteer-run organization, we do thank you for your patience during this downtime. A great deal of time and energy has been expended trying to troubleshoot the situation with STC head office in Virginia, which had made changes to that affected our previous JobLink login system.

Visit the JobLink and check out the postings! (The password is available to Members only. Email

Are you an employer or a recruiter? Posting a job is free! Email for more information.

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Part-Time Editing Instructors

Restricted to STC members only. Enter password

Applicants will possess expertise and real-world experience as a professional editor, including
development, substantive or structural editing, stylistic editing, rewriting, copy editing, research, fact checking, indexing, proofreading, layout and production editing in a range of settings (corporate communications, specialized or technical writing and editing, magazine or book publishing, etc.).


We are looking for instructors with expertise in the following areas:

  • Writing and editing for digital media
  • Copy editing and proofreading
  • Comprehensive editing
  • Editing fundamentals


At a minimum, candidates would ideally meet the following requirements:

  • A minimum of 10 years’ experience as a professional in a publishing or corporate setting
  • A degree in a related discipline (e.g., Communications, English, Editing, etc.). A Master’s
    degree is preferred, but not required.
  • Proven experience and success as an in-house trainer, adult educator and/or facilitator in
    a post-secondary, organizational or professional business setting
  • Excellent editing, writing, presentation and interpersonal communication skills
  • Related professional certification or designation(s) is an asset
  • Experience using classroom or educational technologies to enhance student learning is
    an asset.
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Edmonton Coffee Night – Oct 16

Let’s get together to celebrate autumn and being technical communicators! This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with others in your field, and to learn what other technical communicators in Edmonton are doing.

  • Date: Thursday, October 16, 2014
  • Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: Block 1912 Cafe, 10361 – 82 Ave. NW, Edmonton, AB (map)
    • There is parking in the area and ETS buses run along 82 Ave in both directions.
  • Cost: Buy your own coffee.
  • Registration: No need to RSVP. Just come out if you can.

For more information about the event, contact Deanne Wilson, Edmonton Director.

Senior Instructional Designer

Restricted to STC members only. Enter password

Required Skill Set:

  • Bachelor’s degree or other equivalent program.
  • Five or more years of experience in instructional design.
  • One or more years of experience in the eLearning industry.
  • Experience in researching content, working with subject matter experts, and converting content into performance-based and engaging learning for eLearning environments.
  • Excellent analytical skills to convert information and business or learner needs into practical training solutions.
  • Experience with ADDIE methodologies and tools such as Lectora, Captivate, and Articulate required.
  • Superior writing skills, including the ability to write concise, creative, and effective instruction.
  • Excellent communication skills with clients, managers, and team members.
  • CTP or CTDP designation would be considered an asset
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Senior Information Architect

Restricted to STC members only. Enter password

Areas of Responsibility:

  • Ability to act as an advisor to clients, designing solutions, and offering recommendations.
  • Ability to design solutions that meet corporate and customer goals.
  • Experience in content strategy, needs analysis, solutioning, content modeling, taxonomy, and XML authoring..
  • Effectively work with the sales team in key accounts.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks and lead customer-facing discussions demonstrating thought leadership and subject matter expertise.
  • Ability to design and scope (effort, timelines, etc.) solutions to meet individual customer needs.
  • Required to collaborate with a geographically distributed team.
  • Must have the flexibility to travel (often on short notice).
  • Individuals should be highly self-motivated with the ability to work to deadlines.

Required Skill Set:

  • 5+ years’ relevant experience.
  • Bachelor’s-level degree is a requirement. An MBA would be an asset.
  • 5+ years’ experience in information architecture. Must have a broad range of senior-level experience understanding corporate requirements in the knowledge management space, including information architecture, technical writing, and instructional design.
  • Knowledge of tools (e.g. Authoring, CMS, Publishing).
  • Experience in technical writing and instructional design.
  • Experience in oil and gas industry.
  • Extensive experience working with external clients in an advisory role.
  • Experience in project management would be an asset, but not required.
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Calgary Fall Coffee Night: Growing Your Career in Technical Communication! – Sept 25

Join us in Calgary for a fall Coffee Night! Buy your own drink and take part in an informative discussion on growing and developing your career in Technical Communication. We will have human resources and hiring managers, staffing agency representatives, and technical communication professionals giving us their top tips on job seeking, interviewing, networking, and more. You’ll have time to ask our experts questions, meet our STC executive, and network with other professionals in the Technical Communication field.

As this was such a popular event last time, we encourage you to register early as the location has only a limited number of seats.

Program Details

  • Date: Thursday, September 25, 2014
  • Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Speakers to begin at approximately 7:15 p.m.
  • Location: Second Cup Kensington, 338 10 Street NW, Calgary, AB (Map)
    • NOTE: The map shows that the location is closed, but it is not. It has only changed ownership.
    • Plenty of free parking is available along the streets after 6:00 p.m.
    • Transit: Walk from Sunnyside LRT
  • Cost: Free, but registration is encouraged. You must purchase your own drinks.
  • Registration: Seats for this event are now full. Due to limitations on space, we are now keeping a waitlist for anyone that would like to attend. Email programs to request a spot on the waitlist.
  • Contact: Ruth Maryniuk


Read more about our Events and Professional Development opportunities:

If you have information about an event of interest to technical communicators in Alberta, contact

Edmonton Pub Night – Jun 12

It’s been some time since we’ve had a pub night, so let’s get together and have an early celebration of the summer solstice, share our summer holiday plans, enjoy drinks, appetizers (new venue/new menu), and each other’s company. This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with others in your field and to learn what other technical communicators in Edmonton are doing.

  • Date: Thursday, June 12, 2014
  • Time: 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.
  • Location: Craft Beer Market, 10013 – 101A Avenue NW (off Rice Howard Way). (map)
    There is hourly parking in the Library Parkade and other nearby parking lots, and ETS has numerous route stops at Edmonton City Centre.
  • CostSTC Alberta Members, STC Members (Society Members), Affiliate Members, and Non-Member Students: $15. STC Alberta Student Members: $10. Non-Members: $20
  • RegistrationOnline. Cash payment is due at the door. Walk-ins are welcome, but registration is encouraged. 

For more information about the event, contact Deanne Wilson, Edmonton Director.

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