THE GALLEY             Quill
Newsletter of
the Media Club of Ottawa


* Members' News 2018
* Meeting Reports 2018
* Meeting Reports 2019

February 2019
Events Books About Awards Profiles Contactt
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           N E W S......

from and about Members, Former Members and Friends

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WELCOME to Bogdan Gajewski
Our Newest Member was the winner of our one-year free membership draw, presented at our 2017 December luncheon. Born in Poland and educated as a mechanical (aerospace) engineer, he emigrated to Canada in 1985.

His media interests include hosting a Polish program at Carleton University’s radio station, CKCU from 1995-2000, publishing a number of books - mostly in Polish - from 2000-2015; presenting video productions of interviews with interesting people and volunteering at Rogers t.v. since 2016.

June Coxon: An article by June was published in the March/April issue of Fifty-Five Plus magazine. Called “Breaking Bread With Traditional Ways,” it is about an Indigenous Cook course being offered at Algonquin College.

Jayne Simms-Dalmotas:

Olive Dickason - see next column

Susan Hallett  had an article published in the Winter 2018 issue of Taste and Travel magazine. Entitled “Mint in Its Myriad Forms,” you can find it on page 85

Janet Webb:

Iris ten Holder:  

Shirley Van Dusen:
Ottawa artist Shirley Van Dusen is internationally recognized for both her sensitively rendered portraits and her evocative paintings of iconic scenes of Ottawa and the surrounding valley. Her paintings of Ottawa’s Parliament Hill, the Canadian Tulip Festival, Prime Ministers and everyday folk are held in notable private and public collections around the world including Prime Ministers Pierre Elliot Trudeau (1919-2000) and Brian Mulroney, the National Press Clubs in Ottawa and Washington, DC and the Bank of Canada. At 91, Van Dusen continues to paint prolifically.
She is a life member and Fellow of the Ottawa Watercolour Society, an art teacher and published writer.

David French*:

Joe Banks;

Helen Bednarek VanEyk:

Margaret  Virany  was recently admitted to  hospital and has returned home, Our thoughts are with her and her family. 

You may already be following Marg Virany’s interesting blog. If you haven’t found it yet, you might like to start by reading 
about the Media Club’s beginnings in
cozybookbasics .  

Henry Heald (1929-2016):
We are creating a special page on this website for Henry Heald  including his contributions to the club over the many years of his membership. His last book Before I Die: Not A Bucket List was published posthumously and is available from UofT Book Store

Jim Watson:

Rosaleen Dickson (1921-2018)

Patrick Meikle:

Dawn Monroe of Cochrane, Ontario, who reached a major milestone on March 1. She now has 2,700 mini biographies on her Famous Canadian Women website! Many of the women were, or are, CWPC/Media Club members. To read about them go to

* former member
** honorary member

Former Members

Aline and Lorraine Lafreniere

Valerie Knowles
An article by former long-time member Valerie Knowles   appeared in the March/April issue of Legion magazine, entitled “War and the Women’s Vote.”

Susan Korah
, a former long time club member who's still actively interested in the Media Club,  spends most of her time working out of the country,.
Susan had an article published in the Winter 2018 issue of Taste and Travel. It’s called “From Luxembourg With Love” and is on page 36.

Jacquie Cernat Mathieu
Former club member and past president, Jacquie Cernat Mathieu had a stroke on March 23, 2018. She reports that after spending weeks at the Bruyere Hospital she is now home and is feeling much better.

Books about Media Club/CWPC members

Olive Dickason Biography 

Darren Prefontaine, curriculum development officer at the Gabriel Dumont Institute (GDI), in Saskatoon, is writing Olive Dickason's biography and expects it to be printed in 2018. Watch for more news about this as it becomes available. Olive's portrait already hangs in the institute's art gallery and GDI also has an Olive Dickason Room. Olive's daughter, Anne, recently mentioned that the University of Alberta will be dedicated a room to her in 2017.

Meeting Reports

19 February 2019
Albwete Villeneuve Sinclair
Margaret Graham Award presentation
Speaker: Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair
(for more photos of that evening,
click on te photo)

March 20, 2018

Lessons learned through 40 years of publishing

By Jayne Simms-Dalmotas

At the Media Club of Ottawa meeting of March 20, 2018, Tim Gordon, publisher, Burnstown Publishing, illustrated, through numerous examples, the ups and down of the publishing business.  He left the impression on the one hand, that it’s not for the faint of heart, but, on the other, that it has led to many great adventures, including:

       -    his experience with an author who placed the poem The Dash by Linda Ellis at the back of a book without giving credit to the poet.  This case of plagiarism resulted in the destruction of 1500 books and almost entangled the publisher in a lawsuit;

   -    a book about brewing that sold well at point of purchase in Ontario beer stores but the beer stores eventually lost sales because many customers thought it was a freebie and walked off without paying for it;

  -     accompanying the author of Don’t Have A Cow to a dowsing conference to help her promote her book, but after attending a seminar where people made animal sounds, and learning that the author had plagiarized material for her book, concluded that part of the publishing world is good and some of it is weird;

-     satisfying examples of how reaching out to the right target market through specific channels can bring in excellent sales, such as the $25 bicentennial book by the Federated Women’s Institutes of Canada which had an initial sale of 1700 copies by contacting its members through a flyer, or, how the book Black Jack about the riderless horse who walked behind President John F. Kennedy’s funeral caisson was of such interest to Arlington Cemetery that it commanded an initial run of 5,000 copes;

  -   how brilliant ideas can sometimes reap great rewards, as in the phenomenal story of The Gas Barbecue Cookbook.  The publisher was inspired to approach companies selling gas barbecues and offer them discounts for buying, in advance of publication, 1,000’s of copies to give to customers with purchase, so that the recipe book eventually sold 1.6 million copies.

Tim Gordon demonstrated how a publisher must be savvy to succeed in the current environment.  His publishing company used to focus on the broad base, consisting of the general public who were readers.  They now go after niche markets and use a direct sales approach.  As well, they have had to take off the blinders and disassociate from mainstream chain bookstores, which take 40% off the top, plus a brokerage fee.

Today Burnstown Publishing will package books for people, using a royalty-based approach.  They co-publish with first-time authors who contribute seed money for editing and design, and help to publicize the books.  They have learned to be careful of big orders because “they can come back to bite you”.

In conjunction with the author, they will first identify the market and then do a small test run.  They use a formula that tells them how many books they need to sell in order to break even.  This way, it’s possible to easily recoup expenses.  So they might print 100 books at a time as a limited edition printing.  They might also pre-sell books to small bookstores.  Gordon pointed out that he still deals with the brick and mortar independent stores and believes they will continue to survive if we all support them.

Links to Other Meeting Reports

Margaret Graham Awards to Connor Oke and Illiyana Shoushounova. Speaker: Alberte Villeneuve Sinclair. Report by Cynthia Chee, 

MAY 2016  
Glen Gower -  by Cynthia Cee

2010-11 year_review

SEP 2012  
Gordon Stobbe -  by Adam Feibel

OCT 2012
Linda Wiken -  by June Coxon

DEC 2016
Thomas Virany  -  by Iris ten Holder and June Coxon
Waubgeshig Rice -  by Jayne Simms-Dalmotas

Lorraine and Aline Lafrenière -  by Jayne Simms-Dalmotas