Tuesday, September 26, 2023

About Virginia St-Denis

Hi, I’m Virginia St-Denis. I am a publishing professional with 30 years of experience in writing, editing, desktop publishing and managing newspapers, magazines, newsletters, journals and websites.

Having started my career as a journalist, I became a professional storyteller before storytelling was considered an important part of marketing and communications. My skills and hard work earned me a promotion to be the editor of a community newspaper. I became the editor of a hobby magazine and then a plain language academic research journal.

While working in corporate communications settings, I edited annual reports, newsletters, reports and various business documents. I was the managing editor for three medical research journals before going back to a magazine.

Now, my work mostly focuses on editing research reports, journals, medical exams and government submissions, and desktop publishing of journals and reports.

Since 2002, I’ve worked with not-for-profit organizations. This experience has taught me how to do more with less without sacrificing quality. It has also allowed me to work with subject matter experts. I’ve learned a lot from Indigenous health professionals, psychiatrists, obstetricians and gynecologists, radiologists, nurses, medical specialists and residents.

I have enjoyed helping not-for-profit organizations gather and package information into useful and engaging content. I do that by providing writing, editing and social media services to keep target audiences coming back for more. My outstanding organizational and time-management skills allow me to complete overlapping high priority projects with tight deadlines on schedule and on budget.


My background as a journalist means I have being a plain language practitioner from the start of my career. I’ve kept up-to-date with plain language techniques and share my knowledge with others. As a member of the Plain Language Association International, I follow their definition of plain language, which comes from the International Plain Language Federation.

“A communication is in plain language if its wording, structure, and design are so clear that the intended audience can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.”
International Plain Language Federation

I’m also a member of Editors Canada. As well as volunteering with the Ottawa-Gatineau branch, I was the director of communications on the national executive council. I was also the April 2020 Volunteer of the Month. I follow Editors Canada’s Definitions of Editorial Skills and Professional Editorial Standards.

Member of Editors Canada

As a Language Portal of Canada Ambassador, I help promote trusted and high-quality language resources, as well as provide readers with access to official languages resources. As a volunteer, I promote the portal’s tools and services to the people in my networks. I have even written a post for the Our Languages blog.

I’m a member of many social media groups for editors. These not only provide great networking opportunities and professional support, but these also provide platforms to learn from others and to share my knowledge with them.

Lifelong Learning

I have a three-year Journalism diploma and a five-course Social Media certificate. I believe in lifelong learning and regularly take workshops, seminars and webinars to keep up with the fast pace of change. Here’s a list of some of the professional development I’ve taken.


  • Copy Editing I: Introduction to Copy Editing
  • Copy Editing II: Judgment Calls and Added Value
  • Doin’ it Right: Correct Grammar and Punctuation
  • Editing and Inclusive Language: A Workshop for Editing Professionals
  • Editing Medical-Legal Reports: A Big Little Niche
  • Editing Skills for the Workplace
  • Eight-Step Editing: Finding and Fixing Common Readability Problems
  • Electronic Editing: How to Capitalize on Microsoft Word to Simplify Editing and Writing
  • Fact-Checking
  • Grammar Boot Camp
  • Grammar: It’s More Than a Gut Feel
  • Inclusive Language as a Tool of Transformation
  • Practical Proofreading
  • Secrets of Syntax
  • The Sweet Spot: Editing Infographics
  • Writing and Editing for the Web

Plain Language

  • Five Steps to Plain Language Success
  • Let the Fire Burn Brightly: Wordiness Be Gone!
  • Implementing Plain Language as a Strategic Priority
  • Plain Language 2.0
  • Plain Language and Audience Appreciation
  • Plain Language: Five Steps to Success
  • Plain Language Writing and Editing
  • Preparing to Offer Plain Language Services

Social Media

  • Applied Social Media in Business
  • Developing a Social Media Strategy
  • Digital Communication
  • Facebook Best Practices: The 3 Types of Content That Audiences Love
  • A 5-Day Plan for Increasing Your Twitter Engagement
  • Hootsuite Platform Certification
  • How to Build a Social Following: The Tools, Tactics, and Routines of 3 World-Class Social Media Experts
  • How to Use Social Media at Every Stage of the [marketing] Funnel
  • Introduction to Social Media
  • Introduction to Social Media Marketing
  • Monitoring and Measurement [Social Media]
  • Optimizing Your Social Profiles
  • Social Media Strategy—From A to Z
  • Social Media Survival: A Guide for Small Businesses


  • Accessibility for Editors
  • Conflict Resolution
  • How to Evolve Your Writing from Print to Online
  • Increase Efficiency with Microsoft Word
  • Managing People for Superior Results: The Fundamentals of Supervision
  • Photoshop Essentials
  • Photoshop Tips and Tricks
  • Using Storytelling to Boost Your Nonprofit’s Communications
  • Web Writing for the Government of Canada
  • WordPress 5 Essential Training
  • Working Sm@rt with Outlook

I also enjoy sharing what I have learned with others, so they can learn from my experience. This includes giving an Editors Canada webinar on social media marketing with a colleague and another on creating a realistic production schedule.

If you want to find out more about my experience, check out my LinkedIn page.

Email me, so we can talk about how my unique combination of skills can help you achieve your goals.