Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Charles Oberdorf, Mentor Extraodinaire
There is no greater boost to a newbie editor's confidence than an encouraging word from a more experienced magaziner. On several occasions, Charles Oberdorf – editor, writer and teacher, who sadly died this past Friday – had provided me with just such a boost.

Charles Oberdorf
Charles Oberdorf

I am one of the many students who have taken Charles' Magazine Editing class at Ryerson Univerity's Chang School of Continuing Education. It was a great class and I learned a lot, but Charles' friendship was by far the best thing I got out of it.

Twice, Charles wrote me reference letters that I have since gone back to read each time I apply to a new job or retool my resumé. At one time he told me he was "a fan" of mine. To know that I had a brilliant editor in my corner rooting for me, made me believe in my abilities as an editor when I was just starting out. I stopped second-guessing myself and learned that I could go to bat with the pros – that I am a pro.

There are others in this industry who knew Charles much better than I, but judging by the comments on D.B. Scott's Canadian Magazines blog, my experience is common – Charles often took the time to mentor new editors. I will always be thankful that I was one of the ones fortunate enough to receive some of that encouragement and support.

Charles, you will be missed.
- Corinna vanGerwen
About Me
Corinna vanGerwen


Corinna vanGerwen is a freelance editor and writer. She has worked as senior editor at Style at Home, senior design editor at Cottage Life and is the former Canadian Director of Ed2010. She has also held the position of operations manager at a boutique PR agency, where she handled strategic planning and daily operations.

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Corinna says:
Thank you, Alicia!...
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