Introducing 'Her Career' Writing Panelists

Her Campus  at SFU is excited to be bringing you the networking event of the year! This amazing online event is a chance to meet professionals and influencers within the Design, Writing, and Social Media fields right here in Vancouver, BC. They will be sharing their stories and experiences on how they entered their field, their inspiration, and many other questions! 

We thought we’d share a quick sneak peak of some of our panelists and questions. Make sure you read to the bottom to get the details on how to join in on this event! 

 

Meet our Writing Panelists:

Britanny Burr is an Associate Editor at Narcity Canada and is obsessed with finding the best local hot spots. She holds a B.A. in English and has over six years of professional writing experience as Head Writer and Editor for YUL.Buzz in Montreal, and Creative Copywriter at JAKT in NYC. 

Linnea Vo works as a Communications Coordinator for Lululemon. She’s also one of our own – an SFU alum! Linnea graduated with a degree in Media and Communications. On the side of her work with Lulu, she’s also a comic artists who focuses on the musings of her life as a millennial living in Vancouver. 

Moira Wyton is a journalist and political science graduate with a focus on health, politics, Indigenous issues and equity topics. She’s contributed bylines in major national publications and worked abroad in government and non-profits. She holds a degree in Political Science and International Relations from UBC.

 

We asked the panelists a few questions so that our readers could get to know them before the event. Here’s what they had to say about their work: 

 

What is a project you are most proud of?

Britanny: Over the past year, I have been privileged to take on the difficult yet endlessly rewarding task of reporting and editing countless articles about the many historical, life-altering events that have governed our lives in such an all-encompassing manner. From the first COVID-19 case in Canada to the erupting anti-racism movement that took to the streets shortly thereafter, I'm so proud to have been a member of the media during this time. Before I began my career at Narcity and entered the news facet of journalism, I worked as a writer and editor for a psychology and sexuality publication in New York. I wrote a number of in-depth interviews that collected voices and stories into a shared narrative. One of which was about women living with endometriosis, a wildly under-diagnosed condition. It was such a powerful experience and one of the articles I'm still the proudest of to this day. 

Linnea: I work on guest messaging at Lululemon, where my daily work includes developing writing samples that our hundreds of guest-facing employees use when connecting with the public over email, Live Chat and our social media channels. Recently, I worked on developing the #StopAsianHate messaging strategy with my team. This is an important topic that I’m passionate about, so it meant everything to be directly in the work of developing a writing strategy to share with our internal employees and customers.

Moira: During my time at the Edmonton Journal I pitched and reported an investigation into anti-Indigenous racism in transit enforcement. The data in the piece had never been reported before and started some really important discussions of racial profiling and equity in the freedom of movement at City Council and in other public circles. I've written other similar stories but that one always comes to mind because it was all my idea from pitch to publication. The piece represents the kind of enterprise journalism I want to do more of.

 

Do you have anything to promote or what have you recently published?

Britanny: I publish 3-5 articles daily at Narcity.com so you can always find me there. In addition, I'm currently in the process of publishing a collection of love poems. Updates on that will be on my Instagram at @britburr so please follow along there!

Linnea: My side hustle can be found over on instagram.com/linnvydraws. I create custom cards and prints, and upload the occasional comic depicting my life as a millennial in Vancouver. Follow along to see what I share in the upcoming year and learn more about how to place a custom card order! #shamelessplug

Moira: Journalists at a number of outlets in Vancouver have been doing amazing reporting on the issues with the vaccine rollout and who it's leaving behind. One of my contributions to that discussion was this piece on the ableism of an age-based vaccine strategy and the many disabled people left out of priority despite their increased risk of severe outcomes like illness and death. I think it's always important to question decisions we perceive as "fair" and who is excluded by those assumptions.

 

What is your #1 tip for becoming a better writer?

Britanny: Read! Non-stop. Read works from authors who are inside your genera or the genera you dream of diving into. If you want to be a blogger, you need to consume blogs non-stop to stay up to date and inspired. If you want to write novels, read at least a novel per month and try to stretch outside your comfort zone. I like to rotate between contemporary and classic while always having a book of poetry on the go. It's also important to write every single day. If you've got writer's block, text a friend and ask for a random prompt or just do some judgement-free journaling. Another great way to get inspired is by listening to music, sometimes a really lovely lyric might be all the inspiration you need. Finally, and this is very important, you've got to commit to learning every single day. Having a baseline knowledge of everything from politics and tech to pop culture and celebrities gives you the superpower of adaptability in conversation and therefore in the written word. If you know a little bit about a lot, your writing will be all the more versatile. 

Linnea: Have the courage to ask for feedback and apply it. Positive and constructive feedback will sharpen your writing and mold you into a stronger writer. Receiving warm words about your writing is the best feeling, but it’s equally important to have someone identify areas of opportunity and guide you towards improvement. Everyone has different writing styles, and it’s truly amazing to learn from various voices and mindsets. This also ties in with finding the right community and/or leadership when starting out your career—finding a mentor or more than one (if you’re lucky!) can completely accelerate your career growth.

Moira: Be curious! Keep an inquisitive eye to the world around you for new ideas and ask many more questions than you think seems reasonable when you're interviewing or researching. I'm always working on this, but asking the "silly" questions and probing for facts that may seem insignificant will help you craft a much more compelling story with details that tell your story without having to spell it all out. And if you're having writers block, it's probably because you don't know enough or haven't spoken to enough people to know what your story is about quite yet.

 

What book or author has influenced your writing?

Britanny: I draw influence from every single book I love! The first book I fell deeply in love with was The History of Love by Nichole Krauss. More recently, I've fallen for Beach Read by Emily Henry. I love romance and I adore a believable, authentic, imperfect love story. An all-time favourite is Hemmingway, I'm always inspired by his characters and his turns of phrase. I also find myself influenced by the essays found in the Modern Love column of The New York Times. Truly breathtaking. 

Linnea: I’ve been influenced by various authors (everything from Jenny Han novels to Radical Candor by Kim Scott), but my inspiration during the rise of the pandemic has been “The Defining Decade” by Dr. Meg Jay. It’s a brilliant self-help book geared towards twentysomethings that influenced me to write more and write honestly. The premise of the book is rooted in the idea that your 20’s aren’t a ‘throwaway decade’ and that your decisions do matter, even if it’s just a decision to get started and figure things out. I enjoyed Dr. Jay’s digestible writing style and her ability to relate to her demographic. This is a well-loved book in my home library that I let my friends borrow often. Consider this your sign to check it out today.

Moira: In the work I do now, Fighting for Space by Vancouver journalist Travis Lupick has really set the standard for reporting on substance use and addictions in Vancouver from science, policy, historical and human perspectives. I strive to report on all the health related issues I cover with the same detail and care that Travis included in his book, and return to it often for my own learning. Outside of my current work, I'm a big reader of creative nonfiction including memoir and poetry, which influences the more narrative pieces I try to pursue. Some works I've loved recently are Chop Suey Nation by Ann Hui, A History of My Brief Body by Billy-Ray Belcourt and The Third Rainbow Girl by Emma Copley Eisenberg.

 

Make sure to reserve your spot  NOW for this amazing networking event happening on Friday, April 30th from 4:30-6:30 pm PST.