My by-line photo for the Standard. (Summer, 2010)

My name is Christopher Simpson. I started as a columnist with the Welland Tribune back in the mid-seventies, and have been in the publishing business through most of the intervening decades. During the late ’80s and early ’90s, however, I set up and maintained the IT department for J. Walter Thompson (Canada), where I developed applications for the advertising industry, ran computer courses, and played many practical jokes.

Most of the time, however, I have been a writer/editor, which means I have a vast amount of experience in this industry. Whenever there is a discrepancy between something a previous teacher has told you and what I’m telling you, go with what I’m telling you.

Due to the demands of teaching at George Brown (a purely accidental career move that resulted from getting lost while visiting the campus one day), I have cut back on my writing and editing. While I have a regular column in the St. Catharines Standard, I have reduced the rest of my work to a few favourite clients, and the occasional freelance piece.

Throughout my career I have written in every style, ranging from academic research to humour articles. Under a different name, however, I became a fairly well-respected analyst of the advertising industry, and under yet another name I have written extensively on cinema. (And no, I’m not telling you what these pseudonyms are.)

I also keep a blog, largely read by other editors and columnists, on the education system — and I’m definitely not going to give you the name of that blog.

One other thing to know: I can almost literally “smell” plagiarism. This is largely due to my many years as an editor. Printing a plagiarised piece can ruin an editor’s career (or at least set it back severely), so being able to detect them becomes a matter of self-preservation.

Don’t do it. Don’t try it. I’m not saying you have a 100% chance of getting caught, but the odds are stacked against you, and the consequences are not pleasant.

Covering the Canadian Bookseller's Association trade show, 2001.


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