“Rule 7: The only rule is work. If you work it will lead to something. It’s the people who do all of the work all of the time who eventually catch on to things.”
Sister Corita Kent
I’ve worked as a fiction and non-fiction editor since 2008. I’m currently Editorial Director at Page Two, a hybrid publishing agency that produces non-fiction for adults and picture books for children. From 2008 to 2016, I was Editor and Associate Managing Editor at Penguin Random House Canada in Toronto.
I’ve worked with authors including Naomi Klein, Charles Foran, Gary Barwin, Liz Harmer, Micah White, Carol Shaben, Tzeporah Berman, Yann Martel, Wayne Johnston, Edmund Metatawabin, Astra Taylor, John Vaillant, Adria Vasil, Paul Seesequasis, Clayton Thomas-Müller, Kate Harris, and J.B. MacKinnon. I’ve also edited posthumous collections by Jane Jacobs and Carol Shields.
Books I’ve edited have become #1 national and international bestsellers; won the RBC Taylor Prize, Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Literary Award, BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, Hilary Weston/Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, Edna Staebler Award for Non-Fiction, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, Ontario Legislative Assembly Speaker’s Book Award, and the Banff Mountain Book Award for Adventure Travel; and been nominated for the Trillium Book Award and Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. In 2017 I was a finalist for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for my work on Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin.
I’m also co-founder and Literary Director of The Reading Line, a non-profit organization that hosts Book Rides promoting local authors and advocating for infrastructure improvements. Book Rides have featured S. Bear Bergman, Anne Michaels, Vincent Lam, Alissa York, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, Jay Pitter, and other authors and illustrators.
I hold an MA in English literature and a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning in higher education, both from the University of British Columbia. For my MA, I specialized in spatial studies, book history/print culture, American literature, and autobiography. For my graduate work, I was the recipient of a Graduate Entrance Scholarship, SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship, and the Butler Award. I also studied publishing and editing at Simon Fraser University, where I was the recipient of the Garner Book Publishing Award, and Ryerson University, where I won the Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Copy Editing. In August 2017, I completed a weeklong Editing Indigenous Manuscripts course at Humber College.
I am dedicated to mission-driven publishing, and believe that innovative storytelling plays a key role in social change. When I’m not editing, I’m searching for the largest trees in British Columbia, bouldering, and learning to cross-country ski (1/3 terror, 2/3 joy) .
Born in Dublin, Ireland, I live in Vancouver, Canada, the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. I originally wrote this bio in third person before realizing that is bullshit.
Photo credit: Zoë Gemelli