Amanda Lewis, MA
Editorial Director, Page Two
aemlewis AT gmail DOT com | http://www.amandalewis.org
Vancouver, BC, Canada
Citizenship: Dual Canadian and EU (Irish)
More than a decade of experience in book publishing as editorial director, editor, managing editor, and freelance editor in traditional publishing, self-publishing, and hybrid publishing models.
Editorial Director at one of the leading hybrid publishing agencies in the world, Page Two.
Longtime editor at Penguin Random House Canada.
On a swift trajectory, promoted from editorial assistant (2008) to assistant editor (2010), associate editor (2012), editor (2015), and editorial director (2017).
Winner of the Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Copy Editing.
Finalist for the Tom Fairley Award for editing Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin (finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize).
Acquire and edit national and international bestsellers, and books that have won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Literary Award, Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, and more.
Dedicated to mission-driven publishing—acquiring and editing books that contribute to social change, and executing strategies that revolutionize the industry.
Co-founder and Literary Director of The Reading Line, a unique literary festival on two wheels.
Current personal writing and exploring project: visiting the largest trees—43 Champion trees—in British Columbia and blogging about them at Tracking Giants.
Oct. 2017–present Editorial Director, Page Two
I direct the editorial strategy for the leading hybrid publishing agency in Canada. Page Two is at the forefront of the changing publishing landscape—we’re different and proud of it.
Our clients choose print-on-demand or trade distribution under the Page Two Books imprint, distributed nationally and internationally.
I am part of the core acquisition team, seeking clients to write new non-fiction books, primarily in business, memoir, self-help, wellness, technology, and social change/activism categories.
I provide substantive and developmental edits for non-fiction books by individuals, organizations, and foundations.
I work with our marketing and publicity team to help position books for the marketplace.
I oversee our extensive freelance editorial team, ensuring quality control and adherence to the author’s intention and Page Two’s house style.
Oct. 2016–Oct. 2017 Project & Development Manager, Page Two
I managed the production cycle for a range of books—creating schedules, securing printers’ quotes, hiring freelance editors, and ensuring timely delivery of print books and e-books.
2018–Sept. 2016 Editor, Penguin Random House Canada
I acquired and edited fiction and non-fiction books for Knopf Canada and Random House Canada.
I was directly mentored by publishers Anne Collins and Louise Dennys for eight years.
Books I edited became #1 bestsellers in Canada and internationally, and won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Literary Award, Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction, Ontario Legislative Assembly Speaker’s Book Award, and BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction.
I collaborated with executives, design, production, publicity, marketing, and sales to make each book a success and build the reputation of the company.
I managed our sought-after editorial internship program for Knopf Canada and Random House Canada—hiring, training, and supervising dozens of interns.
I regularly copyedited and proofread materials for the house, from catalogues and promotional materials to full-length books.
2016–present Freelance Editor
I run a boutique communications company that offers editing for publishing houses, universities, and socially conscious clients.
My clients include Penguin Canada, Random House Canada, Knopf Canada, McClelland & Stewart, Art Canada Institute, House of Anansi Press, Park People, ACT: Adaptation to Climate Change Team at Simon Fraser University, New College at the University of Toronto, and Community Food Centres Canada, as well as filmmakers, yoga teachers, and those looking to make career transitions.
2014–2015 Associate Managing Editor, Penguin Random House Canada
I liaised between editorial and production to manage workflow of trade paperbacks under the Vintage Canada imprint—reprints, Vintage Canada originals, and special editions.
I created profit & loss statements and catalogues, and wrote creative briefs and cover copy.
I regularly filled in for managing editors across imprints when they were away.
2014–2016 Director, Green Committee, Penguin Random House Canada
I joined Random House of Canada’s Green Committee in November 2008. I was promoted to Assistant Director in January 2013 and to Director in September 2014. As Director, I researched and facilitated corporate social responsibility at executive and grassroots levels. Supervising a team of twelve people, I encouraged employee engagement and corporate social responsibility for hundreds of employees at our Canadian offices, and coordinated efforts with Bertelsmann AG’s worldwide “be green” teams.
I designed and led a Green Speakers Series, featuring top authors on environmental issues, from across imprints, once per month. This innovative, content-driven programming that served promotional and educational needs became a flagship program and a publicity “get.” Authors in the series included Jeff Rubin, Adria Vasil, Astra Taylor, Edmund Metatawabin, and Diana Beresford-Kroeger.
Under my direction, our committee ran an annual Bike-to-Work Week program, with participation increasing each year, and held events for employees—litter-less lunches, film screenings, workshops.
I represented Random House of Canada and Bertelsmann AG at the Great Bear Rainforest Customer and Investor Roundtable in Vancouver in June 2013.
2008 Project Manager, Rebus Creative
I coordinated the Adopt-a-Library program, which distributes notable and award-winning books by BC authors to schools throughout the province.
2005–2007 Teaching Assistant, University of British Columbia
I led seminars for first-year literature students.
2005–2007 Research Assistant, University of British Columbia
I worked with Dr. Mark Vessey to research the prehistory of the book in Canada, and with Dr. Susanna Egan to research ideas of hoax in eighteenth-century auto/biography.
Substantive Editing Credits
For Page Two (solo editor)
- Life in the City of Dirty Water by Clayton Thomas-Müller
- Railroader: The Unfiltered Genius and Controversy of Four-Time CEO Hunter Harrison by Howard Green
- The Algorithmic Leader: How to Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You by Mike Walsh
- The Good Fight: Use Productive Conflict to Get Your Team and Organization Back on Track by Liane Davey
- The Science of Service: The Proven Formula to Drive Customer Loyalty and Stand Out from the Crowd by Mark Colgate
- In Her Own Words: Women’s Wisdom to Move You from Surviving to Thriving by Alison Braithwaite
- The Next Course: Reinventing the Modern Urban Restaurant by André LaRivière
- Obviously Awesome: How to Nail Product Positioning So Customers Get It, Love It, Buy It by April Dunford
- Urban Magnets by Bruce Hayden, Mark Holland, and Bruce Irvine
- The Healthpreneur’s Handbook by Jennifer Buchanan
- EQ, Applied by Justin Bariso
- Wire Your Brain for Confidence by Louisa Jewell
- High Heels in the Laundry Room by Michelle Cully
- Catalogue Baby by Myriam Steinberg
- The Authenticity Principle by Ritu Bhasin
- The Elegant Warrior by Heather Hansen
- Heathier You by Dr. Vineet Nair
- Pain Nation by Klee Irwin
For Penguin Random House Canada (solo editor and co-editor)
- Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin
- Us Conductors by Sean Michaels
- Adult Onset by Ann-Marie MacDonald
- A World Elsewhere by Wayne Johnston
- The Son of a Certain Woman by Wayne Johnston
- The Dead Are More Visible by Steven Heighton
- The Jaguar’s Children by John Vaillant
- The Better Mother by Jen Sookfong Lee
- The Blue Light Project by Timothy Taylor
- All True Not a Lie in It by Alix Hawley
- The Amateurs by Liz Harmer
- Motorcycles & Sweetgrass by Drew Hayden Taylor
- White as Milk, Red as Blood by Franz Xaver von Schönwerth, illustrated by Willow Dawson and translated by Shelley Tanaka
- The Confabulist by Steven Galloway
- Up Ghost River by Edmund Metatawabin
- Vital Little Plans: The Short Works of Jane Jacobs, edited by Samuel Zipp and Nathan Storring
- Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris
- This Changes Everything by Naomi Klein
- The Book of Lists by Ira Basen and Jane Farrow
- The End of Protest by Micah White
- Blanket Toss Under Midnight Sun by Paul Seesequasis
- The New Farm by Brent Preston
- End of the Rope by Jan Redford
- The Once and Future World by J.B. MacKinnon
- This Crazy Time by Tzeporah Berman
- The People’s Platform by Astra Taylor
- Opening Heaven’s Door by Patricia Pearson
- Startle and Illuminate: Carol Shields on Writing, edited by Anne Giardini and Nicholas Giardini
- Ecoholic Home by Adria Vasil
- Ecoholic Body by Adria Vasil
- What Is Stephen Harper Reading? by Yann Martel
- 101 Letters to a Prime Minister by Yann Martel
- Mordecai: The Life and Times by Charles Foran
- The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times by Peter Kavanagh
- Toxin Toxout by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
- Slow Death by Rubber Duck by Rick Smith and Bruce Lourie
- Captivity by James Loney
- Into the Abyss by Carol Shaben
- The Sweetness of a Simple Life by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
- Mountain City Girls by Anna and Jane McGarrigle
- The Stop by Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis
Freelance (solo editor)
Fiction (short stories)
- Things Are Good Now by Djamila Ibrahim (House of Anansi Press)
- Homer Watson by Brian Foss (Art Canada Institute)
- Dissident Doctor by Michael C. Klein (D&M Publishers)
2007 Master of Arts in English literature, University of British Columbia
After beginning my post-secondary education in Geography and Environmental Studies, I completed a first-class MA with specializations in American literature and book history/print culture.
My major research project focused on spatial theory and Jewish cultural identity on New York City’s Lower East Side.
2007 Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, University of British Columbia
Concentrations in global citizenship, community service learning, multiple intelligences/learning styles, and e-portfolios.
2005 Bachelor of Arts in English literature, University of British Columbia
2017 Editing Indigenous Manuscripts
(weeklong course), facilitators: Warren Cariou, Cherie Dimaline, Gregory Scofield, and Greg Younging. Humber College, Toronto.
2016 Movement and Evolutionary Flow
(12 weeks), teacher: Diane Bruni. Yoga Yoga Studio, Toronto.
2016 Trauma-Informed Yoga
teacher: Sarah Kinsley. Lotus Yoga Centre, Toronto.
2015 Certificate in Yoga Teacher Training (200+ hours)
principal teacher: JP Tamblyn-Sabo. Ahimsa Yoga Centre, Toronto.
2015 Training for Social Action Trainers
Training for Change. University of Toronto.
2009 Copy Editing for Books, Journals, and Reports | Production for Books, Journals, and Reports | Proofreading
Ryerson University, Toronto.
2008 Substantive Editing
teacher: Rosemary Shipton. Editors Association of Canada (now Editors Canada), Toronto.
2008 Book Publishing Immersion Workshop
(two weeks) Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
2016 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for editing Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin (nominated).
2009 Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Copy Editing.
2008 Garner Book Publishing Award.
2006 SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship.
2005 UBC Graduate Entrance Scholarship.
2005 UBC English Department Butler Award.
Current Personal Writing Project
I’m writing my first book, Tracking Giants: A Tree Pilgrimage, coming from Greystone Books in fall 2021. This book is a travelogue/memoir about searching for 46 Champion trees on the BC Big Tree registry. These trees—the largest of their species—are located in parks and forests, down logging roads and in the backcountry, and many do not have clear coordinates. It’s an adventure, to say the least!
“Make Writing an Ordinary Part of Your Life.” Post for the Page Two blog. Nov. 6, 2019.
“Tracking Giants: Searching for the Champion Trees of British Columbia.” Guest post for the Sierra Club BC’s blog. April 15, 2019.
“‘The Kind of Faith That Was Begging to be Shattered by Complexity’: An Interview with Kate Harris.” Introductory Essay and Interview. Hazlitt, January 30, 2018.
“Personal Essay: Penguin Random House editor Amanda Lewis on leaving her dream job.” Quill & Quire, September 28, 2016.
“Personal Essay: Penguin Random House Canada editor Amanda Lewis on bringing environmental activism into the office.” Quill & Quire, February 9, 2015.
Guest editor. MFA in Creative Writing summer residency. University of British Columbia, July 10–12, 2019.
Selected Public Talks
“Tracking Giants: Searching for the Champion Trees of British Columbia.” Talk plus Q&A. Arborium Symposium. PoCo Heritage Museum and Archives, Port Coquitlam, BC, April 13, 2019.
“Books Alive!” Annual publishing fair hosted by the Federation of BC Writers. Public talk and panel featuring Jamie Broadhurst (Raincoast Books), Paul Whitney (former Chief Librarian of Vancouver), Barb Drozdowich (tech author and self-publisher), Betsy Warland (writer, editor, manuscript consultant, teacher). Vancouver Public Library, February 23, 2019.
“Lives Off-Road”: Kate Harris, Jan Redford, and Joanna Streetly in conversation (moderator). Vancouver Writers Fest, October 19, 2018.
“Memoirs and Landscapes.” Guest lecture. Gender and Geography, Simon Fraser University, May 14, 2018.
A conversation/Q&A with Kate Harris and Jan Redford (moderator). The Hive Bouldering Gym, North Vancouver, BC. April 12, 2018.
Career Panel, English Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. March 7, 2018.
Presentation to Publishing Issues and Practices course. I spoke about the work Page Two does, and the changes I’ve seen in the publishing industry over the years. Plus, that eternal question: how can I get a job in publishing? Langara College, Vancouver. October 24, 2017.
“How Jane Jacobs Influenced My Life and Work,” panel with Zahra Ebrahim and Hibaq Gelle following the premiere of Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto. April 21, 2017.
“In House or At Home? Exploring the Differences Between Corporate Editing and Freelance Editing.” Guest speaker in Shannon Gerard’s Publication and Print Media class, OCAD University, Toronto. November 2016.
“Editing Fiction.” Guest speaker in Timothy Taylor’s Writing Fiction class. Creative Writing department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. October 2016.
“How to Get a Job in Publishing.” Talk and Q&A for Brown Bag Career Series. English Department, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. October 2016.
“Startle and Illuminate: Carol Shields on Writing.” Panel presentation with Anne Giardini and Nicholas Giardini. Canadian Writers’ Summit, Harbourfront, Toronto. June 2016.
“First Page Challenge,” panel with Adrienne Kerr and Don Gillmor, Canadian Writers’ Summit, Harbourfront, Toronto. June 2016.
“Editing Up Ghost River by Edmund Metatawabin.” Guest speaker for the Massey College Quadrangle Society (book club). Massey College, University of Toronto. March 2016.
“I Want to Publish a Book…Now What?” Publishing workshop at Words in the Woods festival, Canadian Ecology Centre, Mattawa, Ontario. April 20, 2018.
“Relax into Creativity: Yoga and Writing.” Workshop. Isle of the Arts festival, Gabriola Island, BC. April 12, 2018.
“Relax into Creativity.” A writing and restorative yoga workshop. Ahimsa Yoga Centre, Toronto. August 20, 2017.
“What Makes Powerful Adventure Writing? A Conversation with Amanda Lewis.” Adventure Uncovered, November 13, 2019.
Mentioned in “How Hybrid Publishers Are Filling the Gaps in Canada’s Lean Business-Book Market,” Quill & Quire, November 11, 2019.
Featured in “On the Hunt for BC’s Biggest Life Forms,” The Tyee, May 27, 2019.
Interviewed for “Konmari or tsundoku? The unbearable lightness of getting rid of books,” Toronto Star, January 11, 2019.
Interviewed on the “future of publishing” and “thought leadership,” 88 Agency, April 6, 2018.
Press for The Reading Line is under each Book Ride on our page.
2017–2018 Member of the Board, Charlie’s FreeWheels, Toronto
Charlie’s FreeWheels is a non-profit organization that aims to mobilize, empower, and engage youth using bicycles as a driver for personal growth and positive social change.
I sat on the board and directed the Communications and Marketing Committee, increasing media coverage of the organization’s diverse programming.
2014–present Co-founder and Literary Director, The Reading Line
I co-founded a unique literary festival that presents Book Rides, promoting local authors and advocating for infrastructure improvements for cyclists and pedestrians.
A variety of local authors have joined us for the Book rides, from novelists like Vincent Lam, Anne Michaels, and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer to non-fiction writers including Shawn Micallef, S. Bear Bergman, Jay Pitter, and Doug Saunders, and children’s authors and illustrators such as Frank Viva and Julie Kraulis. We also invite politicians, activists, and key change-makers to speak on the importance of complete streets.
I pitch and partner with Toronto Public Library, independent bookstores, publishers, and non-profits.
We attract 100+ cyclists and book lovers to each event by utilizing our huge network and skills in outreach, plus dynamic social media.
We pitch and gain coverage in major radio, print, TV, and digital media including CBC Radio, Toronto Star, Quill & Quire, NOW magazine, and Global TV.
Our first Book Ride outside Toronto occurred in April 2018 in Brampton, Ontario, in partnership with The Festival of Literary Diversity (The FOLD).
Our 2016 Book Ride paid tribute to June Callwood and Jane Jacobs, in what would have been Jane’s centenary, and was voted one of the Best Jane 100 events in Toronto by NOW magazine. The Reading Line was nominated Best Reading Series in Toronto by NOW in 2016, and our 2018 Book Ride in Toronto was one of the top three weekend events in the city, according to NOW.
2011–2015 Communications Volunteer, Canopy
Canopy is a non-profit organization that promotes conservation by working directly with the forest industry’s suppliers and customers, including printers and publishers.
I worked with Canopy’s executive director and development coordinator, copyediting and proofreading press releases, industry reports, and other materials. I helped to simplify their writing/editing process and prepared a style guide for their reference.
2014–2015 Media Director and Communications Coordinator, Toronto350
Toronto350.org is the local network affiliate of 350.org, an international grassroots organization working to solve the climate crisis.
I directed the media strategy for the group, gaining media coverage of direct actions and major events, including the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York.
I ensured consistency across all communications (print and digital), and coordinated dozens of volunteers for outreach and events.
2011–2014 Volunteer, Cycle Toronto
I was named Bikewatch Volunteer of the Year in 2012. I placed second in the 2012 Refer-a-Rider campaign, recruiting twenty-four members in under two months. As a member of the Bikewatch team, I tabled at events, engaging directly with the public and serving as a face of the organization; recruited members; and presented workshops on safe cycling. I mobilized and supported campaigns for Complete Streets (e.g., the Save Jarvis campaign).