2015 Tom Fairley Award Short List Announced


Toronto, May 31, 2016—The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) has announced the finalists for the 2015 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence.

The Tom Fairley Award recognizes an editor’s outstanding contribution to a work published in Canada in English or French in the award year. The $2,000 grand prize will be presented at the awards banquet of the Editors Canada conference in Vancouver on June 11. Editors Canada is also pleased to announce that the three other finalists will each receive a cash prize of $500 in recognition of their exceptional editorial performance.


David Carpenter of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Joseph A. Merasty (University of Regina Press)

Headshot of David Carpenter

The panel was impressed with Carpenter’s patience, determination and respect as an editor. “Through his sensitive and supportive editorial skills he has enabled an author to reach an unprecedented readership,” said one judge. “In this relatively early phase of truth- and reconciliation-seeking in Canada, we have a tiny gem of a work, an important published contribution—more than a decade in the making—that helps us know differently what we think we already know intellectually. This is committed editing of the highest order.”

Maggie Langrick of Vancouver, British Columbia, for Shell: One Woman’s Final Year After a Lifelong Struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia by Michelle Stewart (Life Tree Media)

Headshot of Maggie Langrick

The author of this book died of complications from anorexia nervosa shortly before her family contacted Langrick to pull together and publish her story. “This is an example of excellence in editing under extreme circumstances,” said one judge. “Langrick’s sensitive editing enabled a nascent book to take shape, one that respects the voice of an author facing urgent and overwhelming challenges. This is sensitive, non-intrusive editing for an author’s legacy.”

Lesley Peterson of Florence, Alabama, for The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior: A History of Canadian Internment Camp R by Ernest Robert Zimmermann, Michel S. Beaulieu and David K. Ratz (University of Alberta Press)

Headshot of Lesley Peterson

The panel lauded Peterson’s advanced skill in managing conflicting expectations on a difficult work that blended memoir and scholarly research. “Peterson impressively demonstrates that while the work of an editor may be hidden, it can require advanced skills in tact, diligence and patience,” said one judge. “With many competing interests in the posthumous work, Peterson had to do far more than the thorough copy edit required. Peterson is patience with a capital P.”

Margaret Shaw of Coquitlam, British Columbia, for The Meter Socket Handbook by (Thomas & Betts Limited)

Headshot of Margaret Shaw

Shaw, an experienced technical editor, created The Meter Socket Handbook for an engineering firm by distilling technical information, editing and rewriting text, and researching and writing some new material. “Since the publication was intended to be a training manual for non-engineers, Shaw sought plain language in highly complex explanations,” said one judge. “She reorganized the presentation of the manual based on user needs. Because of her scrupulous attention in all areas of the project, the manual improved dramatically.”

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The judges for the 2015 Tom Fairley Award are respected Canadian editors. Kevin Burns is a writer, editor, researcher, and the former producer of The Arts Report for CBC Radio. He continues to create documentaries for CBC Radio’s Ideas. Lenore Hietkamp is a freelance editor specializing in fiction, technical and academic publishing, with a background in art and architectural history. She is also in her third year as chair of the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island. Stephen Kimber is the author of one novel and eight non-fiction books, including What Lies Across the Water and Loyalists and Layabouts. He is also a professor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax.

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About Editors Canada

Additional information about the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence is available on the Editors Canada website.

Editors Canada began in 1979 as the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada to promote and maintain high standards of editing. In 1994, the word “Freelance” was dropped to reflect the association’s expanding focus to serve both freelance and in-house editors. As Canada’s only national editorial association, it is the hub for 1,500 members and affiliates, both salaried and freelance, who work in the corporate, technical, government, not-for-profit and publishing sectors. The association’s professional development programs and services include professional certification, an annual conference, seminars, guidelines for fair pay and working conditions, and networking with other associations. Editors Canada has six regional branches: British Columbia; Prairie Provinces (currently on hiatus); Saskatchewan; Toronto; Ottawa–Gatineau; and Quebec/Atlantic Canada, as well as smaller branches (called twigs) in Calgary, Alberta; Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, Ontario; Hamilton/Halton, Ontario; Kingston, Ontario; Nova Scotia; and Newfoundland and Labrador.


Media Contact

Michelle Ou
Communications Manager
Editors Canada
416 975-1379 / 1 866 226-3348

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