2016 Tom Fairley Award Short List Announced


Toronto, May 8, 2017—The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) has announced the finalists for the 2016 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 Gatineau, Quebec, on June 10, 2017. Editors Canada is also pleased to announce that the two other finalists will each receive a cash prize of $500 in recognition of their exceptional editorial performance.


Barbara Berson of Toronto, Ontario, for The Heaviness of Things That Float by Jennifer Manuel (Douglas & McIntyre)

Headshot of Barbara Berson

The panel lauded Berson’s ability to guide and inspire her author, without dominating their working relationship—an exceptional demonstration of her tact, patience, empathy and breadth of knowledge. “[Berson] provided exemplary developmental and stylistic editing that empowered a talented young author to find her manuscript’s potential,” said one judge.

Amanda Lewis of Toronto, Ontario, for Yiddish for Pirates by Gary Barwin (Random House Canada)

Headshot of Amanda Lewis

The judges were impressed with Lewis’s response to this highly original and highly complex project. “It is hard to imagine anyone else being able to do what she did here,” said one judge. “She did much to ensure that this work, which demands so much of its reader, so well repays the attention we may give it, and she also helped to ensure that this work found the readers it deserves through her insightful and committed advocacy.”

Dania Sheldon of Gabriola Island, British Columbia, for Charles Gretton: Clock and Watchmaking Through the Golden Age by Dennis Radage, Warner Meinen and Laila Radage (Three O’Clock Publishing)

Headshot of Dania Sheldon

Sheldon’s colleagues agree she was “the perfect editor” for this complex and challenging book. The project required a remarkable combination of insight, skill, creativity, organization and professionalism. “She earned the trust and confidence of the authors and designer with whom she worked,” said one judge. “And the respect with which professionals in the field have received the final project helps to confirm our belief that this confidence was richly deserved.”

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The judges for the 2016 Tom Fairley Award are respected Canadian editors.

Jennifer Glossop has worked in publishing for more than 40 years, starting as an editor for McClelland & Stewart, then continuing as a freelancer for many major publishers and some smaller houses. Among the fiction writers she has worked with are Margaret Atwood, Gail Bowen and Sylvia Fraser. Non-fiction writers include Peter Edwards, Peter Gzowski and Anne Kingston. Books she has edited have won the Governor General’s Award and the Crime Writers of Canada Award, and have been nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award and the Giller Prize. In addition, she has taught at Ryerson and Simon Fraser Universities and the Banff Centre, and has written a number of non-fiction children’s books.

Lesley Peterson is a Canadian teacher, scholar, writer and editor. She has taught literature and writing since 1985, first at the high school level and most recently at the University of North Alabama in Florence, Alabama. She co-founded the publishing company Dog Ear Press (Winnipeg, MB), which was well received, though short-lived. She is a freelance editor who specializes in developmental editing, copy editing and indexing. She is recipient of the 2015 Tom Fairley Award for her work on The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior by Ernest Zimmermann (University of Alberta Press).

Gillian Rodgerson edits fiction and non-fiction for Insomniac Press regularly and for Caitlin Press sporadically, and she teaches a course in editing trade fiction in the publishing certificate program at Ryerson University. She sits on the board of directors of Pink Triangle Press—publishers of dailyxtra.com—and was a member of the Body Politic collective. She spent 17 years in London, England, where she worked as a journalist, magazine editor and book publisher.

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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 1,300 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, webinars, guidelines for fair pay and working conditions, and networking with other associations. Editors Canada has five regional branches: British Columbia; Saskatchewan; Toronto; Ottawa–Gatineau; and Quebec/Atlantic Canada, as well as smaller branches (called twigs) in Calgary, Edmonton, Manitoba, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, Hamilton/Halton, Kingston, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.


Media Contact

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

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