Amanda Lewis named winner of the 2020 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence


Toronto, June 22, 2020—The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) has announced that Amanda Lewis of Vancouver, British Columbia, is the winner of the 2020 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence.

Headshot of Amanda Lewis

Lewis was awarded the $2,000 prize for her work on Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F. Joseph (Page Two). The 2020 award recognizes an exceptional editor who played an important role on a project published in the 2019 calendar year.

“I’m thrilled to be the winner of the 2020 Tom Fairley Award,” said Lewis. “Thank you to Editors Canada, and to the jury for their careful consideration of all the submissions this year. Congratulations to my fellow nominees on being recognized for their editorial work. Thank you to Bob Joseph, Cynthia F. Joseph and the whole Indigenous Corporate Training Inc. team for being leading voices in the Reconciliation movement—they are showing us a path forward. And thanks to Page Two for moving the dial in publishing, and producing outstanding books that highlight injustice and present a model for social change.”

Lewis overcame many challenges in developing Indigenous Relations for a popular audience based on a training manual for professionals. She deftly guided the authors as they reworked original material, added new content and rearranged the sequence. Lewis made sure the text flowed logically and the voice matched that of a previous book, for which the new book is a companion. Tight timelines meant the work had to be done in two months, with books on store shelves five months later. Her knowledge of and sensitivity to Indigenous issues and her respect for the authors’ approach were noteworthy for a book that aims to help non-Indigenous Canadians create respectful relationships and work well with Indigenous people.

“Canada has a long way to go in its Reconciliation journey, and a key step is getting rid of the Indian Act, racist legislation that perpetuates discrimination,” said Lewis. “We all have a responsibility to decolonize our thoughts and actions—by resisting systemic racism and violence in our communities, by demanding more of our mainstream media that doesn’t hold anti-Indigenous police to account, and by supporting Indigenous writers, artists and organizations. For that reason, I am donating a portion of this award to the Urban Native Youth Association, an organization in my East Vancouver neighbourhood that celebrates Indigenous youth through training, mentorship, and counselling.”

The other editors shortlisted for their editorial excellence were Michael Leyne of Vancouver, British Columbia, and Adele Simmons of Calabogie, Ontario.

Headshot of Michael Leyne

While working with a first-time author and with Coast Salish artist Susan Point, Michael Leyne brought considerable skills to the full-length art book People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point by Robert D. Watt (Figure 1 Publishing). Showing sound editorial judgment, he suggested organizing the material geographically rather than chronologically and increased the artist’s voice by posing questions and working her responses into the text; he also introduced readers to many Musqueam words. Finally, he worked with the creative team on the illustrations to ensure a high-quality final product.

Headshot of Adele Simmons

Adele Simmons worked very closely with Katherine Stevenson Helleur, the author of Walk the Green Fairways (Chestnut Lane Creative), over five years to craft this golf memoir, organizing 80 years of documents, scanning hundreds of images, sorting through multiple versions of anecdotes, interviewing the author, fact checking, editing, selecting images and seeking permissions. It was truly a labour of love.

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The judges for the 2020 Tom Fairley Award are respected Canadian editors.

Micheline Brodeur is a retired federal government communicator and almost retired freelance editor, since her only client is on book three in a series of seven young adult fantasy novels. Past chair of Editors British Columbia, Micheline spends her time volunteering at Lions Gate Hospital, reading, learning Spanish and travelling.

Zofia Laubitz is a freelance editor and translator in Montreal, Quebec. She has been a member of Editors Canada since 1995 and has volunteered at the national and branch levels. She is a former member of the Editors Québec branch executive.

Anne Louise Mahoney is a freelance editor with 30 years’ experience and a past president of Editors Canada. She is based in Ottawa.

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

Media contact

Michelle Ou
Senior Communications Manager
Editors Canada

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