Sandy Newton named winner of the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence


Toronto, June 19, 2013—The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) is pleased to announce that Sandy Newton of Cupids, NL, is the winner of the 2012 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. Newton was awarded the $2,000 prize for her work on Here’s the Catch: The Fish We Harvest from the Northwest Atlantic, by Wade Kearley (Boulder Publications). The award was presented at EAC’s annual awards banquet, which took place on June 8, 2013, at the Lord Nelson Hotel in Halifax.

Newton was unable to attend the award ceremony, but was honoured and delighted to hear that she had won.

“Winning this award gives a tremendous boost to both my personal confidence and my belief in the merit of the editorial processes I have been applying,” she said.

Here’s the Catch is an illustrated celebration of 52 finfish species that are the reason many communities in Atlantic Canada remain linked to the northwest Atlantic Ocean. The book is also a complex two-and-a-half-year project. Newton was nominally the managing editor, but in reality played a much larger role. Newton had a hand in verifying factual information, guiding the book’s development through stylistic editing, and assisting with page design. The judges praised her meticulous attention to detail and her thoughtful insights, which contributed to the high quality of the finished work.

“The value [Newton] added to this book is most consequential,” commented one judge. “[She] clearly adheres to the highest possible professional standards.”

Not one to downplay the group effort responsible for the book’s success, Newton remains humble about the achievement. “The success (and pleasure) of my work was directly linked to the responsiveness, professionalism, dedication and good-humour-under-pressure of the team: author Wade Kearley, reviewer Richard Haedrich, advisor George Rose, illustrator Derek Peddle, copy editor Iona Bulgin, designers Alison Carr and Sarah Hansen, and the publisher Gavin Will.”

“Editing is such an interesting process: it’s collaborative and also requires individual effort; it allows you to be both creative and focused. You have a hand in helping ideas and stories be shared more clearly, in helping people finesse their words. You work hard and dedicate your attention wholeheartedly, but you get to step back when the project is done and let the real creators go forward into the spotlight—this is appealing to me. Editing is a bit invisible as a profession…but there is an air of wizardry to it, too.”

The other two editors shortlisted for their editorial excellence were Catherine Plear of Vancouver, BC, for Seeking Sickness: Medical Screening and the Misguided Hunt for Disease, by Alan Cassels (Greystone Books) and Adele Simmons of Whitby, ON, for The Costumer’s Notebook, by Rae Stephens (The Costumers Institute). In recognition of their outstanding editorial performance, each was awarded a cash prize of $500.

Headshot of Sandy Newton
Sandy Newton

The judges for the 2012 Tom Fairley Award are experienced and respected Canadian editors. Benoît Arsenault is a French editor/coordinator at Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service. He also works as a freelance French editor. Marc Côté is the publisher of Cormorant Books. He has been nominated several times for the Libris Award for Editor of the Year, awarded by the Canadian Booksellers Association, and he won it in 2009 and 2010. Margaret Shaw is a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She is also a certified copy editor and structural and stylistic editor who co-chaired the committee that developed EAC’s Structural Editing: Meeting Professional Editorial Standards.

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About the Editors’ Association of Canada

Additional information about the Tom Fairley Award is available at

The Editors’ Association of Canada/Association canadienne des réviseurs began in 1979 as the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada to promote and maintain high standards of editing. EAC is the voice of editors in Canada, with more than 1,500 members, both salaried and freelance, who work in the corporate, technical, government, not-for-profit and publishing sectors. EAC’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. EAC has six regional branches: British Columbia; Prairie Provinces; Saskatchewan; Toronto; National Capital Region; and Quebec/Atlantic Canada, as well as five smaller branches (called twigs): Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, Ontario; Hamilton/Halton, Ontario; Kingston, Ontario; Peterborough, Ontario; and Nova Scotia.

Media Contact:
Michelle Ou
Communications Manager
Editors’ Association of Canada
Association canadienne des réviseurs
416 975-1379 / 1 866 226-3348

Headshot of Catherine Plear and Adele Simmons
Catherine Plear and Adele Simmons
(Photo credit: Tammy Burns)
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