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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Toronto, November 21, 2017—The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) congratulates member Michael Redhill, winner of the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize for Bellevue Square.
Bellevue Square is a darkly comic literary thriller about a woman who fears for her sanity and eventually her life when she learns that her doppelganger has appeared in a local park.
Redhill is an award-winning poet, playwright, short-story writer and novelist, and a member of Editors Toronto. He gave the keynote address at Editors Canada’s 2010 national conference in Montreal, where his clever speech kept the audience laughing (and the interpreters jumping).
Last night, Redhill’s address to the audience in attendance at the gala at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto was an emotional one. He thanked Michael Ondaatje and Linda Spalding who “over 30 years ago…opened their door to me and I’m grateful for the enthusiasm and encouragement they brought to my life.”
He went on to thank his mother. “Our house was full of books because of [her]. Because of her love of reading, I wanted to make her books,” he said.
The $100,000 Scotiabank Giller Prize is the richest literary award for a work of fiction in Canada. The prize has been awarded annually since 1994. It was founded by the late Jack Rabinovitch to honour his wife, the journalist Doris Giller, who died a year earlier. Rabinovitch died this year at the age of 87.
An editor all his life, Redhill is no stranger to the “best supporting actor” role that goes along with this invisible art in publishing. Earlier this year, he posted on Facebook looking for editing work. “The ends, they do not meet,” he wrote.
“The ends are going to meet for a while now,” he joked after winning the prize.
Born in Maryland in 1966, Redhill has lived in Canada for most of his life. His career formally began in the early nineties at Coach House Press. He taught “Editing Poetry” at Ryerson University and is the author of the novels Consolation, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and Martin Sloane, a finalist for the Giller Prize. He has written a novel for young adults, four collections of poetry and two plays, including the internationally celebrated Goodness. He also writes a series of crime novels under the name Inger Ash Wolfe. He lives in Toronto.
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About Editors Canada
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.
Interview conducted by Jennifer D. Foster
A career as an editor is often a solo adventure, especially if you’re a freelancer. So we thought one way to better connect with fellow editors was to ask them the W5: who, what, where, when, and why. Read on for some thought-provoking, enlightening tidbits from those of us who choose to work with words to earn our keep.
Barbara, please tell us a little about yourself, the kind of work you do, and how long you’ve been an editor.
I’ve been a freelance editor for the past six years, ever since leaving Penguin Books, where I had been a senior editor for about 10 years. There I acquired and edited literary fiction, YA, and some non-fiction too. I’ve been an editor for 30 years (wow, really?), mainly working for different publishers, first in NYC (where I’m from) and then in Toronto, where I’ve been since 1990. But throughout my career, in between in-house editorial jobs, I did short freelance gigs for book publishers (Grove) and magazine publishers (Rolling Stone, The Nation, Spy). It’s always been a pretty simple transition for me between in-house and freelance work. I enjoy both, though I think freelancing is probably a more natural fit for what I do. It affords me the quiet space that is most conducive to that kind of work.
Who: If you could edit one famous author, living or dead, who would it be?
Oh, that’s a pretty multi-faceted question! Whom would I have wanted to get to know more deeply (because, really, editing can be a very intimate process, with such access granted to a mind and heart)? Whose work do I think I might have improved upon? Whose sentences just floor me and make me feel privileged to read them, let alone be entrusted with them as an early reader? I must choose someone dead, as there’s always the chance (even if remote) among the living. I choose Jane Austen, as she is the answer to most of those questions (except the one about improvement). She was brilliant, funny, wise, such a masterful sentence-builder, and a deep mystery in so many aspects. I’d just love to have known her. (more…)