Via Editors’ Association of Canada
The Editors’ Association of Canada (EAC) has announced the finalists for the 2011 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. In recognition of their outstanding editorial performance, finalists receive a cash prize of $500 each. The $2,000 grand prize is awarded annually to an editor who has shown excellence, skill and talent in helping to produce a work published in Canada in English or French in the award year.
Michelle Boulton, the 2011 Tom Fairley Award coordinator, says, “If an editor has done his or her job well, the reader will seldom recognize the editor’s contributions. The Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence is an opportunity to shine a spotlight on those often unrecognized editors who quietly contribute so much on behalf of the eventual readers.”
The finalists have been invited to EAC’s awards banquet, to be held during EAC’s 2012 conference in Ottawa on June 2.
Iva Cheung of Vancouver, BC, for Cow: a Bovine Biography by Florian Werner; translated by Doris Ecker (Greystone Books)
The judges commended Cheung’s demonstration that editing is not just about improving and shaping writing for the better, it is also about learning and improving through challenge. Originally written in German, the translated text required extensive “North Americanization”—replacing German idioms, literary quotes and examples—and rephrasing of academic language. The judges praised Cheung as a superb and well-organized editor whose experience allowed her to reach outside her comfort zone to hunt down information, tie up loose ends and perform multiple roles at one time.
Smaro Kamboureli of Toronto, ON, for In Flux: Transnational Shifts in Asian Canadian Writing by Roy Miki (NeWest Press)
The judges praised Kamboureli’s understanding of literature and of anthology editing, as well as her academic knowledge, all of which were huge assets to the project. Because of Kamboureli’s extensive editing notes and her presentation of organizational options, the author was able to make changes that significantly improved the work without turning the revision process into a daunting and unmanageable task.
Peter Midgley of Edmonton, AB, for The Man in Blue Pajamas by Jalal Barzanji; translated by Sabah Salih (The University of Alberta Press)
The judges noted that this project had forced Midgley to use every skill he’d acquired in his 20-plus years as an editor. They applauded his commitment to encouraging the author to remember repressed memories and to fill in many narrative gaps, even when it might have been easier for Midgley to insert some of the missing material himself. The result was an account that belonged completely to the author—incorporating the author’s memories, experiences and voice—while still benefiting from the editor’s skill, his personal passion for storytelling, and the stunning combination of head and heart elements that wove the narrative together.
The judges for the 2011 Tom Fairley Award included three experienced and respected Canadian editors. Andrea Douglas, a member of EAC’s Hamilton-Halton twig, is senior editor at Colborne Communications in Toronto and an editor at Colborne’s sister company, Iguana Books. Heather Ball, an Edmonton-based freelancer and communications adviser who began her career in Toronto, is a member of EAC’s Prairie Provinces branch. Jean Wilson, whose career has been divided between British Columbia and Ontario, has worked both at University of Toronto Press and University of British Colombia Press. She currently freelances in Vancouver.