Maria Scala

Maria Scala – Editor

Supportive editor with more than 20 years' experience and a Master of Publishing. Focus on biographies/memoirs, travel, and architecture.


Early on in my career at Penguin Books Canada, award-winning and bestselling author Ted Bishop (Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books) told me, “You're the kind of editor every writer wants to work with—someone who gets the project, sees where it is going, and helps guide you there.” Seventeen years later, I’m still holding fast to that standard, regardless of the job at hand. Whether your first draft needs a thorough assessment and developmental edit or is at the copy editing and proofreading stage, I am “all in,” offering expertise and guidance, support and collaboration, and a healthy dose of curiosity.

Along with working in the genres of memoir, travel, and architecture, I have extensive experience in the field of mother-centric writing, having spent nearly nine years editing columns for Literary Mama, as well as serving as its Editor-in-Chief for almost two years. Being part of that community made me a more compassionate and flexible editor, since I was engaging with writers at various stages of their careers, who were juggling multiple responsibilities. Former Literary Mama EIC, Caroline M. Grant said, “Maria is perfectly professional, cheerful, and a true pleasure to correspond with. I trust her work implicitly.”

I am also a published poet and arts and culture writer, with my work appearing in Canadian and international magazines, literary journals, and anthologies. My love of poetry has led me to edit chapbooks with the University of Ottawa's Friday Circle series.

Architecture Biographies & Memoirs Design Inspirational Self-Help & Self-Improvement Travel
English (AUS) English (CAN) English (UK) English (US)
  • Linda Waddell Memorial Scholarship in Publishing Studies, Simon Fraser University
  • Scholarship to attend The Banff Centre’s Wired Writing Studio
  • Master of Publishing, Simon Fraser University

Work experience


Jan, 2007 — Present

I offer the following services to my clients: Manuscript Reading and Evaluation; Substantive/Structural Editing; Stylistic Editing; Copy Editing; Fact Checking/Reference Checking; Permissions Research; Proofreading; and Copy Writing.

Literary Mama

Sep, 2014 — Jun, 2016 (over 1 year)

I oversaw and provided final approval of all content for a volunteer-run online magazine with over 40,000 monthly readers.

Working with the Managing Editor, I set editorial direction and format; ensured editorial standards and publishing schedules were met; developed and managed an international team of editors and writers; solicited new writers; interviewed, tested, and trained staff; built community; planned and implemented projects outside regular publishing schedule; and contributed to social media communications. As well, I was involved in business and financial decisions and processes, and in building links with similar organizations.

Penguin Group Canada

Dec, 1999 — Aug, 2006 (over 6 years)

I wrote, edited, and proofread book jacket, catalogue, and sales brief copy; was in-house editor, performing substantive and line edits for several titles; evaluated manuscripts; ran profit and loss statements; solicited blurbs; and secured permissions.


"Part travelogue, part ode to his bike and part literary criticism...a memoir infused with joie de vivre."―Publishers Weekly In this "joyful book" (Booklist), archive diver and Ducati enthusiast Ted Bishop takes readers on an epic trip from Edmonton to Austin,... read more
"It is my wish that this story will inspire you to live your dream, whatever that may be."In the summer of 2001, at fifty-three years old, Doris Maron sold everything she owned, except her motorcycle and a few personal belongings, to live a dream. On August 4 ... read more
The continental Bahá`í Temple of South America was inaugurated in fall 2016. The Bahá`í House of Worship, designed by Siamak Hariri and his team at Hariri Pontarini Architects in Toronto, Canada, creates a light-filled space esthetics and technology in perfect... read more
A narrative with a deep philosophical insights hidden in every nook and corner of every sentence… Back Over the Mountains is the true story of unexpected friendship between a Buddhist monk seeking to establish himself far from his homeland, and a writer clingi... read more
A rich and imaginative discovery of how ink has shaped culture and why it is here to stay Ink is so much a part of daily life that we take it for granted, yet its invention was as significant as the wheel. Ink not only recorded culture, it bought political pow... read more

Maria has 7 reviews





Michael C.

Michael C.

May, 2023

Working with Maria has been a pleasure. Her work is outstanding and right from the beginning she gave the project detailed attention helping me identify the project's needs. I particularly appreciated her personal enthusiasm for the project. The developmental and copy-editing editorial work she has done has been detailed in its attention and extremely helpful and have taken the text to the next...
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Maria S.
Thank you, Michael! It was a pleasure to work with you, while learning so much. I appreciate your terrific work ethic and open-minded approach to the editing. All the best with this and future proj...
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Zenia K.

Zenia K.

May, 2023

As a new writer, I am pleasantly surprised at the quality and quantity of suggestions and comments that Maria has provided. I have much to learn from her. My book will become a much better version of what I intended to express and share.
Maria S.
Thank you, Zenia, for the opportunity to work with you during this early stage of your writing career. I wish you all the best!
Leah M.

Leah M.

Dec, 2022

Maria was very quick to respond to my inquiry and to my emails. She is very professional. I liked the feedback, the comments, she made during the development review, as well as the edits during the copy editing. Her feedback and edits are straightforward and well thought out. Thank you, Maria, for helping me with my book proposal! It is a pleasure to work with you.
Maria S.
I enjoyed working with you, Leah, and know that you will achieve great things, guided by your hardworking, receptive, and respectful attitude.
Caitlyn L.

Caitlyn L.

Apr, 2022

It was a pleasure working with Maria! She took special care to provide more than merely copyediting input; I also wanted an outsider’s opinion on if any of the subject matter in my travel memoir might be interpreted badly or as culturally insensitive so her opinion was helpful here. Her pricing was extremely reasonable and she was very very accommodating to changes in my personal schedule and o...
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Maria S.
It was a great experience working with a vibrant and talented writer such as yourself! Happy travels!
Lisa B.

Lisa B.

Oct, 2020

Maria is an absolute pleasure to work with. I randomly selected her from the list based on "gut instinct" and made a smart move! From the ease of communication to our agreement on delivery dates, Maria made the process simple and achievable. Given the nature of my work is autobiographical and at times, delves into intimate, private moments, I trusted Maria with the content and felt she honored ...
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Maria S.
Lisa, I really enjoyed working with you on this project and look forward to collaborating further on drawing out your unique perspective.