Martin Ainsley

Martin Ainsley – Editor

I work on poetry, fiction, and non-fiction, esp. academic history and English lit crit. Ten years' experience in-house and freelance.


I have six years of experience as a freelance copyeditor and proofreader, on top of four years as production editor for Goose Lane Editions, an independent literary press. I am currently a PhD candidate in English and creative writing, and I teach a for-credit university course in editing skills. I also hold master's degrees in English and History and a BFA (writing). Several of my edited books have been nominated for or won significant awards.

I am versatile and curious and willing to edit almost anything, but I specialize in poetry and academic non-fiction in the humanities (citations are my jam! I am fluent in Chicago and MLA style), and I would like to branch out into more fiction copyediting. I have only one published book of fiction to my credit, the novel Some Hellish by Nicholas Herring, but it won the prestigious Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize (2022); not bad for a first time out!

When I copyedit, regardless of the genre, I focus on the author's voice and the intended audience and work towards making the most of that connection. In addition to fixing mechanical problems and ensuring adherence to a particular style guide, I will help you untangle sentences, sharpen diction, avoid unwanted repetition, and look out for problems with logic and continuity. Whatever you've written, I will edit it with empathy, humo(u)r, and care to make your work the best it can be.
Literary Fiction Poetry
English (CAN) English (US)

Work experience


Sep, 2017 — Present

Copyedited and proofread numerous poetry collections, academic journal articles, book-length non-fiction, both academic and general, and novels for:
• icehouse poetry/Goose Lane Editions/Goose Lane Design
• Studies in Canadian Literature/Études en littérature Canadienne (SCL/ÉLC)
• Georgetown University Press
• Palgrave Macmillan
• Biblioasis
• University of Texas Press

Goose Lane Editions

Oct, 2013 — Aug, 2017 (almost 4 years)

(full-time, in-house position)
Coordinated the scheduling, flow, and management of manuscripts — from acceptance, through editing and sometimes translation, to final copyediting and proofreading, including the hiring and supervision of freelance editors and liaison with authors.

University of New Brunswick

Jan, 2019 — Present

Tutor for sections of introductory general arts courses and lecturer for English literature and publishing courses, including:
• ENGL 1000 Introduction to Modern Literature in English (January–April 2019)
• PUB 3103 Practical Editing Skills (January–April 2023): copyediting, proofreading, developmental editing, and contexts of trade and academic publishing
• ENGL 2903 Current Issues in Literature (July–August 2023): “We’re Doomed. Now What?” Coping with Climate Change and Other Wicked Problems through Literature


Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Copy Editing
Some Hellish

Herring, Nicholas

Copy Editing

Walsh, Matthew

Copy Editing
Copy Editing

Blythe, Ali

Copy Editing
Only Insistence

Lindsay, James

Copy Editing
Copy Editing
The Program

Jones, Megan Fennya

Myself A Paperclip

Finlay, Triny

The Fool

Jones, Jessie

Soft Power

Cole, Stewart


Blythe, Ali

To Live and Die in Scoudouc

Chiasson, Herménégilde

Ritual Lights

Barron, Joelle


Bernier-Cormier, Dominique

Entre Rive and Shore

Bernier-Cormier, Dominique

Jonas in Frames: an epic

Hutchinson, Chris

In the Vicinity of Riches

Hutchinson, Chris

Crow Gulch

Walbourne-Gough, Douglas

Martin has 2 reviews





John G.

John G.

Apr, 2024

Martin did a splendid job and completely exceeded my expectations. Editing is so much more than correcting punctuation, spelling and grammatical errors. Martin thoroughly examined every word and sentence and always included the rationale, history and references guiding his corrections. However, much more to this, it was his suggestions and prompting which really allowed me to focus on con...
Read more
frank M.

frank M.

Aug, 2023

In plan words, VERY GOOD AT WHAT HE DOES! Informative/ professional/ just for starters. It was a pleasure to work with him, Can not thank him enough.

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