Maya Fowler Sutherland

Maya Fowler Sutherland - Editor

Revelstoke, BC, Canada

Upbeat editor of fiction, from general fiction to literary work to children's writing and beyond. Strict but kind!

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Overview

I'm an editor, translator and creative writing instructor with 15 years' experience working for Penguin Random House, Oxford University Press, University of Alberta Press, Media24 and other publishers. I'm also an award-winning, published novelist, which means I know the process from both sides.

While many of my clients are traditionally published, an increasing number are hiring me to assist them in self-publishing. Whatever your goals, I strive to help you bring your story and characters to their full potential while adhering to the highest standards of editing.

My areas of work include fiction and nonfiction, although fiction gives me the greatest buzz. As both an editor and creative writing coach I've enjoyed working on everything from crime to YA, romance, horror, thrillers, children's fiction, literary fiction, dystopian fiction and fantasy.

Margaret Atwood once famously quipped that getting edited is like falling face-down in a threshing machine. I agree that it's a rigorous process, but I endeavour to have my clients emerge on the other end with the minimum of scrapes and bruises.
Languages
English (CAN)
English (SA)
English (UK)
English (US)
Non-Fiction
Biographies & Memoirs
Fiction
Children's
Literary Fiction
Short Story

Certifications

  • Master of Arts degree, University of Stellenbosch, 2003

Awards

  • Maskew Miller Longman Award for Youth Literature, 2011
  • Best Author in Early Childhood Development Literature, UNICEF & Book Dash, 2014

Work experience

Editor, manuscript assessor and proofreader (freelance)

University of Alberta Press
January, 2016 – Present (almost 6 years)

• Manuscript assessment of Tiny Lights for Travellers, a memoir by Naomi K. Lewis. Shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award, 2019 (nonfiction category)
• Edited Rising Abruptly, short stories, by Gisèle Villeneuve. Winner of the George Bugnet Award for Fiction, 2017

Creative writing instructor

South African Writers' College, online
January, 2014 – Present (almost 8 years)

• Tutor for the Write a Novel course, Advanced Novel Writing, and Literary Short and Flash Fiction
• Tutor for the basics of creative writing and Write a Children's Book courses

Editor, manuscript assessor, translator, proofreader, writer & creative writing coach

Self-employed
January, 2005 – Present (almost 17 years)

• Translated International Dagger Award 2019 longlistee Weeping Waters, a crime novel, by Karin Brynard for Penguin
• Edited the Jeff Madison children's fantasy series for self-publishing author Bernice Fischer
• Clients include Penguin Random House, Kwela Books, Tafelberg, Media24 and Oxford University Press

Writer (freelance)

Oxford University Press UK
October, 2017 – September, 2018 (11 months)

• Wrote a number of engaging children's stories for the Oxford Reading Buddy series at the invitation of Oxford University Press, UK

Editor, proofreader and writer (freelance)

Oxford University Press South Africa
April, 2011 – Present (over 10 years)

• Edited, translated and proofread texts such as In Search of History, Let's Do English, and Let's Do Natural Science & Health
• Wrote a variety of graded readers for the Aweh! series for English First Additional Language

Portfolio (16 selected works)

Weeping Waters (The Inspector Beeslaar Series Book 1)

Karin Brynard

First in the series starring a South African police detective: “[A] picturesque backdrop, cast of authentic characters, and knotty story line” (Publishers Weekly).Shortlisted for the International Dagger Award and Winner of the University of Johannesburg Debut PrizeInsp. Albertus Markus Beeslaar is a traumatized cop who has abandoned tough city policing and a broken relationship in Johannesbur... read more

First in the series starring a South African police detective: “[A] picturesque backdrop, cast of authentic characters, and knotty story line” (Publishers Weekly).Shortlisted for the International Dagger Award and Winner of the University of Johannesburg Debut PrizeInsp. Albertus Markus Beeslaar is a traumatized cop who has abandoned tough city policing and a broken relationship in Johannesbur... read more

Nuala: A Fable (Robert Kroetsch Series)

Kimmy Beach

“Shh, my Nuala. I am with you. Today I shall teach you the newness of you.”As the Engine breathes life into Nuala, her gaze falls on Teacher-Servant, the chosen one. He alone will be able to hear her thoughts and interpret her emotions. But soon Teacher-Servant starts to worry that Nuala will be able to give away her thoughts freely. Set in an atypical dystopian world, Nuala is startlingly ori... read more

“Shh, my Nuala. I am with you. Today I shall teach you the newness of you.”As the Engine breathes life into Nuala, her gaze falls on Teacher-Servant, the chosen one. He alone will be able to hear her thoughts and interpret her emotions. But soon Teacher-Servant starts to worry that Nuala will be able to give away her thoughts freely. Set in an atypical dystopian world, Nuala is startlingly ori... read more

The Elephant in the Room

Maya Fowler

Lily struggles with an apathetic mother, a domineering grandmother and the shifting alliances of her schoolgirl friendships. She soon develops a brittle self-esteem and obsesses over the one aspect of her life that she can control – her body. A story of secrets, warped friendships and addiction, and how families guard their secrets to keep up appearances – with disastrous consequences.

Lily struggles with an apathetic mother, a domineering grandmother and the shifting alliances of her schoolgirl friendships. She soon develops a brittle self-esteem and obsesses over the one aspect of her life that she can control – her body. A story of secrets, warped friendships and addiction, and how families guard their secrets to keep up appearances – with disastrous consequences.

As jy 'n ster sien verskiet (Afrikaans Edition)

Maya Fowler

Riekie Taylor is tydelik uit die skool geskors nadat sy haar hare swart ge-dye het en boonop gevang is dagga rook. Maar dis nie al moeilikheid wat sy het nie: na haar broer se dood drink haar ma weer te veel, en is haar pa se enigste bydrae die maandelikse onderhoudstjek wat hy van iewers in Kaapstad aan Riekie-hulle op Graaff-Reinet pos. Riekie besluit om haar pa in die Kaap te gaan soek

Riekie Taylor is tydelik uit die skool geskors nadat sy haar hare swart ge-dye het en boonop gevang is dagga rook. Maar dis nie al moeilikheid wat sy het nie: na haar broer se dood drink haar ma weer te veel, en is haar pa se enigste bydrae die maandelikse onderhoudstjek wat hy van iewers in Kaapstad aan Riekie-hulle op Graaff-Reinet pos. Riekie besluit om haar pa in die Kaap te gaan soek

Jeff Madison and the Shimmers of Drakmere (Book 1)

Bernice Fischer

A magical fantasy adventure. What if there existed a dark kingdom forged on a web of evil spells, with a conniving king plotting to infiltrate the dreams of children all over the world?What if he and the wicked witch on his side could inject the sleep of every child with the most horrid of nightmares … And all they needed was one very particular boy?When Jeff’s brother Matt is captured and spi... read more

A magical fantasy adventure. What if there existed a dark kingdom forged on a web of evil spells, with a conniving king plotting to infiltrate the dreams of children all over the world?What if he and the wicked witch on his side could inject the sleep of every child with the most horrid of nightmares … And all they needed was one very particular boy?When Jeff’s brother Matt is captured and spi... read more

Jeff Madison and the Curse of Drakwood Forest (Book 2)

Bernice Fischer

“Punch fear in the face. Be a true friend. Do what matters.” Jeff Madison--dream catcher, loyal friend and fearless teenager--must save his best friend Rhed from a devastating spell which was cast on him during their last visit to Drakmere. But from this dark kingdom, two evil witches send forth unspeakable horrors. Can Jeff overcome Wiedzma’s terrifying screatures and Zorka’s flesh-eating sha... read more

“Punch fear in the face. Be a true friend. Do what matters.” Jeff Madison--dream catcher, loyal friend and fearless teenager--must save his best friend Rhed from a devastating spell which was cast on him during their last visit to Drakmere. But from this dark kingdom, two evil witches send forth unspeakable horrors. Can Jeff overcome Wiedzma’s terrifying screatures and Zorka’s flesh-eating sha... read more

Jeff Madison and the Rise of the Dreamons

Bernice Fischer

His dream-catching abilities have saved him more than once, but have things gone too far this time? When dream catcher Jeff Madison is attacked by an evil beast in his own bedroom, the 13-year-old falls into another dimension as he tries to save himself. Suddenly he arrives in the beautiful, fearsome fire kingdom of Torturra, where everything from plants to water shimmers in flame. To complica... read more

His dream-catching abilities have saved him more than once, but have things gone too far this time? When dream catcher Jeff Madison is attacked by an evil beast in his own bedroom, the 13-year-old falls into another dimension as he tries to save himself. Suddenly he arrives in the beautiful, fearsome fire kingdom of Torturra, where everything from plants to water shimmers in flame. To complica... read more

Double Echo

François Bloemhof

Something’s gone sour in the Winelands …Ex-cop Paul Mullan has a lot more baggage than the rucksack he’s carrying across the country. He’s trying to get away from that night, that hour when life as he knew it came to an end.When Paul helps wealthy businessman Bernard Russell to change his car’s burst tyre near Riebeek-Kasteel in the pouring rain, Russell offers him shelter.But the opulent wine... read more

Something’s gone sour in the Winelands …Ex-cop Paul Mullan has a lot more baggage than the rucksack he’s carrying across the country. He’s trying to get away from that night, that hour when life as he knew it came to an end.When Paul helps wealthy businessman Bernard Russell to change his car’s burst tyre near Riebeek-Kasteel in the pouring rain, Russell offers him shelter.But the opulent wine... read more

Little Yellow House: Finding Community in a Changing Neighbourhood

Carissa Halton

“Ma’am, you sound like a very reasonable person. Can I advise you to just move?” Carissa Halton and her young family move into a neighbourhood with a tough reputation. As they make their home in one of the oldest parts of the city, she reflects on the revitalization that is slowly changing the view from her little yellow house. While others worry about the area’s bad reputation, she heads out ... read more

“Ma’am, you sound like a very reasonable person. Can I advise you to just move?” Carissa Halton and her young family move into a neighbourhood with a tough reputation. As they make their home in one of the oldest parts of the city, she reflects on the revitalization that is slowly changing the view from her little yellow house. While others worry about the area’s bad reputation, she heads out ... read more

Surviving the Gulag: A German Woman's Memoir

Ilse Johansen

“The terrified yell of my comrades makes me stop. I drop the potatoes into the grass and turn around. He has pulled out the pistol and is taking aim. Slowly I come back.” Surviving the Gulag is the first-person account of a resourceful woman who survived five grueling years in Russian prison camps: starved, traumatized, and worked nearly to death. A story like Ilse Johansen’s is rarely told—of... read more

“The terrified yell of my comrades makes me stop. I drop the potatoes into the grass and turn around. He has pulled out the pistol and is taking aim. Slowly I come back.” Surviving the Gulag is the first-person account of a resourceful woman who survived five grueling years in Russian prison camps: starved, traumatized, and worked nearly to death. A story like Ilse Johansen’s is rarely told—of... read more

Rising Abruptly: Stories (Robert Kroetsch Series)

Gisèle Villeneuve

Gisèle Villeneuve’s short stories test the elastic pull between passion and terror. For inspiration, Villeneuve turned to her personal history to examine what lures urban dwellers outdoors, to test themselves against peaks and valleys. Using the overarching metaphor of mountain climbing, she plays with form, language, and narrative to reveal our fears, our loves, our passions. Rising Abruptly ... read more

Gisèle Villeneuve’s short stories test the elastic pull between passion and terror. For inspiration, Villeneuve turned to her personal history to examine what lures urban dwellers outdoors, to test themselves against peaks and valleys. Using the overarching metaphor of mountain climbing, she plays with form, language, and narrative to reveal our fears, our loves, our passions. Rising Abruptly ... read more

Annie Muktuk and Other Stories (Robert Kroetsch Series)

Norma Dunning

I woke up with Moses Henry’s boot holding open my jaw and my right eye was looking into his gun barrel. I heard the slow words, “Take. It. Back.” I know one thing about Moses Henry; he means business when he means business. I took it back and for the last eight months I have not uttered Annie Mukluk’s name.In strolls Annie Mukluk in all her mukiness glory. Tonight she has gone traditional. Her... read more

I woke up with Moses Henry’s boot holding open my jaw and my right eye was looking into his gun barrel. I heard the slow words, “Take. It. Back.” I know one thing about Moses Henry; he means business when he means business. I took it back and for the last eight months I have not uttered Annie Mukluk’s name.In strolls Annie Mukluk in all her mukiness glory. Tonight she has gone traditional. Her... read more

Tiny Lights for Travellers (Wayfarer)

Naomi K. Lewis

Why couldn’t I occupy the world as those model-looking women did, with their flowing hair, pulling their tiny bright suitcases as if to say, I just arrived from elsewhere, and I already belong here, and this sidewalk belongs to me?When her marriage suddenly ends, and a diary documenting her beloved Opa’s escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in the summer of 1942 is discovered, Naomi Lewis dec... read more

Why couldn’t I occupy the world as those model-looking women did, with their flowing hair, pulling their tiny bright suitcases as if to say, I just arrived from elsewhere, and I already belong here, and this sidewalk belongs to me?When her marriage suddenly ends, and a diary documenting her beloved Opa’s escape from Nazi-occupied Netherlands in the summer of 1942 is discovered, Naomi Lewis dec... read more

Only Leave a Trace: Meditations

Roger Epp

“Make yourself big when you enter a room, when you meet a bear in the woods. Make yourself big. Meet the eyes.”Roger Epp’s poetic meditations about the best, the hardest, the loneliest times of leading a small university campus through significant change are depicted in a series of elegant yet understated prose pieces, alongside images by his life partner, Rhonda Harder Epp. Taking a candid lo... read more

“Make yourself big when you enter a room, when you meet a bear in the woods. Make yourself big. Meet the eyes.”Roger Epp’s poetic meditations about the best, the hardest, the loneliest times of leading a small university campus through significant change are depicted in a series of elegant yet understated prose pieces, alongside images by his life partner, Rhonda Harder Epp. Taking a candid lo... read more

What You Take with You: Wildfire, Family and the Road Home (Wayfarer)

Therese Greenwood

Four years after Therese Greenwood and her husband moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta, their new community was shattered by one of the worst wildfires in Canadian history. As the flames approached, they had only minutes to pack, narrowly escaping a fire that would rage for weeks, burn more than 85,000 hectares and force 80,000 people to flee.

Four years after Therese Greenwood and her husband moved to Fort McMurray, Alberta, their new community was shattered by one of the worst wildfires in Canadian history. As the flames approached, they had only minutes to pack, narrowly escaping a fire that would rage for weeks, burn more than 85,000 hectares and force 80,000 people to flee.

Skid Kids

Michael Franz

Out of the Wastelands for the first time, Zander has never been lonelier. As a mutant he's used to loss, but leaving his 14 year old sister Kensy behind is an emptiness like no other. As he steps through the walls of Westport, her words are the only thing keeping him going; Win your freedom. If not for yourself then do it for me. *** Fans of Hunger Games, Red Rising, Maze Runner, and Divergent... read more

Out of the Wastelands for the first time, Zander has never been lonelier. As a mutant he's used to loss, but leaving his 14 year old sister Kensy behind is an emptiness like no other. As he steps through the walls of Westport, her words are the only thing keeping him going; Win your freedom. If not for yourself then do it for me. *** Fans of Hunger Games, Red Rising, Maze Runner, and Divergent... read more

Maya has 17 reviews

Professionalism
Professionalism
Quality
Quality
Value
Value
Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

dalyn ward
Maya was a delight to work with. Her feedback was actionable, insightful and relevant. My novel will be so much better because of her work. I'd love to work with her again.

dalyn ward, November 2021


Rita Minzenmay
Whilst it was only a short sample edit at this stage, Maya's work on my manuscript exceeded my expectations. I was very impressed by her insights and comments on the flow of my writing. Maya is very respectful of an author's style and she gave clear reasons for her suggestions. She is also an extremely good communicator, and a good listener who patiently responded to my questions. I was very ...
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Rita Minzenmay, November 2021


Jonathan Gould
Maya was a delight to work with. She is extremely professional and very detailed from beginning to end. she was punctual and very easy to work with. I hope to work with her again soon and would recommend her to anyone.

Jonathan Gould, September 2021


Barbara Kerr
Maya's insights and suggestions for editing my short story are invaluable. She read closely and deeply--considering all aspects of the story, and providing concrete examples to explain exactly what she meant. All this with encouragement that made me want to begin revising immediately. I could not have asked for more, and in fact, I received much more than I expected.

Barbara Kerr, September 2021


David Jacobsen
I’ve just finished a multi-month collaboration with Maya during which she proofread my 3-volume novel, which totaled more words than Moby Dick(!). Maya was terrific at all I wanted in a proofreader. Whether correcting typos, or overseeing enhanced typography, or clarifying my sometimes cloudy wording, she was always spot on. She was also good about making suggestions and telling me why she cha...
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David Jacobsen, March 2021

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