Maya Fowler Sutherland

Maya Fowler Sutherland – Editor

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


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.
Biographies & Memoirs
Children's Literary Fiction Short Story
English (CAN) English (SA) English (UK) English (US)
  • Maskew Miller Longman Award for Youth Literature, 2011
  • Best Author in Early Childhood Development Literature, UNICEF & Book Dash, 2014
  • Master of Arts degree, University of Stellenbosch, 2003

Work experience

University of Alberta Press

Jan, 2016 — Present

• 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

South African Writers' College, online

Jan, 2014 — Present

• 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


Jan, 2005 — Present

• 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

Oxford University Press UK

Oct, 2017 — Sep, 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

Oxford University Press South Africa

Apr, 2011 — Present

• 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


“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-Servan... 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... read more
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 keep... read more
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 woul... 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 d... 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 en... 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 eigh... 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 me... 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 ... 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 revitali... 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 ... 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. Sudde... 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 ... 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... read more
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 ond... read more
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 secret... read more

Maya has 31 reviews





Joel H.

Joel H.

Mar, 2024

Maya is very prompt, professional and encouraging, with a great eye for detail and stylistic choices. She copy-edited and proofread one manuscript for me and I am very pleased with the result.
Helen O.

Helen O.

Nov, 2023

Maya has proof-read two books for me so far and I will be working with her on two more. Her attention to detail is superb! I have been able to publish my books safe in the knowledge that there are going to be no embarrassing errors haunting me and causing me the hassle of creating revised editions. Communication was also always clear and prompt and Maya was able to respond very quickly when I n...
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Dilan Q.

Dilan Q.

Jul, 2023

Maya copy-edited two of my short stories and it was a good work experience.
Helen O.

Helen O.

May, 2023

Working with Maya has been fantastic. She has a great eye for detail and for consistency and spotted all the niggles in the narrative as well as all the missing commas and uninspired dialogue tags. I was so happy with her edits. I fought with myself once or twice but usually had to concede that Maya's edit made for a much better text. I can highly recommend Maya for any copy-editing or proofrea...
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Kent L.

Kent L.

Apr, 2023

Maya was great to work with. Her ideas and suggestions really improved the script. We actually had fun in the process.

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