Welcome to the Darling Axe

Novel Development and Editing Services

About the Darling Axe

We are professional editors as well as award-winning writers. We understand the intense effort and emotional investment you have poured into your work. It's our job to help you realize your vision and take your manuscript to the next level. 

The Darling Axe is an open-minded, forward-thinking group. Our editors are interested in literary as well as genre fiction. When you partner with us, you can rest assured that your manuscript will be handled with respect.

Questions? Inquiries? We'd love to hear from you.



We offer narrative development and editing services for every stage of your manuscript's journey to publication.

The Forge – Narrative Assessment


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I don’t know what I would do without Michelle’s keen and insightful feedback. Michelle both offers support and asks the tough questions that will push you to make your manuscript better.

Tara Gilboy, Author of Unwritten

I have had the pleasure of working with both Michelle and David. No matter the genre, they approached each novel with complete focus. Every comment and suggestion they provided improved my manuscripts, from the big picture to the finest detail of word choice.

Nikki Vogel, Author of Tamalinn Found

It’s daunting to transition from poetry to fiction, and I was grateful to have David’s careful editorial voice soothing me through the anxiety of first readership.

K.I. Press, Author of Types of Canadian Women

Our editors

Michelle Barker, Senior Editor

Michelle is an award-winning author and poet. Her fiction, non-fiction, and poetry have been published in literary reviews around the world. She has also published two YA novels (fantasy and historical fiction) and a historical picture book. Michelle holds a BA in English literature (UBC) and an MFA in creative writing (UBC). She loves working closely with writers, both at the developmental level and on finer line-by-line issues. Many of those writers have gone on to win publishing contracts and honours for their work. Michelle lives and writes in Vancouver, Canada.

Preferred genres: literary, contemporary, historical fiction, fantasy, and non-fiction.


David Brown, Senior Editor

David is an award-winning short fiction writer, and his debut novel is represented by the Donaghy Literary Group. He has published poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in magazines and literary journals, and he volunteers for the Malahat Review where he interviews writing judges and screens contest entries. He holds a BA in anthropology (UVic) and an MFA in creative writing (UBC). As an editor, he pays special attention to structure, relationship arcs, and voice. David lives in Victoria, Canada, in the unceded traditional territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

Preferred genres: literary, science fiction, fantasy, hardboiled, young adult, and romance. 


Carmen Craig, Associate Editor

Carmen is an award-winning short fiction writer and poet. She holds a BA with honours in linguistics from the University of Victoria and a diploma in creative writing and English literature from Camosun College. She is also an instructional assistant for the School of Access at Camosun College where she helps students upgrade their writing skills. Carmen lives on Vancouver Island, Canada in the unceded territory of the WSÁNEC and Lkwungen peoples.

Preferred genres: literary, historical fiction, memoir, true crime, mystery, and stage plays.


Sadie Redden, Technical Editor

Sadie is a technical writer and editor who creates public-facing help content for a global commerce company. Passionate about clarity and consistency, she is meticulous in her editorial review. Sadie loves to work with words and play with language. She studied linguistics at the University of Victoria as well as East China Normal University in Shanghai. Sadie lives in a quiet river valley on southern Vancouver Island.


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