Editor profile: Michelle Barker
Introducing: Michelle Barker, senior editor
I am a Vancouver author and editor who has lived in many places around the world, including Jerusalem, France, Quebec, and the interior of BC. Right now, my focus as a writer is on the novel—I love the full immersion that novel-writing requires. But I have also published poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction in literary reviews around the world.
A Year of Borrowed Men (Pajama Press), a picture book, was a finalist for the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. My YA novel The House of One Thousand Eyes (Annick Press), was named a Kirkus Best Book of 2018 and has won numerous awards, including the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award. This spring Annick Press published my newest YA novel, My Long List of Impossible Things. I’ve also published a chapbook, Old Growth, Clear-Cut: Poems of Haida Gwaii (Leaf Press), and a fantasy novel, The Beggar King (Thistledown Press).
I have an MFA in creative writing from UBC and have been writing and editing for decades. I have also spoken and taught at schools and writing conferences in both Canada and the US. Sit me down with a glass of wine, and I will speak to you about craft for hours.
Because I’m an author, I know what it feels like to be edited. I value an editor who is both honest and kind and who will teach me how to raise my writing to the next level. That’s what I aim for when I work as an editor. I try not to impose myself on people’s work, but instead to help turn it into the best possible version of itself.
When I’m not at my desk, I love spending time with my four children who are all grown. I’m also an avid triathlete and devote a lot of time to training. And of course, I read, read, read.
What are the secrets to good writing?
- Read a lot
- Write a lot
- Find a good editor ☺