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 Griffin Brown, Darling Axe 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 traditional territory of the Esquimalt and Songhees Nations.

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


Katie Zdybel, Associate Editor

Darling Axe associate editor Katie Zdybel

Katie's first collection of short stories, titled Equipoise, was shortlisted for the 2018 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction. She is the winner of a 2019 Canada Council for the Arts Award, the 2018 Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award, and was a nominee for the 2019 Journey Prize. Katie was the editorial assistant for Shambhala Sun and EAT Magazine, and has also edited several small publications and worked on PRISM International’s editorial board. As a manuscript editor, she enjoys working with character, theme, and imagery.

Preferred genres: literary fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and middle grade.


Tara Gilboy, Associate Editor 

Tara Gilboy, Darling Axe Associate Editor

Tara Gilboy is an award-winning short fiction writer and author of the middle-grade fantasy Unwritten and its forthcoming sequel Rewritten. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia and teaches for San Diego Community College District. She's also worked as a fiction editor at Straylight Literary Magazine, served on the editorial board of PRISM International, and mentored for the PEN Writers in Prisons Program. As an editor, she pays particular attention to plot, structure, and character arcs.

Preferred Genres: middle grade and young adult. 


Amaryah Orenstein, Associate Editor

Amaryah Orenstain, associate editor and founder of Go Literary

Amaryah, founder of GO Literary, is thrilled to help writers bring their ideas to life. As a literary agent, she knows what acquisitions editors and other agents are looking for in a manuscript, proposal, or query letter, and can help give your work its best shot at publication. Amaryah began her career at the Laura Gross Literary Agency in 2009 and, prior to that, she worked as an editorial assistant at Brandeis University Press. She holds a BA (McGill), MA (Contemporary History Institute, Ohio University) and a PhD (Brandeis University). She lives in NYC.  

Please note: Amaryah cannot offer representation to anyone she works with in an editorial capacity. 

Preferred genres: literary and commercial fiction, historical fiction, narrative nonfiction, memoir, and young adult.


Carmen Craig, Associate Editor

Carmen Craig - Technical editor for the Darling Axe - Manuscript development and editing services

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 territory of the WSÁNEC and Lkwungen peoples.

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



Sadie Redden, Technical Editor

Sadie Redden - Technical editor for the Darling Axe - Manuscript development and editing services

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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