Testimonials

Unwritten by Tara Gilroy - Book Cover

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. Before working with Michelle, I had completed an MFA and had an agent, but I still hadn’t sold a book. After receiving Michelle’s helpful feedback, I was able to successfully revise the manuscript that finally led to an offer and publication of my debut novel. I will be turning to Michelle again when I’ve completed the draft of my new novel!

Tara Gilboy
Author of Unwritten
http://taragilboy.com/

 

The Ghost Ship by Andrew Gray - Book Cover

David’s incisive and comprehensive advice on my short story was invaluable. He identified character and story issues I hadn’t seen. It helped me take a promising but muddled piece to the next level, from rejection to its eventual publication.

Andrew Gray
Co-author of The Ghost Line (Tor 2017)
http://www.andrewneilgray.com/


 

Book cover for Picking up the Pieces by Scalzo & MageeI believe that Michelle Barker’s editing of my non-fiction book proposal as well as my book – Picking Up the Pieces, Moving Forward After Cancer – were major contributing factors to the book being chosen for publication by both a Canadian and US publisher! Michelle is a delight to work with. She is keenly aware of the reader’s perspective and the need for clear writing. On many occasions, her additions helped my prose “sing”. It is my pleasure to recommend her as an editor.

Kathy Scalzo
Co-author of Picking Up the Pieces, Moving Forward After Cancer (Raincoast Books 2006, Rutgers University Press 2007)


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 (Glass House Press, forthcoming 2018)
https://nikkivogel.ca/

 

Book cover for Denise Marchessault's British Columbia From Scratch: Recipes For Every Season & Magee

Michelle Barker was my writing mentor for my cookbook. From book contract to final manuscript, Michelle was with me every step of the way, providing critical feedback, thoughtful suggestions and grammatical editing. When an instruction or anecdote didn’t translate well, Michelle helped me work through alternative phrases and concepts. When I faltered, her swift wit often had me laughing at my computer. Creative and tenacious, Michelle coaxed the very best from me.  I can’t imagine writing another book without her heartwarming counsel and unwavering support.  

Denise Marchessault
Author of British Columbia From Scratch: Recipes For Every Season

 

David has helped me hone two novel manuscripts with his invaluable insights. Particularly adept when it comes to creating vivid characters, he has encouraged mine to gain dimension and come to life. He isn’t afraid to be honest and thorough in his critiques, but does so in a way that is always supportive and encouraging. He is a joy to work with.

Hejsa Christensen
Fiction, creative nonfiction, and travel writer

 

Michelle Barker first took on a short story of mine five years ago when I was just a novice writer. Since that time, and due in part to her editorial expertise, I have had several stories published in online quarterlies and literary magazines.

Michelle’s the best: a keen eye (without being harshly critical); helpful, astute comments; prompt returns of edited manuscripts. For these reasons, I continue to solicit her skills.

Nancy Branch
Sherbrooke, Quebec

 

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
http://www.kipress.ca

The Darling Axe Novel Development and Editing Services