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John Eerkes-Medrano

943 Bank St.
Victoria, BC V8S 4B1

EAC Volunteer Participation

  • Publications (2011)
  • British Columbia Branch (2015)


A two-time recipient of EAC's Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence, I specialize in the substantive and stylistic editing of narrative nonfiction, primarily trade nonfiction. In the past 30 years I've edited hundreds of books in the areas of history, current affairs, international affairs, biography & memoir, travel, exploration, politics, and business, as well as many government reports, including the report of the Walkerton Inquiry on water quality. I also copy edit two law journals: The Advocate (Vancouver) and The Advocates' Journal (Toronto).

Related Activities ~ I'm a former EAC vice-president and a three-time judge for the Tom Fairley Award. For many years between 2000 and 2012, I taught in Simon Fraser University's book editing immersion workshop at the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. I'm a member of PEN Canada, and I urge you to become a PEN supporter too (

Literary Awards ~ Books I've worked on have won and been listed for more than 20 regional, national, and international awards, including the Axiom Business Book Award ~ Banff Mountain Book Competition ~ B.C. National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction ~ Bill Duthie Booksellers' Choice Award ~ City of Edmonton Book Prize ~ City of Vancouver Book Award ~ Donner Prize ~ Evergreen Award ~ George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature ~ Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize ~ IMPAC Dublin Literary Award ~ J.W. Dafoe Book Prize ~ John Lyman Book Award ~ Kobzar Literary Award ~ Lela Common Award for Canadian History ~ Lieutenant Governor's Medal for Historical Writing ~ Millia Davenport Award ~ Oklahoma Book Award for Non-Fiction ~ Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize ~ Runciman Award ~ Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing ~ Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction ~ Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize.

Media Coverage ~ As well as being favourably reviewed by publications such as The Guardian, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Publishers Weekly, The Sunday Times (London), The Times Literary Supplement, and The Wall Street Journal, books I've edited have been excerpted in Canadian Living, The Financial PostHistory Magazine, The Literary Review of CanadaMaclean's, and The National Post. Other books I've worked on have been featured in the CBC's "12 Days of CanLit," The Globe and Mail's "Globe 100," Kirkus Reviews' "Best Books of the Year," The National Post's "Books for the Big Thinker," and's annual "Editors' Picks: Top 100 Books."

Special Interests ~ I'm especially interested in editing creative nonfiction and literary nonfiction, including autobiography & memoirs, current events, and popular history. Books I've worked on include Rick Antonson, To Timbuktu for a Haircut: A Journey through West Africa ~ Jacob Berkowitz,The Stardust Revolution: The New Story of Our Origin in the Stars ~ Stephen R. Bown, 1494: How a Family Feud in Medieval Spain Divided the World in Half ~ Florin Diacu,The Lost Millennium: History's Timetables Under Siege ~ John English et al., Mackenzie King: Citizenship and Community ~ Katherine Gordon, A Curious Life: The Biography of Princess Peggy Abkhazi ~ J.L. Granatstein,The Last Good War: An Illustrated History of Canada in the Second World War ~ Taras Grescoe, The End of Elsewhere: Travels Among the Tourists ~ Gordon Miller, Voyages: To the New World and Beyond ~ Rod Olson et al., Northern Ecology and Resource Management ~ Timothy Taylor, Story House ~ Ramesh Thakur, Peacekeeping in Vietnam: Canada, India, Poland and the International Commission ~ Ray Wiss, FOB Doc: A Doctor on the Front Lines in Afghanistan ~ Chris Wood, Blockbusters and Trade Wars: Popular Culture in a Globalized World.

Author Acknowledgements ~ Following are some authors' published acknowledgements of my work on their books:

"Editor John Eerkes-Medrano once again provided his insightful comments, suggestions and opinions, strengthening the book and leading me to some new ideas." ~ Stephen R. Bown, The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen (Douglas & McIntyre Canada / Da Capo U.S. / Aurum Press U.K.)

"My warmest thanks ... to John Eerkes-Medrano, who edited the manuscript with intelligence and insight." ~ Derek LundyThe Bloody Red Hand: A Journey through Truth, Myth and Terror in Northern Ireland (Knopf Canada), published in the United Kingdom as Men That God Made Mad (Jonathan Cape)

"I thank John Eerkes-Medrano for his impeccable editorial advice. I especially appreciated John's professional yet candid and incisive work on the manuscript as he helped me discover its voice and form." ~ Roy Miki, Redress: Inside the Japanese Canadian Call for Justice (Raincoast Books)

"Without the editorial - literary and intellectual - intervention ... finally of the acutely insightful John Eerkes-Medrano, this book might have ended up as a misbegotten draft in the proverbial drawer." ~ Myrna Kostash, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium (University of Alberta Press)

"A heartfelt thank you to my editor, John Eerkes-Medrano, for his astute editorial probing and suggestions; you were a joy to work with." ~ Fred Doucette, Empty Casing: A Soldier's Memoir of Sarajevo Under Siege (Douglas & McIntyre)

"I owe an enormous debt of gratitude to ... John Eerkes-Medrano for his sharp eye for dates and details." ~ Anita Rau Badami, Can You Hear the Nightbird Call? (Knopf Canada / Penguin India / Scribe Australia)

"John Eerkes-Medrano was a highly sensitive, sharp-eyed, and endlessly patient copy editor." ~ Paul and Audrey Grescoe, The Book of Letters: 150 Years of Private Canadian Correspondence (Macfarlane Walter & Ross / McClelland & Stewart)

"John Eerkes-Medrano made the editing process an enjoyable and educational experience, which I'm pretty confident is not always the case." ~ Major-General (ret'd) Lewis MacKenzie, Soldiers Made Me Look Good: A Life in the Shadow of War (Douglas & McIntyre)

"To my editor, John Eerkes-Medrano, thank you for the thoughtful suggestions." ~ Andrea Mandel-Campbell, Why Mexicans Don't Drink Molson: Rescuing Canadian Business from the Suds of Global Obscurity (Douglas & McIntyre)

"[Scott McIntyre's] assignment of John Eerkes-Medrano as editor to work with me was a perfect choice. John's experience and gentle hand were invaluable in helping me trim the text while preserving my peculiar writing style." ~ Bob Plecas, Bill Bennett: A Mandarin's View (Douglas & McIntyre)

"It was a privilege to work with someone like John, who was so willing to be a sounding board and always prepared to give a helping hand." ~ Shirley Render, Double Cross: The Inside Story of James A. Richardson and Canadian Airways (Douglas & McIntyre)

"We would like to thank John Eerkes-Medrano, who teaches by example, for his invaluable contribution in editing the manuscript." ~ Michele Genest & Dianne Homan, eds., Urban Coyote: A Yukon Anthology (Lost Moose Publishing)

"I would like to thank my two sharp-eyed editors - John Eerkes-Medrano and Leslie Vryenhoek - who ruthlessly cut, thoughtfully rearranged, and kindly allowed me to keep some things." ~ Samuel Thomas Martin, A Blessed Snarl (Breakwater Books)

"John Eerkes-Medrano brought a sage editor's guidance to the manuscript, often seeing where a fuller story needed to be told and urging the author to undertake the research and the telling ... This book has no better ally." ~ Rick Antonson, Route 66 Still Kicks: Driving America's Main Street (Dundurn Canada / Skyhorse U.S.) 

"Editor John Eerkes-Medrano had the unenviable task of chopping down the manuscript to its present form, and I applaud his splendid efforts." ~ Scott Taylor, Unembedded: Two Decades of Maverick War Reporting (Douglas & McIntyre)

"John Eerkes-Medrano went through the manuscript with a finer-toothed comb than I thought humanly possible during his substantive edits." ~ Margo Talbot, All That Glitters: A Climber's Journey through Addiction and Depression (Sono Nis Press)

"In writing this book, I have benefited from ... the terrific editing of John Eerkes-Medrano." ~ Adam Harmes, The Return of the State: Protestors, Power-Brokers and the New Global Compromise (Douglas & McIntyre)

"To John Eerkes-Medrano, who evened out all the bumps in my copy and made me look better than I deserve, thank you, sir, for your brilliant handiwork." ~ Gary Mason, Oldtimers: On the Road with the Legendary Heroes of Hockey (Greystone Books)

Please contact me by email if you have any questions about my services.

Editorial Skills

  • Consulting and manuscript evaluation
  • Copy editing
  • Developmental or project editing
  • Editing translations
  • On-screen editing
  • Proofreading
  • Rewriting
  • Structural and substantive editing
  • Stylistic editing


  • Academic books and monographs
  • Anthologies
  • Books, general
  • Books, self-published
  • Business materials, general
  • Government materials, general
  • Guidebooks
  • Reports, other
  • Textbooks, college and university
  • Trade non-fiction


  • Aboriginal people
  • Africa
  • Asia
  • Biography
  • Business
  • Canada
  • Central and South America
  • Cinema
  • Culture
  • Developing countries
  • Ecology and environment
  • Economics
  • Economy, politics, and law, general
  • Energy, mines and natural resources
  • Europe
  • Geography
  • Government
  • History
  • History, Canadian
  • Humanities, general
  • International relations
  • Law
  • North America
  • Politics
  • Sciences, general
  • Social sciences
  • Society, general
  • Travel and tourism
  • United States