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Award criteria and information

Who is eligible for nomination?

Nominations are open to all editors—both freelance and in-house.

The award is for an editor's outstanding contribution to a work published in Canada in English or French during the 2017 calendar year.

Any type of written project—book, magazine, government or corporate report, software documentation—is eligible, as is any type of editorial work.

Nominees are limited to one submission per year. This submission can comprise a single item or several items from a related series of titles. Every submission must be accompanied by an administration fee.


When are the deadlines?

The deadline for your letter of nomination is Wednesday, January 31, 2018. Supporting material must be received by Wednesday, February 14, 2018. Self-nominations are encouraged!


How do I make a nomination?

Nominations can be made by anyone involved in the work: publisher, editor, author, designer or other person. Self-nominations are encouraged.

Nominations fall into two parts: a letter of nomination and a package of supporting documentation, including fee payment.

First, send a letter of nomination to the Tom Fairley Award Coordinator, Editors Canada, 505—27 Carlton Street, Toronto ON  M5B 1L2 (email: This letter must include the following information:

  • editor's name, address and telephone number
  • name of published work, number of pages and broad category (e.g., trade non-fiction, academic, children's book, magazine, government report)
  • name of author
  • name, address and telephone number of publisher
  • nominator's name, address and telephone number
  • name and address of at least one other person who can support the claims made about the editor's contribution (e.g., author, designer, other editor, proofreader)

Next, prepare a package of material supporting the nomination. This documentation may accompany the letter of nomination or be sent separately, but it must be received at the Editors Canada office by the deadline for supporting documentation. See above for deadlines.


What do I include as supporting documentation?

The documentation package must include three items:

  • a copy of the published work
  • a detailed letter describing the nominee's editorial role, including the type of editing performed (developmental, structural, stylistic, production coordination, etc.), any special problems with the project, and the contribution of the editor to the general project and in overcoming particular problems
  • the administration fee

The package should also contain enough supporting material to enable the judges to assess the quality of the editor's work. Depending on the type of project, such material could include any of the following:

  • edited manuscript in full or in part
  • galleys, mock-ups or page proofs
  • letters between the editor and others involved in the work
  • all letters from the author or publisher in support of the nomination
  • jacket copy, photo captions or other written material prepared by the editor
  • style sheets, transmittal sheets, cast-off calculations prepared by the editor
  • any other item that supports the claim to editorial excellence

A word of caution: Thorough documentation is essential to enable the judges to evaluate the editor's contribution, but please do not overwhelm the judges with masses of marginal material. In the interests of the judges and nominee, select and organize only those documents that exemplify each stage of editing and that best illustrate the editor's contribution.

NB: Copies, rather than original documents, are preferred.

In sum, please keep three things in mind in preparing documentation:

  • be thorough
  • be selective
  • be organized

IMPORTANT: Those who wish to have their submissions returned must make a request within 30 days of the announcement of the award winner.


How do I submit the administration fee?

Payment can be made by cheque made payable to Editors' Association of Canada. A penalty of $20 will be charged for NSF cheques.

The current fee is $100. This sum goes towards the cost of shipping and handling your submission.

Please enclose your cheque with your documentation in support of the nomination.


Who are the judges?

The award coordinator chooses three judges based upon the types of entries received. Past judges have included previous Tom Fairley Award winners, publishers, senior in-house editors and senior freelance editors. Judges may or may not be Editors Canada members.


Whom do I contact for further information?

For further information on the Tom Fairley Award, send your request by email to


Support the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence

Help to support Editors Canada awards! We invite you to contribute to these awards that honour the outstanding editors and students in our midst.

Donate online now.

We also welcome donations by cheque. Please make your donation payable to "Editors' Association of Canada" with "Tom Fairley Award" written on the memo line.

Send your donation to

Editors Canada
Tom Fairley Award
505–27 Carlton Street
Toronto, ON M5B 1L2