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Barbara Pulling

Vancouver, BC
Experienced public speaker, available to talk to groups and associations about editors and editing.


  • Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence (2000)

Editors Canada Volunteer Participation

  • British Columbia Branch (2014, 2015)



I'm an award-winning editor, literary consultant and publishing specialist. Since I started my career in book publishing in 1983, I’ve edited hundreds of books on a wide variety of subjects, working with some of Canada’s best writers.

My interests are eclectic, which keeps my perspective fresh and my energy high. Over the years, I’ve worked with journalists, historians, novelists, playwrights, artists, activists, travel writers, comedians, memoirists, politicians and people from all walks of life who simply had a good story to tell. It’s always a thrill to see a new book take shape. In addition to hands-on editing, I evaluate manuscripts, help writers craft proposals for publishers and agents, and consult on self-publishing. Authors find me meticulous, creative and committed, and I excel at knowing the right questions to ask.

My clients include individual authors as well as publishers big and small: Annick Press, Arsenal Pulp Press, Caitlin Press, Greystone Books, Knopf Canada, Penguin Canada, Sono Nis Press and Douglas & McIntyre (now D&M Publishers Inc.), where I spent ten years on staff. The books I’ve edited, among them several national bestsellers, have won or been shortlisted for many top honours, including Canada Reads, Young Canada Reads, the Giller Prize, the Charles Taylor Prize, Governor General’s literary awards, the Stephen Leacock Medal, the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, the Rachel Carson Environment Book Award, the Michael L. Printz Award and the Deutschen Jugendliteraturpreis.

I won the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence in 2000 for my work on The Bear’s Embrace by Patricia Van Tighem. Since 1999, I’ve taught and guest-lectured at Simon Fraser University in Continuing Studies, the Book Editing and Fiction Editing workshops, and the Master of Publishing program. I hold a Master of Library Science degree from the University of Toronto (1978) and trained as a bookseller at Vancouver’s legendary Duthie Books between 1978 and 1982. 

Recent editing highlights

419 by Will Ferguson

Something Fierce by Carmen Aguirre

The Energy of Slaves by Andrew Nikiforuk

The Book of Marvels by Lorna Crozier

Indian Horse  by Richard Wagamese

Undesirables: White Canada and the Komagata Maru by Ali Kazimi

Journeywoman by Kate Braid 

For middle readers and teens:

The Bite of the Mango by Mariatu Kamara with Susan McClelland

Warriors and Wailers: 100 Ancient Chinese Jobs You Might Have Relished or Reviled by Sarah Tsiang

Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton (made into the feature film Life, Above All)



Editorial Skills

  • Consulting and manuscript evaluation
  • Developmental or project editing
  • Production editing
  • Research and fact-checking
  • Rewriting
  • Structural and substantive editing
  • Stylistic editing


  • Academic books and monographs
  • Anthologies
  • Books, art and photography
  • Books, children's and young adult
  • Books, self-help
  • Books, self-published
  • E-books
  • Fiction
  • Guidebooks
  • Manuals and how-to books
  • Trade non-fiction


  • Arts
  • Biography
  • Culture
  • Ecology and environment
  • Gender studies
  • Health and medicine, general
  • History
  • History, Canadian
  • Literature
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Politics
  • Social sciences
  • Travel and tourism