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Tom Fairley Award Winner 2011

Iva Cheung

Cow: a Bovine Biography. Greystone Books, 2011.

Toronto, June 19, 2012—The Editors' Association of Canada (EAC) is pleased to announce that Iva Cheung of Vancouver is the winner of the 2011 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. Cheung was awarded the $2,000 prize for her work on Cow: A Bovine Biography by Florian Werner, translated by Doris Ecker (Greystone Books). The award was presented at EAC's annual awards banquet, which took place on June 2, 2012, at the Lord Elgin Hotel in Ottawa.

Cow: A Bovine BiographyWhen Cheung, a Certified Professional Editor, accepted her award, she acknowledged how honoured she was to be nominated by Nancy Flight, associate publisher at D&M Publishers Inc. "When a mentor, friend and one of the most respected editors in the country deems your work worthy of nomination, that truly is an honour in itself," says Cheung.

Cow: A Bovine Biography explores the cultural history of the cow, drawing from literature, music and visual art to show the cow's role in culture. As the text was originally written in German, editing the book for North American audiences required extra care to adjust direct translations of German idioms, literary quotes and examples.

"The manuscript was quite a literal translation from the German," explains Cheung. "My challenge was to help the author and translator shape the text to suit North American sensibilities."

It was the perfect task for Cheung, who enjoys projects that challenge and incite discussion and collaboration between the editor and author. It also appealed to her desire to constantly learn new things—a characteristic she feels unites all editors. She adds, "I learned from my mentors that aiming for high standards not only yields better results for my projects but also helps elevate the profession as a whole. As editors, we're all in this together."

The other two editors shortlisted for their editorial excellence were Smaro Kamboureli of Toronto for In Flux: Transnational Shifts in Asian Canadian Writing by Roy Miki (NeWest Press) and Peter Midgley of Edmonton for The Man in Blue Pyjamas by Jalal Barzanji, translated by Sabah Salih (The University of Alberta Press). In recognition of their outstanding editorial performance, each was awarded a cash prize of $500.

The judges for the 2011 Tom Fairley Award included three experienced and respected Canadian editors. Andrea Douglas, a member of EAC's Hamilton-Halton twig, is senior editor at Colborne Communications in Toronto and an editor at Colborne's sister company, Iguana Books. Heather Ball, an Edmonton-based freelancer and communications adviser who began her career in Toronto, is a member of EAC's Prairie Provinces branch. Jean Wilson, whose career has been divided between British Columbia and Ontario, has worked both at University of Toronto Press and University of British Columbia Press. She currently freelances in Vancouver.