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Mary Rykov, PhD


  • President's Award (2019)

Editors Canada Volunteer Participation

  • Certification (2014)
  • Toronto Branch (2012, 2013)


My editing lends precision and clarity to your words without masking your unique voice. Your meaning and purpose will shine. I can help you free your voice, find your words, polish your message, and sing your song.

I am a published writer with a PhD in Adult Education and considerable expertise in music therapy who offers writing mentorship in addition to editing. I maintain memberships with The Writers' Union of Canada, League of Canadian Poets, Music Therapy Association of British Columbia (Honorary Lifetime), and PEN Canada (Writers in Exile).

I provide substantive, developmental, stylistic, and copy editing, specializing in scholarly, academic, professional, corporate, plain language, fiction and poetry genres. I outsource transcription of research interviews for scholarship and journalism. Because I review for publications, I am uniquely positioned to mentor new writers through the submission and re-writing process. 

I welcome book-length academic dissertations or theses and other prose projects, as well as concise business letters and reports. My preferred subjects include health, medicine, humanities, education, safety, and musicology.

As a volunteer, I contributed best practice instructional guidelines for the Toronto Branch Seminars Committee. In 2017-2018, I served as National Executive Council task force lead to update the Guidelines for Ethical Editing of Theses/Dissertations (2005), which resulted in the January 2019 release of Ethical Guidelines for Editing Student Texts.

MY COVID-19 SPECIAL OFFER:  To encourage you to continue writing during these uncertain times, I will offer 3 free editorial hours — writing mentorship and all document editing — for the duration of the COVID-19 lockdown. I look forward to reading your work. Note: the usual student permissions (below) will be upheld, but mentorship and coaching will be available at no cost. [Note: this offer has expired.]

FOR STUDENTS:  Hiring a professional editor without faculty permission is defined by some academic institutions as plagiarism, which is a serious violation of academic integrity. If you are a student — undergraduate, graduate, or doctoral candidate — who wants to hire me (or any professional editor), please ensure that your professor or supervisor permits professional editing of your writing. The Permission form is available to faciliate this conversation. Co-signing this form with the faculty member responsible for your academic work communicates to me the level of editing I may perform for you. The guidelines and permission form can be downloaded here: The Agreement Template for Editorial Services that will be personalized for you is based on these permissions granted.


Editorial Skills

  • Consulting and manuscript evaluation
  • Copy editing
  • Editing translations
  • On-screen editing
  • Plain language
  • Proofreading
  • Research and fact-checking
  • Rewriting
  • Structural and substantive editing
  • Stylistic editing
  • Writing


  • Academic books and monographs
  • Academic papers and essays
  • Booklets
  • Briefs, précis, and executive summaries
  • Business materials, general
  • Conference materials
  • Educational materials, general
  • Grant applications and fundraising
  • In-house publications
  • Poetry
  • Policies and procedures
  • Proposals and evaluations
  • Résumés and CVs
  • Theses and dissertations


  • Ecology and environment
  • Health and medicine, general
  • Humanities, general
  • Music
  • Pedagogy
  • Social sciences