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Melva McLean

Winnipeg, MB R2H 2L8
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Experienced public speaker, available to talk to groups and associations about editors and editing.


  • Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence (2008)

Editors Canada Volunteer Participation

  • Branding (2014)
  • Code of Ethics Task Force (2012)
  • Marketing and Public Relations (2014, 2015)
  • National Executive Council (2012)
  • Prairie Provinces Branch (2012)
  • Publications (2011)
  • Social Media Task Force (2012)
  • Strategic Planning (2012)


I am a story editor and non-fiction structural editor and copyeditor. I story edit novels, short stories, screenplays, plays, and memoirs.  In non-fiction, my areas are the social sciences, history, cookbooks, educational manuals and business books and reports. I'm a past winner of the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for the structural edit of an 800-page physics report.

I am also a creative writer. My screenplays have won several awards, including an NSI Drama Prize. My short film, "Chopin's Heart,"  was an adaptation of a short story by Emily Givner and was selected for the Telefilm Showcase at Cannes 2016. If you have a novel you'd like to adapt to a screenplay or a screenplay you want to turn into a novel, give me a call.

I am also available for seminars in story editing, screenplay writing, writing and editing cookbooks, and reader-response theory.

Recent Endorsements:

Melva was the editor of my first book and then again my second book. Why? Because I insisted! She is professional, creative, thorough, and discerning, and, more importantly for me, she never gets in the way of the writer’s voice. She is all about supporting the writer in a positive and affirming manner.

—Jason Dorland, author of Chariots and Horses, and Pulling Together.

I have worked with Mel on several editing projects, including books and film.  She has a great sense of story, a sharp eye when it comes to cutting out the extraneous, and a great ear for dialogue.  It’s a pleasure to work with her! —Catherine Larose, author of Any Color but Beige

Editorial Skills

  • Adaptations
  • Consulting and manuscript evaluation
  • Copy editing
  • Developmental or project editing
  • Plain language
  • Proofreading
  • Stylistic editing
  • Writing


  • Anthologies
  • Blogs
  • Books, general
  • Books, self-help
  • Books, self-published
  • Cookbooks
  • Fiction
  • Fiction, mystery
  • Grant applications and fundraising
  • Manuals and how-to books
  • Multimedia
  • Plays and screenplays
  • Policies and procedures
  • Proposals and evaluations
  • Public relations materials
  • Reports, annual
  • Trade non-fiction


  • Aboriginal people
  • Animals
  • Arts
  • Biography
  • Canada
  • Cinema
  • Food and drink
  • Gardening and horticulture
  • Gender studies
  • Health and medicine, general
  • History
  • History, Canadian
  • Humanities, general
  • Life sciences
  • Literature
  • Physical and chemical sciences
  • Sciences, general
  • Social sciences