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Merel Elsinga

Victoria, BC
Primary contact: 
Experienced public speaker, available to talk to groups and associations about editors and editing.

Editors Canada Volunteer Participation

  • Communications and Marketing (2021, 2022)


I have 13 years experience in writing, copy-editing, and proofreading in both English and Dutch. I have multiple specialtiy areas, due to my varied career path: from private law (Dutch LL.M.) to professional offshore sailing crew to chef (fine dining and restaurant cooking) to involvement with house building from design to finish. With this lifestyle history, publishing a memoir will only be a matter of time!

I have graduated (A+) from the Editing Program at Simon Fraser University.

I regularly provide proofreading and indexing services of mostly non-fiction works for publishers. I also provide other editing services to self-publishing authors.

I am fluent in English and Dutch, and have useful knowledge of German and French. I have experience editing English works written by ESL authors.

Plain language is a major interest and focus of mine since my employment at the law firm that had plain language as their policy. Now I like to help other lawyers create plain language documents. I am also editor-in-chief of Clarity International's journal. Clarity is the largest international organization committed to promoting plain legal language and legal design.

Other special interests and subject expertise: bluewater sailing (sailboats)/marine, cooking and cookbook editing, skiing, aviation, house building, playing ukulele.

I always deliver quality work, on time.

Check out my website and contact me to see if we are the right match!


"Merel's careful eye and professional, friendly style make her a pleasure to work with. Merel has been a freelance proofreader with us for over three years now and I am impressed with her eagerness to learn as she expands her publishing knowledge from proofreading to indexing and editing." – Sue Custance, Publishing Director, New Society Publishers

"Working with Merel on the book Island Eats: Signature Chefs' Recipes from Vancouver Island and the Salish Sea was truly a pleasure. Not only does she have a keen eye for detail, but because she has prior experience as a chef here on the Island, she shares a very personal attachment to many of the local ingredients and recipes which make this book unique. She was a very valuable member of the editorial team." – Dawn Postnikoff, co-author Island Eats, Figure 1 Publishing

"It has been a great experience working with Merel editing my short stories. Merel also suggested updating some info which was useful and improved my stories." – J. Roschlaub, writer

"Nice to come back to your fabulous work in my inbox. I've got it all, and all looks good. Thanks for putting together the author queries so nicely." – Alina Cerminara, Editorial & Production Coordinator, New Society Publishers

"I, too, wish to work together on future projects, I would not hesitate to sign you up! I'm glad you enjoyed the work, and it does make such a difference if the people on the team are smart, fun and respectful." – Lara Smith, Managing Editor, Figure 1 Publishing

Editorial Skills

  • Copy editing
  • Editing translations
  • Indexing
  • On-screen editing
  • Plain language
  • Proofreading
  • Translation, other


  • Academic papers and essays
  • Blogs
  • Booklets
  • Books, general
  • Books, self-published
  • Catalogues
  • Cookbooks
  • E-books
  • Fiction
  • Guidebooks
  • In-house publications
  • Indexes
  • Manuals and how-to books
  • Periodicals, general
  • Subtitles
  • Websites


  • Animals
  • Australia and Oceania
  • Biography
  • Canada
  • Construction and real estate
  • Ecology and environment
  • Europe
  • Food and drink
  • Gardening and horticulture
  • Labour and employment
  • Law
  • Leisure, general
  • Lifestyles
  • Music
  • North America
  • Outdoor recreation
  • Transportation
  • Travel and tourism
  • United States