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Talena Winters

My Secret Wish Publishing

Peace River, AB T8S 1S3


I help self-published authors make story magic with their fiction or creative nonfiction stories through developmental and copy editing.

You have a project to put into the world, whether it is a novel, short story, memoir, blog post, or article. As someone who has studied the craft of telling stories for over twenty years, I coach you to dig deeper, identify areas of strength and weakness, and help you polish your writing on every level from the big picture down to individual sentences and words to help you tell the story you want to tell.

• As an experienced independent author, blogger, freelance writer, and freelance editor, I have a unique understanding of the needs of self-published authors.
• My background includes writing novels and short stories in multiple genres, magazine articles (I am lead writer for Alberta's Move Up magazine), musical theatre and songs, and knitting patterns.
• I have owned online businesses for over two decades and am skilled in writing and editing website copy that sings.
• I have helped develop stories in genres as varied as fantasy, women's fiction, suspense, romance, and memoir, and in age groups from middle grade and young adult up to adult.

I look forward to making story magic with you.

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"Working with Talena has been an absolute pleasure. As a new author, approaching an editor with your first manuscript can be daunting. Talena immediately put me at ease. With wit and humour sprinkled throughout her constructive critique and advice, it felt like I had a coach on the sideline cheering me on. I have learned so much about the craft of writing and storytelling through her services. She didn’t just help my story become stronger, but the improvements in my writing skills have been significant. I highly recommend Talena Winters for editing your next project."

- Jessica Renwick, Middle Grade fantasy author

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• Manuscript assessment and developmental evaluation
• Developmental editing combining substantive, stylistic, and structural editing
• Copy editing
• Writing in a variety of styles
• Rewriting
• Sales and marketing copy writing or editing
• Website editing
• Blurb development
• Story development brainstorming

Areas of expertise:

• Fiction
• Creative nonfiction
• Journalistic writing
• Knitting pattern writing
• Musical notation
• Website copy
• Sales copy (catalogues, online listings, etc.)
• Creating or following in-house style guides

Preferred fiction/creative non-fiction genres:

• Fantasy (all kinds) and other speculative fiction*
• Romance and Romantic Fiction*
• Literary
• Women's Fiction
• Suspense
• Historical
• Memoir and Biography
• Age groups: Middle Grade and up

*Will not edit horror or erotica.

Proficient in:

• Microsoft Word
• Scrivener for Windows
• Finale for Windows
• Chicago Manual of Style
• Canadian Style
• Canadian and American Spellings

Editorial Skills

  • Canadianization
  • Consulting and manuscript evaluation
  • Copy editing
  • Developmental or project editing
  • Rewriting
  • Structural and substantive editing
  • Stylistic editing
  • Writing


  • Blogs
  • Books, children's and young adult
  • Books, general
  • Books, self-published
  • Correspondence
  • E-books
  • E-materials, general
  • Fiction
  • Magazines
  • Music notation
  • Newsletters
  • Plays and screenplays
  • Websites