About Lisa

Backstory.

I completed my Editing Certificate from Simon Fraser University in 2020, and after dabbling in long-form fiction, I officially opened the Short Story Editor on October 14, 2021.

In my pre-editor life, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in French Literature, then worked in communications with non-profit organizations. As many nerds are wont to do, I have engaged in several side quests: I’ve been a French teacher, yoga instructor, doula, placenta encapsulation specialist, dating coach (?!), and an intervenor in the DeafBlind community. I’ve taken more than a cursory look at linguistics, botany, religion, geography, music, Waldorf education, and STEM. Some people are born editors. Others, like myself, live much of their life as “communicators” or “teachers” and metamorphose in their 40s, flanked by boxes of textbooks. In editing I have found the perfect intersection of holding another’s hand while they bring something amazing into the world, finding exceptions to the rule, and knowing which plants flower when.

These days, I limit my questing to editing-related endeavours: I am a founding member of the Neurodivergent Publishing Conference, an ambassador for Editors Canada, and a reader for Flash Fiction Magazine.

Out of my office, I deeply enjoy things conducive to the simultaneous contemplation of short stories: communing with nature, birding, building LEGO, knitting, and having one-sided conversations with friends. I also spend a significant amount of time analyzing the literary value of Star Trek re-runs.

Approach.

Creative writing and editing are two different skill sets. Some writers divide their time between cultivating both. Others don’t care to. You could also have an entirely different approach: short story writers are often innovators. Rule breakers. Whatever your practice, my objective is to be a resource for the conventions of short story writing—what has come before, what is current, and what is at the bleeding edge—and guide you in your contribution. Part of that is to help you reason through your choices and feel confident defending them, if necessary. Whether or not you want to get into the weeds with me, I aim to leave you both a stronger short story and a greater mastery of the form.

Particulars.

When I say short stories, I’m usually talking about short fiction, which encompasses short stories, flash, micro-fiction, and the books that enclose them. You might tempt me with a novella, but never a novel—unless you package it as a novel-in-short stories, then I’m yours.

As for genre, I do not discriminate. Every genre presents its own fascinating puzzle in its short form. Add your unique voice and style, and I’m in.

Credits.

Despite the editor’s prerogative to remain in the shadows (like a secret weapon), I recognize the value of proving to potential clients that I am not just a short-story-obsessed AI. Most recently, I’ve helped authors successfully submit their short stories to the following publications and contests: Women on Writing Flash Fiction Contest (3rd place), Dark Winter Magazine, and The Humber Literary Review Emerging Writers Fiction Contest (honourable mention).

My writers have also kindly provided me with testimonials for your perusal.

Interested in working together?

POV.

Here, I wax poetic on the short story form and my role as its editor. If you want more of the same, I post irregularly on the blog and send out weekly editorials in the Short Story Dispatch.

Not every short story is a short story.

Story form is often defined by word count. Short stories are 10K words or fewer, novels are 40K or more, and novellas are somewhere in between. But if you’ve ever had your short story rejected from a publication, you know that word count is a barrier to entry, not what defines it.

If all stories that are short were short stories, The Very Hungry Caterpillar would have stuck with you in the same way as “The Lottery.” But it didn’t. Short stories aren’t short because their plotlines and character arcs are simplified. They are short because of what the writer must do to achieve the comparative depth and complexity of long-form prose within a limited word count.

Most writers begin by folding the details of a story into a smaller box. They try the simplification method. Once they achieve proof of concept, many are ensnared by the desire to have it all, Can I have simplicity and depth? These are short story writers. They try allegory or reversal and find some satisfaction in working with the reader’s interpretation. Then, at some point, they realize that the short story is as much about what is not said as about dexterity with narrative and literary devices. The job evolves from counting words to making words count.

Not every fiction editor is a short fiction editor.

It is this tiny corner of the craft that preoccupies me and compels me to return. Yes, I love an intriguing plotline and a well-developed character. I am one hundred percent behind experimenting with structure and cross-cross-cross-pollinating genres. But I am obsessed with the short form trifecta: what to leave out, what to leave to interpretation, and what is required of the rest. The exquisite balance made possible by the cooperation between writer and reader that is unique to short stories.

If you want an editor who trades in helping authors strike the balance that journals, award committees, and publishers are looking for, story upon story, you’ve found her.

End notes.

My practice is inclusive of all brains and bodies. I am autistic, physically disabled, and comfortable inventing ways around self-care needs. You are welcome here.

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