My pronouns are she and her, and I work from my home office in Ponamogoatitjg (pronounced “boon-amoo-gwaddy”), which is the original Mi’kmaw name for what is now known as Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The word translates either to “tomcod ground” or “salmon place” after the fish that were found in the harbour here. I can see the harbour from my home, and I am truly, sincerely grateful to live, work, and play in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.
I completed a BA (Honours) in English with a minor in Music at the University of Alberta in 1988 and a Master’s degree at Queen’s University in 1990, choosing to write a thesis on the classic Canadian novel The Double Hook by Sheila Watson. In the summer of 1991 I attended the Banff Publishing Workshop, the start of my education in book publishing.
Upon returning from Banff to my new home city of Halifax, Nova Scotia, I was swept up into an exciting and rewarding career as a communications professional in the arts and cultural industries, where my writing and editing skills were in demand. Fifteen years (and two children) later, I decided to return my focus to book publishing. In 2010, having worked as a freelance proofreader and copy-editor for several years, I did an online course in Substantive and Line Editing through Ryerson University. I finished top of my class and was recommended for the Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Book Editing.
I’m passionate about Canadian culture, from our literature to our music, theatre, dance, film, visual art, and so on. As a young person, I did extensive dance and music training and worked as a professional musician. I’ve also worked in theatre as a dramaturge and director and served on the jury for the Merritt Awards for professional theatre in Nova Scotia.
Other activities and interests include travel, hiking, camping, and the environment. I’ve travelled extensively in Canada, from coast to coast and as far north as Whitehorse, and have lived in Prince Edward Island, Alberta, and Ontario, as well as Nova Scotia. I have a decent knowledge of French and an interest in languages in general. I also have a particular interest in Indigenous history and culture and am well-read in this area.
I’ve put my passion for the literary and performing arts into practice as an active volunteer. I served on the Nova Scotia Arts Council and was a founding member of Eastern Front Theatre and the Atlantic Book Awards Society. I was Chair of the Literary Committee at my daughters’ school, served on the board of the Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award for eight years, and was on the boards of Halifax Theatre for Young People and Live Art Dance. I recently completed two terms (four years) on the board of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) where I served as Chair of the Programs Committee. I’m currently vice-president of the board of the Atlantic Book Awards Society as representative of the WFNS, serve on the Nova Scotia Book Awards committee, and am a member of the Halifax Reading Circle for Project Bookmark Canada.
All of these interests and experiences contribute to my work as an editor. I’d be delighted to bring this rich background to your project.
“They say an editor is your book’s best friend. Thanks to Marianne Ward, I know this to be true. For your elegant input and fine companionship, thank you.”
- Judy Johnson, Seven Secrets of the Universe