Michelle Parker ("she" or "they" pronouns, Mx.) is a nerdy, queer, nonbinary, neuroatypical, disabled thirtysomething and has enjoyed an unusually colourful life, having lived in or visited fourteen countries on four continents and learned seven languages along the way. Chelle's background is primarily in education, where she spent eight years teaching English, French, math, science, and life skills to at-risk junior-high students, but she's also worked in a peculiar array of other environments. These range from daycares to sexual health clinics, doing jobs as diverse as librarian, baker, radio DJ, and Braille transcriptionist—all while editing on the side.
She's staying put for the moment (more or less) in her hometown of Ottawa, Canada—on unceded Algonquin Anishnaabeg territory—where she wields her trusty red pen as a full-time freelance editor and serves as a human shield for her chronically anxious rescue dog.
Some of her more notable editing clients include animation giant Mediatoon's Europe Comics imprint (for whom she edits graphic novels translated from French into English) and BookLife Reviews (for whom she has fact-checked and edited reviews). She has also reviewed speculative fiction and erotica herself (including novels, single-author collections, and short fiction anthologies) professionally for Publishers Weekly, though currently is on hiatus to focus on other projects.
Prior to its closure in late 2022, Chelle acted first as the in-house copy editor and proofreader, and later as the sole managing editor, of Fireside Fiction Company's monthly short fiction periodical Fireside Magazine. As part of her work with Fireside, Chelle is a two-time Hugo Award nominee (for 2019 and 2020). During its ten-year run, Fireside Magazine was instrumental in pushing for greater diversity in the speculative fiction ecosystem and championed fair pay for all staff, editors, artists, and authors involved with the company—including singlehandedly raising the standard "professional" per-word pay rate for authors published by speculative fiction magazines in the US (and, to a lesser degree, Canada).
When off the clock, Chelle is a passionate mentor and volunteer. In particular, she has devoted countless hours to Readercon, a world-renowned conference on imaginative literature. (From 2018–2022, she co-developed the convention's annual program and selected panelists; edited panelist bio-bibliographies, the annual Program Guide, and the annual Souvenir Book; co-managed teams of volunteers assisting with the Program and Publication departments; created and oversaw the conference's plan to pivot to virtual in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic; and served as the de-facto Head of Accessibility.) She has also volunteered as a grants juror for the Speculative Literature Foundation, proctored certification exams for Editors Canada, and helped new editors launch their own freelance businesses.
Though her heart lies with speculative fiction, Chelle has edited nonfiction work including academic papers for PhD candidates, candid memoirs, and self-help books. She will happily apply her keen eye for detail to your project! A good editor is there to support you and help you polish your work until it shines.
Hal Y. Zhang
Author, Editor, & Poet
Chelle is one of my favorite editors—insightful, compassionate, and a joy to work with. They illuminate the editing process with a keen understanding of what makes stories work and the places where they can shine even more. I've learned so much about writing and editing from working with them.
Nebula Award–Winning Author
I've worked with Chelle on numerous stories over the years. You won't find a more thoughtful and courteous editor. Highly recommended.
Author & Emmy Award–Winning Reporter
Chelle was an amazing editor to work with. They gave me clear, concise edits that were easy to follow and made total sense for the story, and whenever I had a question, they were right there with an answer! Would absolutely work with them again.
Author & Editor
Chelle is one of the best editors I've ever had the pleasure of working with. On top of being astoundingly talented and meticulous in their editing, they're a complete delight to collaborate with at every level. I can't recommend them highly enough—they're absolutely indispensable.
Author of Over 60 Novels
Chelle is the best proofreader I’ve worked with in terms of adapting to the oddities of multiple fictional universes simultaneously, keeping up with the differences in language in each one, and catching me where I slip up.
Ignyte Award–Nominated Author
Chelle is a dream to work with: attentive to your every need, enthusiastic at every stage of development, and meticulous in their communication. If you've got the chance to work with them, I guarantee you'll have a better piece of writing by the time you've reached project's end.
Michelle is everything I'd hoped to find in an editor. Thorough and attentive to detail, she helped me understand the editing process and got right to the heart of my story.
Owner, Fireside Magazine
Brian J. White
Chelle is ultra-reliable, with an incredible attention to detail, and is always ready to collaborate on solutions when challenges arise. Their sharp editing improves every story without stepping on the writer's feet. I'd recommend them and their work without reservation.
Aigner Loren Wilson
Author & Editor
Chelle is a knowledgeable and approachable editor who always made time for my questions. They worked to ensure clear communication and direct guidance. Their experience as an editor helped me see new approaches to communicating edits and working with writers.
Chelle improved my story with focused, intelligent feedback and careful attention to detail. They taught me new things and treated me with kindness, which helped as I struggled with anxiety about putting my work out in the world. I recommend them for any and all editing needs!
Author of Over 150 Published Short Stories
I've found Chelle's timeliness, attention to detail, and sensitivity to nuance to be completely invaluable.
Author & Editor
Chelle is a treasure of an editor: unfailingly generous with their time, attention, resources, kindness, and huge breadth of knowledge, but also always careful to make sure that your work shines as brightly as it can in every way. They are a delight and a credit to the profession.
L. D. Lewis
Author, Editor, & Community Organizer
Chelle is my favorite copyeditor.
Chelle's patience, and their gift for teasing out the underlying structure of a story to help identify weak spots, is incredibly helpful when refining a narrative.
Author & Environmental Activist
I am so grateful for Michelle's editing. I found her attention to detail, her knowledge, and her perspective to be invaluable. Thank you, Michelle, for helping my book shine! It was a joy to work together.
Chelle understood what I was trying to say in my story and helped me find exactly the right way to say it. I would be very pleased to work with them again.
Former Director, Booklife Reviews
Chelle is careful and thorough, always willing to ask questions when directions aren't clear so that the work gets done right the first time. I highly recommend them.
Author & Editor
Chelle is a thoughtful editor who provided me with great developmental feedback. They understood my vision and helped me refine it with vivid details and foreshadowing. I'm really pleased with the final product and would 100% recommend their editing services.
M. Elizabeth Ticknor
Chelle is an amazing editor. When I wrote my first story using nonbinary pronouns, it was important to me that I get them right, and Chelle helped me correct any errors swiftly and efficiently. I was proud to see that story make its way out into the wild, knowing we'd made it the best it could be.
Author & Disability Activist
Michelle is probably one of the most dedicated and committed persons that I have had the pleasure of working with. Her timeliness and attention to detail are to be greatly admired.
Chelle was amazing to work with, helping to polish my prose while retaining and emphasizing my own voice. They even deftly untangled a tricky grammatical situation involving a sentient pancreas. I would love to work with them again.
R. J. Theodore
Chelle's feedback was exactly what it needed to be: based on clarifying my ideas rather than changing them and on strengthening my message rather than reconfiguring it. Their editing is gentle, respectful, and knowledgeable.
I feel lucky to have found Chelle. They answered all my questions and made the process transparent. I now consider them the gold standard for editing services—I got more out of hiring them than out of any writers' workshop. I'm eternally grateful for their skills and patience!
Author & Public Speaker
Michelle made the process so easy! Her corrections and comments were really helpful and will make me a better writer. I look forward to working with her again on my next book.
Laurie Dodson, PhD
The quality of Michelle's help was well beyond expectations. Her technical skills are particularly strong and her work ethic is unquestionable.
Designer & Publisher
Chelle is an absolute pleasure. They consistently crush deadlines and work extremely well with others, offering substantial critiques with kindness and compassion.
Michelle is insightful, articulate, experienced, and capable. She is always willing to go the extra mile. I am pleased to have had the opportunity to work with her and recommend her highly.