Michelle Parker 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, reviews speculative fiction and erotica for Publishers Weekly, and acts as a human shield for her chronically anxious rescue dog. Some of her regular editing clients include Europe Comics (for whom she edits YA graphic novels translated from French into English) and Fireside Fiction Company (for whom she copyedits and proofreads all the short stories, essays, and poems that are released through Fireside Magazine and Fireside Quarterly). She also devotes a significant portion of her time to her role as the Assistant Program Chair for Readercon, a world-renowned conference on imaginative literature; there, she helps develop the program and select panelists, and also copyedits the annual Program Guide and Souvenir Book.
As part of her work with Fireside, Michelle was a Hugo Award finalist (under the name Chelle Parker) in 2019 and 2020.
Though her heart lies with speculative fiction, Chelle has edited nonfiction work including academic papers for PhD candidates, candid memoirs, and self-help books. With over ten years of editing experience, she will happily apply her keen eye for detail to just about anything, whether it's a press release, thesis proposal, newsletter, or novella. There is no project too small or topic too odd for her to take on with glee! A good editor is there to support you and help you polish your work until it shines.
Author of Over 150 Published Short Stories
I've found Michelle's timeliness, attention to detail, and sensitivity to nuance to be completely invaluable.
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.
Director, Booklife Reviews
(a division of Publishers Weekly)
Michelle 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 her.
Publisher, Fireside Magazine
Michelle is an absolute pleasure. She consistently crushes deadlines and works extremely well with others, offering substantial critiques with kindness and compassion.
Michelle's patience, and her gift for teasing out the underlying structure to help identify weak spots, is incredibly helpful when refining a narrative.
When I need expertise, I always call on Michelle. That way I can be sure the final copy will be of the highest standard.
Dr Laurie Dodson, PhD
Special Education, Literacy & Native Studies
The quality of Michelle's help was well beyond expectations. Her technical skills are particularly strong and her work ethic is unquestionable.
Michelle is intelligent, 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.
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.