Savanna Scott Leslie: Professional Editing Services


"Be yourself. Be unique. Be a good editor. The Universe needs more good editors."

Kurt Vonnegut, Letters
I'm a meticulous editor with over 10 years of professional experience, and I'm passionate about helping projects succeed. From books to academic journal articles to company newsletters, my job is to make sure your writing speaks to readers in your own voice—without any distracting errors, unclear passages, or inappropriate tones. I'm an expert in a range of services and genres, and I always tailor my approach to ensure the best results.
Looking for an editor? I'd love to chat about your book or writing project and show you how I can help. I believe editing is a form of close collaboration, and I'm not here to terrorize you with a red pen. From science fiction fans to marketing executives, I know what target audiences are looking for. From developmental editing to copy editing and proofreading, I deliver effective edits that reflect your expertise and your unique writing style.


When you've taken care of the big picture and it's time to polish the text itself.

A copy edit involves editing for grammar, usage, spelling, punctuation, and other style mechanics. It also means checking for internal consistency and editing headings, charts, tables, lists, and art.
Not sure what type of edit you need? If you're happy with the organization and development of your text but want to make sure the writing is polished and appropriate for your audience, start here.

The final check before publication.

Proofreading checks edited material for new or overlooked errors in the text or design. I'm happy to mark up PDFs with traditional proofreading symbols or provide corrections in embedded comments.
These days, "proofreading" is sometimes used as a catch-all term for every level of editing. If you're not sure what kind of editing you need, contact me for a free consultation and estimate.

Strengthening your draft's overall framework and optimizing your writing for your readers.

Substantive editing involves clarifying or reorganizing text with a focus on content and structure. If you have a rough draft but need help with the big picture, substantive editing can help you identify the next step in your project.
Stylistic editing clarifies meaning, eliminates jargon, and polishes language. If your draft needs significant reworking, stylistic editing can help. Often, projects require a mix of substantive and stylistic editing. I tailor my approach to your needs.

Compiling an effective guide to your publication.

Indexing is as much an art as it is a science. It involves reading and analyzing your work to identify key subjects and arrange them into a clear and searchable order that will help your readers engage with your text.
I've indexed books, corporate documents, and magazines. I've also honed my skills through university courses and my professional association. I'd love to learn about your indexing needs and how I can help.

Applying correct, consistent styling and documentation for references and citations in academic articles and dissertations.

From APA and the Chicago Manual to AP and Harvard styles, academic journals and universities require many different reference and citation styles that can be tough to learn. I can correctly apply specific journal requirements or work with your department's particular guidelines to prepare your paper or dissertation for submission.
I've worked with many academics and graduate students to properly cite sources and compile reference lists across styles. Whether you're starting from scratch or working with a reference manager, I can save you time and spare you the headache of polishing your references and citations.


Master's Degree

University of Edinburgh
M.Sc. with Distinction, Creative Writing

Graduate Certificate

Ryerson University
Publishing Certificate

Honours Bachelor of Arts

University of Toronto
Honours B.A., Bioethics, Russian Literature

Editors Canada

Professional Association

Canadian Freelance Union (CFU)

A Community Chapter of Unifor

Canadian Women in the Literary Arts (CWILA)

Literary Organization


"Working with Savanna was an absolute pleasure. I had an academic book chapter that needed to be completed with a quick turnaround time, and Savanna more than exceeded my expectations. I am used to using APA, and the publishers required CMoS; Savanna not only caught my (numerous) formatting errors but also made sure that I knew why the corrections were required. This helped me recognize where I was using the Chicago Manual incorrectly while I polished the final submission. In addition, I was appreciative of the thoughtful suggestions that Savanna offered that not only helped clarify the points I was making, which made the writing stronger and more interesting to the reader (or so I can hope). I highly recommend Savanna and her editing work for any graduate students or academics."

Danielle Lorenz, Ph.D. Candidate


"I can't recommend Savanna enough as a managing editor and publishing consultant. She expertly led our copy editing and writing team through major changes at Market Realist. Savanna’s ability to juggle multiple projects while triaging posts, recruiting, and training was a key component at the company. As a team member or leader, Savanna earns my highest recommendation."

Sarah Stinnissen, Freelance Editor


"Savanna worked quickly to respond to my needs and was very helpful. Her feedback was on point, provoking thought and rewrites that helped guide my novel in the right direction. She was fast and encouraging, filling in the gaps in the manuscript that were my weaknesses. She was accurate and to the point, and her insights made sense to me. I will definitely use Savanna's editorial services again."

Emma Buratti, Novelist


"Working with Savanna was a dream. The copy on my website was initially weak and inconsistent, but once Savanna had a chance to work her editing magic, she was able to provide clarity, an accurate tone of voice, and a consistent point of view. She helped present my brand in a way that made me feel confident about what I do, and because of this I knew my potential clients would further connect with my work. Savanna was also really efficient with her edits and was able to provide a quick turnaround that helped launch my site on time."

J. Avolio, Entrepreneur


"It was such a pleasure to work with Savanna at ANOKHI Magazine. Her enthusiasm for the craft and my full confidence in her abilities as a copy editor/fact checker made my hectic job less so. She embraced every task with such fervour and was very detail-oriented to boot. She often exceeded my expectations effortlessly. Deadlines were never an issue, as eleventh-hour editing is usually the case with digital publishing and she was up to the task every single time."

Hina P. Ansari, ANOKHI Magazine


"Savanna manages a copy editing team responsible for ensuring over 4,000 articles are published timely and accurately each month. She is a true professional, handling an ever-changing and fast-paced environment. Her editing team enjoys working for her yet respects her wholeheartedly, which creates an ideal atmosphere both for her team and for senior management. Simply put, she created and runs a well-oiled machine. Her ability to implement a rules-based style sheet with clear examples allows members with varying writing and analytical abilities to work cohesively from initial thought to writing, and finally to publishing. The fact that she is able to transform articles that are written by non-native English-speaking individuals into cohesive, well thought-out research, in a difficult area like finance, is a testament to her ability. If I were given an opportunity to hire Savanna in a management role, even outside of writing, copy edit, managing editing, et cetera, I would."

Adam Perlaky, Market Realist


"Savanna is thorough, detail-oriented and consistent and often returns her work ahead of deadline. She has a strong working knowledge of Canadian Press Style and quickly learned our in-house style guide. She replied to emails promptly, she's comfortable with limited direction and she's not afraid to ask questions—an absolute pleasure to work with."

Sophie Tolias, ANOKHI Magazine


"Savanna has been an integral part of our website content marketing team since we hired her for professional proofreading and editing. She has always accepted challenge and coped with even tremendous amounts of content while maintaining high quality and speed. Savanna is a great, reliable team player who has never let us down."

Jan Andrejko, Foliovision


"During our time together as editors, Savanna led incisive and considerate interviews with well-known Canadian writers and editors like Vivek Shraya, Tamara Faith Berger, Mark Medley, Jonathan Bell, and Jillian and Mariko Tamaki. I was impressed with her level of preparation, her careful reading of literary work, and her passion for all things literary. Savanna also dedicated many hours in services of editing and copy-editing interviews for CWILA. Savanna is a hard-working, professional, creative individual held in high regard by her colleagues and collaborators."

Andrea Bennett, National Magazine Award–Winning Writer


"Savanna has helped us reduce our copy editing issues from multiple times per week to once every couple of months. Of course, our clients have been much happier since she started copy editing all of our public written work. Savanna has adjusted with great flexibility to spike in our activity, allowing our team to focus on their creative work, increasing production still further. Plus, everyone on our team enjoys working with Savanna."

Alec Kinnear, Foliovision


Savanna's course work was executed with care and intelligence, demonstrating a deep respect for writers' efforts and intentions. Her commitment to the art of editing shone through in her work, which was strong from the start and became ever more polished over time. I recognized Savanna as someone excited by the possibility of prose and how to engage with it—a student who welcomed constructive feedback and delivered outstanding results. She has never failed to impress me. I have, in fact, nominated Savanna for two past awards for literary merit."

Noelle Zitzer, Ryerson University


"Savanna not only provides expert proofreading and copy editing services, but she was also able to learn our internal processes instantly and jump on board smoothly. She is fast, flexible, and proactive."

Martin Vlachynsky, Foliovision


"Savanna has a solid understanding of Canadian trade publishing processes. I think she would make a valuable addition to any organization."

Mike O'Connor, Ryerson University


"Savanna has great attention to detail and is a quick learner."

Mona Datt, eDecree


"Savanna is a results-driven professional eager to gain significant and diverse experience in a variety of roles. Her focus lies in collaborating with colleagues to provide value for clients by meeting their goals and exceeding their expectations. Savanna is a leader who takes responsibility for her work both individually and in team environments and thrives in fast-paced work environments with tight deadlines and limited direction."

David Alexander, Arbitrage Magazine


"Savanna did a great job cleaning up words of encouragement and deleting some redundant utterances while retaining the contextual cues and flow of our interviews. Thanks to her help, our transcript is in good shape for depositing at the library."

Charlotte Kwok Glasser, Stanford Historical Society


"Savanna is a powerhouse writer and helped this nonprofit score funding when we were denied in the past."

Emma Connolly, WriteMemphis


"We have been impressed and touched by Savanna's reliable, efficient, and timely services. Well done, Savanna. We look forward to continuing to thrive with your contributions to our success."

Elischia Fludd, EOTO World


"Savanna is an exceptional and professional editor and writer. She is dependable, punctual, reliable, and enthusiastic."

Duncan Parviainen, Entrepreneur

Courses & Seminars

Graduate studies in publishing—from developmental editing to ebook design and book sales.

Editing Trade Fiction
Substantive and Stylistic Editing
Copy Editing for Books, Journals, and Reports
Digital Publishing and Production
The Business of Book Publishing
Indexing for Books, Journals, and Reports
Publishing Overview: Trade
Publishing Overview: Education
Scholarly and Reference Publishing
Publishing for Children

Graduate studies in fiction writing and literary analysis—from Giovanni Boccaccio to Jhumpa Lahiri.

Elements of Fiction I
Elements of Fiction II
Creative Writing Dissertation Portfolio (Short Story Collection)
Literary Studies, Fiction I
Literary Studies, Fiction II

Professional-association courses and seminars. (The EAC is also known as Editors Canada.)

That Crepuscular Light: Metaphors and Their Hazards
The Real Story Behind Business Writing
Reading Pictures: How to Edit Graphic Novels
Beyond the Plain Language Edit
Copyright Issues in e-Merging Methods and Markets
Our Changing Language: When Does Wrong Become Right?
Editing Translations / Réviser les traductions
An Introduction to Project Management
Tabula Rasa: Setting Content Free with Tablet Magazines
Working with Self-Publishing Authors
Principes directeurs en révision professionelle
No, the Law Does Not (Normally) Require Legalese
Alternatives to Editing: Working on a Self-Publisher’s Budget
Editing for the Web without Lowering Your Standards
Editing Copy for the Mobile Web and App Development
The “General Public” as Audience Is Not an Amorphous Mass
Book Typography 101
Copy Editing and Corpus Linguistics
Developing a House Style Guide
Editing for Advertising and Marketing
Interpreting Social Media Analytics
The Nuts and Bolts of Copy Editing Fiction
Editing in Online Entertainment
When to Use Bad English
Introduction to STEM Editing
Editing Award-Winning Proposals
Manuscript Evaluation
You're Entitled to My Opinion: Editing Essays, Short Non-Fiction, and Op-Eds

Professional development seminars hosted by the Australia and New Zealand–based IPEd.

Achieving Clarity through Plain Language
Fiction Editing

Continuing education from various writing and editing organizations.

The Magic of Macros (Microsoft Word), National Association of Independent Writers & Editors (NAIWE), 2020
Recognizing and Removing Nonempathetic Language in Biomedical Communication, American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), 2021
English as a Lingua Nordica: An English of Our Own, Nordic Editors and Translators (NEaT), 2021
Microaggressions in Editing: Understanding Bias and Undoing Harm, ACES: The Society for Editing, 2021.

Get in touch!

Penticton, British Columbia
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