Maya Berger (What I Mean To Say)

Advanced Professional Member
Location Toronto, Canada
Website What I Mean To Say
Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
LinkedIn Maya Berger
Mastodon @[email protected]


Half a Soul Ten Thousand Stitches Longshadow Notes from the Burning Age Far From the Light of Heaven there are more things by Yara Rodrigues Fowler Consolation Songs Rainbow Milk None of These are True A Wife's Secret by Tori Cooper The List Writer's Lust The Elf Who Wanted to Whistle with her Ears All But What's Left Ghoster The Undoing of Arlo Knott Becoming Canadian Approaching Paradise Green and Pleasant Land A Century of Dystopia Futility Endgame To Catch A Fox Chasing Checkers: Acceleration Band of Wild Ones

Your writing is important to you, be it a work of fiction, an academic paper, web copy, or any other text. My aim as an editorial professional is to make sure that what you mean to say comes across to your readers as clearly as possible.

More information about my background and my approach is available on my website.

Whatever your editorial needs, get in touch for a quote or a chat about how I can help you.

Students and Academics

Are you:

  • A student looking for an expert to ensure your paper conforms to your department's style guide?​
  • A journal editor looking for style and formatting consistency across all the articles in a volume or issue?
  • A multilingual English speaker looking for help polishing the English in your writing?
  • An academic supervisor looking for a professional and reliable proofreader to recommend to your students?

I specialize in the arts, humanities (in particular, philosophy and literary theory), social sciences (in particular, political science and gender studies), education, and business and management studies.

More information about my services for students and academics is available here.

Fiction Authors

I can help make your words resonate with your readers, whether by collaborating with you at the story development stage, copy-editing your writing to ensure consistency in narrative flow and style, or providing a final proofread to fix distracting typos and formatting issues before you publish your story.

I specialize in literary fictionspeculative fiction (including sci fi, fantasy, and utopian and dystopian fiction), and romance and erotica (including LGBTQIA+kink, BDSM, and open / poly and other non-traditional relationships).

Find out more about my services for fiction authors here.

Editorial Professionals

Fellow self-employed editorial professionals! Are you keen to track your average hourly rates, working speed, expenses, invoice payments and other business admin, but unsure where to start? The Editor's Affairs (TEA), my system of Excel tools, lets you record and analyze all this and more with formula-powered spreadsheets that do the calculating for you.

Work History

  • Self-employed editor and proofreader: May 2016 to present
  • Interim Department Manager, Department of Chemistry, King's College London: January–September 2017
  • Funding Editor, *Research: March 2006–April 2016

Education and Qualifications

Education and Professional Affiliation

  • Bachelor of Arts (Joint Honours), English Literature & Philosophy, McGill University, 2004.
  • Master of Arts, Children's Literature, University of Reading, 2005.
  • Pre-intermediate level of French reading, writing and speaking.
  • Advanced Professional Member of the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP).


Continuing Professional Development

  • Consent in Fiction course from Heart of the Story, 2023.
  • Copy-editing Headway course, Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP), 2019.
  • Basic Editing by Distance Learning course, Publishing Training Centre (PTC), 2017.
  • Introduction to Proofreading course, Publishing Training Centre (PTC), 2007.


Training Delivered

  • Hosted 'Business Data for Freelance Editors' webinar for the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA), June 2023.

  • Delivered 'Business Data for Self-Employed Language Professionals' seminar at the Professional Editors' Guild (PEG) 30th Anniversary Conference, May 2023.

  • Delivered 'Excel Tips for Self-employed Editors' workshop for Editors British Columbia, January 2023.

  • Delivered 'Business Data for Freelance Editors' seminar at the ACES Accelerate 2022 Virtual Conference.

  • Delivered 'Business Data for Freelance Editors' seminar at the 2022 Editors Canada Online Annual Conference.

  • Delivered 'Business Data for Freelance Editors' seminar at the 2021 Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) Online Annual Conference.

  • Delivered 'Excel Tips for Self-employed Editors' workshop at the 2021 Institute of Professional Editors Limited (IPEd) Online Annual Conference.

  • Delivered 'Excel Tips for Self-employed Language Professionals' workshop as part of the SENSE (Society of English-language Professionals in the Netherlands) Sizzling Summer Workshops 2021 programme.

  • Delivered 'Excel Tips for Editors' seminar at the 2021 Editors Canada Online Annual Conference.

  • Delivered 'Excel Tips for Editors' seminar at the 2020 Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) Online Annual Conference.

  • Delivered 'Editing Sex Scenes in Fiction' seminar at the 2019 and 2022 Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) Annual Conferences.

  • Delivered 'Editing Erotic Fiction' seminar at the 2018 Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading (CIEP) Annual Conference.


Maya's copyediting work on my novel Far From the Light of Heaven was exemplary.

Tade Thompson, Author (Orbit Books)

Maya was the copy editor for my novel there are more things. She was contracted through my publisher Little, Brown. I was blown away by Maya’s care and diligence with the text, which is formally experimental and includes many words and phrases in Portuguese. Maya checked over 100 Indigenous group names, spotted missing accents on Portuguese words, googled historical characters and checked my timeline, among many other things. I was particularly impressed by her thoughtfulness when it came to language around race, where Maya suggested, for example, that ‘Black’ could be capitalised. Her work made me more confident in my own text. In my opinion, Maya is the kind of copy editor that the publishing industry needs.

Yara Rodrigues Fowler
​Author (Fleet Books)

Maya is professional and friendly, and she’s a really talented editor. Her feedback is thorough and respectful, and she’s a lot of fun to work with. Highly recommend!

Carrie Mumford
Independent Author

Maya’s proofreading work on my book manuscript was in a word, excellent. Before she began the project, she gave very clear information about when she could do the work and how long it would take, as well as straightforward, helpful instructions about the payment process (which went smoothly). When she returned the manuscript with her corrections, comments, and queries (on the exact day she had promised), everything was so clear and helpful that I didn’t need to ask her any additional questions. When Maya edited particular sentences for clarity, she was always careful to ask me to check to be sure she had retained the meaning. I am especially grateful for her thorough work with the Works Cited list and in-text citations. In short, she helped me to shape the manuscript from a final draft (with emphasis on the draft, full of typos and gaps) into a book with a professional presentation. Thanks to Maya’s editing and proofreading help, it is a book I can now feel proud of having written. I also found Maya to be very personable, and I enjoyed our correspondence. I will recommend her to my colleagues working on similar projects!

Laura Castor
​Academic Author

Maya was a superb line manager during my time at *Research, and a meticulous editor and project manager. She was quick to answer queries, calm in a crisis and supportive at all stages. Her editorial feedback on my work was always pinpoint-accurate and extremely helpful. Maya's attention to detail is second to none, and she's a real pleasure to work with.

Kirsten Irving
Freelance Copywriter, Poet, Editor and Voice Actor

Maya's work for us has been of a high standard and we’re very happy with it.

Leah McAteer
Commissioning Editor, Cambridge Scholars Publishing

Maya was always professional and friendly, and a pleasure to work with overall.  Her editing work on my fantasy novel was thorough and precise, and her notes and suggestions provided clarity and were extremely valuable in allowing me to produce the best possible version of my book.  Her perspective on the larger aspects of the story, as well as her attention to detail and consistency with the writing and characters, were never less than excellent.  I’m very appreciative of the job she did, and would absolutely work with her again in the future.

Michael Leibner
Independent Author

It was a great pleasure to work with Maya, everything was so clear and accurate.

Magdalena Ślusarczyk
​Academic Editor and Author

Thank you so much to Maya Berger for proof-reading my PhD thesis. She has done a great job, and I am very pleased with her proof-reading service. With large proof-reading agencies you run the risk that your proofer will be someone without sufficient language or academic skills, but with Maya I could discuss my requirements with her directly. Her working style is very accurate and she pays close attention to grammar, English use, and spelling, and thereby improved my work immensely. She was able to deal with the complexity of human behaviour research and all the vocabulary related to it. Moreover, her comments and edits were clear, precise and comprehensive. Last but not least, her responses were also very quick and she delivered what she promised, namely returning the material back to me in the time agreed. I can definitely recommend Maya.

Joerg Berberich
PhD Researcher

Maya of What I Mean To Say was a pleasure to work with, every step of the way. She artfully combined a tactful and thoughtful approach to my short story, with the literary intelligence and rigour that I would expect from a professional editor. Her structural edits and her proofread queries resulted in suggestions that I in nearly all cases accepted without needing to revert for clarity, and her attention to style and consistency were really helpful. I would look forward to any future opportunities to work with Maya.

Gerard Ralphs
Independent Author

After trying a few editors who wanted to change my writing style and voice beyond recognition, I finally found Maya, and thought, 'Yes!' Maya took care to understand exactly what I wanted and what style I was after, then made fine-tuned corrections and lightly brushed up my story, like polishing something very delicate. She caught my mistakes without changing the story's voice. Excellent!

Marie S

It has been a pleasure to work with Maya. She does an exquisite job. Unlike with some other proofreaders, your work doesn’t fail publisher spot-checks over and over again. She knows how to plan her time, she is friendly, supportive and solution oriented. Her strategic guidance is brilliant. Additionally, her response time is also very quick and she delivers the material back in the time agreed. I definitely recommend Maya. I look forward to working with her on future projects.

A. Kara
Academic Author

Maya worked under my supervision as a freelance editor at Tri Active Media. She sub-edited fiction and non-fiction features across a range of lifestyle magazines, and her language skills, eye for detail and ability to meet tight deadlines were real assets. In addition, Maya was a pleasure to work with, professional at all times, and respectful of sensitive subject matters and our diverse readership. I would highly recommend Maya as an editor and would not hesitate to work with her again in the future.

Sarah Berry

I have to thank Maya for editing my paper. I am impressed with the great attention to detail, improvement in clarity, and overall advice around style and flow of the work. I think service is very efficient and effective, and would highly recommend her.

Mohammad Sarshar, LLB