Tristen Bakker · Editor and word person

About me

I am a copyeditor, line editor, and developmental editor, based in Berlin, originally from Toronto, Canada. I have been doing this work full-time for eight years, though I have worked as an editor in various capacities for over twenty-five years. When I started editing, it was for film, but I have always been fascinated with the written word. I was the only kid in my grade school class who enjoyed English grammar lessons.

I live by the principle of “do no harm,” in life and in work. When I edit, I focus on retaining the author’s voice, as I feel this is one of the most important roles for an editor. I enjoy helping author’s flesh out the uniqueness of their writing while at the same time adhering to a publisher’s stylistic guidelines. And I love finding continuity and plot holes—it always gives a me a little thrill to spot and then solve these.

I edit in US, UK, and Canadian English styles. I work with independent authors, trade and hybrid publishers, non-profits, and cultural organizations.

I am also a filmmaker and musician. I know how to work with creative people on creative work because I am one. | More »

What I do

Simply put, I work with you and your words. My edit tasks can range from a precise line-by-line examination of your manuscript right through to a broad-perspective evaluation addressing voice, structure, and tone. I have worked with fiction authors on novels and short stories, memoir and poetry authors, and non-fiction authors on articles and papers in various subjects—see more on this in my portfolio of recent work.

The work that I do covers four main areas: developmental editing, line editing, copyediting, and proofreading. An individual edit can encompass one or more of these. | More »

My rates are in line with the suggested rates of the CiEP. Please contact me for a quote specific to your project.

Recent work

Desperate Valour (Storm of War: Book Two) · Copyedit, fiction
Wishes · Line edit, fantasy
Fear and Fantasy · Copyedit, poetry and short story
Triumph Over Tragedy · Line edit, memoir
A Puppet on a String · Line edit, thriller
Play Nancy Spain · Line edit, fiction
Justyce Scales of the Otherly and Obscura · Line edit, fantasy
Away With Words · Line edit, young-adult fiction
Emerging from the Smoke · Line edit, poetry anthology
A Ghost’s Shadow · Line edit, fantasy
What the Owls Told Alex · Line edit, fiction
Above Instinct · Line edit, speculative fiction

Browse all recent work »


“I was very pleased with Tristen's attention to detail and professionalism during her editing of my new historical novel Desperate Valour. Of equal importance, she understood my genre and the need to balance two-hundred-year-old dialogues and culture while making the book appealing for modern readers. She was in regular contact with me, asking questions to strengthen the text.” Timothy Ashby, PhD, JD, MBA · Author, Florida, USA
“Tristen’s corrections are the most detailed ones I have ever seen. I’ve also learned a lot from her comments.” Anita Jóri · Author and Music Historian, Universität der Künste, Berlin, Germany
“Working with Tristen was a dream—she is incredibly thorough, precise, and knowledgeable. She catches everything! A brilliant editor and copyeditor.” Christian Hawkey · Author, Poet, and Translator, Berlin, Germany
“I loved working with Tristen the most because of her great respect for others and her willingness to cooperate in solving some demanding tasks. Very kind and generous personality, with words and deeds.” Marija Zdravkovic · Painter and Designer, Modern Times Review, Belgrade, Serbia

See all testimonials »

My professional affiliations

CIEP · The Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading, a non-profit body promoting excellence in English language editing
SOCAN · Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada
FaME · Find a Music Editor

Contact me

I’m always happy to have an initial conversation about your word-related needs, so let’s talk.



Much of the work I do with words involves helping turn creative ideas into reality. Part of why I feel a sense of kinship with this work is because my own creative endeavours have been so central to my life. My work with music and film has been an ongoing commitment that I love very much. If you are curious, you can take a look at some of this work at its various homes on the web: