Essential Edits
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Essential Edits Staff

Dr. Robert Runté

Robert Runté, Ph.D. (Senior Editor / Writing Coach specializing in Science Fiction & Fantasy)
Robert started as an SF reviewer, critic, and zine editor in the 1970s, worked as a Test Development Specialist (editor/writer) with Alberta Education in the 1980s, professor at the University of Lethbridge 1990-2013, and was Senior Editor with Five Rivers Publishing 2009-2018. He founded in July, 2010, and in 2016. He has edited over 40 successful books, 30 of which were traditionally published. The late Dave Duncan called him "the best editor I've ever worked with" and willed his incomplete manuscripts to Robert to finish.

During Dr. Runté's career as an academic, he has coedited a fiction anthology and a popular university textbook; had 25 book chapters, 14 journal articles, 7 encyclopedia entries published, written 3 commissioned government reports, and 1 online curriculum resource (90,000 visitors); presented 67 conference papers, 37 faculty, university, and community presentations; and self-published ten open-source resources (see the links page for those relevant to writers). He has three Aurora Awards for his literary criticism. As an experienced thesis supervisor and committee member, he has helped students write award- and scholarship-winning theses, and two of the theses he supervised were subsequently published as books.

In terms of his own writing, his short fiction has been published over 90 times in a variety of magazines, anthologies, and podcasts, several of which were reprinted in "best of" collections, and one of which was short listed for an Aurora Award.

You can see Dr. Runté in this one-minute video excerpt on teaching and research at the UofL; or in this two-minute video about acquiring and developing books for Five Rivers Publishing, presented at launch of Joe Mahoney's A Time and a Place; or listen to his thirty-minute speech on English teachers, fan fiction, and the future of publishing, as Editor Guest at When Words Collide (2016).You can read some of his research on ResearchGate. Dr. Runté's full career CV.

Robert is a member of the Calgary Association of Freelance Editors, the Writers Guild of Alberta, and Past President of WordBridge (annual Lethbridge Writers' Conference).


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Popular education textbook
co-edited by Dr. Runté

Tesseracts 5 cover

Anthology of Canadian speculative fiction
co-edited by Robert Runté

Elizabeth McLachlan (Editor/Writing Coach specializing in memoir, non-fiction & theses)
Elizabeth is the author of four Western Canadian non-fiction works published from NeWest Press: With Unshakeable Persistence: Rural Teachers of the Depression Era, Unfailing Dedication: Rural Teachers in the War Years, Gone But Not Forgotten: Tales of the Disappearing Grain Elevators, and Herbert Has Lots for a Buck (about small town Alberta—including the Town of Herbert—coming up with plans for revitalization). She also writes for a variety of magazines, including the University of Lethbridge's Legacy.

She has served as a jury member for the Alberta Literary Awards, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and the High Plains Book Award. Elizabeth has been editing and mentoring aspiring writers since 1999 and has worked with Brindle & Glass Publishing, TouchWood Editions, and Heritage House Publishing. She provides editing and coaching for thesis, dissertation, memoir, non-fiction manuscripts and is familiar with both Chicago and APA styles.

Elizabeth is focused on serving clients in a safe, non-threatening, supportive, and friendly manner. She can meet with writers in person or work exclusively through e-mail and phone. Her approachable, easygoing style is a balm to writers who may be nervous about being edited. She is also available for workshops on writing..

McLachlan's Full Resumé. Elizabeth is a member of Editors Association of Canada (Editors Canada) and the Writers Guild of Alberta.


One of Elizabeth's four popular non-fiction books.

Lorina Stephens (Senior Editor/Writing Coach specializing in Canadian Literature)
Lorina Stephens offers the benefit of 40 years of experience in the publishing industry, having worked all sides of the publishing desk. Starting as a freelance journalist for regional and national periodicals, she became editor of a lifestyle magazine and then in 2008, opened her own publishing company. Five Rivers Publishing gave voice to 32 Canadian authors, including such luminaries as Dave Duncan, Nate Hendley, H.A. Hargreaves, Ann Marston, , C.P. Hoff and Paula Johanson, along with eight of Lorina’s own books. Changing life circumstances in 2020 led her to close the publishing side of Five Rivers, but it remains an editing company working with authors to develop and structure their novels and books, as well as offering copy-editing services. She is lead editor for Canadian Literature.

Well respected within the publishing community, Lorina Stephens was a keynote speaker at the 2022 Editors Canada Conference. .

Her home page for editorial services is Five Rivers Editorial.

Lorina Stephens’ most recent of four novels, two short story collections, a memoir and a cookbook.


Adria Laycraft (Editor/Writing Coach, SF&F, general fiction)
Adria has a journalism degree and nearly twenty years experience as an author, copywriter, and editor. She was the co-editor of the Aurora nominated Urban Green Man anthology from Edge, her short fiction has been published in such venues as IGMS, Tesseracts, Neo-opsis, On-Spec, Hypersonic Tales and various anthologies, and her novels, Jumpship Hope (2019) and Jumpship Dissonance (2022)were published by Tyche Press.

Her home page is

Jumpship Hope
Jumpship Hope by Adria Laycraft from Tyche Books.


Halli Reid (Editor Horror, YA, Art Books)
Halli is an editor, workshop leader, writing coach, and author. She has published in Tesseracts, Carte Blanche,Spirited, We Shall Be Monsters, and other venues; was co-editor of The Dame Was Trouble anthology [Coffin Hop Press, 2018]; and is the author of the YA novel, Shifters. She has extensive experience teaching both teens and adults. Halli is Essential Edits’ lead for teen writers, YA authors, and horror, but also edits poetry and most genre fiction.

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Halli Reid's YA SF novel (writing as Halli Lilburn), Shifters.


Essential Edits staff are members of:


Last updated: Feb, 2024.