Contact Heather


Get a Quote

If you have an inquiry about editing or coaching, email Heather at If you would like a quote for a piece of writing, fill in the information below. If you are a student from the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy or the School of Environment and Sustainability, email Heather at

I will get back to you within two business days.

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    Structural editing —making major changes to a manuscript (e.g., changing the order of ideas or rewriting parts of the text). *
    Stylistic editing—improving the style of a manuscript (e.g., enhancing sentence structure, improving flow, and reducing wordiness).
    Copy editing and proofreading—correcting grammatical, punctuation, and spelling errors, refining word choice, imposing consistency on the manuscript, and querying information that needs checking for accuracy.
    *To ensure academic integrity, before structurally editing a thesis or dissertation, I will need permission from your supervisor.
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Latest News & Resources

Writing a Winning Scholarship Application

The fall term has barely started, and already graduate students are writing to me for advice on how to craft their scholarship applications. This blog provides some advice on how to prepare a successful application.

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“This” what? Pairing “This” with a Noun

Have you ever read a sentence starting with “this” that perplexes you because you don’t know what “this” refers to? Sentences starting with “this” often confuse readers. The ambiguity occurs when the reader can’t identify the noun “this” replaces. I call “this” with no clear antecedent noun an orphaned “this.” Technically it’s known as a dangling demonstrative pronoun.

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Decluttering Your Writing

Do you want to express hard ideas in crisp, powerful sentence? Even better, do you want to engage your readers? In this blog, I want to show you how to “declutter” your sentences, ejecting excess words and stripping the writing of unnecessary complexity. There once was a time when convoluted sentences and long words were the hallmark of academic sophistication. No longer. Writing plainly is the new requirement.

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Heather Jane McWhinney

Portrait of Heather McWhinney

For my entire career, I’ve been immersed in academic writing and editing. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in English and a Master of Arts in Library Science, I worked in academic publishing, where I was Acquisitions Editor and later Publisher and Editorial Director for a large textbook publisher in Toronto. In 1999, I established my own business as a project manager and editor of nursing textbooks. In 2012, I completed my credentials for teaching English as a Second Language and then began teaching academic and scientific writing to graduate students at the University of Saskatchewan. Later, I became the university’s Graduate Writing Specialist. In this role, I coached individual students and gave numerous workshops across campus on how to craft theses and dissertations, journal papers, grant and scholarship applications, and statements.

I currently work part time at the University of Saskatchewan as Student Writing Advisor for the School of Environment and Sustainability. I am also Student Writing Advisor at the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, where I teach academic and professional writing courses.