“I knew Arlene would do a good job, but I was blown away by just how good she was. An agent had identified some specific areas that could be cut from the first quarter of my novel and repurposed elsewhere, but I needed help with the ‘how.’ Concerned that cuts would shorten my already short book, I was also keen to know whether there were any areas that could benefit from new scenes. I thought I might be pushing the scope of her job description a bit—but no, Arlene was full of great ideas. She never pointed out a problem or lapse in logic without suggesting a solution. This edit was a collaborative experience that I walked away from energized, well equipped with a detailed substantive and copy edit, and ready to nail my rewrite. Don’t hesitate to hire Arlene; she’ll far surpass your expectations.”

— Maggie Findlay

Sticks and Bones: A Lucky Blackstock Mystery

Guelph, Ontario

Novel forthcoming in 2017



“I searched the websites of many editors before deciding to approach Arlene Prunkl of Penultimate Editorial Services. I was impressed with her experience as outlined in her bio. I took note of the uncommonly substantive content of her blog. But I chose based primarily on my perception that she was not one of those editors who prided herself on the severity or harshness of her criticisms. As a first-time fiction writer, I didn’t want to pay someone to gleefully savage my work.

“I made a good choice. I’m surprised at how much fun this was. Arlene’s work was painstakingly thorough as she went through every word of my nearly 95,000-word manuscript. She caught mistakes in punctuation, formatting, and English construction. She found clichés I didn’t know were there. She found inconsistencies and plot holes others hadn’t noticed. She made comments that forced me to think through my assumptions about what my readers would know and believe. She made even her harshest criticisms nicely, and was careful to tell me what was good along with what was not.

“Arlene is pleasant to talk to, responds quickly to e-mail, and does great work. What else can you ask for in an editor? Based on this first experience, I’m planning to hire her for future projects as well.”

— John F. Harrison

Fighting Back

Concord, Massachusetts

Forthcoming Dec. 2016


“Arlene took on the huge job of editing my nonfiction book Are We Running Out? The Sustainability of the World’s Resources. The manuscript has been my constant companion for the last nine years. Arlene was immensely helpful not only in making the manuscript more readable but also in the tedious work of reference checking almost 2,000 endnotes and bibliographic entries. I highly recommend her!”

— Ingrid Bryan

Are We Running Out? The Sustainability of the World's Resources

Markham, Ontario

August 2015



“What a great experience the editing was! I learned, I laughed, I felt good about my manuscript. I even started writing another book. Arlene was so inspiring. If you’ve never worked with her, you don’t know what you’re missing. If you have, you know what I mean. Arlene shares her immense knowledge readily and is always there when you need her. She suggests, challenges, explains, debates. It made me feel as if my manuscript was the only thing on her mind. Priceless. Never in a bad mood, always encouraging, she’s a real professional. Arlene loves words and writers. I learned an enormous amount about POV that I’ll apply to my next book. Thanks again, Arlene. I hope with all my heart to that we’ll get to work together again in the near future.”

— Sylvie Chartrand

Forbidden Child: A Tale of the 1970s


January 2016



“When I and my mother decided to embark on this ambitious dream of writing and publishing a children’s story about Cinderella’s daughter, complete with illustrations, we felt we were so lucky to have met you! It was worth it to wait for six months until you became available to start editing the book. The work you’ve done in polishing the story has been invaluable. Your sharp professional touch made beautiful parts of the story even more beautiful, the funny parts even funnier. Throughout the editorial process, we’ve been very impressed by your excellent work and attention to detail.”

— Nadia Goldman

Cinderella's Daughter and the Magic Angelfish

Vancouver, British Columbia

March 2015



“Arlene, I’ve been incredibly grateful to have worked with you. Not only do you possess a keen editorial eye, but you have challenged me to be a better writer and taught me so much about POV [point of view] in the process.”

— Richard Goodfellow

Collector of Secrets

Vancouver, British Columbia

March 2015