Amanda Lewis

Short bio

I am a professional editor and project manager based in Toronto, but with strong West Coast roots. I am a longtime environmental activist with experience directing communications strategies for grassroots organizations, as well as corporate social responsibility for a large publishing house. I am also a certified yoga instructor who understands the nuances of communicating different styles of yoga, in the studio and on the page.

Longer bio

I was born beside the Liffey River in Dublin, raised near the Fraser River in British Columbia, and now reside on the shores of Lake Ontario, where I regularly dream of temperate forests.

For my 9 to 5, I edit fiction and non-fiction with the Knopf Random Canada Publishing Group at Penguin Random House Canada, and am particularly drawn to books that address environmental issues and social change (please see Books for examples). I also direct the Penguin Random House Canada Green Committee.

Books I’ve worked on have become #1 national and international bestsellers; won the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Governor General’s Literary Award, Hilary Weston/Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, Edna Staebler Award for Non-Fiction, Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, Ontario Legislative Assembly Speaker’s Book Award, and the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction; and been nominated for the Trillium Book Award and Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize; among other accolades.

Before joining Penguin Random House Canada, I worked at Rebus Creative in Vancouver, where I coordinated the Adopt-a-Library Program, which distributes notable books by BC authors to schools throughout the province.

I hold an MA in English literature and a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning in higher education, both from the University of British Columbia. For my MA I specialized in spatial studies, book history/print culture, American literature, and autobiography. I also studied publishing and editing at Simon Fraser University and Ryerson University. I am the recipient of a Graduate Entrance Scholarship and SSHRC Canadian Graduate Scholarship, the Butler Award, Garner Book Publishing Award, and Rosemary Shipton Award for Excellence in Book Editing.

I commute and tour by bike, and I’ve been a cycling advocate for years, working most closely as a volunteer with Cycle Toronto. In 2012 I was recognized as Cycle Toronto “Volunteer of the Year.”

To combine my love of books and bikes, I co-founded The Reading Line, an annual book ride that promotes local authors and raises awareness of routes in need of infrastructure improvements.

I am a longtime environmental activist, and served as the media director and communications coordinator with Toronto350.org, the local network affiliate of 350.org, dedicated to addressing the climate crisis.

I am a former volunteer with Park People and sit on the Friends of the Green Line working group and the #Jane100 Design & Art Committee, celebrating the legacy of Jane Jacobs.

I am a certified yoga instructor, trained in vinyasa, hatha, and restorative yoga. I completed a one-year internship in restorative yoga with Angela Greco at Ahimsa Yoga in Toronto.

I am passionate about communication, self-care, simple living, vegan food, and overalls.

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Lewis_UofT_April2015_closer
The University of Toronto has excellent trees. Photo credit: Milan Ilnyckyj.

About Pushcoast

Push

Pedalling uphill.

Making an effort.

Pushing for change.

Abhyasa/Practice.

Coast

Cruising downhill.

Relaxing.

The landscape that holds me.

Vairagya/Non-attachment.

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