Our Mission

It’s time for you and your story to come first.

For far too long, independent authors have struggled with services and companies that promise the world but only seem to deliver a big bill. We’re here to change that.

Our goal is to help writers create better books and allow them to keep most of the profit. That’s why we offer first-rate services that are affordable and easy for emerging and existing authors. Let’s get back to what matters: your story.

Why Writers First

Writers First connects you with independent industry professionals who want to support independent writers. We’re here to help you with manuscript evaluation, editing, publishing, distribution and marketing — we have everything in one place. 

Team of professionals

Independent industry professionals are ready and willing to support you and your story.

For independent authors

We're independent. Our team of professionals are independent. We get it, and we've got your back.

One stop shop

We want to make this easy, and that's why we have everything in one place for you.

Meet our team

Founder & Writer
Mike Martin

Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland, and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer whose articles and essays have appeared in print and online publications across Canada, the United States, and New Zealand.  Mike has written numerous short stories and has been published in Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

Mike is the author of “Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People” and the Newfoundland mystery series Sgt. Windflower Mystery. His novel “Darkest Before the Dawn” won the Bony Blithe Award for the best light mystery of the year in 2019. Mike also authored the memoir “Christmas in Newfoundland” and is the Past Chair of Crime Writers of Canada.

Founder & Writer
Michael Kent

Michael Kent is a retired international management consultant and private pilot. A native of Montreal, he is fully bilingual, and normally in the same sentence. “My speaking voice is a mystery. I speak English with a French accent, French with an English accent, and my Italian sounds Spanish. All of the above, spoken with an Irish lilt.”

Michael’s fiction always has a tinge of humor and a special twist to the tale. Michael is the creator of the Lieutenant Beaudry mystery series and has penned winning short stories on Writers on the Net, Writer’s Village University, Flash Me Magazine, and won first in a flash and two ‘drabble’ contests. He is an active writer and reviewer on The Next Big Writer, and active member of Crime Writers of Canada.

Co-founder & Poet
Cassie Doubleday

cassie doubleday

Cassie Doubleday is a poet, journalist, and startup kid. As the former music journalist and Arts and Culture Editor for ForgetTheBox.net (FTB), Cassie spent most of her 20s running around Montreal and Toronto interviewing bands, going to shows, and launching one of the only Anglophone blogzines in Montreal at the time. Aside from FTB, she’s worked in startups as an SEO Analyst, Social Media Manager, and was a head hunter for FEDs and UX designers.

Cassie has a graduate in journalism from Concordia and her work has been published by Montreal Writes, Indolent Books, Subversions Magazine, The Canadian University Press, Cult MTL, and others. 

These days she’s living in Europe and working with WF for tech, creative, and business. 


John Baglow

Jon Baglow

John Baglow is a writer and researcher who holds three advanced degrees in literature (PhD and MA) and anthropology (MA). 

Throughout his writing career, he has published books, articles in learned journals, and scores of op-eds and other opinion pieces. He has contributed to articles to the Canadian Labour Institute and is a long study of public healthcare in eight European countries.

Karen Boston

Karen Boston holds a BA in English and MFA in Creative Writing. For the past 20+ years, she’s worked for both indie presses and the Big Five. 

Karen’s editing touch has helped improve everything from dystopian YA thrillers to heartrending memoirs, and many of the books she’s edited have found their way onto various bestseller lists and received numerous awards.

Alice Bruce

Alison Bruce is a long-time freelance writer and editor who specializes in marketing for small businesses. She’s helped create content for college and business courses and written articles for community publications, including business news for the City of Guelph Development Department.

Alison is the author of six books published in the mystery, romantic suspense, and historical genres. She is the Publications Manager for Crime Writers of Canada and has also managed a comic book store. She also knows graphic design and print layout.

Bernadette Cox​​

Bernadette Cox

After working 10 years as a journalist and 21 years in agriculture communications, Bernadette Cox became a solopreneur, writing and editing both fiction and non-fiction for several clients. 

Bernadette specializes in not specializing, and her projects involve diverse subject matter including the environment, municipal affairs, health and labour relations. She has edited several books for award-winning author Mike Martin, including Darkest Before the Dawn which won the Bony Blithe Award for best light mystery of the year in 2019. 

Cheryl Freedman

Cheryl Freedman

Cheryl Freedman has been a freelance editor for over 20 years, working primarily in the fields of crime fiction, fantasy, and memoirs/biographies. She does manuscript evaluations and substantive/structural editing as well as book design and layout. 

As executive director for Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) for 10 years and as one of the principals of the Bloody Words Mystery Conference (BW), she designed, edited, and produced book catalogues and the online newsletter (CWC) and the conference souvenir program books (BW). She is currently the chair of the Bloody Words Light Mystery Award (aka the Bony Blithe Award).

Elaine Freedman

Elaine Freedman

Elaine Freedman has worked as a freelance editor for over 30 years. Although she edits both fiction and non-fiction, and enjoys a good crime fiction manuscript. She was editor, designer, and desktop publisher of Seeds of Diversity, the Seeds of Diversity Canada magazine for 20 or so years. 

She has been a judge for both the CWC Arthur Ellis Awards (in the short story and first novel categories) and the Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award, and is the author of several short stories, plays, and Bloody Words crime scene collaborations. 

An expert on poisonous plants, she is known in the crime-writing community for her illustrated talks to Bloody Words and Bony Blithe cons, Sisters in Crime Toronto, the Bootmakers, and as a webinar to Crime Writers of Canada.

Jen Gilroy

Jen Gilroy

Jen Gilroy is an author and freelance editor who offers developmental editing, manuscript appraisal, and copyediting services. She specializes in commercial women’s fiction and all sub-genres of romance.

Jen has been published by Grand Central Forever, Penguin Verlag, and Soul Mate Publishing. Her first book, The Cottage at Firefly Lake, was a finalist for Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart® award in 2015. It was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Joan Hessayon Award 2017. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association and Women’s Fiction Writers Association.

Alex Zych

Alex Zych for Writers First

Alex Zych has always had a knack for correcting grammar and spelling. As a young child, she would ask for spelling quizzes for fun. To this day, Alex cringes when radio ads and print materials have grammatical errors. Don’t get her started on the “less” and “fewer” atrocities she sees on a daily basis. 

If you are looking for assistance with proofreading your work or streamlining wordy materials, the “Grammar Queen” is here for you.

Manuscript Evaluation Editors

TR Perri

TR Perri lives in rural Connecticut with his wife and son, and enjoys reading both fiction and nonfiction. TR has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing, and specializes in developmental editing, but offers manuscript evaluation, copyediting, and proofreading services. His years of experience editing many types of fiction allows him to help develop the author’s vision.

Caro Soles

Caro Soles

Caro Soles has published 15 novels from sf, erotica, mystery and literature. She taught writing for twenty-five years, first at Seneca College and then George Brown, where she designed the Writing a Novel Courses. Caro is the founder of the Bloody Words Mystery Conference and is a member of the Crime Writers of Canada, the Writers’ Union of Canada, Sisters in Crime and is on the board of directors of the International Association of Crime Writers. She lives in Toronto, loves opera, ballet and dachshunds, especially one called Henry.

Allister Thompson

Allister Thompson

Allister Thompson has been a full-time professional editor since 1998 and spent 15 years working in-house for two Canadian publishers. He has edited in all genres of non-fiction and fiction for adults and children, with specialties in crime fiction and fantasy and sci-fi.

Web Developer

David Davis is a Web Developer with over 20 years of experience. David specializes in website setup and configuration, SEO, theme customization, graphic design, e-commerce, and social media. He’s with WordPress, Drupal and Shopify platforms.

Promotional Partners

Books Go Social

Books Go Social (BGS) is an international book marketing, production, and author support service created to help authors succeed. We assist authors with advertising services such as complete book promotion packages, Amazon and Facebook ads, and audiobook promotion

Pump Up Your Book!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning blog tour company that offers virtual blog tours to help promote books by independent authors as well as author publicity and Social Media support.

kindle book reviews

Kbookpromotions (KBP) is an ebook subscription service helping readers discover new and recommended self-published books they’ll enjoy, while providing authors with the means to drive sales and get new reviews. Their focus is on quality rather than quantity. Their readers tend to be much more likely than average to leave reviews, among the highest review percentage in the industry in fact.

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