About Us

The foundation of Firefly Communications Experts lies in the extensive publishing, writing, editing, and marketing experience of owners Lisa Muirhead and Tom Penner and the creative team they have assembled.

Lisa Muirhead

Director, Editing & Training

  • 15 years of writing, editing, marketing, teaching and publishing experience.
  • Education: BA, MA, and BEd, and professional editing training through Simon Fraser Publishing Institute and the Manitoba Editor’s Association.
  • Has developed and taught communication training at the University of Winnipeg and with the federal government’s Canadian School of Public Service.
  • 15 years of publishing and editing experience, including such publications as Mosaic, a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature; The Cellar Door; Houston Polo; Calgary Polo; Grassroots News; The Crusader, The Manitoban, and with organizations such as the International Institute for Sustainable Development, the Global Subsidies Initiative, and the Manitoba Centre for Nursing and Health Research.
  • Owner of Poise Publications www.poisepublications.com, which has published over 20 high-end glossy custom magazines.

Tom Penner

Director, Editing & Training

  • 15 years of teaching, editing, and writing experience.
  • Education: BA (honours) and MA
  • Taught language, literature, editing, and business writing at the University of Winnipeg in the Departments of English and Rhetoric, Communication and Writing, as well as its Division of Continuing Education and English Language Program.
  • Taught onsite classes in business writing and editing for clients such as the Manitoba Lotteries Commission and developed online training curricula for Alberta’s First Nations Policing Committee and Commission.
  • Has edited research papers in the fields of sustainable development and literature for over 12 years.
  • Has been published in Canadian Literature, the Journal of Mennonite Studies, and the Mennonite Quarterly Review.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Firefly?

Firefly Communications Experts is based in Winnipeg, Canada. We combine over 30 years of experience in both editing and teaching to provide services to businesses and individuals worldwide.

What is the difference between proofreading and copy editing?

Proofreading a text involves reading carefully for such things as typos, grammar issues, and spelling errors. Copy editing goes further, and includes editing for house/industry style, consistency of tone and voice, and markup for production (including copy fitting).

What is developmental editing?

While there are some variations on how this term may be defined, at Firefly we view the developmental editing process as involving significant structuring or restructuring of a manuscript, including such things as tone, organization, and rewriting/rephrasing as necessary to guarantee a smooth reading flow. The ultimate goal of any piece of professional writing should be communicating its point(s) clearly and accurately. In developmental editing we help ensure that the content of the piece is optimized before it goes to the proofreading or copy editing stages.

How long is the turnaround time for submitted work?

This will depend, of course, on the size and requirements of the project as well as its place in our workflow. We work hard to provide fast service, while at the same time maintaining our dedication to product quality. Generally speaking, the fewer stages required (simple proofreading, for example) the faster the turnaround time. We will always be clear when providing quotes on time-sensitive documents.

What about communications training?

Both Lisa and Tom have extensive experience as educators in the private and public sectors. As trainers, we seek to apply that experience to help business professionals and companies enhance their writing capabilities and confidence. The end goal is to enhance your ability to communicate more effectively with clients, customers, and within your professional environment.

Where does training take place?

We offer onsite training at your workplace or, should the situation require it, a secondary facility. We also offer online training that can be customized to proceed at the pace you require. See our course selection pages for more details.

I have a small company, but would like to offer some online training courses customized for our industry. Can your online courses be useful?

Our online courses can be customized to suit any size of business operating in just about any industry. Whether you need courses for 5 or 500 employees, we can offer an online solution to meet your needs.