Schedule a Coffee Chat


1. Eligibility Criteria

To schedule a Coffee Chat, you must be a member in good standing of the WFNS. General membership is open to anyone who writes. Join by clicking here.

2. Advisor Profiles

Please make note of three potential advisors from the profiles below. If searching for advisors with experience in a particular genre of writing, you may type the genre into the search bar.

A.J.B. (John or Jay) Johnston

A.J.B. (John) Johnston is the author or co-author of books and museum exhibits, as well as articles in scholarly journals, magazines and newspapers. He was made a chevalier of France’s Ordre des Palmes Académiques in recognition of his body of work on Louisbourg and other French colonial topics. The best known of his history books is Endgame 1758, which won a Clio award from the Canadian Historical Assocationtion and was short-listed for the Dartmouth Book Award.

His two latest books, his 20th and 21st, will appear in 2020. First up will be Kings of Friday Night: The Lincolns (Nimbus). Then it will be Ancient World, New World: Skmaqn—Port-la-Joye—Fort Amherst (Acorn), co-authored with Jesse Francis.

In 2018, John released The Hat, a YA novel that offers a 21st-century take on the Acadian Deportation, and Something True, which was inspired by the real-life adventures of Katharine McLennan in late 19th and early 20th-century Cape Breton and in France during the First World War.

In 2017, he was Writer-in-Residence at the Center for the Writing Arts in Fairhope, Alabama. Back in 2016, John participated as a mentor to emerging writer Linda MacLean in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program. From mid-April to mid-May 2017 he combined with Sarah Sawler and Norma Jean MacPhee to offer sessions for the WFNS entitled “So You Want to be Published” in Halifax, Antigonish, Wolfville, Sydney and Yarmouth.

John has written three novels in the Thomas Pichon series: Thomas, A Secret Life in 2012; The Maze in 2114 and Crossings in 2015.

Back in 2013, Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island (Acorn), won three awards: “best-published Atlantic Book”, best PEI Non-Fiction, and a PEI Heritage Award. The French version of the book, Ni’n na L’nu: Les Mi’kmaq de l’Ile-de-Prince-Édouard, is now available from La Grand Marée (Tracadie Sheila, NB).

Released in 2015 was Grand Pré, Landscape for the World (Nimbus), co-written with Ronnie-Gilles LeBlanc.

Most of his books are available as e-books.

John writes exhibits as well, including the “Vanguard: 150 Years of Remarkable Nova Scotians” for the Nova Scotia Museum and the ground floor of the Black Cultural Centre. The award-winning travelling exhibition Ni’n na L’nu: The Mi’kmaq of Prince Edward Island opened at the Confederation Centre in Charlottetown and then travelled to the Museum of Canadian History in Gatienau, Quebec and other subsequent venues. More recently, John developed the storyline and texts for the revitalization of the Colchester Historeum in Truro. That exhibit opened officially in early 2016.

More information on John can be found at and on Facebook at A J B Johnston, Writer. John is on Twitter at @ajbjohnston and on Instagram at AJBJohnston.

John donates his papers to the Beaton Institute of the Cape Breton University.

A.J.B. (John or Jay) Johnston

Alec Bruce

Alec Bruce is an established reporter, writer and editor with a flair for producing award-winning stories. He is a nationally syndicated columnist on business, politics and social issues for Troy Media. His senior editorial positions have included those with the Globe and Mail, the Financial Times of CanadaCommercial News Magazine, the Moncton Times & Transcript, and Atlantic Business MagazineHis by-lines have appeared in ROB MagazineFPNYT, CBCCanadian LivingReader’s DigestThe Hollywood Reporter, the Halifax Chronicle HeraldHalifax Magazine, and Huddle.Today, among others. He is also the author of Keeping the Faith: The Story of Laura McCain (Margaret Norrie McCain/Goose Lane Editions, 2013).

Alec’s professional awards include:

Silver for “Commentary” in the 2014 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2014 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Commentary” in the 2012 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Regular Column” in the 2011 International TABBIES Awards.

Silver for “Profile Article” in the 2011 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Regular Column” in the 2010 International TABBIES Awards.

Gold for “Commentary” in the 2010 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Magazine Article” in the 2010 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Merit for “Feature Article” in the 2009 International TABBIES Awards.

Silver for “Business Reporting” in the 2009 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2009 Atlantic Journalism Awards. 

Gold for “Commentary” in the 2008 Atlantic Journalism Awards. 

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2007 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Silver for “Magazine Article” in the 2007 Atlantic Journalism Awards.

Gold for “Commentary” in the 2006 Atlantic Journalism Awards. 

Finalist in the 2005 Kenneth R. Wilson National Business Writing Awards. 

Alec Bruce

Alice Burdick

Alice Burdick lives and writes poetry in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia and co-owned the former Lexicon Books in Lunenburg. Alice moved to Halifax in 2002 from Toronto, Ontario, where she was born and raised. She has also lived in Espanola, Vancouver, and on the Sechelt Peninsula in BC.

Burdick has been involved with the small press community in Canada since the early 1990’s, when she was co-editor, with Victor Coleman, of The Eternal Network. This very small ongoing imprint produced chapbooks, including several of her own works, such as Signs Like This, Fun Venue, and Voice of Interpreter. Her work has been published by other small presses in Canada, including: Proper Tales Press (a Time, My Lump in the Bed: Love Poems for George W. Bush); Letters Press (Covered); and BookThug (The Human About Us). It also has appeared in various magazines, such as Hava LeHaba (from Tel Aviv, Israel), Event Magazine, Canadian Poetries, Two Serious Ladies (from the US), Dig, What!magazine, subTerrain, fhole, This Magazine, and Who Torched Rancho Diablo? From 1992-1995, Alice was assistant coordinator of the Toronto Small Press Fair. She has also done numerous readings over the years in many different venues, including the Ottawa International Writers Festival, The Scream in High Park in Toronto, and the Halifax Word on the Street.

Alice’s fourth collection of poetry, Book of Short Sentences, came out in the spring of 2016 from Mansfield Press. Her last book, Holler, was released in April 2012, following Flutter, which came out in Fall 2008 (both Mansfield Press). Two collaborative poems have shown up in Our Days In Vaudeville by Stuart Ross and 29 Collaborators (Mansfield Press, Fall 2013). Her poems have appeared in Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, Fall 2005), Surreal Estate: 13 Canadian Poets Under the Influence, An Anthology of Surrealist Canadian Poetry (The Mercury Press, Fall 2004), and in Pissing Ice: An Anthology of ‘New’ Canadian Poets, (BookThug, 2004, as well as other anthologies. Her first perfect-bound book was Simple Master, published in 2002 by Pedlar Press.

Deportment, a book of selected poems from the early 1990s onward, is forthcoming from Wilfrid Laurier University Press in the autumn of 2018. Her essays will also appear in three upcoming anthologies, “Home” from MacIntyre Purcell, 2018, “Gush” from Frontenac House, 2018, and “Locations of Grief” from Wolsak & Wynn, 2020.

Her poem “Terms and Conditions” was shortlisted for the first Lemon Hound Poetry Prize in 2014.

Read more about Alice Burdick in interviews conducted by Alex Porco on Open Book Toronto and on Lemon Hound and in gallery form here. You can watch and listen to Alice read some poems on a beach here.

Alice Burdick

Alice Walsh

Alice Walsh graduated fron St. Mary’s University with a degree in Criminology and English, and from Acadia with a master’s degree in Children’s Literature. She has worked as a preschool teacher, probation officer, creative writing instructor and hospital ward clerk.

Alice has written numerous articles and short stories for newspapers, magazines and literary journals, and has written educational material for various publications. Her published work includes a non-fiction book for adults, as well as four children’s books. She has won the Childen’s Book Centre Our Choice Award and has been nominated twice for the Hackmatack Award. In 2005, her book Pomiuk; Prince of the North won the Ann Connor Brimer award.

Alice Walsh

Alison DeLory

Alison DeLory is a writer, editor, publisher, teacher, and consultant in Halifax.

She’s the author of an adult novel called Making it Home (Vagrant/Nimbus Publishing, 2019); two children’s chapter books called Lunar Lifter (Bryler Publications, 2012) and Scotia Sinker (Sketch Publishing, 2015), and a story in the YA creative non-fiction anthology Becoming Fierce: Teen Stories IRL (Fierce Ink, 2014). 

Alison has written news, feature stories and essays for publications including The Globe and Mail, Chicago Tribune, Chatelaine, Today’s Parent, Ryerson Magazine, Dalhousie Magazine, Medical Post, Halifax Magazine, and Canadian Traveler.

Alison was a finalist twice in the Atlantic Writing Competition and won prizes for her blog and poetry at Mount Saint Vincent University. She served as a judge for the 2017 Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award and as a reader for the 2016 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize. She’s been a presenting author twice at Word on the Street Halifax (2015 and 2019).

She has two degrees from Mount Saint Vincent University including a masters of public relations, and was editor of the alumni magazine Folia Montana there for four years. Her third degree is from Ryerson University in journalism. 

Alison has been a part-time instructor at Mount Saint Vincent University in communication studies since 2013. She’s also taught at the Nova Scotia Community College and taught workshops through the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS). She participated in the WFNS Writers In The Schools program from 2009 to2017, bringing writing workshops into more than 50 classrooms province-wide. Alison has served as council member at the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) since 2009.

Alison enjoys working with emerging authors on their manuscripts, and also performs substantive, structural and copy-editing for various clients including creative writers, business writers, and academics.

She is currently the Associate Director of Communications for the University of King’s College where she writes content for print and digital publications, and is editor of the alumni newsletter and Tidings Magazine.


Alison DeLory

Andre Fenton

Andre Fenton is an award-winning spoken word artist & filmmaker who has represented Halifax at 7 national poetry slams across Canada. He is currently on the board of directors of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia and a member at large on the board of Spoken Word Canada. He is an author of two books. Ode to Teen Angst and his new YA novel, Worthy of Love which was published by Formac. He is based in the Halifax area.

Andre Fenton

Andrea Miller

Andrea Miller is the author of Awakening My Heart: Essays, Articles, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life (Pottersfield Press), My First Book of Canadian Birds (Nimbus Publishing), and The Day the Buddha Woke Up (Wisdom Publications). She’s also the deputy editor and a staff writer at Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly called the Shambhala Sun) and the editor of three anthologies for Shambhala Publications, including Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West.

Miller has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English literature from Dalhousie University. Her writing has appeared in The Best Women’s Travel Writing series, the Best Buddhist Writing series, The Chronicle Herald, The Globe and Mail, Saltscapes, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, and a wide range of other publications. Miller lives in Halifax with her husband and two children.

Andrea Miller

Andy Verboom

Andy Verboom is publisher of Collusion Books, co-founding editor of long con magazine, and author of six poetry chapbooks, most recently DBL (knife fork book, 2020).

His poetry has won Frog Hollow’s Chapbook Contest and Descant’s Winston Collins Prize, been shortlisted for CV2’s Young Buck Prize and Arc’s Poem of the Year, and appeared in CAROUSEL, Prism, The Puritan, Vallum, and elsewhere.

Andy Verboom

Anne Simpson

Anne Simpson studied at Queen’s University and the Ontario College of Art and Design. Now she lives in Antigonish, where she teaches part-time at St. Francis Xavier University. She has been a writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library, the Medical Humanities Program at Dalhousie University, and the University of New Brunswick. She has also been a faculty member at the Banff Centre.

She has written two novels, four books of poetry, and a book of essays on poetry and art. Her fiction has been awarded the Journey Prize and the Dartmouth Award for Fiction, and her most recent novel, Falling, was longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her poetry has been awarded the Atlantic Poetry Prize, the Gerald Lampert Award, the Pat Lowther Award, and the Griffin Poetry Prize.

Anne Simpson

Brad Kelln

Writing and reading have always been a big part of Brad Kelln’s life. From James & The Giant Peach by Roald Dahl and Pierre Berton’s The Secret World of Og as a child to ripping through Lincoln Child and Douglas Preston’s fast-paced books as an adult, he has read continuously.

Brad’s own history of writing stretches back to childhood. Initially, he wrote and illustrated his own small books then began writing short stories in junior high (eventually having one published in the school yearbook). He started his first novel-length work in high school – an action/comedy about a trio of oddballs who’ve escaped from a mental institution (possibly a foreshadow of careers to come). That book remains unfinished, unpublished, and virtually unreadable. His current writing projects are much darker than any of his previous works would have predicted.

His first book, Lost Sanity (Insomniac Press), hit bookstores in October 2001 and was picked by the Ottawa Sun as one of the best mystery/detective novels of the year. The paperback version of Lost Sanity was released Winter 2002. The sequel, Method of Madness (Insomniac Press) was released in Fall 2002 and was a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns. He has now signed on with ECW Press for the Fall 2008 release of a brand new book, In Tongues of the Dead – a religious thriller based around real-life mysteries!

In addition to being an author, Brad also has a day job. He obtained his doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Calgary in 1998. He re-located to Nova Scotia to pursue his career in forensic work and began with Provincial Forensic Psychiatry Service of the Nova Scotia Hospital. He continued with the Service when it expanded to become the East Coast Forensic Hospital co-located with the Central Nova Scotia Correctional Facility. Forensic management briefly considered naming the new facility THE KELLN CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE but reconsidered at the last moment.

Dr. Kelln continues to work as a clinical and forensic psychologist with the East Coast Forensic Hospital and also as a special consultant to both the Halifax Regional Police and the Nova Scotia RCMP on hostage negotiation.



Brad Kelln

Carol Bruneau

Carol Bruneau is the author of two critically acclaimed collections of short fiction, After the Angel Mill (1995) and Depth Rapture (1998), and three novels, Glass Voices (2007), named a Globe and Mail Best Book, Berth (2005) and Purple for Sky (2000). Published in the U.S. as A Purple Thread for Sky, the novel won the 2001 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award.

Shortlisted the same year for the Pearson Readers’ Choice Award, Purple for Sky was recommended by Pamela Wallin on the CBC’s Canada Reads and as a prime pick on her Chapters website. In the U.S., Booklist praised it as a “hilarious, moving and poetic book.” Kirkus called it “a refreshingly unsentimental debut […] deeply original in style. In Canada, Purple for Sky was included in The Globe and Mail‘s “Best Books of 2000.” They praised Bruneau as “a first-class storyteller who uses words magically,” and Chatelaine called it “a warm engaging look at the small dramas that shape our lives…salted with down-home metaphors and pithy observations.”

Considered “one of the brightest lights of Atlantic fiction by acclaimed novelist Joan Clark, Bruneau’s stories have been anthologized recently in Victory Meat, edited by Lynn Coady, and Atlantica: Stories from the Maritimes and Newfoundland, edited by Lesley Choyce. As well, Bruneau has contributed book reviews to The Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire, Atlantic Books Today and the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, which has also published her essays and articles.

Besides the Atlantic Fiction and Dartmouth Book prizes, Bruneau has been awarded four grants by the Canada Council for the Arts, and appointments in 2001 as Writer-in-Residence at Acadia University and in 2009 as Writer-in-Residence at Dalhousie University. Among many guest appearances, she has read at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto, the Eden Mills writers’ festival in Ontario, the Northrop Frye Festival in New Brunswick, Read-by-the-Sea in Nova Scotia, and the Winterset Festival in Newfoundland, where she appeared with Cape Breton writers Alistair MacLeod and D.R. MacDonald. Though born and raised in mainland Nova Scotia, Bruneau’s maternal family roots are on the island.

Bruneau teaches classes and workshops in fiction writing, and has also worked as a photo editor and a journalist. She teaches critical writing part time at NSCAD University and fiction-writing at Dalhousie.

Carol Bruneau

Carole Glasser Langille

Carole Glasser Langille is the author of 4 books of poetry, 2 collections of short stories, 2 children’s books and a non-fiction book “Doing Time: Writing Workshops in Prison.”

Her second book of poetry, In Cannon Cave, was nominated for a Governor General’s Award in 1997, and the Atlantic Poetry Prize in 1998.                       “I Am What I Am Because You Are What You Are,” her second collection of short stories, was nominated for the Alistair MacLeod Award  for Short Fiction.  Her children’s book, Where the Wind Sleeps, was the Canadian Children’s Book Center Choice in 1996.

Several selections from Carole Glasser Langille’s book of poetry, Late In A Slow Time, have been adapted to music by renowned Canadian composer Chan Ka Nin. The production, also called Late In A Slow Time debuted at the 2006 Sound Symposium in St. John’s, Newfoundland and will be on Duo Concertante’s forthcoming CD.

Originally from New York City, where she studied with the poets John Ashbery and Carolyn Forche among others, Carole now lives in Black Point, Nova Scotia.

She has taught at The Humber School for Writing Summer Program, Maritime Writer’s Workshop, the Community of Writers in Tatamagouche, and at Women’s Words the University of Alberta. She has taught Creative Writing at Mount Saint Vincent University, Writing for the Arts at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and currently teaches Creative Writing: Poetry at Dalhousie University.

Carole has given poetry readings in Athens, Delhi, Prague, London England, New York City, Kirkcudbright Scotland, and throughout Canada. She has received Canada Council Grants for poetry, non-fiction and fiction as well as Nova Scotia Cultural Arts grants for poetry and fiction.

Carole Glasser Langille

Ceilidh Michelle

Ceilidh Michelle has led a poetry workshop at Concordia University’s Aboriginal Student Resource Centre, and has been sought out by Montreal community centre to lead masterclasses. She is the author of coming-of-age novel Butterflies Zebras Moonbeams, which CBC added to their list of “34 Works of Canadian Fiction to Watch For,” and has a forthcoming travel memoir coming out Spring 2021 with Douglas & McIntyre.

She is graduating from Concordia University with a BA in Creative Writing, April 2020, and will be attending Edinburgh for graduate school in Fall 2020.


  • Spring 2021 – The One, a nonfiction travel memoir, Douglas & McIntyreFall 2019 – Butterflies Zebras Moonbeams, a novel, Palimpsest Press 


The One, a nonfiction travel memoir, Douglas&McIntyre

Butterflies Zebras Moonbeams, a novel, Palimpsest Press


  • Recipient of Explore and Create Canadian Council GrantRecipient of short novel grant from Conseil des arts et des lettres du QuebecTwo-time 1st place winner of Wampanoag Writers Scholarship for Cuttyhunk Island Writers Retreat

Ceilidh Michelle

Chris Benjamin

Chris Benjamin is a freelance journalist and an author of fiction and non-fiction. He is currently the Managing Editor of Atlantic Books Today magazine. 

His collection of short stories, Boy With a Problem, is forthcoming in September 2020. His latest book is Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School. Released in August 2014, it won the Dave Greber Freelance Book Prize before being published.

His previous book, Eco-Innovators: Sustainability in Atlantic Canada, won the 2012 Best Atlantic-Published Book Award and was a finalist for the Richardson Non-Fiction Prize. A series of short video documentaries has been made based on the book.

Chris’ novel, Drive-by Saviours, won the H.R. Percy Prize, was longlisted for a ReLit Prize and made the Canada Reads Top Essential Books List.

Chris has written for a long list of magazines and newspapers in Canada and the United States. A few highlights include The Globe and Mail, Science Friday, Z Magazine, Saltscapes, Halifax Magazine, Progress Magazine, and The Coast.

Chris Benjamin

Christina McRae

Christina McRae lives and works in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Her poetry appears in many literary journals including Descant, Prairie Fire, Room of One’s Own, Pottersfield Portfolio, and The Antigonish Review. Several poems also appear in Letting Go: An Anthology of Loss and Survival, published by Black Moss Press (2004). In 2001, Christina was awarded first place in the WFNS’s Atlantic Writing Competition for poetry. Her first full-length collection, Next to Nothing, was published by Wolsak and Wynn in 2009.

Christina McRae

Clare O’Connor

Clare O’Connor lives in Halifax with her family. She is the author of Skateboard Sibby, a middle-grade novel about an 11-year-old super skateboarder dealing with lots of changes, including the loss of her identity as a skateboarder. When not writing, Clare works as a communications consultant and is a past recipient of a Halifax-Cornwallis Canadian Progress Club Women of Excellence Award in Communications and Public Affairs. Clare is a former Director of Public Affairs for the Heart and Stroke Foundation and received the Heart and Stroke Foundation Chair’s Award for outstanding contribution.

She is a member of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, CANSCAIP, and SCBWI.

Clare O’Connor

Daphne Greer

Daphne, a mother of four girls has worked with individuals with special needs for over 16 years. Her first novel, Maxed Out was a nominee for the 2013 Best Quick Read by the American Library Association. Before having children she volunteered on the Adult Help Phone in Halifax which provided her with the ability to use the Kids Help Phone in Maxed Out. She loves spreading the word about this amazing service that they provide for kids in Canada. She is very comfortable working with kids and will put people at ease very quickly.  Her second YA novel, Jacob’s Landing, 2016- 2017 Hackmatack Nominee and a 2016 Silver Birch finalist is published by Nimbus. Her third novel, Camped Out sequel to Maxed Out) will be published by Orca in the fall of 2017. She has a Bachelor of Child Studies from Mt St Vincent University.

Daphne Greer

Darcy Rhyno

Darcy Rhyno writes fiction, non-fiction and plays. His NEW fantasy novel for upper elementary readers “The Underworld Magician” is due to be published in fall, 2014.

He is the author most recently of the pre-teen fantasy novel set in 1950’s Halifax called THE UNDERWORLD MAGICIAN. He’s also the author of the YA novel MONSTERS OF SUBURBIA, which is a realism adventure story with themes of bullying, isolation, estrangement and myth. This novel is suitable for junior high readers. He has also published two collections of short stories, CONDUCTOR OF WAVES and HOLIDAYS. He has a column with Saltscapes magazine called Roots and Folks and writes for the website He is an award-winning travel writer and a member of the Travel Media Association of Canada who has published hundreds of articles with Saltscapes, Canadian Geographic Travel, BBC Travel and more. His play Snowbirds, a comedy set at Christmas, has been produced twice in Nova Scotia.  

Conductor of Waves is a collection of 12 stories set in a fictional Nova Scotia fishing community. The Globe and Mail called it “a strikingly accomplished collection.” His first novel for children placed second in the Atlantic Writing Competition. As a columnist for Saltscapes magazine, Darcy writes the back page for each issue, prepares feature articles and writes for special publications about travel, food and other topics. He writes for other magazines and newspapers as well. One of the stories in his next collection called Holidays was published in The Vagrant Revue of New Fiction, an anthology of work by the most promising writers in Atlantic Canada.

For most of his career, Darcy has worked in education and with children. A teacher and arts worker by profession, he has worked with many schools and teachers across the province, as well as with artists from all genres. He is also a part time instructor in the graduate program of the Faculty of Education at Mount St. Vincent University and the part time General Manager of the Osprey Arts Centre in Shelburne. His readings and workshops are always engaging, informative and entertaining. See his website at


Darcy Rhyno

David Wimsett

David A. Wimsett works include poetry, fiction and non-fiction. He examines relationships between people and explores women’s issues in many of his works by placing characters in situations where they expose their nature while moving stories forward. He enjoys creating literary and genre fiction with the belief that good writing is good writing, no matter the form.

David is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the Canadian Freelance Guild and the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia on the Writers’ Council.

David Wimsett

Dean Jobb

Dean Jobb is a true crime writer, book reviewer and a professor in the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, and a member of the faculty of the university’s MFA in Creatiive Nonfiction program.

He is the author of seven books. His latest, Empire of Deception, tells the stranger-than-fiction story of master swindler Leo Koretz, who hoodwinked the elite of 1920s Chicago before escaping to a new life of luxury and excess in Nova Scotia. It won the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award, was named the Chicago Writers Association Book of the Year and was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. His previous books won the Evelyn Richardson and City of Dartmouth awards for nonfiction, and he was runner up for the National Business Book Award.

Dean writes a monthy column on true crime for Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and is a contributing reviewer to the Chicago Review of Books. His articles, commentaries and reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and Winnipeg Free Press. He also has written for numerous magazines, including Canada’s History, Canadian Lawyer and the Literary Review of Canada, and has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Scotsman, The Irish Times and the Belfast Telegraph

A reporter, editor and columnist during a 20-year career at The Chronicle Herald, Dean is a three-time winner of the Atlantic Journalism Award and a finalist for the National Newspaper and National Magazine awards.

Dean Jobb

Deborah Stiles

Deborah Stiles was born and raised in Appalachia, in West Virginia, but found herself moving northward in 1988. A graduate of the University of Maine’s M.A. in Creative Writing in 1990 with the thesis No Curtains on These Windows (a collection of short stories), she has published poems, short stories, agriculture and cooking articles, and scholarly articles in a wide variety of journals in Canada and the U.S.

In 2002, BrickHouse Books (Baltimore, Maryland), published her book-length poem, Movement Catalogued; in 1991, Northern LightsPress (Orono, Maine) published her poetry collection, Riding Limestone. She has completed two additional poetry manuscripts, whose poems have appeared in The Fiddlehead, The Carleton Arts Review, To, Kennebec, Zymergy, Nashwaak Review, Pottersfield Portfolio, and elsewhere. In 1997, after living in Fredericton, NB for three years, she applied for landed immigrant status and also completed her Ph.D. (University of Maine, History) with a doctoral thesis on the Fredericton-based-but rurally-oriented poet and newspaper editor, Martin Butler (1857-1915). Currently, she is working on several projects, including a novel and also the revision of her thesis on Martin Butler. In January 2004, she became a Canadian citizen.

An Associate Professor in Humanities at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and a part-time farmer, Stiles enjoys teaching history, writing and literature courses and sharing her love of the natural world, agriculture, and rural society that is an integral part of her creative work.


Deborah Stiles

Deirdre Dwyer

Deirdre Dwyer has been writing poetry since her teacher taught her about haiku in grade six. In the meantime, she’s worked as an English as a Second Language teacher in Tokyo, a Creative Writing instructor in Halifax, a Sessional Instructor of English in Windsor and a bookseller. Deirdre holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, and was a founding member of the Bourbon Street Poetry Society. She has worked with the Hope for Wildlife Society, a wildlife rehabilitation facility on the Eastern Shore. Deirdre was also Coordinator of the Musquodoboit Harbour Farmers’ Market, now in its fifth season. She is presently chair of the Musquodoboit Harbour and Area Community Association, and has recently been writing prose about her three years in Japan and her subsequent travels.

When she visits schools, she can talk about the differences between Japanese and North American cultures, discuss Nova Scotian wildlife, show pictures of some of the wildlife she met at Hope for Wildlife, do writing exercises relating to either prose or poetry connected to these discussions, and read and discuss her own work with the students.

Deirdre Dwyer

Don Aker


A fomer high school teacher, literacy mentor, and university instructor, Don Aker fell into writing in 1988 after attending the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Writing Workshops, where instructors encouraged participants to write with their students. Encouraged by winning the short fiction and nonfiction categories of the 1989 and 1990 WFNS Atlantic Writing Competitions as well as Canadian Living’s 1990 National Literary Competition, Don went on to publish numerous stories and articles and has written more than 20 books.

Because he taught hundreds of teenagers during his teaching career, it isn’t surprising that young adults are the focus of most of his work. What subjects does he choose to write about? “Things that bother me, that don’t go away,” he says. For example, Don wrote his first novel after a student shared with him that she was being physically abused by her father. Of Things Not Seen tells the story of sixteen-year-old Ben Corbett, who, along with his mother, is physically abused by his domineering stepfather. Besides domestic violence, Don’s novels have focused on peer pressure, bullying, youth crime, suicide, sexuality, teen gambling, and a variety of other social issues. However, he is quick to point out that the strongest stories are never about issues or events–“They’re about how characters are affected by those issues and events.”

Don holds a Master of Education from Acadia University and, besides working as an educator and writer, he has been a freelance reviewer and consultant for various educational publishers, including Nelson Education, Pembroke Publishers, and Pearson Education. He has written several books for classroom use, among them Hitting the Mark: Assessment Tools for Teachers (Pembroke, 1995) and a series of language arts texts for grades 8 to 11 (Nelson Education), and he has had articles and fiction published in The International Journal of Reading, Quill & Quire, Books in Canada, Canadian Living, The Toronto Star, Our Family Magazine, The Pottersfield Portfolio, Dandelion Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, and various anthologies.

The father of two daughters, Don lives with his wife in Bedford.

Don Aker

donalee Moulton

donalee Moulton has been writing professionally for over 25 years. Her byline has appeared in more than 100 magazines and newspapers throughout North America – and beyond. Among the publications donalee has written for are The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, Equinox, Maclean’s, Canadian Business and The National Post. donalee is also a regular contributor for a number of magazines in Canada.

donalee has edited numerous magazines, including the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia “Eastword” magazine and the Mount Saint Vincent University “FoliaMontana” alumni magazine.

donalee has also co-authored a book, Celebrity Court Cases: Trials of the rich and famous.

donalee is a teacher. She has taught writing, editing, grammar and communications for the past 20 years in a variety of programs. She currently teaches numerous business communication courses as part of the Executive and Professional Development program at Saint Mary’s University, and has taught courses at Dalhousie University and Mount Saint Vincent University.

donalee Moulton

Doretta Groenendyk

Doretta graduated from NSCAD with a BA in Art Education. She then worked in Swaziland, Africa for a year and then Igloolik, Nunavut for another two. Before and after these diverse experiences, she was an avid traveller and tree planter.

Once settled in Nova Scotia, Doretta worked as an artist in classrooms through AVRSB, the program Arts Infusion, the Paints program, and as a volunteer. Her paintings are represented by the Harvest Gallery in Wolfville, Details Gallery in Charlottetown, and Art Sales and Rentals at the AGNS in Halifax.

Doretta has illustrated 5 children’s picture books, including Fiddles and Spoons (Dery Publishing Group) and Bounce, Beans and Burn (Acorn Press). She is the author and illustrator of I’m Writing a Story and Snow for Christmas (Acorn Press). Her 6th book, Thank You For My Bed, was published in Fall 2011.

Doretta Groenendyk

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