Fiction (Adult)

Blanca Baquero

Blanca Baquero’s origins are Spanish and French. Born in Chicago in 1944 and raised in New York, her family moved to Canada in 1959, making Montreal their new home.

Blanca has been writing for the past fifteen years. Her poetry has been published (in both the English and French languages) in a number of literary magazines, university works, and anthologies in Canada and in the United States. In 2001, the Canadian Authors Association chose two of her poems (Repletus and Child’s Play) to be published in their anthology. In 2001 she was the winner of the literary contest organized by the Salon du Livre de la Côte Nord in the province of Quebec.

For the past seven years the poet has been studying a Japanese form of poetry known as Haïku. In 2002, 2004, and 2005 several of her haïkus were published in Quebec by Les Éditions David of Ottawa. Additional highlights include: honourable mention in the Betty Drevniok Award 2005 organized by Haïku Canada; the publication of two of her haïku in Belgium in 2006; and third place winner in a haïku contest organized in Paris, France by l’Association française haïku.

Blanca is a member of the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, The Quebec Writers’ Federation, the League of Canadian Poets, Haïku Canada, Haïku Society of America, and the Association Française de haïku (France).

The writer moved to Nova Scotia in November 2002 and lives on the North Mountain near Canning where she is continually inspired by the pastoral beauty of the Annapolis Valley for her poetry and haïku.

 

Née à Chicago d’une mère québécoise et d’un père espagnol, Blanca Baquero réside au Canada depuis 1958. Poète anglophone depuis quinze ans, plusieurs de ses poèmes ont été publiés dans des revues littéraires, des anthologies, et des ouvrages universitaires.

En 1997, elle est déménagée à Sept-Iles au Québec. Déterminée à s’intégrer à la population francophone, elle s’est jointe à des ateliers d’écriture en français. Grâce à ces ateliers, elle est tombée amoureuse du haïku. En 2002, 2004 et 2005, elle été publiée par Les Éditions David d’Ottawa dans les recueils dirigé par Francine Chicoine intitulés Dire le nord, Dire la faune et Dire la flore. Haïku Canada lui a décerné une mention honorable dans le concours Betty Drevniok 2005. En 2007, elle a gagné le troisième prix du concours organisé à Paris par l’Association française de haïku.

Blanca Baquero est membre de la Nova Scotia Writers Federation, de la League of Canadian Poets, de la Quebec Writers Federation, de Haïku Canada, de la Haïku Society of America et de l’Association française de haïku en France. Elle habite en Nouvelle-Écosse depuis 2002. Écrire est pour elle un joyeux délire ainsi qu’une véritable aventure.

Jane Baskwill

Jane Baskwill was born in Queens, New York, but has lived most of her adult life in rural Nova Scotia. There she has watched foxes steal pears from beneath the trees in her back yard, listened to red-tailed hawks argue over a recently caught meal, smelled the arrival of a family of skunks, and tasted the wild blackberries that grow in the fields and by the roadside.

Jane appreciates and respects the beauty of nature in all its forms and all its moments. She is a strong advocate for equity and social justice and works with schools to promote Peace and Environmental education. She shares this with her husband and three children, and with others through her teaching, writing and poetry.

She has authored many professional books and articles for teachers in addition to an award-winning video series. She has also authored a book of poetry for children and three picture books: Somewhere (1996), Touch the Earth (1999), and If Peace Is… (2003), (Mondo Publishing, New York). Her latest book, Together in Time (2012, InSync Books) a novel for children 8 to 12 years old, is set in the abandoned settlement of Roxbury in the Annapolis Valley.

She is a former teacher and principal and is currently on the Education Faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University, Halifax.

Jane is a six-time recipient of the Education Quality Award from the Nova Scotia Teachers’ Union and received the Distinguished Achievement Award from the Educational Press Association of America for her series of articles in Teaching K-8 Magazine.

During the 2007/08 school year Jane completed a school-wide writing project with Holland Road Elementary School that resulted in the publication of a picture book: A Kid’s Guide to Making and Being A Friend, used as a school fundraiser.

Jane also helps schools and communities start their own Family Literacy publishing house. Publish It! has produced over 500 non-fiction picture books written by children and their parents and illustrated with photos they have taken.

Sophie Bérubé

 

Sophie Bérubé, born and raised in Québec city, and long-time resident of Nova Scotia, is a writer, performer, and yoga teacher. Most of her work—for children, young adults, and adults—is written in French. Le chef d’oeuvre de Lombrie won the 2002 won the Lilla Stirling Award and La trombe sacreé, also 2002, won the Prix France-Acadie 2003. Le projet Persée, her first youth novel, 2010, was a finalist for 2012 Hackmatack prize. Her most recent book Car la nuit est longue was published by les éditions David in 2015. A natural performer, Sophie studied at Jacques Lecoq in Paris, and has over ten years experience in theatre performance, creation and direction; she was part of the Artssmart Program from 2003 to 2015. She has been involved with many productions and has collectively written many plays. Sophie coordinates various literacy projects and workshops in schools and the community, including Publish It and creative writing sessions at Open Arms, which support families and individuals living on the margins of society to write their own books. She is currently working on a three-part fiction based on historical figures.

Laura Best

Laura lives in East Dalhousie, Nova Scotia with her husband, Brian. A member of the Parkdale/Maplewood Museum Society, Laura has a strong interest in local history, and participates in the school group program at the museum. At the age of ten, she wrote her first play and she’s been writing ever since. She is also a member of CANSCAIP.

Laura’s first young adult novel, Bitter, Sweet,  was  published in 2009 and was short listed for the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People. It also made the “Best Books for Kids and Teen 2011” list. Her middle grade  novel, “Flying With a Broken Wing,” was name one of Bank Street College of Educations Best Books for 2015. Her book “Cammie takes Flight” was nominated for a 2018 Silver Birch Award and made the Best Books for Kids and Teens 2018 list. In 2020, Laura’s first novel for adults,“Good Mothers Don’t” was published.

Jenni Blackmore

A new season just beginning! Definitely time to upgrade my bio; even though some things never change life’s experience continually morphs and expands. Have to love that 🙂

Part of me is still the kid from Manchester, England, who always wanted to be a writer, a painter and a farmer, living by the ocean, and much to my amazement, here I am, living my dream on a small island just east of Halifax. Of course I’m greatly influenced by the coastal environment and references to this locale have a way of sneaking into most of my work. I love my reality but I usually can’t resist adding a twist or two of magic to my work, especially my favorite genres of poetry, adult short fiction and childrens fiction.

As an illustrator and writer, I like to combine both these forms of expression, especially in my books for children. Recently, however the denizens of QuackaDoodle Farm, who take up a fair amount of my attention, have been demanding their space on the page and this has resulted in, Permaculture for the Rest of Us (New Society Publishing) a factual account of life here at QuackaDoodle,  my blog site  QuackaDoodle.Wordpress.com and occassional posts on the Mother Earth News Site.

My latest book The Foodlovers’ Garden (New Society) is scheduled for release May 2017 and I was delighted to be able to illustrate this with thirty+ illustrations and forty digital images, all celebrating the wonders of homegrown food. Yum! And oh so colourful.

The second edition of Gully Goes to Halifax flew into my life recently. The story remains mostly unchanged but this edition has twice the page size and all the illustrations are in full colour, so I’m delighted about that.

I believe everyone is writer at heart because of course we all have things to say, ideas to share. This is one of the reasons why I particularly enjoy leading writing workshops for both children and adults but mostly, it’s about the stories that get shared. Surely story is the thread that binds us all together while, equally importantly, poetry tends to magnify and perhaps suggest a new way of seeing both the mundane and the magical.

Please visit me at: Quackadoodle.wordpress.com for sporadic but ongoing news of life down here on the farm

 Jenni has been mentioned in “Our Choice Book List” and “Outstanding Canadian Children’s Books” by the Children’s Book Centre, Toronto. Her recent novel Island of Dead Souls came first in the Atlantic Writing competition YA category.

Andrew Battershill

Andrew Battershill is the author of two novels, Pillow (Coach House Books, 2015) and Marry, Bang, Kill (Gooselane Editions, 2018). Pillow was longlisted for the 2016 Scotiabank Giller Prize and shortlisted for the Kobo Emerging Writer Award. Marry, Bang, Kill was named one of The Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of 2018. Recently, he was the 2018-2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Regina Public Library, and the 2019 Writer-in-Residence at the Richmond Public Library. He is married to the poet and essayist Suzannah Showler. He is currently enrolled in the Masters of Library and Information Science at Dalhousie University with the goal of working in public service.

David Huebert

A Halifax-born writer and educator, David Huebert’s work has won the CBC Short Story Prize, The Walrus Poetry Prize, and has received two honourable mentions from the National Magazine Awards. David’s fiction debut, Peninsula Sinking, won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award (fiction), was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Short Fiction Prize, and was runner-up for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. His poetry debut, We Are No Longer The Smart Kids In Class, appeared in 2015. David’s poems and stories have been published in magazines such as The Walrus, The New Quarterly, and Canadian Notes & Queries. His chapbook, Full Mondegreens (with Andy Verboom) won the Frog Hollow Chapbook contest in 2016. In 2018, David completed his PhD at Western University, where his research focused on human-animal love in American literature. In fall 2020, he will publish his second book of poems, Humanimus, with Palimpsest. David lives in K’jipuktuk (Halifax) where he teaches and writes.

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, was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction. His nonfiction book, Indian School Road: Legacies of the Shubenacadie Residential School, won the Dave Greber Freelance Book Prize before being published, was listed by librarians as a Book of Influence, and recently became a Nova Scotia bestseller.

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 CBC 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.

Hugh R. MacDonald

Hugh R. MacDonald is a writer of fiction, and a singer/songwriter. Hugh has been a member of the Writers Union of Canada and the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) for many years. His YA novel, Trapper Boy was published by Cape Breton University Press, and the sequel entitled Us and Them waas released in October 2016. Hugh is a graduate of Cape Breton University, and worked in the human services field for 25 plus years, and is now happily retired.

September 2017 — “Trapper Boy” was included in the Reading Nova Scotia publication of “150 Books of Influence” in Nova Scotia–see the link below, which will redirect you to the site.  You may have to copy and paste the link.

https://www.nsla.ns.ca/150-books-of-influence

Hugh’s song, “Trapper Boy,” that he wrote prior to the novel of the same name, has been added to the repertoire of the world famous Men of the Deeps, and was included on their 50th Anniversary Compilation CD, which was released in April 2016. Hugh’s version of his song, “Trapper Boy” can be found here: https//www.youtube.com/watch?v=37GBaudAgZA&t=4s

Hugh’s song “A Cape Breton Lament” (written and performed by Hugh) was included on the CD Cape Breton Songs of Steel, Coal and Protest, produced by Dr. Richard MacKinnon (Cape Breton University). See the Youtube link here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZpCDIqbZ20.

Trapper Boy was selected by Dr. Patrick Howard of Cape Breton University’s Education Department as a novel around which to develop a Teacher Resource. The resource is currently available at no charge for teachers using Trapper Boy.

Hugh is a member of the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program through WFNS. Hugh enjoys going into schools to meet with young people and sharing his passion for writing. His presentation includes readings from his work, using his songs and his videos to share thoughts on his writing process, and encouraging young people to try their own hand at writing. WITS grade levels P-12.

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