Lauren is the author and illustrator of When Emily was Small. She has lived on both coasts of Canada, always within reach of the sea. She currently lives in a 140-year-old house in the wilds of Nova Scotia with her librarian husband, two curious children, an ever-expanding collection of books, two hives of bees, and one cat. She has a Visual Arts BFA with Honours from the University of Victoria, and a certificate of Fine Furniture from Camosun College. Along the way, she has learned to make a Queen Anne Highboy, a pottery mug, a hand knit pair of socks, a headstand, and a mess. She is represented by Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists.
Anne C. Kelly has loved to read and write for as long as she can remember. Her first publication was a class newspaper which she wrote with a friend in Grade four. She especially enjoys reading historical fiction and books about characters who discover who they really are after going through challenges in life.
Anne is an English teacher at heart. She taught English-as-an-Additional-Language (EAL) to adult newcomers to Canada for over twenty years. She loves learning about different cultures and traditions. She always says that she learned more from her students than they ever learned from her!
Anne’s first novel, Jacques’ Escape, was published by Trap Door Books in June 2019. Jacques’ Escape, which tells the story of a fourteen-year-old Acadian boy who is deported with his family to Massachusetts in 1755, is a middle reader for children aged 9-12. It has been shortlisted for the 2020-21 Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award.
JOHN A. READ is a telescope operator at the Burke-Gaffney Observatory a member of the Halifax Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC) and recently graduated with a degree in astrophysics from Saint Mary’s University. In 2020 he was presented with an RASC award for Excellence in Science Communication. John also cohosts RASC’s series “Explore the Universe Online.” He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
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.
Briana Corr Scott is an illustrator and writer based in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. She tells stories about the beauty of the natural world in her oil paintings, paper doll creations and children’s literature.
As a student at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Briana dedicated herself to painting and drawing from life, inspired by the work of the American Impressionists she admired at the nearby Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. Since moving to Dartmouth from New England in 2006, she has continued her passion for working observationally, applying these skills to her botanical drawings, illustrations, animations, surface patterns, paintings and words. Working primarily in oil, her art is inspired by the wind, light and presence of a place, which she finds as she focuses on capturing the strange, overlooked details in nature. Her residency at the Burren College of Art in Ballyvaughan, Ireland during the summer of 2019 was a turning point in her career. While hiking and painting en plein air, she allowed her art to merge by playfully connecting her oil paintings, illustrations, and prose.
Briana’s evolution into children’s literature is a natural progression of the poetry she has been writing since the age of 17. It brings together her fantastical series of paper dolls illustrations with stories that she creates while walking in nature. Her first and second picture books, “She Dreams of Sable Island,”, and “The Book of Selkie” were published by Nimbus Publishing Ltd. in 2019. She is currently working on “Wildflower”, to be released in spring 2021. Briana has shown her work in solo and group shows at Argyle Fine Art and Teichart Gallery in Halifax. Her work has appeared internationally in online features, films and magazines. She has read aloud from “She Dreams of Sable Island” and discussed her writing process and art practice at numerous events, including public talks at Argyle Fine Art, “Word on the Street” at the Halifax Public Library and the Museum of Natural History in Halifax.
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.
Jacqueline Dumas’s latest novel is The Heart Begins Here, (Inanna Publications, 2018).
Her previous writing experience includes two published novels: Madeleine & the Angel (Fifth House, 1989); The Last Sigh (Fifth House, 1993); a children’s picture book: And I’m Never Coming Back(Annick Press, 1986); and a one-act play, Secrets,whichwas produced at the 2013 Edmonton International Fringe Festival.
She was born in Alberta and spent most of her working life there. She has extensive experience in the book business, including ownership and management of two Edmonton bookshops over the years, most recently Orlando Books (1993-2002), a progressive bookstore that specialized in post-colonial issues, cultural studies, feminisms, queer studies, and literature from small presses.
When Orlando Books closed, Dumas went back to school and obtained a Master of Education in Teaching English as a Second Language from the University of Alberta. She has since taught English at Grant MacEwan University, the University of Alberta, and Dalhousie University. She has also designed and facilitated creative writing workshops and served as coordinator of the Writer-in-Exile program for the City of Edmonton.
She moved to Nova Scotia in July 2013.
Elizabeth Peirce is a Halifax-based author, editor, teacher, and gardener. For Nimbus Publishing, she has authored and co-authored two historical fiction books about infamous cases of piracy in Nova Scotian history, Saladin and The Pirate Rebel, one guide to vegetable gardening in a tough climate (Grow Organic, winner of the 2011 APMA Best Atlantic Published Book award) and a preserving cook and guide book, You Can Too! Her book for children, The Big Flush, is dedicated to her young son and his horror of loudly-flushing public toilets. In 2019, she published Lost and Found: Recovering Your Spirit After a Concussion, a toolbox of strategies for healing from a difficult injury. When she’s not writing and editing, she enjoys cooking, canning, and encouraging people to tear up their lawns and grow some vegetables! Visit her website at https://elizabethpeirce.ca
Elizabeth will be offering virtual workshops based on her books through the WITS program in 2020-21, including:
(for P-2) How your biggest fears can make the best stories
(for grades 3-9) What is food security and where does our food come from?
(for grades 9-12) Writing to heal: surviving and thriving under challenging circumstances
“Through clever text and hilarious illustrations, Knowles invites children to the sheer fun of wordplay. Younger kids will relish the sounds and pictures, while older ones grasp the comic subtleties. A highly original and fun book.”
-Kate Lum, multi-awardwinning author, of What! Cried Granny and Princesses Are Not Just Pretty
Nancy is the author/photographer of 4 childrens book in the Secret Life of Squirrels series, with a fifth on the way. She is a retired high school Family Studies teacher and Guidance Counsellor with a love for photography and the curious antics of her backyard squirrels. In about 2010 she started taking making squirrel size props (a barbecue, mailbox, washer and dryer, etc) and dioramas, and she lured squirrels into her sets by hiding nuts. Her humorous photos of the squirrels appeared online and in newspapers and magazines world-wide. In 2014 her first children’s book, The Secret Life of Squirrels, was published in Canada and the U.S., followed by three subsequent books in 2015 and 2016, and July 2018. For classroom visits, Nancy brings along a tote box filled with some of her homemade props to show the students and she talks about the art and craft of recycling and being creative.
Nancy’s first two books have also been published in South Korea, and Japan and all are available in paperback to schools through Scholastic Books. The first is also available as a board book for the youngest readers.
Nancy spends her free time with her grandsons when not photographing the expanding number of animal visitors in her backyard in Hubley.