Leo J. Deveau

Leo J Deveau is a former public librarian, now author, freelance researcher, newspaper columnist, commentator and speaker. He is a director of the Halifax Military Heritage Preservation Society, a member of the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, a member of the Creative NonFiction Collective (CFNC), the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society and the Royal United Services Institute (Nova Scotia branch).

Gwen Martin

Gwen has been a writer and editor since Justin Trudeau was a babe in arms. Long ago, she published poems and short stories but did not make enough money to eat, let alone drink. She wrote three history books: Once Upon a Mine, For Love of Stone and Gesner’s Dream. Never heard of them? You’re not alone. It took a while, but Gwen finally realized that book royalties would not pay the rent.

She thereafter began a thirty-year career that saw her authoring or editing heavy scientific tomes, lively political speeches, boring government reports and million-dollar grant proposals for clients across Canada. These days, she conducts self-editing workshops for professionals and, as a sideline, writes essays that articulate the life-patterns she sees everywhere. She’s also writing a non-fiction book, The Solace of Stone©, that explores how rocks (which she feels are sentient beings with memories) embody our personal and collective yearning for mystery and transcendence.

Gwen has a B.Sc. from University of Toronto (geology) and diplomas from The Banff Centre (creative writing; arts journalism). Apart from that, her education has come from life: she’s been a ballet school piano player, seamstress, lounge singer, arts journalist, geo-magazine editor, desktop publisher, freight train jumper, prospector, geologist, project manager, executive director for a provincial writers’ federation, geotourism guide, writing/editing workshop facilitator, and science teacher. Gwen is also a professional member with The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Canadian Freelance Guild.

Patrick Lacroix

A native of Cowansville, Quebec, Patrick Lacroix pursued his endless fascination with the past and earned degrees in history at Bishop’s University (Sherbrooke, Quebec) and Brock University (St. Catharines, Ontario). From 2012 to 2017, he attended the University of New Hampshire. While in the United States, he began submitting his work to academic, peer-reviewed publications and established himself as a leading historian of immigration and Franco-American history. His articles have appeared in influential history journals, including Histoire sociale/Social History, the Canadian Journal of History, the Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era, the Revue d’histoire de l’Amérique française, and The Historian.


Patrick defended his Ph.D. dissertation, “John F. Kennedy and the Politics of Faith,” several years ago; his manuscript is now under review with an American university press. He has taught at Phillips Exeter Academy (Exeter, N.H.) and Bishop’s University. His courses have ranged from Classical Greece to religion in the modern United States. Amid other responsibilities, Patrick continues to share original research on a regular basis on his website and often contributes to other blogs. He also has provided historical perspective on current issues through op-eds published in the History News Network, the Montreal GazetteTime.comLe Droit, the Washington Post, and the Concord Monitor.


He has a special interest in writing that blends attentiveness to historical detail with lively storytelling. He lives and writes in Halifax.

Twitter: @querythepast


Tim Covell

Tim lived in various areas of British Columbia and Ontario before moving to Nova Scotia. A part-time student for more than thirty years, and still taking courses, he has degrees in English Literature, Film Studies, and Canadian Studies. He researches film classification systems, and has published three academic papers, including an international study of how film classification agencies accommodate children’s participation rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Other publications include poetry, personal essays, short humour, biographies, and film reviews. He published his first romance novel, Ocean’s Lure, in 2021, and is working on more romance novels. He is a member of Romance Writers of America, Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada, The American Copy Editors Society, and the Open Heart Forgery poetry cooperative. His day job is technical writer for a software company. More at

Sarah Sawler

Sarah Sawler is the award-winning author of three books: 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia; 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada – For Kids; and the Moonbeam Spirit Award-winning Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything (with Frankie MacDonald). Both middle grade books were nominated for the 2019/2020 Hackmatack Awards. Be Prepared was also nominated for a 2018 Yellow Cedar Award (Forest of Reading).

When they’re not writing books, Sarah is working as a publicist for graphic novel publisher Conundrum Press, reviewing children’s literature, writing web content for tech companies. They live in Nova Scotia with their partner, two kids, three cats, one dog, and one bearded dragon.

Pat d’Entremont

Pat d’Entremont is a Certified Management Consultant, business owner, and writer. His monthly column, Business Technology, ran continuously in the Chronicle Herald for over 6 years and his current business report runs in Business Voice, the Halifax Chamber magazine. Pat’s articles are recognized by people in the business community for their accuracy, relevance, and wit. Pat has also written for national organizations like Computing Canada and Microsoft, and has experience writing non-technical works.

Pat does most of the media relations for Nicom IT Solutions, has a blog, uses social media effectively, and is able to get broad reach for his work.

Pat has a Bachelor of Science degree from Acadia University, a CMC designation from CMC Canada, and an ISP designation from the Canadian Information Processing Society.

Pat also writes fiction, and is currently working on a “trilogy” of books in the mystery genre, as well as a coming-of-age series of short stories.

Joan McArthur-Blair


Dr. Joan McArthur-Blair, Co-President of Cockell McArthur-Blair Consulting is a writer, speaker and facilitator. After more than 25 years of institutionally based work as an educator in roles from faculty to president, she has returned to her loves of writing, speaking and facilitating, and works with groups of all kinds to make a positive difference. Joan specializes in the use of Appreciative Inquiry to foster leadership, strategic planning and innovative strategies for organizational development. She recently published with Dr. Jeanie Cockell “Appreciative Inquiry in Higher Education: A Transformative Force” and is currently authoring “Working Resilience.” And, is working on her first book of poetry entitled: Love & Work. Contact:


Dina Desveaux

DINA DESVEAUX is a fiction writer, freelance editor and academic researcher/writer. Her first novel, GARDEN OF THE GODS, was nominated in the best first novel category of the Atlantic Book Awards. She is the co-founder and host of the Halifax Wired Monks, a writers’ critique group.

Dina grew up in Chéticamp, where she fell in love with trees, bear cubs and moose. She blogs under the name TartanFrog–a celebratory tip of the hat to the interweaving of her French Acadian roots with the Celtic culture of Cape Breton. You can follow her musings about writing on her website.

Megan Venner

Megan Venner is an award-winning journalist with nearly 20 years experience.  Her search for a challenge has lead her from the Maritimes to Canada’s North to the Alberta Legislature and now back to Nova Scotia where she has chosen to make her home.

Her freelance writing career has covered a wide range of issues from parenting to politics to business.  As a broadcast journalist she has reported on issues ranging from the impact of mad cow disease on Alberta farmers to oil and gas development in northern aboriginal communities.  She has worked in the press gallery of two of Canada’s provincial and territorial legislatures.

Her academic credentials include a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Mount Allison University and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Kings College. She was a 2001 recipient of a New York Festival’s Silver World Medal for her work with CBC Radio North.

She currently works as a freelance writer providing material for newspapers and magazines as well as writing work for corporate clients. Samples of her work can be found at  She also blogs about life and loss at

Sandra Phinney

Sandra Phinney is a professional writer and photographer who lives on the edge of the Tusket River in Southwest Nova Scotia. She’s had a few former lives including teaching, social work and farming. Now, instead of driving a tractor and growing vegetables, Sandra wields a camera and harvests stories.

Her articles have appeared in over 70 publications and many online line magazines. She’s also contributed to several travel guides including National Geographic’s Guide to Parks Canada. Over the years, her work has garnered several writing and photography awards (which help to keep her humble.) Part of her portfolio spills into the corporate world where she does everything from writing scripts for video, to advertorials, brochures, newsletters, and company profiles.

In the book writing realm, Sandra’s penned four non-fiction books: Risk Takers and Innovators—Great Canadian Business Ventures since 1950; Pierre Elliott Trudeau: The Prankster Who Never Flinched; Maud Lewis and the “Maudified” House Project; and Waking Up In My Own Backyard~Explorations in Southwest Nova Scotia. She’s currently working on two more non-fiction books.

To satisfy her craving to teach, Sandra gives writing workshops on various topics including narrative, writing memoir, how to start a freelance business and travel writing. In her spare time she does Tai Chi and paddles in the wilderness.

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