Peggy Amirault is a freelance writer and editor. Media and related skills include: copy writing/editing, magazine editing, report writing, desktop publishing of newsletters and brochures, photography, research, press releases, publicity and promotion, newspaper reporting. Areas of writing interest include: publishing; business, industry and technology, profiles, hotels and hospitality, travel and tourism, Atlantic Canada, current events, restoration, medicine, law, media, ecology/environment, consumer interests, trade and general interest magazines.
Michael Bawtree was born in Australia, raised and educated in Britain, and came to Canada in 1962. Michael has worked in Canadian theatre and television for over forty years. Founding artistic director of the Atlantic Theatre Festival in Wolfville, he has also served as associate director of the Stratford Festival and was for many years director of drama at Acadia University. He is the author of a number of plays, including The Last of the Tsars, as well as a book on music theatre, The New Singing Theatre, and a young person’s novel, Joe Howe to the Rescue. He was the executive director of the Joseph Howe Initiative, celebrating Joe Howe in his two hundredth year birthday. His young adult novel, Joe Howe to the Rescue, was released by Nimbus in 2004. Today’s Joe Howe – “the greatest Nova Scotian” written by Trevor J. Adams and Michael Bawtree, was published by the Joseph Howe Initiative in 2004.
Other published works include a DVD about D-Day, and CDs of ‘Three Men In A Boat’ and ‘A Christmas Carol’.
He went on to write the first volume of his memoirs, As Far As I Remember, which was published by Like No Other Press in 2015. His latest publication is the second volume of his memoirs, The Best Fooling, published by Like No Other Press in 2017.
Joan Baxter is a Nova Scotian author, journalist, development researcher/writer and anthropologist who now divides her time between Canada and Africa. Her 2017 book, The Mill – Fifty Years of Pulp and Protest, won the 2018 Atlantic Book Award for Scholarly Writing, and was shortlisted for three other awards. It also topped the Nova Scotia Chapters Indigo bestseller list for three months.
Her 2008 book, Dust From Our Eyes – an unblinkered look at Africa, was shortlisted for the 2009 Dayton Literary Peace Prize in the United States, and a second edition was released in 2010. Her 2001 book, A Serious Pair of Shoes: An African Journal, won the Evelyn Richardson Award for non-fiction at the 2001 Atlantic Writing Awards. The late Peter Gzowski included her letters to CBC Morningside in his series of Morningside Letters books, and described Joan’s first non-fiction work, Graveyard for Dreamers: One Woman’s Odyssey in Africa, as “a magical book”. In addition to hundreds of news reports and features for BBC World Service, her short fiction has also been aired on this worldwide radio service in several languages. She has lived and worked in Mexico, Guatemala, Niger, Cameroon, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Kenya, Mali and Sierra Leone, and is multi-lingual.
For more than two decades Joan lived with her family in Africa, reporting for the BBC World Service, CBC Radio and the Associated Press. Her writing has also appeared in Le Monde Diplomatique, The Toronto Star, Pambazuka News, The Scotsman, The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, and The Chronicle Herald. She also worked as a Senior Science Writer at the World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) with its headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. In 2006 and 2007, she served as Executive Director for the international non-governmental organization, the Nova Scotia – Gambia Association, working in The Gambia and Sierra Leone on development education for youth and marginalized groups. While there, she produced two films showing positive images and messages from West Africa. She is a member of the Board of Directors for the international NGO, USC Canada / Seeds of Survival.
Over the years she has met, interviewed and profiled a host of African presidents, dignitaries, writers, intellectuals, thinkers and artists, including the late and much-loved President Thomas Sankara of Burkina Faso, the late great Miriam Makeba of South Africa and Ali Farka Toure of Mali, the sensational Malian duo Amadu & Mariam, the late Francis Bebey of Cameroon, and many more. She is a frequent public speaker on African issues and does consulting and voluntary work in development. She specializes in development issues as they relate to social and environmental justice, climate change, human rights, sustainable agriculture, food and seed and land sovereignty.
John Bell is the author or editor of more than twenty books touching on various aspects of Canadian history and culture. A former editor of the poetry magazine Arc, he has contributed to a wide variety of periodicals, including Literary Review of Canada, Event, This Magazine, and Maisonneuve. His work has also appeared in numerous anthologies and collections, the most recent being Compostela: Tesseracts Twenty (2017). As well, he has given readings and lectured on cultural history in many different venues and has served as the curator of several exhibitions and websites for the Canadian Museum of Caricature, the National Library, and the National Archives. He lives in Lunenburg.
The late Malcolm Ross, one of Canada’s most renowned literary scholars, offered the following description of John’s work: “John Bell is a unique figure in our literary landscape. He goes his own way and is more likely to create fashions than to follow them.”
Paul W. Bennett, Ed.D. (OISE/Toronto) is a Halifax author, education consultant, and commentator. His latest book is The Last Stand: Schools, Communities and the Future of Rural Nova Scotia (2013)
Paul is founding Director of Schoolhouse Consulting, and Adjunct Professor of Education at Saint Mary’s University. Over a career spanning three decades in three different provinces, Ontario, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, Dr. Bennett has written or co-authored eight books and many articles in both the popular media and the academic press.
As Director of Schoolhouse Consulting, Paul produces regular Opinion Columns and Book Reviews for The Chronicle Herald. He writes for Progress Magazine and produces major research studies on critical issues in contemporary P-12 education.
As a writer, Paul is best known across Canada as the author of three widely recognized Canadian history textbooks, Canada: A North American Nation (Toronto: McGraw Hill Ryerson, 1995), Years of Promise, 1896-1911 (Toronto: Grolier, 1986), and (with Cornelius J. Jaenen) Emerging Identities: Problems and Interpretations in Canadian History (Scarborough: Prentice Hall, 1986). His articles and commentaries have appeared in The Globe and Mail, The National Post, The Montreal Gazette, and numerous academic journals, including Acadiensis, the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society Journal, Canadian Issues/Themes, and Historical Studies in Education.
Dr. Bennett is a widely recognized leader and commentator in Canadian education. From 1997 until 2009, Paul served as Headmaster of two of Canada’s leading independent coeducational day schools, Halifax Grammar School and Lower Canada College. He is currently Chair of the Board of the Halifax Public Libraries and President of the Halifax Branch of the Canadian International Council.
Kate Watson is a freelance writer. She is the theatre critic for Halifax’s alternative weekly newspaper The Coast. She is also a columnist and reporter for the Dartmouth/Cole Harbour and Halifax/Clayton Park weeklies.
She has written pieces for Our Children, Rural Delivery, Our Times, and Halifax Magazine, among others. She frequently does book reviews for Atlantic Books Today.
Kate also writes poetry and fiction, and has had her poems published in Ascent Aspirations and Regina Weese. She has a short story coming out in A Maritime Christmas, published by Nimbus in the fall of 2008.
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 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.