WITS grades 10-12

Carolyn Jean Nicholson

Writing historical fiction and non-fiction, including how-to and resources for researching your ancestors and structuring the material into an article or book for family and friends or a wider audience to enjoy.
We all have ancestors. How much do you know about your ancestors and why are they important?

Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy

Writer, director and  producer, Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy has had two novels published by Pottersfield Press as well- Never Speak of This Again (2018) and The Silence of the Vessel (2020), which was nominated for an Atlantic Book Award. Four of Brenda’s plays have been on the stage at Strathspey Place, a 500 soft seat theatre in Mabou, Cape Breton- John Allan Cameron’s Last Show (November 2021), John Archie and Nellie (2016, 2012) , The Weddin’ Dance (2013), and Displacement (2014). Her play The Reiteach was put at two small stages in 2020. She was a featured writer at the 2021 Cabot Trail Writers Festival and also won the HR Bill Percy Novel Prize in 2017 for Never Speak of This Again. Born and raised in Inverness County, the mother of four is a teacher by trade, but a gypsy by nature. She loves to find characters along the way in life. Brenda lives in Skye Glen, Inverness County, with her wonderful and patient husband, Ed.

Rebecca Rose

Rebecca Rose is the author of Before the Parade: A History of Halifax’s Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Communities (1972-1984), published by Nimbus Publishing. Before the Parade is a narrative non-fiction account of some of the people, places, and events that made up the 2SLGB community of 1970s and 80s Halifax/K’jipuktuk. It features over 30 interviews with local 2SLGB elders. Rebecca was shortlisted for The Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award for Before the Parade in 2021.

Rebecca is a sought after speaker and has hosted workshops or given keynote speeches for groups including: The MacPhee Centre For Creative Learning, The Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity, the X School of Journalism, the Canadian Association of Labour Media (CALM), the Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project, the Nova Scotia Public Interest Research Group (NSPIRG), and the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

A graduate of the X University School of Journalism, Rebecca has written for publications such as: The Coast, Xtra, OurTimes magazine, Rabble.ca, and OUT: Queer Looking, Queer Acting Revisited. In 2018, The Coast named the 2016 article “Before the Parade” – the precursor to the book – one of the 30 most important things they’ve ever published. 

Born in Cape Breton and raised in Dartmouth, Rebecca now lives in the hills of Dartmouth with her partner and cat.

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail

Danielle Metcalfe-Chenail specializes in telling hidden, inclusive histories for audiences of all ages. She’s done this for over a decade as a freelancer as well as through her books, which span adult narrative nonfiction, essays, a picture book.

Danielle has a new picture book forthcoming in 2023, and her first chapter book – Fever on the Forgotten Coast – is out on submission.

Danielle is currently doing rewrites on The 500 Year Flood, a women’s fiction project set during Hurricane Harvey. Over the winter of 2021-22, with the support of a Canada Council Creation Grant, she will return to her creative nonfiction book trauma, family, and the largest Indian Hospital in Canada.

If you’re looking for a sharp-eyed cheerleader to help you with editing and coaching, Danielle will help you through the writing and publishing journey with empathy and encouragement. Please contact her directly to discuss working together.

Lauren Soloy

Lauren is the author and illustrator of When Emily was Small and Etty Darwin and the Four Pebble Problem. 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. 

John A. Read

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.

Chad Lucas

Chad Lucas has been in love with words since he attempted his first novel on a typewriter in the sixth grade. He has worked as a newspaper reporter, communications advisor, freelance writer, part-time journalism instructor, and parenting columnist.

His work has appeared in publications including Halifax Magazine, Black to Business, Sport Quarterly and The Chronicle Herald, where he wrote a biweekly column, “Life With Kids,” from 2011-2016. He’s a previous Silver Award winner at the Atlantic Journalism Awards, and his short fiction has appeared in EVENT and The Dalhousie Review.

A proud descendant of the historic African Nova Scotian community of Lucasville, Chad lives with his family in Nova Scotia. His debut middle grade novel, Thanks a Lot, Universe (Amulet Books/Abrams Kids) is a Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection and earned praise as “heartwarming and bold” in a starred review from Kirkus Reviews and “funny and deeply empathetic” in a starred review from School Library Journal. His second middle grade novel, Let The Monster Out, releases in May 2022.

Thibault Jacquot-Paratte

From the Annapolis Valley. Travelled across North Amrica, Europe, India, Japan, Cameroon, Tunisia. Bachelor’s of Nordic studies from the Sorbonne in 2015, Master’s in sociology in 2017; year of study in Tromsø, Norway, Study certificates from the University of Vaasa (Fi.), and The Askov Folkehøjskole (DK.).

Started publishing poetry in 2010, has since published poetry, short stories, essays, and theatre in both English and French, in Canada, Europe and India. His first three plays were published in Paris in 2016-2017; first poetry collection in Allahabad in 2020. In 2017, co-directed and co-wrote one film (Danish-Estonian coproduction). Also a musician and a songwriter, has had the opportunity to play in Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Denmark, India and japan, and has produced multiple recordings. He has also been invited as an official poet to certain events, such as one of the official poets of the SNA at the 2019 CMA, in Moncton. His published work ranges across almost all genres – realism, fantasy, absurdism, abstract prose, poetry…

Dr. G.V. Loewen

G.V. Loewen is the author of forty-seven books and is one of Canada’s leading contemporary thinkers. His non-fiction works include books in education, ethics, health, aesthetics and social theory. He recently wrote an eleven volume adventure saga for young persons and other shorter fiction works. He is a student of phenomenology and hermeneutics. Born in Victoria, January 31, 1966, Loewen was educated at the University of Victoria with a BA and MA in anthropology and at the University of British Columbia, receiving the PhD in anthropology in 1997. He held two tenure stream positions in the United States before taking up his academic position in Saskatoon, Canada, in 2005, where he was chair of the sociology department for five years and from which he retired in 2018. Over the course of his career, Loewen won two major teaching awards at two universities and was nominated for four others.

Jen Powley

Jen Powley is a 39-year-old prairie girl living in Canada’s ocean playground. She left Alberta after a degree in social sciences at the King’s University College in Edmonton, where she edited the school newspaper. Powley moved across the country to pursue an after-degree in journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Following that, in 2001, she moved back to Halifax after a summer in Alberta. She then held jobs at the Independent Living Resource Centre (now Independent Living Nova Scotia) and the Nova Scotia League for Equal Opportunities. Realizing she could not engineer the type of societal change she wanted, Powley returned to school earning her Master’s of Urban Planning at Dalhousie University, and then worked for five years at the Ecology Action Centre. Losing her voice due to her multiple sclerosis, Powley recognized the presentations the job required were no longer feasible so she returned to the University of King’s College to pursue her Master’s of Fine Arts in Creative Non-Fiction. In May 2017, Powley released her first and only book, a memoir Just Jen, published by Roseway, an imprint of Fernwood Publishing. 

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