WITS grades 10-12

Genevieve Graham

Genevieve Graham moved to Nova Scotia in 2008 and fell in love with the integral history woven into every aspect of this province. Almost immediately, she realized how little she knew about the history, not only of this province but of all of Canada, and she embarked on a mission to correct that, using her love of historical fiction as a palette. All her novels have spent numerous weeks on the Canadian bestsellers list. Most recently, Genevieve focused her research and passion on the dark, little known story of Canada’s British Home Children in “The Forgotten Home Child”. Despite bookstore shutdowns across the country due to COVID-19, “The Forgotten Home Child” became an “instant #1 bestseller” and remained on that list for 19 weeks – 11 of those at #1. It achieved the #5 position in Canadian Fiction for 2020 and educated tens of thousands of readers about this vital part of our history.

Genevieve Graham is prolific and determined, dedicated to bringing Canadian history to life through the popular, mainstream market of commercial historical fiction. Having started writing relatively late in life (in her forties), she has already published five novels with Simon & Schuster Canada in five years, and is eager to keep on that same track for years to come.

Lauren Soloy

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. 

Nina Munteanu

Nina is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. She worked for 25 years as an environmental consultant in the field of aquatic ecology and limnology, publishing papers and technical reports on water quality and impacts to aquatic ecosystems. Nina has written over a dozen eco-fiction, science fiction and fantasy novels. An award-winning short story writer, and essayist, Nina currently lives in Toronto where she teaches writing at the University of Toronto and George Brown College.  Her book “Water Is…” (Pixl Press)—a scientific study and personal journey as limnologist, mother, teacher and environmentalist—was picked by Margaret Atwood in the New York Timesas 2016 ‘The Year in Reading’. Nina’s most recent novel is “A Diary in the Age of Water”—about four generations of women and their relationship to water in a rapidly changing world—released in June 2020 by Inanna Publications.

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.

Virginia Konchan

Virginia Konchan is the author of the poetry collections Any God Will Do (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2020) and The End of Spectacle (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2018), a collection of short stories, Anatomical Gift (Noctuary Press, 2017), and four chapbooks, That Tree is Mine (Gaspereau Press, 2020), Empire of Dirt (above/ground press, 2019), The New Alphabets (Anstruther Press, 2019), and Vox Populi (Finishing Line Press, 2015).  She holds degrees from Beloit College (BA), Cleveland State University (MFA), and the University of Illinois-Chicago (Ph.D).  Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Best New Poets, The Believer, and The New Republic, her essays and criticism in Kenyon Review Online, Boston Review, Jacket2, and Guernica, her translations in The Brooklyn Rail, Asymptote and Circumference, and her fiction in StoryQuarterly, Joyland, and Memorious, among other places.   Her work has been anthologized in several collections, and her honors include grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Vermont Studio Center, Ox-Bow, The Banff Center, and Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice.  Co-founder of Matter, a journal of poetry and political commentary, and Associate Editor for Tupelo Quarterly, she currently lives and works in Halifax.

Janice Landry

Janice Landry is an award-winning writer and journalist whose non-fiction work primarily focuses on mental health and wellness.

Landry started writing books to honour her late father, Capt. Basil (Baz) Landry M.B., of the former Halifax Fire Department, now Halifax Regional Fire & Emergency (HRFE). HRFE is the oldest fire service in Canada. Capt. Landry was awarded the Medal of Bravery by the Canadian government, in 1980, for his part in rescuing an eight-week-old baby from a horrific 1978 Halifax house fire.

Most of Landry’s books include multiple interviews with Canadian first responders, emergency personnel, and their loved ones – as she advocates nationally for better support, education, and pre-emptive training for people across agencies, backgrounds, and careers, who work around trauma.

She has recently completed her fifth book (2019) which focuses on two key cornerstones in mental health and wellness: gratitude and resiliency. That book, “Silver Linings,” is lovingly dedicated to her late mother, Theresa Landry, and friend, Audrey J. Parker, who both died while Landry was working on the project.

“Silver Linings” includes an interview with the person considered to be the world’s preeminent expert and researcher in the field of gratitude, Dr. Robert Emmons, of the University of California – Davis.

Landry freelances under Groundhog Productions. She is a proud graduate (BJ Hons. Distinction) of the University of King’s College, Halifax. Landry spent five months landing the interview with Dr. Emmons in order to honour her late journalism professor, Ian Wiseman, who taught at King’s.

Greg Loewen

G.V. Loewen is the author of thirty books in print 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. Loewen is apparently also the most prolific scholarly book writer of ‘Generation X’ (1963-1981). 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.

Suzanne Rent

Suzanne Rent has worked in the Halifax media since 2003 and has experience in newspapers, magazines, televsion, and radio. Her work has appeared in The Chronicle Herald, Halifax Magazine, East Coast Living, Halifax Examiner, Globe and Mail, Canadian Business, and many others.

She has experience mentoring students and adult learners in the writing and editing process. When she was the editor of Our Children Magazine, she created a student-correspondent program in which she mentored elementary-age students whose work was published in the magazine. In 2015, she was shortlisted for the Editors Canada Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for program.

She taught a Journalism 101 program to adult learners at the Dartmouth Literacy Network and the Bedford-Sackville Literacy Network.

Suzanne is currently working on a 10-episode radio show called The Great Nova Scotia Songbook,  which will be launched in November 2018. This series will chronicle the history of music in Nova Scotia, including the music of First Nations communities to today’s hip-hop artists. To date, she’s interviewed 45 musicians and industry talents for this project.

Suzanne publishes Boating Atlantic, an annual guide for the recreational boating in Atlantic Canada.

Suzanne has a special industry in Nova Scotia history, genealogy, music, community news, and the extraordinary stories of everyday people.

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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