WITS grades P-6

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. 

Anne Kelly

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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