School Grade Specialty

Sherry D. Ramsey

Sherry D. Ramsey writes science fiction and fantasy for both adults and young adults, and is one of the founding editors of Cape Breton’s Third Person Press. She has published over thirty short stories nationally and internationally, and her award-winning debut novel, One’s Aspect to the Sun, launched in 2013 from Edmonton’s Tyche Books. The sequels, Dark Beneath the Moon and Beyond the Sentinel Stars (Tyche Books) followed in 2015 and 2017, and a fourth book in the Nearspace series is forthcoming. She has also published the YA fantasy The Seventh Crow (Dreaming Robot Press, 2015), and the middle grade science fiction adventure, Planet Fleep (2018). Some of her short stories are collected in To Unimagined Shores (2011) and The Cache and Other Stories (2017). A collection of stories for young readers, Beacon and Other Stories, came out in 2019. She’s currently adding more titles to her urban fantasy Olympia Investigations series and working on a comic fantasy novel, as well as teaching English courses as a sessional instructor at Cape Breton University.

Sherry has co-edited six anthologies of regional short fiction with Third Person Press and conducted numerous writing workshops in person and online. A member of the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia Writer’s Council, Sherry is also a past Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, and Web Administrator of SF Canada. She is an active participant with Writers In The Schools and loves talking to students about writing and creativity. You can visit Sherry online, read her blog, follow her on Twitter and Instagram @sdramsey, and find some free fiction and sample chapters on her website.

Philip Moscovitch

I am a freelance writer, editor, and audio producer with a passion for tellng stories.

My book Adventures in Bubbles and Brine (Formac, 2019) explores Nova Scotia fermentation traditions (everything from craft beer to sauerkraut) and the people reviving and reinventing them. Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate, says it is a “beautifully written book – which is at once a travel memoir, a weave of lore, histories, and personal tales, and an inspiring recipe collection.” Author and fermentation revivalist Sandor Katz (The Art of Fermentation) calls it “a beautiful window into the culture of fermentation in Nova Scotia! Philip Moscovitch introduces us to old timers carrying on traditions, and to leaders of the province’s contemporary fermentation revival.”

I have been publishing non-fiction for more than 25 years. My work has appeared in dozens of publications, including The Walrus, Saltscapes, Reader’s Digest, The Globe and Mail, The Gazette (Montreal), Halifax Magazine, East Coast Living, The Halifax Examiner, DAL Magazine, The Coast, Atlantic Books Today, My Halifax Experience, American Craft, Atlantic Co-operator, Canadian Co-operator, Tablet, Best Health, Shambhala Sun, Concordia Magazine, Maroon and White (SMU), Queen’s Alumni Review, York U Magazine, Equinox (remember Equinox?), Farm Credit Canada Express, OpenFile, Optimyz, Canadian Screenwriter, Playback, The Big Frame, Canadian Bar Association National magazine, Les carrières de l’ingénierie, and Les carrières du droit.

I have contributed essays to the non-fiction books Dogs With Jobs, Saltlines, and  Look Ahead, Get Ahead: Growing Career Opportunities for Technicians and Technologists (this one was a lot more fun than it sounds).

For five years, I was the editor of Canadian Screenwriter magazine, and I’ve been a writer and story editor for several documentaries. As an audio producer, my work has aired both regionally and nationally on CBC Radio.

While my focus is mostly non-fiction, I have also published short fiction and poetry, and for 14 years I wrote the beloved Daisy Dreamer comic for Chickadee magazine.

My interests are broad. I’ve written about everything from professional wrestling to mental health, and from food to art. My short feature Small-town Smackdown,written for The Walrus, was a National Magazine Award finalist.

I recently graduated from the University of King’s College MFA in Creative Non-fiction program, and am working on a book about new understandings of serious mental illness, as well as a longer upper-elementary fantasy graphic novel series.

In addition to my work in fiction and non-fiction, I am also available to write for organizations in the corporate, government, and non-profit sectors. My clients have included the National Film Board, the Canadian Labour Congress, and numerous independent film producers.

Martine Jacquot

Martine Jacquot is a prolific writer who writes in French but can make presentations in either French or English. She has published over 30 books so far (novels, poetry, short-stories, essays and novels for young readers).

She has been invited to many literary events across Canada and abroad, namely to Lafayette’s book festival during the 2nd World Acadian Congress in 1999, to Tunisia to attend a panel of women writers in 2000, the International Poetry Festival in Trois-Rivières, the Northrop Frye International Literary Festival and to the Paris Book Fair in 2004 and 2006.

She did several reading tours: Tunisia in 2000, Russia and Cameroon in 2008, Morocco in 2010, Roumania in 2011, India in 2012.

She holds several degrees: BA from La Sorbonne, Paris, 3 MA degrees from La Sorbonne, Acadia and Dalhousie, a BJ from the University of Kings College and a PHD from Dalhousie University. She has studied and lived in France, England, Switzerland and Canada.

Past Vice President of the Association des Écrivains Acadiens, past president of the Conseil Culturel Acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse, she has been on many editorial committees, member of several juries, has received creation grants and travel grants both from the Canada Council for the arts and the NS Arts Council. Her novel Les oiseaux de nuit finissent aussi par s’endormir was short listed for the Antonine-Maillet-Acadie Vie award. She was thrice finalist for the Éloizes awards, once as a writer, and twice as a cultural journalist. She was shortlisted for the France-Acadie Award three times for Au Gré du Vent (2006), Le jardin d’herbes aromatiques (2006) and Le silence de la neige (2008). She won the Award Prix Européen de l’ADELF with a special mention 2007 for Au gré du vent. She has also been chosen on 2 occasions to advise beginning authors, once by the Talent Trust of NS, once by the Association des auteurs de l’Ontario. Some of her poems and short stories have been broadcast on SRC. One of her stories was staged in Ottawa at the Théâtre Trillium. She was a member of the Board of Governors of the NS Museum for 12 years and an author in residence with the ArtsInfusion program and Fecane program

Her articles and interviews have appeared in LittéRéalité, Ancrage, Arcade, Alpha Arts magazine, Eloizes, Femmes d’Action, The Fiddlehead, Liason, Studies in Canadian Literature, Vent’d’est, Waves, Ashtarowt and Al Quds, among others. Her poems and short stories have appeared in Concerto pour huit voix, La Diversité: 15 nouvelles francophones á travers le monde, Ecphore Anthology 1987, Eloizes, Les Elytres du Hanneton, Herspectives, Liaison, Lieux d’être, Littéréalité, Les Maritimes, Mensuel, 25 Offerta Speziale, Poetry Halifax-Dartmouth, The Pottersfield Portfolio, Reflets Maritimes 2, Voices and Echoes: Stories and Poems of Women’s Spirituality, Walk through Paradise, La Poésie acadienne and Pour l’Amour de toi, among others. Some of her work is being translated into English, Russian, Portugese, Italian, Basque and Arabic.

Jessica Scott Kerrin

Jessica grew up on the Canadian prairies, and although she enjoyed school, she had a terrible secret. She was a horrible speller. This made it tough because she really liked to write. It turns out that a lot of writers can’t spell, and Jessica figured this out when she got her first award for creative writing, back in grade three. On the trophy, her writing teacher had misspelled her name! Since then, Jessica has tried, as much as she can, to write about experiences she finds funny, like that one.

Today, she lives with her family and their hunting dog in downtown Halifax in a house so old the floors slope, and all the balls she tosses to her dog roll into one corner. Her family likes to participate in outdoor adventures in other countries such sailing, biking and hiking. In addition to writing, Jessica has managed galleries, dance schools and museums, and she has worked with artists, performers and curators. Unfortunately, her spelling has not improved!

About her newest novel, Clear Skies:

As the US/Soviet Space Race heats up in 1961, Arno wrestles with self-doubt. Are his dreams of becoming an astronomer about to explode like an extra-galactic supernova?

 

Monica Graham

Monica Graham is the author of several non-fiction books. Her newest, Senior Moment (Nimbus), an almost-humorous account of finding residential care for her aging mother, will come out in the spring of 2021.  In the Spirit, Reflections on Everyday Grace, is a collection of some of the best columns she wrote over eight years for the Chronicle Herald religion page. Cradle of Knowledge: Pictou Academy 1816-2016 tells the history of the 200-year-old school.  A columnist as well as a freelance journalist and photographer, Monica has had her work published by the Halifax Chronicle Herald, Rural Delivery, Atlantic Business Magazine, The Pictou Advocate, Canadian Living, Trident, The Atlantic Fisherman, and other publications. She is a member of the Writers in the Schools program, and also presents writing and storytelling workshops for adults and literacy groups. Monica served as writer-in-residence at Pictou Antigonish Regional Library in 2011-12; and at Berton House in Dawson City, YT, in 2008. She lives in the woods in Pictou County, NS, with her husband, a dog, and visiting bears, deer and people. between She is working on an historical novel and a collection of short stories.

Sylvia Gunnery

Sylvia Gunnery has published over 25 books for teens and children as well as professional resources for teachers of writing. A recipient of a Prime Minister’s Teaching Award, she has presented at conferences, libraries, and schools across Canada.  Since the spring of 2020, she has also enjoyed working virtually with adult writers and students through workshops, mentorships, and WITS visits.  Road Signs That Say West, her most recent YA novel, is published by Pajama Press.  In 2022, she will be a speaker at Reading For the Love of It in Toronto:    http://www.readingfortheloveofit.com/brochure.html  Sylvia lives at Crescent Beach, on the South Shore of Nova Scotia where she’s working on a Ya series of linked stories, what I know about next.

Lesley Choyce

Lesley teaches part-time at Dalhousie University, runs Pottersfield Press and has published over 86 books for adults and kids. His Young Adult novels concern things like skateboarding, surfing, racism, environmental issues, organ transplants, and rock bands. Lesley surfs year round in the North Atlantic and is considered the father of transcendental wood-splitting. He’s worked as a rehab counsellor, a freight hauler, a corn farmer, a janitor, a journalist, a lead guitarist, a newspaper boy and a well-digger. He lives at Lawrencetown Beach overlooking the ocean. He also hosts a nationally syndicated TV talk show on Vision TV. His recent novel, Cold Clear Morning, is currently being developed as a feature length movie. In 2002, Goose Lane Editions published Choyce’s best-selling circumferential history book, The Coasts of Canada. That same year, his animal epic film, The Skunk Whisperer, was broadcast across Canada and heralded at the Maine International Film Festival. Along with the Surf Poets, he has released two poetry/music albums, Long Lost Planet and Sea Level.

To read excerpts from Lesley’s books and download free samples of his music, visit www.lesleychoyce.com.

Jan L. Coates

Jan Coates lives in Wolfville, NS with her husband and their Golden Irish, Charlie. She has two married children (sadly in Ontario) and loves visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. Jan’s interest in writing for children grew out of her own love of words and stories and a passion for helping kids become lifelong readers and writers.

In her free time, Jan can be found on the badminton court, travelling, at the gym, the cottage, or Frenchy’s. Her first picture book, Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005) has been translated into Spanish, Catalan, and Braille, with Korean and Brazilian rights also sold. She has also written eighteen ESL illustrated chapter books for Caramel Tree, a Korean-based English Language School publisher.

Her debut novel, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press, 2010), was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text) in 2011, as well as an Ann Connor Brimer Award finalist. She has also written five middle grade novels; The Hermit (Nimbus, 2020); Say What You Mean (Nevermore, 2019); Talking to the Moon (Red Deer, 2018),The Power of Harmony (Red Deer, 2013), also a Brimer finalist, and Rocket Man, a YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers  (Red Deer, 2014). Jan’s picture books include: Dancing with Daisy (Running the Goat, 2019); Karissa & Felix (self-published, as both author and illustrator, 2019);  A Halifax Time-Travelling Tune (Nimbus, 2018), Sky Pig (Pajama Press, 2016), The King of Keji (Nimbus, 2015), and Rainbows in the Dark (Second Story Press, 2005). Her current passion (other than learning to illustrate and creating soul smiles, her greeting cards) is writing a work of creative non-fiction for young readers about Canadian landscape painter (and all-around interesting person) Doris McCarthy (1910 – 2010). Forthcoming books in 2022 include: “Anna Maria & Maestro Vivaldi” (Red Deer Press) and “The Pocket Pig” – both author/illustrator  (Pandamonium Publishing House).

Don Aker

A former high school teacher, literacy mentor, and university instructor, Don Aker fell into writing in 1988 after attending the Martha’s Vineyard Summer Writing Workshops, where instructors encouraged participants to write with their students. Encouraged by winning the short fiction and nonfiction categories of the 1989 and 1990 WFNS Atlantic Writing Competitions as well as Canadian Living’s 1990 National Literary Competition, Don went on to publish numerous stories and articles and has written more than 20 books.

Because he taught hundreds of teenagers during his teaching career, it isn’t surprising that young adults are the focus of most of his work. What subjects does he choose to write about? “Things that bother me, that don’t go away,” he says. For example, Don wrote his first novel after a student shared with him that she was being physically abused by her father. Of Things Not Seen tells the story of sixteen-year-old Ben Corbett, who, along with his mother, is physically abused by his domineering stepfather. Besides domestic violence, Don’s novels have focused on peer pressure, bullying, youth crime, suicide, sexuality, teen gambling, and a variety of other social issues. However, he is quick to point out that the strongest stories are never about issues or events–“They’re about how characters are affected by those issues and events.”

Don holds a Master of Education from Acadia University and, besides working as an educator and writer, he has been a freelance reviewer and consultant for various educational publishers, including Nelson Education, Pembroke Publishers, and Pearson Education. He has written several books for classroom use, among them Hitting the Mark: Assessment Tools for Teachers (Pembroke, 1995) and a series of language arts texts for grades 8 to 11 (Nelson Education), and he has had articles and fiction published in The International Journal of Reading, Quill & Quire, Books in Canada, Canadian Living, The Toronto Star, Our Family Magazine, The Pottersfield Portfolio, Dandelion Magazine, The Chronicle Herald, and various anthologies.

The father of two daughters, Don lives with his wife in Bedford.

Chris Benjamin

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’ novel, Drive-by Saviours, won the H.R. Percy Prize, was longlisted for a ReLit Prize and made the CBC Canada Reads Top Essential Books List.

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.

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