Amanda Leduc is a disabled writer and author of the non-fiction book DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE, out now with Coach House Books. She is also the author of the novel THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN, published in 2013 by ECW Press. Her new novel, THE CENTAUR’S WIFE, is forthcoming with Random House Canada in the spring of 2021.
Her essays and stories have appeared in LitHub, The Rumpus, Little Fiction | Big Truths, The National Post, Open Book Ontario, and other publications across Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia.
Born in British Columbia, she has lived in Ontario, England, BC, and Scotland. She has cerebral palsy and presently, she makes her home in Hamilton, Ontario, where she lives with a very lovable, very destructive dog and serves as the Communications and Development Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.
For more information about Amanda, visit her website.
Brit Griffin is a writer & researcher living in Northern Ontario. The Wintermen III: At the End of the World, is the third novel in her cli-fi trilogy and will be released this fall (2020) by Latitude 46.
In 2014, she published her debut novel, The Wintermen, and the sequel, The Wintermen II: Into the Deep Dark was released in 2018. She works as a researcher for Timiskaming First Nation, an Algonquin community in north-western Quebec. Brit lives in Cobalt, Ontario with her husband, and is the mother of three daughters.
For more information about Brit, visit her website.
Chelene Knight is the author of the Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and the Toronto Star.
Knight was the previous managing editor at Room magazine, and the previous festival director for the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver. She is now CEO of her own literary studio, Breathing Space Creative and she works as an associate literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. Chelene often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Chelene teaches part time at the University of Toronto.
For more information about Chelene, visit her website.
Columpa Bobb has worked as a producer, director, playwright and performer for over 30 years. She is the recipient of a Jessie Richardson Theatre Award for Best Actress for the lead role in The Ecstasy of Rita Joe; she was also nominated for Jessie Awards in the categories of Best Supporting Actress and Best Ensemble Cast for her work in Only Drunks and Children Tell the Truth (Firehall Arts Centre). She was nominated for a Dora Mavor Moore Award for Best Actress for Sixty Below (Native Earth Performing Arts); she was also nominated for a Dora Award for Most Outstanding Production (Youth Category) for Jumping Mouse, co-written with Marion deVries.
Columpa was also nominated for a Returning the Gift Award for Contributions to North American Native Writing. For more than a decade Columpa ran Canada’s largest and most extensive empowerment through the arts training program for Indigenous youth in Winnipeg, Manitoba, which culminated in the creation of Urban Indigenous Theatre Company, Manitoba’s only professional theatre organization by and for Indigenous people. Columpa is a co-author of Hope Matters, a poetry collection collaboratively written with her mother, Lee Maracle, and sister, Tania Carter..
Danny Ramadan is a Syrian-Canadian author, public speaker and LGBTQ-refugees activist. His debut novel, The Clothesline Swing, won the Independent Publisher Book Award, The Canadian Authors Association’s award for Best Fiction, and was shortlisted for Evergreen Award, Sunburst Award and a Lambda Award. The novel is translated to French, German and Hebrew.
His children’s book, Salma the Syrian Chef, was published in March 2020 to positive reviews. He is currently finalizing her next novel, The Foghorn Echoes. Danny graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver with his husband, Matthew Ramadan.
For more information about Danny, visit his website.
Dave Wickenden has been a member of the Sudbury Writer’s Guild since 2014 and the Canadian Union of Writers. His first novel, IN DEFENSE OF INNOCENCE was released April 2018 and his second, HOMEGROWN released June 2018. He has worked as a Editorial Intern for Filles Vertes Publishing. He also has a couple short stories published. He is working on his fifth novel.
For more information about Dave, visit his website.
David Goudreault is a novelist, poet and social worker. The first Quebecer to win the World Poetry Cup, in Paris in 2011, he uses literature as a tool of expression and emancipation in schools and detention centers in the province of Quebec, especially in Nunavik, and in France. The same year, he was awarded the medal of the National Assembly of Quebec for his artistic achievements and his social involvement.
For more information about David, visit his website.
drew hayden taylor
Drew Hayden Taylor is an award-winning Canadian playwright, author, columnist, film maker and lecturer. An Ojibway from the Curve Lake First Nations in Ontario, he has worn many hats in his literary career, from performing stand-up comedy at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., to being Artistic Director of Canada’s premiere Native theatre company, Native Earth Performing Arts. He has been an award-winning playwright, a journalist/columnist (appearing regularly in several Canadian newspapers and magazines), short-story writer, novelist, television scriptwriter, and has worked on numerous documentaries exploring the Native experience. Most notably as a filmmaker, he wrote and directed REDSKINS, TRICKSTERS AND PUPPY STEW, a documentary on Native humour for the National Film Board of Canada, and for CBC, co-created SEARCHING FOR WINNITOU, an exploration of Germany’s fascination with North American Indigenous culture.
For more information about Drew, check out his website.
Award winning artist Eleanor Albanese has spent her life immersed in literary arts through playwriting, screenwriting, creative non-fiction, and short stories. Her numerous plays for young audiences have toured nationally from coast to coast. She the 2014 recipient of the Sybil Cooke Award for her play Night Wings, the inaugural production for Superior Theatre Festival. Her play The Novena Sisters aired nationally on CBC radio’s Sunday Showcase Series and her film, Under the Pearl Moon, won the 2014 People’s Choice award at the Bay Street Film Festival. If Tenderness Be Gold is her debut fiction novel. She lives in Thunder Bay.
For more information about Eleanor, visit her website.
Erin Alladin is the Associate Editor at Pajama Press. She is passionate about excellence in children’s literature and its power to convey important themes for all ages. Erin lives in McKellar, Ontario with her husband and an out-of-control garden.
Jónína Kirton is a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet. Born in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba (Treaty One) she currently lives in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. She received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. A member of Room Magazine’s Editorial board she is currently the curator of their on-line news related poetry series, Turtle Island Responds and one of the co-founders of the reading series, Indigenous Brilliance. A graduate of the SFU Writers Studio she is a longstanding member of their advisory board.
For more information about Jónína, visit her website.
Kaie Kellough is a novelist, poet, and sound performer. His work emerges at a crossroads of social engagement and formal experiment. From western Canada, he lives in Montréal and has roots in Guyana, South America.
His books include Dominoes at the Crossroads (short fiction, Véhicule, 2020), and Magnetic Equator (poetry, McClelland and Stewart, 2019), winner of the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize. His novel Accordéon (ARP, 2016) was a finalist for the 2017 Amazon/Walrus Foundation First Novel Award.
Kaie’s vocal performance, recorded audio, and electronic narrative explore migration and the suspension of arrival. Since 2011 he has created mixed media compositions with saxophonist and synthesist Jason Sharp. Kaie’s work has traveled internationally, notably to festivals in the UK, Australia, Asia, and continental Europe. He continues to craft new passages.
For more information about Kaie, visit his website.
Keenan Poloncsak is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in comic and children’s book illustrations. All his books are self-published and often bound by himself. Keenan Poloncsak has been book binding since 2013, apprenticing under Josée Roberge at ”L’Atelier Milles et Une Feuilles” and Laura Shevchenko at ‘‘The Bookbinder’s Daughter” in Montréal. He has since bound and restored hundreds of books including his own publications. In the fall of 2018, Keenan worked as an assistant bookbinder for the Library of Parliament of Canada for six consecutives months. Since June 2020, he is the owner of the ” The Bookbinder of the Faubourgs”, formerly The Bookbinder’s Daughter, a traditional bindery situated in the old borough of Faubourg à M’lasse, now known as Faubourg St-Marie.
For more information about Keenan, check out his website.
Kim Fahner has published five books of poems, including her latest collection, These Wings (Pedlar Press, 2019). She was the fourth poet laureate for the City of Greater Sudbury (2016-18), and the first woman to be appointed to that role. Kim writes across various genres, including poetry, short stories, novels, and plays. Her poem, “They Shall Have Homes, 1929,” was awarded an honourable mention in the 2019 League of Canadian Poets’ national broadside competition. She is a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and a supporting member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada.
For more information about Kim, visit her website.
Lee Maracle is the author of a number of critically acclaimed works including: Ravensong, Bobbi Lee Indian Rebel, Daughters Are Forever, Celia’s Song (which was long listed for CBC Canada Reads and a finalist for the ReLit Award), I Am Woman, First Wives Club, Talking to the Diaspora, Memory Serves: Oratories, and My Conversations with Canadians, which was a finalist for the 2018 Toronto Book Award and the First Nation Communities READ 2018-19 Award, and continues to be a nonfiction bestseller. She is also the co-editor of the award-winning My Home As I Remember. Her latest book is Hope Matters, collaboratively written with her daughters, Columpa Bobb and Tania Carter.
Maracle has served as Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the University of Toronto, the University of Waterloo, and the University of Western Washington. Maracle received the J.T. Stewart Award, the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Blue Metropolis Festival First Peoples Prize, the Harbourfront Festival Prize, and the Anne Green Award. Maracle received an Honorary Doctor of Letters from St. Thomas University, is a recipient of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. She was recently nominated for the prestigious Neustadt International Literature Prize, popularly known as the “American Nobel.” A member of the Sto:lo Nation, Maracle currently lives in Toronto and teaches at the University of Toronto.
Madhur Anand is the author of A New Index for Predicting Catastrophes (McClelland & Stewart, 2015), This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart (Strange Light, 2020) and several other literary works published in national and international magazines. She is a full professor of ecology and sustainability at The University of Guelph.
Matt Mayr grew up in Manitouwadge, a small Northern Ontario mining town. He studied English Literature at York University and Creative Writing at the Humber School for Writers. His first novel, Bad City (2015), was a quarter finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. He lives in Toronto.
For more information about Matt, visit his website.
Monique gray smith
Monique Gray Smith is a proud Mom of sixteen year old twins and an award-winning, best-selling author. Her first published novel, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience won the 2014 Canadian Burt Award for First Nation, Métis and Inuit Literature. Since then, Monique has had 6 books come out, including My Heart Fills with Happiness, You Hold Me Up and Speaking our Truth: A Journey of Reconciliation. Monique’s latest release, Tilly and the Crazy Eights is a novel about an epic road trip that Tilly and eight Indigenous Elders take. The story reminds the reader of the power of the human spirit and that love is medicine. Monique just released a new picture book called, When We Are Kind with Orca Book Publishers. Monique is Cree, Lakota and Scottish and has been sober and involved in her healing journey for over 28 years. She is well known for her storytelling, spirit of generosity and focus on resilience. For more information about Monique, visit her website.
Rebecca Fisseha’s fiction and nonfiction explores the Ethiopian diaspora. Her short fiction has appeared in The Maple Tree Literary Supplement; Room Magazine; Aesthetica Magazine Creative Writing Anthology; Joyland Magazine; The Rusty Toque; and is upcoming in Addis Ababa Noir. Rebecca contributes to Selamta, the in-flight magazine of Ethiopian Airlines. Her play, wise.woman was produced by b current at the Theatre Centre in 2009 in Toronto.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre and a Master’s Degree in Communications and Culture from York University; a Diploma in Writing for Film and Television from the Vancouver Film School; and a Certificate in Creative Writing from the Humber School for Writers. She has also been awarded a Chalmers Arts Fellowship from the Ontario Arts Council.
Rebecca Fisseha was born in Ethiopia and has been based in Toronto since 1998.
For more information about Rebecca, visit her website.
Robert J. Sawyer
Science fiction writer and futurist Robert J. Sawyer has been interviewed over 350 times on radio, over 350 times on television, and countless times in print. A member of the Order of Canada, he lives in Mississauga, Ontario (just outside Toronto).
Rob is one of only eight writers in history — and the only Canadian — to win all three of the world’s top Science Fiction awards for best novel of the year: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award.
For more information about Robert, visit his website.
Rod Carley’s first novel, A Matter of Will, was a finalist for the 2018 Northern Lit Award for Fiction. His short story, A Farewell to Steam, was featured in the non-fiction anthology, 150 Years Up North and More. Rod is also an award-winning director, playwright and actor, having directed and produced over 100 theatrical productions to date including fifteen adaptations of Shakespeare. He was the 2009 winner of TVO’s Big Ideas/Best Lecturer competition. He is the Artistic Director of the Canadore College Acting for Stage and Screen Program and a part-time English professor at Nipissing University in North Bay, ON. KINMOUNT is his second novel.
For more information about Rod, check out his website.
Sarah Kurchak is a writer and retired professional pillow fighter living in Toronto. Her work as an autistic self-advocate and essayist has appeared in Hazlitt, Catapult, the Guardian, CBC, Vox and Electric Literature. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers, and this is her first book.
For more information about Sarah, visit her website.
Tania Carter is an actor, playwright and poet whose work has appeared in anthologies and scholarly journals. A member of the Sto:lo Nation, she holds a BA in World Literature and a Masters Degree in Theatre, with a specialization in Playwriting. After living in Toronto for twenty years, she now lives in British Columbia. Tania is a co-author of Hope Matters, a poetry collection collaboratively written with her mother, Lee Maracle, and sister, Columpa Bobb.
Tanya is queer poet and educator committed to access and equity. As a Toronto based poet who facilitates spoken word workshops, Tanya has more than 10 years of experience as a professional poet and continues to innovate.
Tanya is a Toronto Poetry Slam organizer, a member of the League of Canadian Poets and has worked with the Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education program, with Louder Than A Bomb Toronto, and TDSB Creates.
For more information about Tanya, visit their website.
A two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of seven national bestselling novels, including his latest, Albatross, all published by McClelland & Stewart. The Best Laid Plans was the winner of the Leacock Medal for Humour in 2008, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2011. It was adapted as a six-part CBC-Television miniseries, as well as a stage musical. The High Road was a Leacock Medal finalist in 2011. Up and Down was the winner of the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award, and was a finalist for the 2013 Leacock Medal.
His fourth novel, No Relation, was released in May 2014, debuted on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and won the 2015 Leacock Medal. His fifth, Poles Apart, hit bookstores in October 2015, was a Globe and Mail bestseller and was a finalist for the 2016 Leacock Medal. One Brother Shy was released in May 2017 and became an instant bestseller. His seventh novel, Albatross, was a number one national bestseller a week after it was published and remained on the bestsellers list for months.
For more information about Terry, visit his website.
Vera Constantineau is an award-winning haiku poet as well as a writer of short fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work has appeared in such reputable journals as The Antigonish Review, Otoliths, Acorn, Modern Haiku and Presence. Her fiction and nonfiction have been selected for publication in several anthologies. In early 2020 Vera was named the sixth Poet Laureate for the City of Greater Sudbury. She hosts a podcast monthly and leads a local poetry group with a focus on haiku.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent the bulk of his journalism career at CBC, most recently as host of Up North, the afternoon radio program for northern Ontario. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.
For more information about Waubgeshig, visit his website.