Halifax, Nova Scotia

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Halifax Central Library | 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

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2017 Participants will be featured soon! Below are the 2016 stars of our show. Since 1990, The Word On The Street has proudly hosted some of the finest talent in Canadian literature. Our next festival is shaping up to be another great one.

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2016 WoTS Denise Adams

Denise Adams holds a Master of Arts and Art Education from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. More recently, she has worked as a survey assistant, and these days her main occupation is in custom coastal home design and landscaping consultant for the area of St. Margaret’s Bay, Nova Scotia.

For the Love of Lobster
Food Lovers/Professional/Technical

2016 WoTS Dave Atkinson

Dave Atkinson is an award-winning freelance journalist, columnist, and broadcaster. His work for the CBC has appeared on The Current, Atlantic Voice, Tapestry, Maritime Magazine, and regional radio programs across the country. He and his wife are homeschooling their three silly kids in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Wereduck was his first book for kids aged 8-12.

Cure for Wereduck
Childrens (8-12 years)

2016 WoTS Jordyn F. Bochon - Hal-Con Guest

Currently based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jordyn F. Bochon is known for her strange, and sometimes sexy, short stories. Recent releases include the second issue of her Gene Day Award-nominated comic,Finnegan Strappe and the Claw of the Earth, and the weekly choose-your-own-adventure comic Cuir’ro, published in Haligonian news magazine The Coast.

Discover Jordyn Bochon

2016 WoTS Bookaboo

Bookaboo is a world famous rock puppy who tours the globe with his band, playing drums to packed stadiums of adoring fans. However, there’s just one hitch for our rock puppy superstar – he can’t play without a story a day!

Childrens/Early Literacy
2-5 years

2016 WoTS Danila Botha

Danila Botha is a fiction writer based in Toronto. Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, she has lived in Ra’anana, Israel, and in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She studied Creative Writing at York University and at Humber College’s School for Writers. Her first book, a collection of short stories called Got No Secrets (Tightrope Books, 2010) was praised by the Globe and Mail, the Chronicle Herald and the Cape Town Times. It was also named one of Britannica’s Books of the Year (Canadian short stories) in 2011, and was published in South Africa (Modjaji Books, 2011). Danila has guest-edited the National Post’s “The Afterword,” and her short stories have appeared in Broken Pencil Magazine, Douglas Glover’s Numero Cinq Magazine, Lynn Crosbie’s Hood Magazine, Joyland, The Fix, the Adroit Journal and more. Her first novel, the critically acclaimed Too Much on the Inside was published by Quattro Books in June 2015. Her new collection of short stories, For All the Men (and Some of the Women)I’ve Known will be published by Tightrope Books in Sept 2016. She will be teaching at the Humber School for Writers in Spring 2017. She is currently working on her second novel.

Too Much on the Inside

2016 WoTS A. D. Boutilier

The Citadel On Stage is a lively and entertaining social history of British military officers stationed in colonial Halifax. The object of this volume is to survey a wide range of social, theatrical, and recreational performances up until confederation; and to examine the reasons why the garrison officers were entirely involved in these activities. The main focus is on the garrison theatrical society as a social, cultural, and charitable entity; and how its existence revolved around the British institutions of colonial government and religion as well as economics.

The Citadel on Stage
Social History

2016 WoTS L.E. Carmichael

Lindsey Carmichael never outgrew that stage of childhood when nothing’s more fun than amazing your friends (and correcting your teachers!) with your stockpile of weird and wonderful facts. Her sense of wonder came in handy during her career as a scientist, and in 2006, she received the Governor General’s Medal for her PhD thesis, Ecological Genetics of Northern Wolves and Arctic Foxes. Lindsey finds talking about science more fun than doing it, however, and now writes for kids, teens, and occasionally adults (a sense of wonder is essential for this, too).

Lindsey publishes under the name L. E. Carmichael, and her work has appeared in Dig, Highlights for Children, and National Geographic Explorer (Extreme). Her published science books cover everything from scoliosis to hybrid cars. Fox Talk was a Benjamin Franklin Awards Silver Medalist, and Fuzzy Forensics: DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild holds the 2014 Lane Anderson Award for exceptional children’s science writing. When not digging up obscure or wacky details for her next nonfiction project, Lindsey’s probably working on her young adult fantasy novel.
Fuzzy Forensics DNA Fingerprinting Gets Wild
Childrens Books/Educational/Reference

2016 WoTS Bill Carr

Bill Carr is known as a multi-media artist, an actor, humorist, writer, speaker and social activist. For over twenty-five years, Bill has been making people laugh at what’s trivial while helping them think deeply about what counts. Bill helps people see their world in new and exciting ways. His unique blend of humour and insight inspires laughter and consideration, offering his audience a fresh perspective on what they face everyday. At the root of all of Bill’s work is the use of humour to help people reflect on their own innate human nature and understand who they are in a greater social context.

Acting Up

2016 WoTS Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce is the author of 87 books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He runs Pottersfield Press and has worked as editor with a wide range of Canadian authors. He has edited a number of literary anthologies and hosted several television shows over the years.
Choyce has been teaching English and Creative Writing at Dalhousie and other universities for over thirty years and has acted as mentor to many emerging writers during that time. He has won The Dartmouth Book Award, The Atlantic Poetry Prize and The Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Medal, The White Pine Award, The Hackmatack Award, The Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Award and, most recently, The Governor General’s Award. He was a founding member of the 1990s Spoken Word rock band, The SurfPoets.
As well as teaching Creative Writing and English, he is an instructor in the Transition Year Program at Dal. In 2009, Choyce was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award by the Dalhousie Student Union. He surfs year round in the North Atlantic.

Off The Grid
Young Adult

2016 WoTS George Elliot Clarke

Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia in 1960, Mr. Clarke is a seventh-generation Canadian of African-American and Mi’kmaq Amerindian heritage. He earned a B.A. Honours in English from the University of Waterloo (1984), an M.A. in English from Dalhousie University (1989) and a Ph.D. in English from Queen’s University (1993). Mr. Clarke now lives in Toronto and began teaching Canadian and African diasporic literature in 1999 at University of Toronto, where he is currently the E.J. Pratt Professor of Canadian Literature.

Among Mr. Clarke’s many honours are the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry (2001), the National Magazine Gold Medal for Poetry (2001), the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award (2004), the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellowship Prize (2005-08), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction (2006), the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (2009), appointment to the Order of Nova Scotia (2006), appointment to the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer (2008), and eight honorary doctorates.


2016 WoTS Jan L. Coates

Jan L. Coates is a writer living in Wolfville, Nova Scotia with her family, and currently working as a teacher as well as giving school writing workshops through the Writer’s Federation of Nova Scotia. She grew up in Truro, NS, went to Acadia University, and has been writing for children since about 2000 when her picture book manuscript, Sam’s Magic Cape, placed second in the Atlantic Writing Competition. There followed the publication of her first picture book, Rainbows in the Dark, in 2005, and most recently two middle grade novels: The Power of Harmony (Red Deer Press, 2013), and Rocket Man (Red Deer Press, 2014).

Her YA novel, A Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk (Red Deer Press, 2010), was a finalist for the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Award as well as for the 2011 Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature. Proceeds from HARE are being shared with Wadeng Wings of Hope, Jacob Akech Deng’s foundation through which he’s raising money to build a school in Sudan; the first two classrooms in the school were completed in the winter of 2013.

Sky Pig
Children’s Books

2016 WoTS Michael Cobden

Michael Cobden was born and raised in South Africa and worked in newspaper journalism in Johannesburg; London, England; Toronto and Kingston, Ontario, and Halifax, where he was professor of journalism at the University of King’s College. After retiring from King’s, he taught academic writing and English as a Second Language at Dalhousie.

Simon Spatz: From Holocaust to Halifax, A Story of Survival and Success

2016 WoTS Christy Ann Conlin

CHRISTY ANN CONLIN’s acclaimed and bestselling first novel, Heave (2002), was a Globe and Mail “Top 100” book, a finalist for the Amazon.ca First Novel Award in 2003 and was shortlisted for the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and the Dartmouth Book Award. Heave was also longlisted for the 2011 CBC Canada Reads Novels of the Decade. Her short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and literary journals including Best Canadian Stories. Conlin also hosted the popular 2012 CBC summer radio series Fear Itself. The Memento is her first novel in fourteen years. Conlin teaches at the University of Toronto School of Continuing Studies online Creative Writing program. She lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The Memento

2016 WoTS Karin Cope

Karin Cope divides her time between Nova Scotia and British Columbia. She is a poet, sailor, photographer, writer, activist, blogger and Associate Professor at NSCAD University. Her publications include Passionate Collaborations: Learning to Live with Gertrude Stein, and, since 2009, a photo/poetry blog entitled Visible Poetry: Aesthetic Acts in Progress.

What We’re Doing to Stay Afloat

2016 WoTS Bruce Delo - Hal-Con Guest

Bruce Delo was, as a child, fed a steady diet of anime, hand-held video games, and the Internet until his brain broke. Now he lives in Halifax, writing and drawing comics in the grand tradition of Snakepunk. His works include The Flyknife Comics Super-Lethal Wacky Fun Digest, The Life Comix 2014 Chilled-Out Summertime Jam, Kobra Stallion Volume 1: Reptile Justice in the Stars, and STONR GARBAGE. He also draws comics about snakes on the backs of comment cards at local restaurants.

Discover Bruce Delo

2016 WoTS Christian DeWolf - Hal-Con Guest

Christian DeWolf is a writer and programmer from Halifax. After an early attempt at fiction with the feline real-estate thriller GRAY, he produced the massive interactive fiction experiment DIAMOND FIND for multiple platforms. Then, after adjusting to life with a destructive badger (This Badger), he published GHOSTCRIME, a sci-fi horror comedy set in futuristic Nova Scotia. This year, he’s launching SNAPBACK, an adventure series revolving around the complex and all-consuming board game Go. If you try to talk to him about any other game, he’ll probably try to bring it around to Go.

Discover Christian DeWolf

2016 WoTS Renée Hillier Downs

Renée Hillier Downs calls Newfoundland home even after 17 years of living on the “mainland” where she spent her formative years growing up on Long Island, Newfoundland. Renée attended Sir Wilfred Grenfell College’s School of Fine Arts where she earned her BFA.

Afterwards she left her tiny corner of the world to live in the bustling city of Toronto where she immersed herself into the arts community and met her husband. Shortly afterwards they moved east to Nova Scotia and started their little family. Renée’s inspiration for writing comes from her father and the English teachers that nurtured her talent.

Sisters of Avalon is the first in a trilogy of the continuing story of the Bride’s from Bridgette’s Cove, Newfoundland, a fictional place that lives deep in the mind of the author.

Sisters of Avalon
Science Fiction/Fantasy

2016 WoTS Emma Fitzgerald

Emma Fitzgerald was born in Lesotho, a small mountainous kingdom in Southern Africa. Her early travels have given her a large appetite for adventure. Combining her interest in people and places, Emma followed a career path that was part architecture, part art. She received her BFA in Visual Art at the University of British Columbia, spending her third year at L’Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, where she honed her drawing skills. She then completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees in Architecture at Dalhousie University in Halifax. She has worked in architecture offices in Johannesburg, South Africa, and across Canada.

While working in Gambia, Emma took students onto the streets of their own communities, using sketching as their primary learning tool. When she returned to Halifax, drawing became an act of connecting with the many stories and unofficial histories of the area, a custom during her travels, but never before in Halifax. This laid the groundwork for her new book.

Hand Drawn Halifax

2016 WoTS Melody Fitzpatrick

Melody Fitzpatrick is the author of the Hannah Smart series. When she’s not busy dreaming up stories, she is an educational program assistant in the public school system, helping kids discover their amazing inner awesomeness. Melody lives in Bedford, Nova Scotia.

Hannah Smart In Over Her Head
Children’s/Young Adult

2016 WoTS A. C. Geisel

A.C. Geisel holds vocational, undergraduate and graduate business degrees from New England universities, but his pursuits of adventure as a technical wreck diver and mariner have taken him to shores all over the continent. Geisel has lectured on maritime history topics, has contributed to a number of internationally recognized periodicals and is an active advocate of literacy programs. He lives in Cape Saint Mary’s, Nova Scotia where he spends his spare time visiting his whale and seal friends in the Bay of Fundy.

Charting the Darkness

2016 WoTS Danny Gillis

Danny Gillis has written for magazines and newspapers for more than two decades. He is a respected author and editor. A Treasure for the Taking is a special book by a special talent and will firmly establish Gillis as a master storyteller and one of the most important and engaging voices to come out of the region in years.

Where the Rivers Meet
Fiction/First Nation Content

2016 WoTS Pamela Halstead

Pamela Halstead is a freelance director, dramaturg, actor, teacher andarts consultant. She is the former Artistic Director of Ship’s CompanyTheatre (Parrsboro, NS) and Lunchbox Theatre (Calgary, AB). In her 10 years between these two companies she dramaturged, directed and/or produced over 60 productions, the majority of them premieres of new works. Pamela is co-founder and Artistic Producer of Halifax’s DMV Theatre, Artistic Adviser to Valley Summer Theatre, and the PERFORM! Coordinator for Theatre Nova Scotia. She dramaturged and directed the one act production of Natalie Meisner’s “Speed Dating for Sperm Donors” for Lunchbox Theatre and is doing the same for the full length production premiering September at Neptune Theatre.  In 2013, Pamela was awarded the inaugural Evans Award at the Calgary Critics’Awards for her contribution to the vibrancy of the Calgary theatre community

2016 WoTS Jennifer Houle - Debut Poetry Collection

Jennifer Houle grew up in Shediac, New Brunswick. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals over the past ten years. Her work has won several awards, including The Writer’s Federation of New Brunswick’s Alfred G. Bailey Prize for best poetry manuscript, awarded for The Back Channels. Jennifer is an enthusiastic and energetic speaker and she has participated in many literary events since the release of her last poetry collection. A lifelong East Coaster, she now lives in Hanwell, just outside of Fredericton, with her family.

The Back Channels

2016 WoTS Kate Inglis

Kate Inglis is an author and photographer living on the South Shore of Nova Scotia. She is the author of Flight of the Griffons and The Dread Crew, which was nominated for Hackmatack and Red Cedar Awards.

If I Were A Zombie
Children’s Book/Fiction

2016 WoTS Glenna Jenkins

Glenna Jenkins is a writer whose Prince Edward Island roots date back to the early 1800’s. The characters and events in her stories are gleaned from real-life family events that took place both on the Island and in New England. Her short stories have appeared in Jilted Angels: A Collection of Stories (Broad Street Press); Riptides: New Island Fiction (Acorn Press); and Snow Softly Falling: Holiday Stories from Prince Edward Island (Acorn Press). Glenna’s first novel “Somewhere I Belong” (also published by Acorn Press) is listed in Best Books for Kids and Teens in Canada (Spring 2015), where it is cited for exceptional caliber; it was also short-listed for a 2016 Prince Edward Island book award. Glenna Lives in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia with her husband, four children and two dogs.

Glenna’s first novel “Somewhere I Belong” is based on her father’s childhood. In the process of researching and writing the story, Glenna tried to include her fourteen great aunts and uncles, their next door neighbours, the local gossip, the parish priest, the school teacher, the schoolyard bully, the bootlegger, the bootlegger’s wife … you get the picture. An early draft of “Somewhere I Belong” was a compendium of loosely connected anecdotes most readers would have needed a map to navigate.

In this workshop, Glenna talks about the mistakes she made in her early attempts to craft fiction from her family’s story and how you can avoid them. She gives you pointers on choosing your main characters, narrowing down your research, developing a manageable story arc, and crafting a narrative readers will enjoy. She also suggests some good resources for your research and other resources that will help you develop as a fiction writer.

2016 WoTS Phonse Jessome - Book Launch

Phonse Jessome is an award­winning Canadian Journalist and bestselling author. He has covered some of the biggest stories in Canada and abroad over the past thirty­five years. His book Murder at McDonald’s was lauded as one of Canada’s best true crime titles. Somebody’s Daughter takes readers inside the deadly world of human trafficking. Phonse lives in Halifax, where he is now taking decades of experience covering crime into the field of crime fiction.

Disposable Souls

2016 WoTS Dean Jobb

Dean Jobb  is the author of six books, including Calculated Risk: Greed, Politics and the Westray Tragedy. His latest book, Empire of Deception, was published by HarperCollins Canada in . Dean is a journalism professor and an award-winning author and investigative journalist who lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. In his thirty-year career he has written on an array of subjects – history, current events, law, business, politics, media issues, workplace safety, science, travel and books.

Empire of Deception


2016 WoTS Trudi Johnson - Debuting Author

Trudi (White) Johnson was born and grew up in St. John’s, NL though her family’s roots are in Bonavista Bay. After teaching in the public school system in Newfoundland and Labrador for ten years, she returned to university to complete a PhD in Newfoundland History. She is currently an associate professor in the Faculty of Education at Memorial, where she enjoys teaching pre-service teachers and researches teacher effectiveness and efficacy. In addition to writing fiction set in Newfoundland and her work at the university, Trudi likes to garden, read murder mysteries, and obsess about hockey and baseball.

Described by The Telegram as “an easy, conversational read,” From a Good Home is Trudi’s first novel. The Northeast Avalon Times declares, “Johnson has created a story with enough twists and turns to keep you on the edge of whatever seat you’re occupying.” Trudi has recently completed a very successful book tour through the Atlantic provinces, during which she was interviewed by CTV Atlantic Morning Live, CBC Radio Weekend Mornings, CBC Central NL Morning show, Atlantic Books Today, Arts East magazine, The Miramichi Reader and the Chronicle Herald.  She is currently working on a sequel to From a Good Home.

Trudi wants her writing to have a broad appeal. She focuses her stories on the turbulent relationships that all families experience in her hope that readers will find a character with whom they can identify. Trudi would like her readers to share in the lives of her characters, at times to laugh with them and at other times to cry with them. Through her writing, she hopes her readers will see the special connections that we have to the past and appreciate how those who came before us help to shape our lives.


Trudi lives in St. John’s with her husband, Albert.

From a Good Home

2016 WoTS Colleen Jones

Colleen Jones has been a reporter with the CBC for twenty-nine years. As a curler, she has won a record six Canadian women’s curling championships and two world championships. She was also the youngest skip, at age twenty-two, to ever win the national tournament. She lives in Halifax.

Throwing Rocks at Houses: My Life in and Out of Curling is her memoir and talks about how life changed for her on Dec. 4, 2010, when she was struck with bacterial meningitis, and her return to curling.
Throwing Rocks at Houses My Life In and Out of Curling

2016 WoTS El Jones

El Jones was born in Cardiff, Wales, but raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She now calls Halifax, Nova Scotia her home. Jones studied English at Dalhousie University and served as Halifax’s Poet Laureate since 2013. She first began performing spoken word poetry at a Word Iz Bond open mic, and later became artistic director of Word Iz Bond Spoken Word Artistc Collective.

​Jones has performed all over Canada, including the 10th Anniversary All-Star edition of When Sisters Speak in Toronto. In 2012, she was sponsored by Citizenship and Heritage Canada on a reading tour of Nova Scotia with George Elliott Clarke. Jones teaches in the African Canadian Transition program at NSCC and the Women’s Studies program at Acadia University. She has written many articles for Huffington Post Canada, and in 2014, published her first book of poetry, Live from the Afrikan Resistance! (Roseway Publishing).

Jones advocates for the use of spoken word as a tool for liberation and activism. She is dedicated to using poetry to engage youth and as a resource for prison outreach, finding her inspiration in the Black community of Nova Scotia.

Live from the African Resistance

2016 WoTS - Stephen Kimber - Moderator

STEPHEN KIMBER, a Professor of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax, is an award-winning writer, editor and broadcaster. He is the author of one novel — Reparations (Harper Collins, 2006) — and nine non-fiction books.

His writing has appeared in almost all major Canadian publications including Canadian Geographic, Saltscapes, Financial Post Magazine, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Elm Street, En Route, Chatelaine, Financial Times, The Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star and the National Post. His op-ed, “The Cuban Five Were Fighting Terrorism: Why Did We Put Them in Jail” was published by the Washington Post in October 2013.

Between 1985 and 2002, he was a weekly political and general interest columnist for the Daily News in Halifax, Canada. He resumed his column again in the spring of 2004 and continued until the paper folded in 2008. He currently writes a weekly column on local and provincial politics forMetro’s Halifax edition. He is also currently a Senior Features Writer for The Coast, a Halifax-based alternative weekly. One of his articles for The Coast — “The Last Best Hope” — was selected as a Nieman Notable Narrative. Another — “Is Corey Wright the Wrong Man” — is available through Byliner. He is also a Contributing Editor to Atlantic Business Magazine.

Since 1983, he has taught journalism fulltime at the University of King’s College, where he specializes in creative nonfiction writing, newspaper reporting and editing and online journalism. From 1996-2003, in 2007-08 and 2013-14, he served as Director of the School of Journalism. In 1998-99, he was concurrently a Research Fellow with the Poynter Institute for Media Studies in St. Petersburg, Florida. In 2013, he co-founded King’s Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree program.

He holds a Masters in Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction degree from Goucher College in Baltimore, MD.

He and his wife, Jeanie Kimber, live in Halifax. They have three grown children.

What Lies Across the Water


2016 WoTS Peggy Kochanoff

Peggy Kochanoff graduated from Cornell University with a degree in vertebrate zoology and spent a summer working at the Central Park Zoo in New York City. She is the author and illustrator of several books for children, including Be a Beach Detective and Be a Wilderness Detective, which was shortlisted for a Silver Birch Express Award. After marriage and travelling, she settled with her husband and two sons on a tree farm in Nova Scotia.

Be A Pond Detective Solving the Mystery of Lakes
Children’s Books/Science, Nature and How It Works

2016 WoTS Janice Landry

Janice Landry worked as a reporter, producer and anchor with CTV-Atlantic, formally ATV/ASN, from 1987-1999. She started her own freelance production company, Groundhog Productions. Landry teaches at Mount Saint Vincent University.

The Price We Pay
Non-Fiction/Health/Mental Health/Healing

2016 WoTS Allison Lawlor

Allison Lawlor’s work has appeared in the Globe and Mail and several magazines. After working as a reporter for newspapers in Ontario, Allison returned in 2003 to Nova Scotia, where she had previously attended the University of King’s College. “The Saddest Ship Afloat” is Allison’s fourth non-fiction book. Her first book, 250 Years of Progress: Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, was published in 2005. Allison lives in Prospect, Nova Scotia, with her husband, two daughters, and several animals.

The Saddest Ship Afloat: The Tragedy of the MS St. Louis

2016 WoTS Diane Carmel Léger

Diane Carmel Léger grew up in the village of Memramcook, New Brunswick, and taught for 20 years in Victoria, British Columbia. Homesickness for Acadie led her to write the bestselling youth novel, La butte à Pétard, which was the name of her village before the Deportation of the Acadians. It was followed by another bestseller in 1990, Maxine’s Tree, a picture book which was inspired by her family’s involvement in saving Canada’s tallest tree. This year, she released La patate cadeau OU la “vraie” histoire de la poutine râpée, finalist for the 2015 Prix Tamarac, and her translation, Piau’s Potato Present.

Recipient of The Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick’s Dr. Marilyn Trenholme-Counsell Literacy Award 2014, she has toured libraries and schools in Canada and the United States since 1991.

My Two Grandmothers
Children’s Book
available in English
disponible en Français

2016 WoTS Alex W. MacLeod - Debuting Author

“Alex W MacLeod lives and writes in Nova Scotia. He worked as a laborer, teacher, lawyer and musician. He has previously published short stories in Canada and the UK. “The Tracks – a refuge –“ is Alex’s first novel. He created the characters and gave them names but the characters wrote the book for him. However, they’re not a reliable bunch, so Alex spent years rewriting and revising ‘The Tracks.'”

The Tracks – a refuge

2016 WoTS Beatrice MacNeil

Beatrice MacNeil was born in Glace Bay, Cape Breton, of Scottish and Acadian descent. She is the author of the novels WHERE WHITE HORSES GALLOP (longlisted for the International Dublin IMPAC Award in 2009), BUTTERFLIES DANCE IN THE DARK, and THE MOONLIGHT SKATER—all winners of the Dartmouth Book Award—as well as the children’s book THERE’S A MOUSE IN THE HOUSE OF MISS CROUSE. She now lives in East Bay on the Island with her son Greg and cat ABBA.

Butterflies Dance in the Dark

2016 WoTS Kevin Major

Governor General Award winner Kevin Major has published 17 books, for both young people and adults. His first, Hold Fast, is considered a classic of Canadian young adult fiction, and was recently released as a feature film. No Man’s Land, about the Newfoundland Regiment in WWI, was published in 1995 to much acclaim. Major’s adaption has been brought to the stage by Rising Tide Theatre for more than a dozen seasons. A history of Newfoundland and Labrador: As Near To Heaven By Sea was a Canadian best-seller and finalist for the Pearson Non-Fiction Prize. Ann and Seamus, a verse novel, was shortlisted for a total of ten awards. It has since been turned into an opera, which has been performed internationally. New Under the Sun, the first in a trilogy of historical novels for adults and called “well written, nuanced, and compelling” by Canadian Literature, was nominated for an Atlantic Book Award.
Found Far and Wide

2016 WoTS Bahia Makhoul - Content Creator - Book Launch

Bahia Makhoul, P.Eng., was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and spent endless hours as a child singing and being lost in her thoughts.   With a degree in Industrial Engineering, recently, she too has delved into her more creative side. She is currently studying to become a certified Aromatherapist and has found a deep connection with the practice of Mindfulness.  As a co-creator of heartfelt content at Equal Essence, her enjoyment and expertise is primarily behind the scenes.   She thrives in working to bring the publications to fruition, and supporting her amazingly creative partner and friend Dawn to share her artistic talents.  Bahia lives in Halifax with her husband, two daughters, and cat.

Bahia Makhoul is pictured on the right with her creative partner Dawn Sinclair on the left.



Suitable for all ages

2016 WoTS Jaime Lee Mann

When Jaime Lee Mann was nine years old, she decided that she would be an author when she grew up.

Many years later, Jaime Lee’s children would beg her to tell them stories at bedtime. Sometimes her stories were silly and sometimes they were magical.

The girls loved one of her magical stories so much that Jaime Lee decided to write it down. That story would eventually become Elora of Stone, the first novel in the Legend of Rhyme series.

JL (as her family calls her) lives in a pretty house in Prince Edward Island with her husband and two daughters (who are still little girls for now).

She writes every day and plans to do so for as long as people love to read her words.

Teagon of Tomorrow
Children’s Books/Fiction/Fantasy

2016 WoTS Jill Martin Bouteillier

Jill Martin Bouteillier is the author of Return to Sable and was a consultant-historian for the National Film Board and White Gate Films. She worked on educational committees in BC and NS both developing and marking provincial exams. For many years she was an educator on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, serving as the last principal of Lunenburg Academy. She lives in Lunenburg with husband, Carl, and resident cock pheasant in a home overlooking the mighty Atlantic.

Sable Island in Black and White
Non Fiction/Arts and Photography

2016 WoTS Janet Maybee

Janet Maybee holds English degrees from UNB and Dalhousie. As research associate at the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, her archival studies in Halifax and Ottawa focussed on the 1917 Halifax Explosion, particularly the fate of harbour pilot Francis Mackey and his family. Janet lived in that part of Halifax called Richmond before the tragic blast. Her book featured at 2016 Word on the Street, “Aftershock” was awarded the 2016 Atlantic Book Award for Nonfiction.

Aftershock: The Halifax Explosion and the Persecution of Pilot Francis Mackey

2016 WoTS Elaine McCluskey

Elaine McCluskey writes about the people you might find in the corners of life. She has published three short story collections and one novel. One story was a Journey Prize finalist; another placed in the Fish international contest in Ireland. Her work has appeared in journals such as Room, The Dalhousie Review, subTerrain, The Antigonish Review, Fiddlehead, Other Voices, as well as anthologies. She lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, with her husband, a news photographer. When not writing fiction, McCluskey, a former Canadian Press bureau chief, teaches journalism part-time and follows sprint kayak competition. She has two children.
The Most Heartless Town in Canada

2016 WoTS Kathryn McCormack

Kathryn McCormack is a local actress who studied theatre at Dalhousie University. Recently, she has been seen onstage in After Eepersip Disappeared (Ship’s Company), four international tours of the Very Hungry Caterpillar (Mermaid Theatre of NS), Cinderella, Snow White, Much Ado About Nothing, Alice in Wonderland, Merry Wives of Windsor, Robin Hood (Shakespeare by the Sea), Happy Birthday Wanda June (Lion’s Den), Perfection of Man (Misery Loves), Ms. Right Now (Forerunner), Poor Boy (Zuppa Theatre Co.) and Blackbird (Angels & Heroes). On screen, you can see her in Lizzie Borden (Sony), Call Me Fitz (HBO Canada), and There Are Monsters (Northeast Films). Kat has, on occasion, been named “Best Theatre Actor (Female)” in the Coast’s “Best of Halifax” issue. She was twice nominated for a Merritt Award (Best Supporting Actress) for her roles in Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.

2016 WoTS Linda Moore

Linda Moore resides in Halifax and has a cottage in Kingsport, Nova Scotia, on the Minas Basin. She works as a theatre director across Canada and was Artistic Director of Neptune Theatre in Halifax throughout the nineties. She has received several Robert Merritt Awards, including the 2015 award for Outstanding Direction. Linda has been a guest director at McGill, Memorial, UVic and Dalhousie and was the Crake Fellow in Drama at Mount Allison. She is the recipient of an Honorary Doctor of Letters from Saint Mary’s University. The Fundy Vault is her second novel in the Rosalind Mystery series.

The Fundy Vault

One Book Nova Scotia Donna Morrisey

Donna Morrissey is the award-winning author of five adult novels — Kit’s Law, Downhill Chance, Sylvanus Now, which was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, What They Wanted, and The Deception of Livvy Higgs — as well as the Gemini Award–winning screenplay Clothesline Patch. Morrissey grew up in The Beaches, a small fishing outport in Newfoundland, and now lives in Halifax.

The Deception of Livvy Higgs



2016 WoTS Melanie Mosher

Melanie Mosher grew up in a house with many books. There were shelves with old books that smelled musty and their bindings cracked when you opened them. She was enchanted with the idea of reading, even before she knew how. Melanie would take a book from this shelf and take it to bed. She would run my finger along the page, searching for words that she recognized. Melanie knew there was more to it than “the”, “and”, “but” and “she”. These words strung together created stories, adventures and emotions. She wanted to be a part of it.

Melanie writes fiction and non-fiction for children. Her first picture book was published by Fifth House Publishers in May 2014 and is available in bookstores and on-line.
Fire Pie Trout
Children’s Books/Ficton

2016 WoTS Sean Muir

Sean Muir is the founder and executive director of the Healthy Aboriginal Network (HAN). HAN creates graphic novels and video on health and social issues for youth. Their work is innovative in that all of their draft stories are focus group tested with youth and professionals prior to being released. HAN has published 18 books that have sold over half a million copies the past decade.

The Healthy Aboriginal Network
First Nation/Graphic Novels/Health/Literacy

CBC Headliner Stage Host Bob Murphy

Bob Murphy is the host of Mainstreet, Nova Scotia


Bob Murphy is the host of CBC Radio One’s afternoon show Mainstreet on mainland Nova Scotia. Bob is originally from P.E.I., and began working at CBC while studying journalism at Ryerson. He’s worked in the CBC’s national radio newsroom, the Queen’s Park legislature bureau in Toronto and he’s been posted in every Maritime province. He’s won numerous regional and national awards and just before he joined Mainstreet he was part of the CBC’s Atlantic investigative journalism unit.

CBC Headliner Stage Host Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is the co-host of CBC Nova Scotia News and the host of Land and Sea

Tom Murphy is the anchor for CBC Nova Scotia News the host of Land and Sea on CBC Television and is the Maritimes national correspondent for CBC News. Tom Murphy started his career at CBC in Charlottetown working as both a radio and television reporter and back­up host for eight years before moving to CBC Halifax in 1999 as a current affairs reporter. He was a regular on The National, contributing to both news and current affairs before becoming the Maritimes National Correspondent in 2006.

Tom has reported on stories such as the conflict at Burnt Church, provided live coverage of Hurricane Juan, and profiled Sydney Crosby in his rookie year in the NHL.

He also was the first to break news with the now famous “potato patch” interview with Peter MacKay. During stints filling in as CBC’s foreign correspondent in Washington, he  covered two Space Shuttle launches in Florida and Hurricane Dean in Jamaica.

Tom covered the 2014 shootings and funerals of three RCMP officers in Moncton for The National, the inquiry into botched cancer tests in Newfoundland and  Labrador, several Royal Family visits to Canada, and interviewed legendary rocker Sir Paul McCartney.

Tom won a RTNDA award for TV short feature, Atlantic Journalism Awards, a Columbus International Film and Television Festival award and received  several Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards nominations.


2016 WoTS Riel Nason

Riel Nason is a Canadian novelist and textile artist (quilter).

Her acclaimed debut novel The Town That Drowned won the 2012 Commonwealth Book Prize for Canada and Europe, and the 2012 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. It was also shortlisted for several other literary awards as well as longlisted for the 2013 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Her second novel All The Things We Leave Behind will be published in September, 2016.

Riel’s original quilts have been exhibited across Canada including being shown twice at Quilt Canada (the National Juried Show). She is best known for her whimsical selvage quilts and bold use of colour. Modern Selvage Quilting was published in March, 2016. It features 17 of her original designs.

She grew up in Hawkshaw, New Brunswick and now lives in Quispamsis, NB with her husband, son, daughter and cats.

rong>All the Things We Leave Behind

2016 WoTS James Neish - Hal-Con Guest

James Neish loves working in visual art, particularly as an illustrator and painter. He was born and raised in the bustling metropolis of Cebu City in the Philippines, where he graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines with a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Art. He has done a lot of different things in his arts career including organizing and teaching summer art workshops, leading a team of illustrators in developing content for English tutorial software, putting together solo and group art exhibits in different countries, and of course, his favorite: writing and illustrating comic books. Currently, James resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia where he is exploring his Canadian heritage.

Discover James Neish

2016 WoTS Vernon Oickle

Vernon Oickle is an international award winning journalist, editor and writer with 33 years experience working in newspapers. He is the author of more than 20 books, including Red Sky at Night and bestselling series, One Crow. Vernon and his wife Nancy have two sons, Kellen and Colby. He continues to reside in Liverpool where he was born and raised.

Strange Nova Scotia

2016 WoTS Barry C. Parsons

Meet Barry C. Parsons, the first man to win TODAY’s Home Chef Challenge! His gorgeous Banoffee Pie took a whopping 76 percent of the vote. Barry successfully turned a hobby, and his love of cooking into a career.

Rock Recipes: The Best Food From My Newfoundland Kitchen

2016 WoTS Moira Peters

Moira Peters grew up in Margaree, Nova Scotia. She cut her teeth on the New York wine industry, receiving Captain Sommelier certification on Long Island from the Sommelier Society of America in 2007. Upon moving back to Nova Scotia, she started Unwined, a wine workshop and tasting party business. She began writing with grassroots news network The Media Co-op, and now writes Glass Act, a weekend wine column with The Chronicle Herald. She currently lives, writes, and tends chickens in Maitland, Nova Scotia.

Wine Lovers Guide to Atlantic Canada
Cookbooks/Food and Wine

2016 WoTS Craig Pinhey

Craig Pinhey graduated as a Certified Sommelier in Halifax in 2000 from the Canadian (now International) Sommelier Guild program, and is a member of the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers. Craig has been judging national Canadian wine competitions for over fifteen years. An Engineer by education, Craig worked twelve years in the Ontario steel industry before moving back east to start a writing career. Today he is a food and beverage columnist for the New Brunswick Telegraph Journal and a regular columnist for TAPS Beer Magazine, Progress andEast Coast Living magazine. Craig lives in Rothesay, New Brunswick, with his wife and daughter, and travels regularly in the region and around the world, hunting for great food, drink, and stories.

Wine Lovers Guide to Atlantic Canada
Cookbooks/Food and Wine

2016 WoTS C.S. Reardon - Debuting Author

C.S. Reardon’s family roots are deeply embedded in Halifax, Nova Scotia, although she spent most of her professional life outside that city and province. For three decades, in Toronto, she was a television producer with the CBC, beginning her career there at the birth of The Journal with legendary host Barbara Frum. Her love of history and journalism coincided as a Senior Producer on the episode “Battle For A Continent” for the monumental CBC series Canada: A People’s History. During her time as Senior Producer and Executive Producer of the CBC’s flagship investigative program the fifth estate, the show won countless national and international awards.

C.S. is honoured to have worked with some of the best writers and journalists in the country while she was at the CBC. In 2010, she left the corporation and returned to live in Halifax to begin her writing career. She bursts onto the Canadian literary scene with the accomplished first novel, The Spanish Boy.
Available October 2016

2016 WoTS Edmund Redfield

Edmund Redfield has studied and worked with plants in the Maritimes and many other environments: temperate eastern hardwood forests, the wet and dry tropics of Australia and Kenya, and boreal forests in Finland and Alberta. He has a B.Sc. in forestry from the University of Missouri, an M.Sc. in restoration ecology from the University of Alberta, and is the co-author of several scientific publications. He lives in Memramcook, New Brunswick, with his wife and son.

Wildflowers of the Maritimes

2016 WoTS Shawna Romkey - Hal-Con Guest

Shawna grew up around farms in the heart of Missouri but went to the University of Kansas, was raised in the US but now lives on the ocean in Nova Scotia with her husband, two sons, an Irish wolfhound and a rescue mutt she loves to death. She’s a non-conformist who follows her heart.

She has her BA in creative writing from the University of Kansas where one of her plays was chosen by her creative writing professor to be produced locally, and two of her short stories were published in a university creative arts handbook. She earned her MA in English from Central Missouri State University where she wrote a novel as her thesis.

She’s taught English at the university and secondary levels for close to twenty years and can’t quite fathom how all of her students have grown up, yet she’s managed to stay the same. She’s a huge geek and fan of Xena, Buffy and all kick ass women, and loves to write stories that have strong female characters.

The Devil You Know



Discover Shawna Romkey

2016 WoTS Sarah Sawler

Sarah Sawler is a freelance writer and journalist whose work has appeared in such publications as Quill & Quire, Halifax Magazine, the Halifax Chronicle-Herald, and Atlantic Business Magazine. In 2014 she was accepted into the prestigious Humber School for Writers for a postgraduate certificate program in creative writing, having previously earned a Bachelor of Arts from Mount Saint Vincent University. She lives in Halifax with her two children and husband.

100 Things You Didn’t Know About Nova Scotia

2016 WoTS Harvey Sawler

Harvey Sawler is the author of twelves books, including: Frank McKenna: Beyond Politics, Twenty-First Century Irvings, Last Canadian Beer: The Moosehead Story and Unforgettable Atlantic Canada. For five years he was a regular contributor to both SALTSCAPES and Progress magazines, covering a wide range of subjects involving business, entrepreneurship, culture, tourism and interesting personalities.

One Man Grand Band: The Lyrical Life of Ron Hynes

Authorized Biography

2016 WoTS Dawn Sinclair - Debuting Author - Book Launch

Dawn Sinclair grew up in Jeddore, Nova Scotia, and spent her childhood creating and daydreaming.  After graduating with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Child and Youth Studies, she taught children for 10 years.  At the age of 35 she made the tough decision to leave teaching and connect more into her creative side.  The co-creator of Equal Essence Publications currently works as an Interior Decorator, and has always had a passion for freelance artistry.  She never considered herself a writer, however,  after collaborating heart felt ideas with partner and co-founder Bahia Makhoul, she sat down one day and an outpouring of words came to her.  Allowing their ideas and thoughts to flow onto her page, followed by some intimate illustrations, was how Self  was createdDawn lives in Lake Echo with her husband, daughter, and two cats. (Dawn Sinclair is pictured on the left with creative partner Bahia Makhoul on the right)



Suitable for people of all ages


CBC Headliner Stage Host Amy Smith

Amy Smith is the co-host of CBC Nova Scotia News and host of Atlantic Tonight.

Amy joined the CBC News team in 2009 after 15 years as a print journalist, working primarily as a legislative reporter. She has covered City Hall, the courts and Nova Scotia labour as well as general news.

Amy has an impressive roster of interviews under her belt. In addition to federal and provincial political leaders, Amy has had the opportunity to interview interesting and high profile people ranging from Condoleezza Rice, Richard and Ruth Goldbloom, and Mark Critch, to name only a few.

Her work has been recognized by the Canadian Screen Awards, RTDNAs and the Atlantic Journalism Awards. She is a recipient of an award in enterprise reporting on a series about the Sydney Tar Ponds. Amy grew up in Nova Scotia and is a graduate of the School of Journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax. Life at home is spent cooking with her husband,  hanging out with their dog Bella, and riding her Morgan Horse, Ariel.


2016 WoTS Super Why

Super Why is one of four fairy-tale friends who go on magical adventures and become reading-powered superheroes. The characters live in Storybook Village, which is accessible through a panel that is represented by an invisible question mark. The fairy-tale fiends use special reading powers, including alphabet, spelling and comprehension skills. Preschool children follow the Super Readers as they jump into books that come to life.

Super Why
Childrens/Early Literacy
3-6 years

2016 WoTS Jon Tattrie

Jon Tattrie is a multi-media freelance journalist and author based in Halifax, Canada. Jon has won seven awards for his writing, including three Atlantic Journalism Awards (silver) and two Best Book awards from the Coast.

Jon writes for Halifax Magazine, Readers Digest, Canadian Geographic, the Globe & Mail, Business Voice, the Chronicle Herald, Metro Canada and many more. At the CBC, he’s an online journalist, TV and radio reporter and occasionally documentary-maker.

Jon’s written five books: Limerence (novel), Day Trips From Halifax, Cornwallis: The Violent Birth of Halifax, The Hermit of Africville and Black Snow: A novel of the Halifax Explosion. His sixth book Redemption Songs will be released this fall.

Redemption Songs: How Bob Marley’s Nova Scotia Song Lights the Way Past Racism
Social and Cultural Studies

2016 WoTS Deborah Toogood

Deborah Toogood recently retired as an English-language teacher. Growing up in New Brunswick, she spent her summers on the beach with her brothers. In later years, she enjoyed summers on the Northumberland shore of Nova Scotia with her two children. How I Found the Phantom Ship is her first novel. She lives in Halifax.

Chasing the Phantom Ship
Childrens/Science Fiction/Fantasy

2016 WoTS Steve Vernon

Way back when Steve Vernon spouted poetry standing on a milk grate at Word on the Street when it was help on Spring Garden Road. In 2004 he introduced Haunted Habours at Pitched the Publisher at the APMA stage at Word on the Street and the rest is history.

Haunted Harbours
Fiction/Ghost Stories/Mystery

2016 WoTS Alice Walsh

Alice Walsh writes fiction and non-fiction for children and adults. Her juvenile novel, Pomiuk: Prince of the North (Beach Holme), won the Ann Connor Brimer Award. Alice studied early childhood education, has an MA in English, and has worked as a preschool teacher and creative writing instructor. Alice grew up in Newfoundland and currently lives in Nova Scotia.

A Change of Heart
Children’s Books/Growing Up/Facts of Life

2016 WoTS Budge Wilson

Budge Wilson is the author of  34 books. She has won numerous awards, including the 1991 Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Canadian Book Award, and was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in Canada―Caribbean Region. She lives in Hubbards, Nova Scotia.

After Swissair


2016 WoTS Joel Zemel

Joel Zemel lives and works in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is a professional guitarist and teacher and has been involved in the Halifax music scene for the past forty-five years. He worked for many years performing on local and national television programs, in live theatre and concert venues. He has been involved in numerous commercial recording projects as a musician, arranger and producer. Over the years, Joel has performed with many diverse national and international personalities. He also spent several years as a documentary filmmaker producing, directing and composing music for his own independent films, My Doctor’s Family (1993) and Sonja (1995) and still creates soundscapes for experimental films.

Joel became interested in the field of historical research in 1998 and turned to writing in 2006. He has written the award-winning book Scapegoat, the extraordinary legal proceedings following the 1917 Halifax Explosion. He is the historical and design consultant for Canada Post Corporation’s 100th Anniversary Halifax Explosion Stamp Project and wrote the Official First Day Cover (OFDC) and general booklet descriptions.

Scapegoat is available for purchase at the New World Publishing Website.

Scapegoat: The Extraordinary Legal Proceedings Following the 1917 Halifax Explosion