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Featured Authors, Poets, Story Tellers and Special Guests

Word On The Street Halifax is one of many festivals that contribute significantly to the economic wealth of Nova Scotia.  We do more than place writers on stage. We proudly host some of the finest talent in Canadian literature, with a strong focus on Atlantic Canada. This year we celebrate our 25th anniversary.  Save the date and join in the celebrations!

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Joseph M.A. Ballard - Historic House Names of Nova Scotia

Mount Uniacke, Acacia Grove, Winckworth, Saint’s Rest, Spruce Tree Cottage. Ever wonder how Nova Scotia houses got their names? The better-known names are largely connected with prominent historical figures who resided in commodious homes with sprawling grounds, but the naming tradition was far more prevalent than that. In this book, the author explains that a “hurst” is a wooded eminence, a hillock, or a grove, and this suffix lends an air of nobility to a property—Springhurst in Maitland, Lindenhurst in Halifax, and the ubiquitous Elmhurst, which appears in various communities.

Named houses have a certain essence and vitality about them. Named or not, places do possess character—and putting a name to something that exhibits character makes sense on some level. Historic House Names of Nova Scotia provides a fascinating look at the house-naming tradition in Nova Scotia. What sorts of names did Bluenoses create, and what did the names mean? Author and historian Joe Ballard has amassed a wealth of historical information and photos on the subject.

Joseph M. A. Ballard is a senior preservation consultant with the cultural resource firm, Vineberg & Fulton Ltd. and VP market development with the MIRCS Institute. Joseph has associations with several heritage organizations including past-president of Heritage Trust of Nova Scotia, member of the Town of Truro Heritage Advisory Committee, past-president of the Colchester Historical Society, director with the Friends of the Little White Schoolhouse Museum, steering committee member of the Nova Scotia Provincial Heritage Conference, and member of the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society. His articles on Nova Scotia’s cultural and architectural heritage have appeared in Saltscapes and Edifice. He is the recipient of the 2012 Town of Truro Heritage Award and 2016 Helen Creighton Folklore Society Research Grant. Joseph had two books published in 2018, Fairy Dells and Rustic Bowers (SSP Publishing) and Historic House Names of Nova Scotia (Nimbus Publishing).


Janet Barkhouse - Salt Fires - Marquis Book Publishing Tent Front Plaza

Salt Fires is a volume of poems that embrace and reflect our human consciousness: our awareness, our blindness, our Shadow, our mythologies. They invite us to look at ourselves in ways that often are disconcerting, sometimes startling. Love of land infuses Salt Fires. Intimately inhabited and passionately shared, Nova Scotia’s farms, woods, and shores reveal themselves to be our Earth in microcosm.

A suite of Sable Island poems closes the book and affirms this notion—Sable Island, a strip of sand in a vast ocean, impossible, yet somehow here, like our planet, rich in life and beauty. This is the work of a mature poet who examines moral blindness and human frailties by inhabiting the experiences of the poems’ speakers with vulnerability and honesty. Accessible, clear, and alive with music, the poems inform and incite.

JANET BARKHOUSE has retired from several fascinating worlds, including theatre, academe, education. Her most recent books are Sable Island — Imagine! and Pit Pony: The Picture Book. She lives in Clearland, Nova Scotia.

Marquis Book Publishing Tent – Front Plaza 1 pm

Adam Barnett - Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia

Finally, the guidebook cycling enthusiasts have been waiting for: Where to Cycle in Nova Scotia brings together the collective knowledge of experienced cycling guide Adam Barnett and his peers at Bicycle Nova Scotia to bring you the best routes to cycle in the province, from the Cape Breton Highlands to the rugged Eastern, North, South, and French Shores, to the vibrant Annapolis Valley, Truro, and urban Halifax. Each route features easy-to-navigate turn-by-turn directions, as well as difficulty level, distance and duration of ride, and fun activities—like museums, hikes, beaches, and wineries—to explore along the way.

This compact, portable guidebook will find a happy home in the bike bags and backpacks of anyone who has ever dreamed of cycling in this beautiful province. Features colour insert as well as trail maps, and a full-colour fold-out map of Nova Scotia showing all routes.

Adam Barnett has spent many years exploring Nova Scotia, leading him to believe the sweetest spots are located at the end of a dirt road, and the best way to get there is by bicycle. He has worked as a cycling guide all over Eastern Canada and dedicates his time to mapping out trails and routes in order to share with others to help increase the profile of Nova Scotia as an outdoor destination.

Mya Barnett - The Big Red Balloon

Maya Jean Barnett is fifteen years old, and lives in Sackville, Nova Scotia. She is the author of The Big Red Balloon, a tale of a little girl in London, a young man in Texas and a boy in New York City, told from a surprising perspective.  In 2016 Mya won the Ripple Foundation’s Kids Write for Kids Creative Writing Challenge when she was in grade 6.


Kids Write 4 Kids Creative Challenge – The Ripple Foundation

The Ripple Foundation is a charitable organization that is 100% run by volunteers. They believe that creativity, education, and imagination are key components to success. The Kids Write 4 Kids Creative Challenge is an annual writing contest for students in grades 4-8. Since 2012, they have published 13 stories from Kids Write 4 Kids winners. Maya Jean Bennett was a Kids Write 4 Kids Challenge in 2016.


Marquis Book Publishing Tent – Front Plaza 12 noon

Wanda Baxter - If I Had an Old House on the East Coast

If I had an old house on the East Coast I would fall in love at first sight.
It would grab me by the heart, and not let go.

With introspection and deep appreciation for the East Coast, this inspirational gift book shares a dream, in words and images, of falling in love with an old house and breathing new life into it. Exploring, with lyrical prose, everything from an old house’s foundation to its layers of antique wallpaper to its decades-old gardens bursting with wildflowers, this lyrical book is a love letter to a vanishing way of life. Fully illustrated with gentle watercolours from celebrated local artist Kat Frick Miller, If I Had an Old House on the East Coast also includes practical tips for the old-home-owner, from how to clear your home of ghosts to instructions for making rosehip jelly and maple syrup

Wanda Baxter lives on an old farmstead in Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia, with her long-time partner, Randy, and two happy cats. When she bought an old farmhouse in 2005 her father asked, “Why in the world would you buy an old house?”; sometimes she wonders. Built in 1783, the old house is an endless project, but it is also magical. Wanda has Masters degrees in English (with Creative Writing) and Environmental Design, and works as an environmental consultant. She is a long-time member of the band Cut, Split and Delivered and she feels honoured to have had the chance to work with Kat Frick Miller on this book.

Dr. Paul Bennett - Turning Points: 15 Pivotal Moments in Nova Scotia's History

Paul Bennett tells the history of Nova Scotia through 15 key turning points. From Nova Scotia’s problems with Confederation to wartime Halifax, the Springhill Mining Disaster, Viola Desmond and Ray Ivany’s ‘Now or Never’ report, Bennett recounts these decisive moments that have shaped the province’s destiny.

With rarely seen photography, Bennett shows how these turning points helped define the Nova Scotia we live in today. Each episode helped forge the province’s identity, change its trajectory, and shape its collective sense of purpose.

Dr. Paul W. Bennett, Ed.D. is a Halifax author, education policy researcher, and well-known news commentator. He is director of Schoolhouse Institute, founding Chair of researchED Canada, and the author of nine books. His blog, Educhatter, was honoured in 2018 with the Gold Medal as Top Education Blog in Canada.




Kris Bertin - Use Your Imagination!

A woman becomes obsessed with a story about her family from 1890—when a naked, mute girl stumbled onto their property—and whether or not it really happened. A self-help guru and his chief strategist take their most affluent and unstable clients on a harrowing nature hike that destroys their company. A young convict in a prison creative writing class chronicles the rise and fall of his cellblock’s resident peacemaker. A rural neighbourhood becomes obsessed by the coming of a strange and powerful new homeowner who is in the middle of reinventing herself.

The stories of Use Your Imagination! are about stories, about the way we define and give shape to ourselves through all kinds of narratives, true or not. In seven long stories, Kris Bertin examines the complex labyrinth of lies, delusions, compromise, and fabrication that makes up our personal history and mythology. Sometimes funny, strange, or frightening, these stories represent Bertin’s follow-up to his critically acclaimed, award-winning debut, Bad Things Happen.

Kris Bertin is a writer of from Halifax, NS. His first book of short stories, BAD THINGS HAPPEN, won the Writers’ Union of Canada’s 2017 Danuta Gleed Award and the ReLit Award for short fiction. Kris’s graphic novel (illustrated by Alexander Forbes) THE CASE OF THE MISSING MEN, published in 2017 by Conundrum Press, was nominated for a Doug Wright Award.

Anne Bishop - Under the Bridge

When stress causes an old trauma to surface, Lucy, a longtime community organizer, teacher and anti-poverty activist, loses control of her life. On probation and living on the streets of Halifax’s North End, all she has left is friends. Faithful friends like Judith, her lawyer, who is helping her take back her life.

Lucy begins to regularly sneak into Judith’s basement to take refuge from the cold, but Lucy’s presence in the house betrays their friendship, and she uncovers mysteries from Judith’s past. As events draw their lives closer, Lucy and Judith are forced to face the toll taken by their secrets. Each of them must choose between confronting past pain or remaining broken.

Anne Bishop has been an activist for four decades in organizations dedicated to local, international, environmental, food, fibre and LGBT justice. Before she reached pension age, her living came from adult education, facilitation, research, writing and editing with a particular love for teaching equity and community leadership. Anne and her partner operate a small farm, raising sheep, chickens, vegetables, berries and tree fruit. She is addicted to spinning and knitting wool.

YouTube: Great clip on The Candy Show about Under the Bridge starts at the 10 minute mark

CBC Kids 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!

Each episode on CBC Kids features rock star puppy Bookaboo and a famous Canadian celebrity sharing a book. When they’re finished reading, Bookaboo rocks the stage and wows the crowd with the best canine drum solo ever! 

Bookaboo will be visiting with children and families throughout the festival!


Stella Bowles - My River: Cleaning Up the LaHave River

Stella Bowles prompted action for the clean up of Nova Scotia’s LaHave River, which contains alarmingly high levels of fecal contamination. Because of her work, three levels of government have allocated $15.7 million dollars to address the problem of illegal straight pipes that still drain raw sewage from over 600 homes along the river.

Three years since her initial research, Stella continues to be an advocate for the elimination of illegal straight pipes province-wide. She has teamed up with Coastal Action Foundation and together they will be starting a campaign to train other kids to become citizen scientists and test their own waterways, across the province.

Stella has won many awards including the Meritorious Service Medal from the Governor-General of Canada and the Action for Nature International Young Hero’s Award from California.
Also, Stella’s story is now a book, My River: Cleaning up the LaHave River, written by Anne Laurel Carter. Stella hopes her story will inspire other youth to become advocates for issues they care about.

“I’ve learned that kids do have the power to make change,” says Stella. “And I’m just getting started.”

Linda Brooks - Orchestra in My Garden: Lessons Learned from Digging Deep

ORCHESTRA IN MY GARDEN: Lessons Learned From Digging Deep shares the author’s journey of gardening, motherhood and creativity in 17 essayed reflections on the garden as a metaphor for life. Brimming with warmth, insight and wit it beautifully brings together personal and relatable essays, gardening tips, stunning photos from Linda’s own 14-year garden, and 22 original and thematically linked songs included as a free download, all reflecting the life lessons learned from literally digging deep.

Singer. Songwriter. Author. Mom. Wife. Dog lover. Wannabee master gardener. ORCHESTRA IN MY GARDEN: Lessons Learned from Digging Deep marks Linda’s first turn as an author. She grew up on a third-generation farm in New Brunswick, is an ECMA nominated musician with five albums of original work to her credit and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Allison University and a law degree from Dalhousie Law School. The Nova Scotia House of Assembly formally recognized Linda in 2012 for inspiring recording work and positivity as an artist.



Michelle Brown - Safe Words - Marquis Book Publishing Tent Front Plaza

From a student’s confrontation with a teenage streaker, to a company man’s complete undoing at his summer party, Michelle Brown’s Safe Words finds rich darkness in happy partnerships. A maiden name is “handed down / like a sweater”, a taxi ride “ends… at someone else’s life”. Played against a backdrop of pop culture, late-night swagger and vivid imaginary landscapes, Safe Words is the rare poetic debut that delivers passion and control, wielding humour and empathy in equal parts.

Michelle Brown’s poetry has been published in The Walrus, Malahat Review, Arc, CV2, Grain, Prism and The Puritan, amongst others. A runner-up for CV2’s Young Buck prize and the CBC poetry prize, Safe Words (Palimpsest Press, 2018) is her first full-length collection. She lives in Toronto with her husband and dog Bo, where she works as a copywriter and runs an online fabric store.

Marquis Book Publishing Tent – Front Plaza 1 pm

Harry Bruce - Lifeline: the Story of the Atlantic Ferries and Coastal Boats


Ron Caplan present’s Harry Bruce’s:

LIFELINE: THE STORY OF THE ATLANTIC FERRIES AND COASTAL BOATS is a fascinating, awe-inspiring, occasionally hilarious, and always vital history of the ferries that serve the Atlantic provinces, and of the coastal boats that keep rural Newfoundland and Labrador alive. It also details the amazing story of the Prince Edward Island ferries and their predecessors—the iceboats men hauled over and through the challenging icepacks of the Northumberland Strait. Here, too, are the stories of the protracted development of the Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, to Bar Harbor, Maine, ferries, and the run from Digby, Nova Scotia, to Saint John, New Brunswick. Award-winning author Harry Bruce recounts tales of ordinary, determined citizens, heroic captains and crews, ships wrecked against ice floes and rocks and the ocean’s fury, political machinations, and the tragic outcome of a Nazi torpedo’s attack on the Caribou in 1942 on the Cape Breton–Newfoundland run. Harry Bruce’s telling is gripping, his research impeccable, and the people who come alive in these pages will drive home the complexity of keeping the water portions of the Trans-Canada Highway intact and our island provinces within confederation.

Illustrated with a gallery of historic photographs and pictures from the Marine Atlantic fleet today, LIFELINE is a must-read for Atlantic Canadians, and their friends.

Harry Bruce, a Torontonian by birth and Nova Scotian by ancestry and choice, worked for Ontario newspapers and magazines from 1955-to 1971 before moving to Nova Scotia. In addition to freelance journalism and writing books, he writes and edits, under contract, for the federal government and private industry. Harry graduated from Mount Allison University with a B.A. in Honours English and has given occasional readings and lectures. In 1997, he received the Evelyn Richardson Non-Fiction Award nineteen years after winning the award in its inaugural year.

Jaime Burnet - Crocuses Hatch From Snow

When Ada falls for a body piercer named Pan, her cheeky grandmother, Mattie, says she looks like a caught trout with all those hooks in her mouth. Ada soon discovers Mattie is also caught in a perpetual swoon. It isn’t just Alzheimer’s, or the secret vibrator Ada’s mother, Joan, is convinced Mattie has stashed in her room—Mattie is having a passionate affair with a ghost.

When Joan buys a house in the north end, the three generations move in next door to Ken—who operates one of the big machines engaged in razing some neighbourhoods and building others up—and his family, who aren’t thrilled about their new neighbours. Not only do the newcomers fail to introduce themselves, they and all the other white folks moving north are driving up the rent.

While Ada’s obsession with Pan is written on her body, the story of Mattie’s love for Edith, a young Mi’kmaw survivor of the residential school in Shubenacadie, unfurls too. Next door, Ken grieves his late wife, a powerful Black community organizer, and tries to inspire his directionless young son. Meanwhile, Ken’s daughter, Kiah, works to live up to her mother’s magic.

As relationships and neighbourhoods come apart and are put back together, their residents reach back to understand their connections to Halifax’s history and forward to recognize their responsibilities in its present.

Jaime Burnet writes fiction, plays creepy folk music and sometimes punk and doomy grunge, practices labour and human rights law, and lives with her family by the ocean in Nova Scotia. She has a master’s degree in Women and Gender Studies & Sexual Diversity Studies from the University of Toronto and a law degree from Dalhousie University. Crocuses Hatch From Snow is her first novel.

Ronald Caplan - A Stone for Andrew Dunphy

Award-winning interviewer Ronald Caplan has finally written his own book— a personal account of his search for song and obituary poetry and the tools for community survival in northern Cape Breton. Caplan shares his journey through northern Cape Breton as he learned about the in-home singing tradition and the community’s extraordinary devotion to the poet Andrew Dunphy—a person who might in other places have been an outcast. Dunphy roamed northern Cape Breton, sharing the news, nursing the sick, often caring for small children. He was loved everywhere. And he wrote magnificent poems that, with great respect, his neighbours turned into popular song.  One hundred years later, with obvious affection,. Told in the words of those who knew Andrew Dunphy, including singer Helen Curtis, esteemed fiddler Winston “Scotty” Fitzgerald, historian and storyteller Bob Fitzgerald. and Dunphy’s close friend George Rambeau—in A Stone for Andrew Dunphy Caplan tells of the robust life that flourished in the Aspy Bay region as the 20th century dawned.

Editor of several collections, Caplan is the author of A Stone for Andrew Dunphy—Narrative Obituary Verse and Song in Northern Cape Breton.  Caplan created Cape Breton’s Magazine in 1972 and, since then, has devoted himself to photographing and interviewing people in all parts of the island. The magazine ran from 1972 until 1999 and is now available at In 1986, Caplan started publishing Breton Books, a company devoted to new and classic books mostly by Cape Breton writers and on Cape Breton subjects.For his contribution to Cape Breton culture, he has received several awards, including Nova Scotia’s Cultural Life Award and the Order of Canada.

Cate Carlyle - #NotReadyToDie

Ginny’s life suddenly comes to a screeching halt one fateful Monday when a shooter shows up at Southwestern High during first period. In lockdown with both the homeroom sub and her secret crush Owen badly wounded, Ginny finds herself teamed up with Kayla, one of the “Barbies.” Together, they must try to keep their classmates alive amid terror and pain…and there’s only one thing Ginny knows for sure: no one is making it out unchanged.

Cate began her career as a teacher and transitioned to work in school, academic and public libraries. Currently the curriculum resource coordinator at a Halifax university, Cate also reviews books for CM Magazine. Cate’s first book,
“Your Passport to International Librarianship” chronicled her international volunteer work and she has also had her fictional short stories published and shortlisted. Her first YA novel #NotReadyToDie will be released in 2019 by Common Deer Press.

Anne Laurel Carter - Rocky Waters

All day at school, Rocky stares out the window, imagining fishing boats sailing across the sky. He wants nothing more than to fish for lobster with his dad, and finally one season he’s old enough to go along.

Before dawn, Rocky, Dad and sister Patsy untie their boat and head out to sea. Surrounded by the vast expanse of sky and water, Rocky feels as free as a seagull. His dad steers toward their first buoy, then pulls up a line of traps full of lobster. Rocky learns how to band their claws, then Patsy rebaits the traps and shoves them back into the sea. It takes a full day to haul up, empty, rebait and re-set three hundred traps, but Rocky loves every minute of it. “If the salt’s still in your veins when you’re Patsy’s age, you can leave school and fish all you want,” his dad tells him.

Anne Laurel Carter’s story is inspired by the childhood memories of Rocky Gaudet, who grew up wanting to fish the sea like his Acadian ancestors. He continues to fish for lobster in Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia today. Marianne Dumas’ naïve watercolor illustrations recall Rocky’s first fishing experience.

Anne Laurel Carter divides her time between Toronto and Nova Scotia where she lives at the mouth of the Lahave River. Rocky
Gaudet and his wife live in her house during lobster season so Rocky can keep living his dream and fish the sea.

Lesley Choyce - The Thing You're Good At

Jake’s friend Maria is the daughter of undocumented immigrants who have been living and working in the country for a long time. But the new government has implemented a crackdown. Maria’s parents are detained and quickly sent out of the country. Maria, who was born here, decides to hide out in Jake’s basement rather than risk becoming a ward of the state. But when she returns to her old apartment to retrieve her hidden birth certificate, Maria is abducted by young men on the lookout for teenage girls who have lost their parents to deportation. Jake is determined to rescue Maria before she’s turned over to the authorities. Or worse.

Lesley Choyce, who has been teaching English and creative writing for over thirty years, is the author of more than ninety books of literary fiction, short stories, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He has won the Dartmouth Book Award, the Atlantic Poetry Prize and the Ann Connor Brimer Award. He has also been short-listed 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.

CBC Headliner Host Portia Clark

Portia Clark is the host of Information Morning for Mainland Nova Scotia airing from 5:55 a.m. to 8:37 a.m. on CBC Radio One.
Portia is an established journalist with a solid reputation as a trusted interviewer who has covered some of the country’s biggest stories throughout her 20-year career with CBC. Her first introduction to the airwaves was working as a reporter, producer and
newsreader in Halifax in 1998.

In 2000, she moved west to CBC Edmonton for a news-reading job, which was followed by a year co-hosting the morning show, Edmonton AM. In 2002, she made the switch to television to host Edmonton’s supper-hour newscast, CBC News Edmonton. In 2012, she went back to radio to host the Edmonton afternoon current affairs show, Radio Active.

Portia returned home to Nova Scotia with her family in April 2018 to take on the role of host for Information Morning.
Portia has strong roots in rural Nova Scotia, having grown up in Sandy Cove on Digby Neck and in Bear River. Her love of radio started early – at home the radio was always on CBC. She graduated from Annapolis West Education Centre, holds a BA in Philosophy from Dalhousie University and is a graduate of the Broadcast Journalism program at the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Portia is actively involved in her community and enjoys participating and supporting a variety of local community events. Personally, she likes to run and explore all of what Nova Scotia has to offer with her husband and two kids. You can follow Portia @PortiaClarkCBC @infomorning

Portia will be celebrating her 2nd anniversary with Word on the Street and you will be able to find her in conversation with Jaime Burnett and Anne Bishop at 2pm in the CBC Tent on the Front Plaza.

Christy Ann Conlin - Watermark

Adult Fiction
In these evocative and startling stories, we meet people navigating the elemental forces of love, life, and death. An insomniac on Halifax’s moonlit streets. A runaway bride. A young woman accused of a brutal murder. A man who must live in exile if he is to live at all. A woman coming to terms with her eccentric childhood in a cult on the Bay of Fundy shore.
A master of North Atlantic Gothic, Christy Ann Conlin expertly navigates our conflicting self-perceptions, especially in moments of crisis. She illuminates the personality of land and ocean, charts the pull of the past on the present, and reveals the wildness inside each of us. These stories offer a gallery of both gritty and lyrical portraits, each unmasking the myth and mystery of the everyday.
CHRISTY ANN CONLIN is the author of two acclaimed novels, Heave and The Memento. Heave was a finalist for the First Novel Award, the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and the Dartmouth Book Award. Her short stories have been published in numerous literary journals, longlisted for both the Commonwealth Short Story Prize, and the American Short Fiction Prize, and appeared in the anthology Best Canadian Stories. She lives in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia.
Paul O’Regan Hall- 11am

Briana Corr Scott - She Dreams of Sable Island

Nova Scotia–based paper-doll artist Briana Corr Scott’s first children’s picture book explores the wilds of the childhood imagination and of the shape-shifting Sable Island.

Written as a gentle, lyrical poem, She Dreams of Sable Island is a wonderful read-aloud for bedtime, and a fact-filled exploration for curious readers who dream of adventuring to one of Nova Scotia’s most remarkable—and untouched—landscapes. Includes an illustrated map of Sable Island, descriptions of flora and fauna found on the island, a paper doll and accessories—even a Sable Island horse!

BRIANA CORR SCOTT was born in Salem, MA, and grew up in New Hampshire. Her love of painting began early in life, and
continued during her studies at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She moved to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, in 2006, where she lives with her husband and three young children. She now works from a home studio, and her paintings and poems are inspired by the natural world, particularly the Nova Scotia coast. She Dreams of Sable Island is her first book.

Tim Covell - Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada Panel Discussion

Tim Covell writes a variety of fiction and non-fiction, including poetry, short humour, biography, and journal articles, and is working on romance > novels. He holds degrees in English Literature, Film Studies, and Canadian Studies, and researches film classification and censorship.  Tim started writing contemporary romance novels in 2012.


Lesley Crewe - Are You Kidding Me!: Chronicles of an Ordinary Life

For the first time, bestselling novelist, columnist, and humorist Lesley Crewe’s finest newspaper columns are collected in one place.

Not merely razor-sharp, Lesley’s wit is also ocean wide, taking in everything from the humiliations of breast pumping to the indignities of ageing, from the frantic excess of holiday preparations to the homey irritations of a long marriage.

As precise in her observations as Jane Austen and as fractious on occasion as Oscar the Grouch, Crewe also has a sweet, tender centre, taking us from a hearty laugh to a good cry in a single paragraph. Readers will relate to Crewe’s ache at missing her mom, her nostalgia for her childhood, her frustrations at raising teenagers, and her impatience for terrible parking lot etiquette in equal measure. The book spans sixteen years’ worth of columns for The Cape Bretoner MagazineCahoots Magazine, and The Chronicle Herald.

Are You Kidding Me?! is a side-splitting, heartwarming, Cape Breton–flavoured celebration of the little things.

Lesley Crewe writes a column, Are You Kidding Me? for The Chronicle Herald. Her latest book, Are You Kidding Me? is a collection of those columns. She was a screenwriter for the movie, Relative Happiness, (2015), based on her first novel of the same name. She is the author of eleven books. Her first novel was short-listed for the Margaret and John Savage First book award in 2006 and her novel, Mary Mary was long-listed for the Stephen Leacock Award (2017). She lives in Cape Breton with her retired husband, and elderly cat, since her miserable children left home without a backward glance.






John Cunningham - Where Duty Lies: a New Brunswick Soldier in the Trenches of World War I

Frank Grimmer did not set out to earn honours on the field of battle nor did he readily choose to go to war. World powers were shifting. The future of nations was deemed dependant on their armies. It was left to the young men to face the gunfire of other young men who could have been friends under the right circumstances and in times of peace. Where Duty Lies tells the story of how a 23-year-old St. Andrews, New Brunswick, man ended up in the quicksand-like mud of Passchendaele labouring under heavy artillery fire helping construct supply lines that supported the Canadian advance during the Third Battle of Ypres, often referred to as the most horrific in a war of horrific battles.

Frank’s call to the trenches came as the guns pounding Vimy Ridge could be heard on the coast of England. Eager to prove himself, he volunteered to join the battle force badly cut down during Canada’s warfare with the Germans in France. Here he found himself often deprived of the guns and ammunition to advance or defend himself. But with the other “pioneers” he stayed on the job amidst the blasts of high explosives.

In the hours leading up to the launch of the Canadian assault on Passchendaele Ridge, Frank, thrown several yards by an artillery blast, went on to do all in his power to “render aid” to the wounded and those who died. His bravery earned him the Military Medal—and a thousand nights of torment remembering the violence of the events.
John Cunningham,is a retired journalist and amateur military historian living in Bridgewater, N.S. A 1962 Acadia Science graduate, he began a wide-ranging 37-year media career with the Saint John Telegraph-Journal and The Evening Times-Globe. He also worked at Radio-TV Station, CHSJ, Saint John, and the Toronto bureau of The Canadian Press and The Bridgewater Bulletin. During the 1980s, his stories appeared in many regional magazines, including Atlantic Advocate, Halifax Magazine, Atlantic Insight and The NovaScotian. He also contributed items to Lookout Magazine, Life and Leisure on the Costa Del Sol, while living two years in Malaga, Spain. An amateur musician, Cunningham plays drums with the Mahone Bay Legion and Mersey Swing Bands and is a former member of the Bridgewater Fire Department Band. He and his wife Mary have a cottage near Saint Andrews, N.B.


Michael de Adder - You Might Be From Nova Scotia If...

Michael de Adder is a singular talent. Among Canadian and American elite cartoonists, de Adder is regarded as one of North America’s great artists. He has won the American Association for Editorial Cartooning Golden Spike Award and has been nominated for a Reuben. In addition to The Chronicle Herald, de Adder draws for the Toronto Star and is the cartoonist of record for the (Parliament) Hill Times. His work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Vanity Fair, and The Guardian, among many others. He is the author of four bestselling books.


About the book

You Might Be From Nova Scotia If … is a delightful, illustrated romp through this one-of-a-kind place. From one of the most celebrated cartoonists in the country, Michael de Adder delivers his unique take on Canada’s most unique province, tickling the funny bone on every page. As de Adder proves, Nova Scotia is proud of who it is and likes nothing better than a good laugh.

Marq De Villiers - Hell and Damnation: a Sinner's Guide to Eternal Torment

In Hell and Damnation, bestselling author Marq de Villiers takes readers on a literary journey unknown since the time of Dante’s Inferno. Not confining himself to the nine circles of Christian Hell, he offers a multi-faith guide going back to time immemorial. From Jewish Gehenna and Muslim Jahhannam to Buddhism’s constellation of hells, and beyond, de Villiers has eternal torment covered for the sinners and sceptics among us.

Born in South Africa, Marq de Villiers is the author of ten previous books on exploration, history, politics, and travel, including Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource, which won the Governor General’s Award, and most recently Our Way Out: First Principles for a Post-Apocalyptic World. A member of the Order of Canada, Marq lives in Port Medway, NS with his wife, Sheila Hirtle.

Alison DeLory - Making it Home

Tinker Gordon doesn’t want anything to change. He thinks that if he holds on tightly enough, his family, his tiny Cape Breton Island community, his very world will stay exactly the way it has always been. But explosions large and small—a world away, in the Middle East, in the land of opportunity in western Canada, and in his own home in Falkirk Cove—threaten to turn everything Tinker has ever known upside down.

Set variously in the heart of rural Cape Breton, on the war-torn streets of Aleppo and in a Turkish refugee camp, in the new wild west frontier of the Alberta oil patch, and in a tiny apartment in downtown Toronto, Tinker’s family, friends, and neighbours new and old must find a way to make it home.

In her adult fiction debut, Alison DeLory ponders a question as relevant in Atlantic Canada as anywhere in the world: where and how do we belong, and what does it take to make it home?

Alison DeLory is a writer, editor, and teacher living in Halifax. She has been writing stories for newspapers, magazines, and digital platforms for 20 years. She’s also written two children’s chapter books and contributed to several anthologies. Making it Home is her first novel.

Burris Devanney - The Gambia Saga: The Epic Tale of a Unique Canadian NGO and a Fearless Little Country in Africa

Burris Devanney enjoyed a full career as a high school teacher and administrator in Halifax but also found or created opportunities over the past half-century to work in seven African countries – Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Chana, Gambia, Sierra Leone, Malawi and Uganda.  For nearly 20 years, along with his wife Louanne, he managed an NGO (the Nova Scotia Gambia Association) working in education health and community development in the Gambia. Since retiring from NSGA in 2006, Burris has worked for a few weeks each year as a resource person with the national teachers’ union of Ghana (GNAT) initiating and developing a unique community mobilization program that has now reached 60 villages throughout the country.  More recently, Burris has worked with the Uganda Teachers’ Union (UNATU) to introduce the community mobilization into nearly 20 communities in Uganda.  Today, the work Burris helped initiate is active in Gambia, Ghana and Uganda.


The Gambia Saga is a Canadian and Nova Scotia Success Story –700 students, faculty and professionals travelled from three Nova Scotia Universities (University College of Cape Breton, Saint Marys University and DalhousieUniersity School of Medicine) to this tiny African Country to improve its education ( they now have university and comprehensive schooling for girls and boys, improved economics, and quality health).

Jeffrey C. Domm - Formac Pocket Guides

Jeffery C.  Domm is a wildlife illustrator/designer that has been published in over 30 books related to wildlife and the environment. Titles include Nova Scotia Birds, Nature Guide to Whalewatching, Nature Guide to the Seashore and many others. He has illustrated several books that his wife Kristin B. Domm has written, including Little Brother of the NorthAhmed and the Nest of Sand and Eagle of the Sea.

His clients have included Environment Canada, Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canadian Wildlife Services, Parks Canada, Resource Recovery Fund Board and many environmentally focused companies. Jeff has a BFA in Design/Illustration from Detroit Centre for Creative Studies and an MA in Film from Columbia College Chicago.

He is also a filmmaker and has directed for Discovery Channel and many other documentary productions and kids programming.

He works in his studio in Cow Bay and has been teaching Illustration and Design at NSCAD University since 1992.

CBC Headliner Tent Main Plaza 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Terry Doyle - Dig

In twelve dialed-in and exceptionally honed short stories, Terry Doyle presents an enduring assortment of characters channelled through the chain reactions of misfortune and redemption.

A construction worker’s future is bound to a feckless and suspicious workmate. A young woman’s burgeoning social activism is constrained by hardship and the desperation of selling puppies online. A wedding guest recognizes a panhandler attending the reception. And a man crafts a concealed weapon with which to carry out his nightly circuit of paltry retribution.

Through keen-eyed observation, and with an impressive economy of statement, Doyle conveys these characters over a backdrop of private absurdities and confusions—countering the overbearance of a post-tragic age with grit, irony, and infinitesimal signs of hope.

Terry Doyle is a writer from the Goulds, Newfoundland. Winner of the 2017 Percy Janes First Novel Award, and finalist for the 2017 NLCU Fresh Fish Award, his work has appeared in untethered, Riddle Fence, Papermill Press, and the Newfoundland Quarterly.

RBC Room, 3 rd Foor 11 am

Devonna Edwards - Sawbones: Hospitals, Institutions, Medicine and Nursing

A fascinating non-fiction history in photography & prose by nurse/author Devonna Edwards of the evolution of hospitals and related institutions in HRM (oldest & most specialized hospitals in NS). 269 years from the founding of Halifax to 2018; parallels the story of disease & medicine and how medical doctors and nurses evolved as professions to cope with the ever-changing threats from ancient and modern diseases, catastrophe and war. Follow the evolution of societal attitudes towards less fortunate souls who were often victims of circumstance, tragedy, discrimination or disability. Contains 230 photographs/sketches of historical structures, many of which no longer exist; plus fascinating anecdotes: poems, ‘grave-robbing’; ‘saved by the bell’; ‘ghost’ stories at the Halifax Infirmary, the Nova Scotia Hospital & George’s Island tunnels … more.. Bonus chapters: temporary hospitals of the Halifax Explosion and WWI and WWII hospital ships. A most comprehensive book: accurate, sad, inspiring, shocking, and revealing.

Born in Halifax, N.S. as the eldest daughter (seven girls and three boys) of ten children to John and Mary O’Brien, Devonna was raised in the village of Fairview (then a suburb of Halifax) in an Irish and Acadian household.

Inspired by her pharmacist father, she chose nursing as her profession, going on to graduate from the Halifax Infirmary on Queen Street as a nurse (; she would work in her chosen field for over twenty-five years.

Today she lives in suburban Halifax with her husband of almost fifty years, Don, who calls Devonna a ‘history junkie’ and she suggests that she is likely guilty as charged, for there is nothing she enjoys more than scouring old newspapers, journals, maps and visiting old bookstores and libraries in her spare time. Her appetite to learn about the past became insatiable. It always amazed her to see how far society has progressed in the field of health and medicine … and how institutions and patient care have dramatically evolved over the years. It was on one of her many visits to the Provincial Archives (NSARM) that she first began to gather and collect old photographs and information on the many institutions within the Halifax-Dartmouth area (HRM). As the collection began to build, she soon realized that uncovering a wealth of information was, in a word, fascinating. That research led her to develop and hone her passion for writing historical publications.

Pitch the Publisher Presented By Atlantic Publishers Marketing Association


Blow the dust off that manuscript and sort through your USB sticks – it’s almost time for the APMA’s Pitch the Publisher and Blue Pencil Café events at Word on the Street! WOTS will take place on Saturday, September 14th at the Halifax Central Library.

This year’s Pitch the Publisher will take place from 10 am to Noon and participants will get 5 minutes to pitch their book idea to a panel of Atlantic Canadian publishers. Publishers will provide feedback and if one of them takes an interest, they will ask for you to send them more information.


Want to take part or need more info? Email Chantelle Rideout at or call 1 902 420 0711. We’ll ask your name, contact info and a short (no more than 100 words, please) blurb about your book idea.  You can only pitch completed manuscripts and if you pitched a book in 2018, you may pitch again this year, but not the same book. Deadline is August 30th.

Those selected will be notified by September 11.

Marquis Book Publishing Tent – Front Plaza 10 am – 12 noon




Dan Falk - The Science of Shakespeare: A New Look at the Playwright's Universe

William Shakespeare lived at a remarkable time—a period we now recognize as the first phase of the Scientific Revolution. New ideas were transforming Western thought, the medieval was giving way to the modern, and the work of a few key figures hinted at the brave new world to come: The methodical and rational Galileo, the skeptical Montaigne, and—as Falk convincingly argues—Shakespeare, who observed human nature just as intently as the astronomers who studied the night sky.

In The Science of Shakespeare, we meet a colorful cast of Renaissance thinkers, including Thomas Digges, who published the first English account of the “new astronomy” and lived in the same neighborhood as Shakespeare; Thomas Harriot—“England’s Galileo”—who aimed a telescope at the night sky months ahead of his Italian counterpart; and Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe, whose observatory-castle stood within sight of Elsinore, chosen by Shakespeare as the setting for Hamlet —and whose family crest happened to include the names “Rosencrans” and “Guildensteren.” And then there’s Galileo himself: As Falk shows, his telescopic observations may have influenced one of Shakespeare’s final works.

Dan Falk explores the connections between the famous playwright and the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution—and how, together, they changed the world forever. Readers of Stephen Greenblatt’s Will in the World, Dava Sobel’s Galileo’s Daughter, and Peter Galison’s Einstein’s Clocks, Poincare’s Maps will be drawn to this remarkable synthesis of history, science, art, and literature.

Dan Falk is a science journalist, author, and broadcaster. His books include In the Search of Time: Journeys along a Curious Dimension and Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for the Theory of Everything, winner of the 2002 Science in Society Journalism Award. He has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Walrus, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist; he has also been a regular contributor to CBC Radio’s Ideas. Falk recently completed a prestigious Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT, where he undertook much of the research for this book.

Andre Fenton - Worthy of Love

Adrian Carter is a young mixed-race teen struggling with poor self-image, but he’s through with being bullied for his weight. Adrian decides to shed the pounds, no matter what it takes. When he meets and falls for Mel Woods, a confident and sensible girl with a passion for fitness, his motivation to change leads him to take dangerous measures. When Mel confronts Adrian about his methods of weight loss he is left trying to find a balance between the number on the scale and wondering if he’ll ever be worthy of love.

Andre Fenton is an author and award winning spoken word artist. He has represented Halifax at 7 national poetry festivals across Canada. He has won awards in both spoken word poetry, and filmmaking. His first young adult novel, Worthy of Love was published in 2018 with Formac Publishing. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Mayann Francis - Mayann Francis: An Honourable Life

When Mayann Francis was named Nova Scotia’s first Black lieutenant-governor, she wondered if the community would accept her. Francis was born just three months after businesswoman Viola Desmond was arrested for sitting in a whites-only section of a movie theatre in New Glasgow. Had enough changed? In this candid memoir, Francis describes her journey from humble beginnings in Whitney Pier, the daughter of immigrants, to the vice-regal office. She explains how her religious faith and her family’s belief in education equipped her for life’s challenges, including the loss of much of her vision.

Before Francis was named lieutenant-governor, she had earned a masters degree in New York City and worked in a series of senior positions. But her time in the vice-regal office was not without challenges. Francis was unable to live in Government House for much of her term because the official residence was being renovated. As the renovations dragged on, there were rumours, she writes, that some politicians and bureaucrats did not want her to ever move in. Was it, she asks, because she was Black? Francis poses tough questions in this book, but also offers advice and encouragement to anyone faced with challenges.

Mayann Francis was the 31st lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia and the first Black person to hold that position. She was raised in Whitney Pier, Nova Scotia, and was educated in Canada and the United States. She was CEO of the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission and held other senior positions in Ontario and her home province before her appointment. She lives in Halifax.

Karen Furneaux - Strong Beauty: Power Up the Champion Within

Karen Furneaux is a 3-Time Olympian and 2-Time World Champion and winner of 9 medals at the World Championships over her 20-year professional sprint kayaking career.  Karen is the founder of I Promise Performance, Inc. a corporate wellness company.  Through her business, she speaks with global audiences about the connection between health, mindset and performance.  Karen is a published author, her book, “Strong Beauty: Power Up the Champion Within” encourages young women to set goals and gives tools and best practices to achieve their dreams. Her formal training includes a Masters of Science Degree from Dalhousie University in Kinesiology, with specialization in Sport Psychology.  She holds multiple certifications, and has undergone Team and Leadership training through Cornell University and is a licensed HeartMath provider to help her clients build resilience and stress management skills in her consulting practice. Karen has most recently been inducted into the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame and has been named as one of the top 15 most successful athletes in Nova Scotia sport history.  Karen is most passionate about engaging and empowering youth, donating her time with the Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame – Education Program



Global Afrikan Congress - Nova Scotia Chapter - R is for Reparations

Coming out of the innovative Book-in-a-Day event facilitated by the Global Afrikan Congress – Nova Scotia Chapter, R Is for Reparationsinvites readers to listen to the voices of young activists as they share their hopes and dreams about the global demand for redress, compensation and restitution for the horrors of the Atlantic Slave Trade.

This book is drawn from the voices of the children who participated in the Book-in-a-Day event and rode on an imaginary Underground Railroad Freedom ride, equipped with Elders who served as “conductors” and “station” stops. Their words address the tragedy and resulting political, social, and economic damage caused to African People by the slave trade, slavery, colonialism, poverty and anti-Black racism. Their reactions and reflections lead the contributions for this compelling, one-of-a-kind Alphabet Book suitable for all ages.

Children Authors
Neime Ada; Jaya Anderson; Onafalujo Atinuke; Abena Atwell-Rodney; Jorga-Rain Cain; Yolanden Cain; Brooklyn Clarke; Amaris Colley; Keenan Colley; Trayah Cyr; Cortel Downey; Cindy Fahey; Derwin Jackson; Dwayne Jackson; Dwight Jackson; Jayla Johnston-Curran; Jordyn Johnston-Curran; Niala Jones; Leo Klassen; Zya Langdon; Theordore Le Page; Temitope Olatunji; Joliyah Regan; Cairo Simmons-Benard; Sahora Simmons-Benard; Amaris Symonds; Amara Tie; Chika Tie; DeCosta Thomas; Ja’Quel Upshaw; Siyasia Upshaw-Allison; Tia Upshaw-Paris; Lenai White.
Global Afrikan Congress – Nova Scotia Chapter Committee Members
Lynn Jones; Wendy Shea; Wanda Thomas; Norma Williams

John Grant - The Mystery Ships of Nova Scotia in the First World War

THEY SAILED INTO HARM’S WAY dressed as ordinary fishermen, seeking to be attacked by German submarines. This armed team faced danger, frayed nerves, and boredom. Because their mission was secret, they could not explain their service to Canada in the First World War. In this brisk, readable and respectful history, John N. Grant tells the long-buried story of Canada’s Mystery Fleet. He names men who tried to lure U-boats into range, and then sailed into anonymity—until now. Many historic photographs.

John N. Grant, a native of Guysborough, NS, is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University, the University of New Brunswick, Dalhousie University and the University of Toronto. He taught in the public school system, was a Research Associate of the Atlantic Institute of Education, a professor at the Nova Scotia Teachers College, and retired from St. Francis Xavier University. He is a member of the Board of Historic Sherbrooke Village, the Little White Schoolhouse Museum, the Royal Nova Scotia Historical Society, the Nova Scotia Teachers College Foundation, and was a member and later Chair of the Board of the Public Archives of Nova Scotia. He has published articles and books on African-Nova Scotian history, the history of academic costume in Nova Scotian universities, the history of education, and local history. He has been interested in the Mystery Fleet since he was first told the story by the then elderly Captain Byron Scott in Sherbrooke, NS, fifty years ago.

Daphne Greer - Finding Grace

Abandoned on the steps of a Belgian convent as a baby, thirteen-year-old Grace has grown up among the nuns. But her days as a caretaker and companion for her older sister, Dotty, have come to a sad end with Dotty’s death, and now Grace is living among the girls who attend the convent’s boarding school—the very same girls who taunted and bullied her sister for having Down syndrome.

Grace desperately wants to know who left her at the convent; she wants a family and to not feel alone in the world. When Grace finds a three-decades-old diary from the 1940s in the convent library, her interest in the history of the convent is also piqued. Terrible things happened in the little village of Tildonk, Belgium, when the Nazis arrived, and terrible things happened to the mysterious girl who wrote the diary. Unravelling the mystery of the diary ultimately means unravelling the secrets of Grace’s life, which are more complicated than she ever imagined.

Based on the author’s own experiences at this very convent school, Finding Grace, Ann Connor Brimer Finalist in 2019,  is an emotional look into the lives of girls in the strict world of convents, both in the 1940s and the 1970s, from the author of Silver Birch-shortlisted Jacob’s Landing.

Daphne Greer graduated from Mount St Vincent University with a Bachelor of Child Study. She has worked with individuals with special needs for many years and often draws on her experiences for characters in her stories. Prior to having children, Daphne volunteered on the Adult Help Phone in Halifax which provided her with the ability to use the Kids Help Phone in Maxed Out; a 2013 nominee for best quick read by the American Library Association. She loves spreading the word about this amazing service that they provide for kids in Canada. Jacob’s Landing was a finalist for the Silver Birch and Hackmatack awards 2016-2017 and appeared in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best books for kids and teens in 2015. Camped Out (Hacmatack winner 2019), a sequel to Maxed Out is a Hackmatack finalist for 2018 – 2019 and received a starred review in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best books for kids and teens 2018. Finding Grace was published in the fall of 2018. Daphne enjoys doing school visits with the WITS program and lives in Newport Landing with her family. She has four daughters and a loving husband.

Visit her at








Deborah Hale - The Wizards Ward

Deborah Hale’s first romance novel appeared in print twenty years ago.  Since then she has published over three dozen works of popular fiction in the genres of historical romance, fantasy romance, inspirational romance and historical fiction. Deborah’s books have won a number of awards including the Golden Heart and her name is on Romance Writers of  America’s Honor Roll, which recognizes top-selling authors in the genre.

Room 301, 3rd Floor 2 pm – 3 pm – Romance Writers Panel Discussion



Gerald Hallowell - As British as the King: Lunenburg County during the First World War


In August 1914, the long-established Germans of Lunenburg County found themselves facing a dilemma: Canada was at war with Germany. They met suspicions of disloyalty with the claim that their roots were deep in the German states of mid-eighteenth-century central Europe, long before unification. They were, then, as British as King George V himself.

As British as the King explores life in Lunenburg County at a time when blackouts were enforced, when there were rumours of spies, and when schooners were sunk offshore by U-boats. Intricately and thoroughly researched, this fascinating historical account brings an exquisite level of detail to the history of the war effort on the home front. Historians and Nova Scotians with Lunenburg roots will appreciate author Gerald Hallowell’s passion for his subject—a passion that echoes that of his previous work, The August Gales, for which he received the 2014 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing.

Gerald Hallowell was born in Port Hope, Ontario, and grew up on a farm in nearby Crooked Creek. For over twenty years he worked as an editor at the University of Toronto Press, retiring as senior editor, Canadian history, in 2000. In 1996 he was elected to the council of the Canadian Historical Association. He edited The Oxford Companion to Canadian History, published in 2004. Since 1989 he has lived in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia.


Joann Hamilton-Barry - North Atlantic Right Whales: Past, Present, and Future

The North Atlantic right whale, also called the “urban” whale for its proximity to industrialized regions of North America’s east coast, is one of the largest whales in the world. Averaging 14 metres, and weighing about 40,000 kilograms, it is known for its graceful tail, callosities, lack of dorsal fins, and strong bond with its young. But historically, it was known as the “right” whale to kill, and has been commercially hunted for its abundant blubber and oil since the tenth century.

Considered nearly extinct by the 1950s, the population slowly began to recover due to conservation efforts in the late twentieth-century. But commercial fishing-related deaths in recent years, including the loss of at least seventeen right whales (2% of the population) in the summer of 2017, put the species at a level of critical endangerment. The next few decades will determine whether it survives.

Offering background on the whale’s history, unique biology and behaviour, information on what is killing them and how readers can help, The North Atlantic Right Whale is an important, accessible book that will spark action and increased awareness of the plight of this majestic creature.

Joann Hamilton-Barry is a librarian in Saint John, New Brunswick and the author of the Hackmatack Award-shortlisted Oak Island the Search for Buried Treasure, published in 2015. There be Pirates: Swashbucklers & Rogues of the Atlantic was published in 2018 and Resource Links gave it an ‘E’ indicating that it is ‘excellent’ and ‘enduring’, with the recommendation that ‘everyone should see it’. CM: Canadian Review of Materials said ‘This five star book is a must for public library shelves, teachers covering the topic in their classroom or school library, and for any child or child at heart with an interest in swashbucklers and rogues’. Her first book Boldly Canadian: the Story of the RCMP was published by Kids Can Press in 1999.
Her next book, North Atlantic Right Whale: Past, Present and Future will be released by Nimbus in May 2019.
Joann is a former teacher and was a children’s librarian for nearly twenty years. She has had a lifelong fascination with all things related to islands, beaches, boats, the ocean, and the creatures who live there. Joann gets very excited when she finds a little known and neat fact to share with readers young and old. She enjoys visiting schools to tell students about her books and to get them excited about reading, research, and libraries. In the last few years she has given more than 50 talks about her books to over 1800 kids.
Joann has lived in seven provinces and one territory and enjoys exploring all parts of Canada. She is the proud mother of two grown children, Alex and Hope. Her favourite activities include reading, cooking and walking her dog with her best friend and husband, Nick Barry.

Lisa Harrington - The Big Dig

Just as fourteen-year-old Lucy is starting to figure out life after her mom’s death, her dad ships her off to Cape John, her mom’s hometown, for the summer. Worse, she has to live with her nutty great-aunt Josie, who doesn’t cook edible food or suffer fools. Soon Lucy meets Colin, freshly moved from the West Coast, who’s digging an enormous hole in his new yard. He spends every day digging deeper in protest of his family’s unilateral decision to move to this tiny oceanside community. As Colin digs in the ground, Lucy digs through her family’s history, and eventually both of them uncover a shocking truth.The Big Dig asks big questions of its readers: Are secrets ever okay? What defines a family? And can we ever really know our parents? Lisa Harrington’s light and funny voice blends seamlessly with Lucy’s grief, creating an authentic and riveting emotional landscape.Lisa Harrington’s novels include 2018’s The Goodbye Girls, Twisted, shortlisted for the Canadian Library Association’s YA Book of the year, Live to Tell, winner of the White Pine, Ann Connor Brimer, and SYRCA Snow Willow Awards, and Rattled, published in 2010 to critical praise. Her work has also appeared in A Maritime Christmas. Lisa lives in Halifax with her family and puppy, Hermione. Visit Lisa online at

Kayla Hounsell - First Degree: From Med School to Murder

A murder, a missing body, and a sensational trial that shocked the community. Will Sandeson seemed like a model son. A member of the Dalhousie University track and field team, he was about to start classes at Dalhousie’s medical school. He had attended a medical school in the Caribbean; he worked at a group home for adults with disabilities. “There’s times for whatever reason that things don’t go quite as planned,” a Halifax police officer told Sandeson shortly after he was arrested for the first-degree murder of Taylor Samson, who also, on the surface, seemed like a model son.

Samson lived in a fraternity house near Dalhousie, and when the six-foot-five physics student disappeared without a trace, the focus eventually turned to Sandeson. Sandeson’s trial, blown open by a private investigator accused of switching sides, exposed a world of drugs, ambition, and misplaced loyalties. Through interviews with friends and relatives, as well as transcripts of the trial and Sandeson’s police interrogation, award-winning journalist Kayla Hounsell paints a complex portrait of both the victim and killer, two young men who seemed destined for bright futures. First Degree includes previously unpublished photos and details never made public until now.

Kayla Hounsell is an award-winning journalist who covered the murder trial of William Sandeson. She is now the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s National Reporter for the Maritime provinces. Based in Halifax, and originally from Newfoundland, she has also worked in Ottawa, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Rwanda, South Sudan, Liberia and the United Kingdom. First Degree: From Med School to Murder is her first book.


Christopher Hoyt - A Giant Man from a Tiny Town

When Angus MacAskill was still just a boy, he began to grow…and grow…and…grow! Known far and wide as the Cape Breton Giant, Angus was loved by his neighbours as much for his beautiful singing voice as for his renowned strength. But as much as Angus loved his little town of St. Ann’s, Cape Breton, he decided to leave and seek fortune and adventure.

With heartfelt text from critically acclaimed author Tom Ryan and meticulously researched and joyful illustrations from Christopher Hoyt (A is for Adventure), A Giant Man from a Tiny Town tells the story of a remarkable man who travelled the world performing for crowds, but never stopped longing to return to the place he loved the best: his Cape Breton home.

Christopher Hoyt is an illustrator living and working in the Maritimes, where he finds himself ever fascinated with local folklore and history. His work can be found in museums across the country, as well as in dozens of book titles. He also illustrated the popular outdoor-themed book A is for Adventure. This is his second children’s book.



Guyleigh Johnson - Afraid of the Dark

Through prose and poetry, Guyleigh Johnson tells the story of sixteen-year-old Kahlua Thomas. An absent father and an alcoholic mother leave Kahlua feeling neglected, but her real pain stems from being black. She finds it hard surviving in a poor neighbourhood and even tougher society. Trapped by her own insecurities, she cannot relate to the person in the mirror. She believes that if she doesn’t acknowledge her thick hair, big lips, and dark skin maybe, just maybe, she’ll be able to blend in. Yet the lack of diversity, equality, and heritage in her world makes her more intrigued about the black roots she tries to stray away from. With a hard life at home, on the streets, and in school, she finds an escape during her grade ten history class through writing poetry. Hiding in the back of the class, she writes, passionately expressing and releasing emotions about identity, home, community, culture, and forgiveness. All Kahlua wants is freedom, whatever that really means.

Guyleigh Johnson is a 25-year-old spoken word artist/creative writer from North-end Dartmouth. Using writing as an outlet Johnson believes words play a huge role in the process of healing. One of her favourite quotes is “Hurt people Help people” showcasing the importance of storytelling. In October 2017 she released her first collection of poetry titled “Expect the Unexpected” based on inner-city youth and the challenges they not only face but overcome. She is currently taking classes at Dalhousie University with the hopes of obtaining a degree in Journalism, Psychology or Social Work. A community advocate, volunteering/speaking at various community organizations, events and meetings Johnson wishes to encourage youth to see their true potential, and to step out of their comfort zone. Whether you see her on Youtube, Facebook or her own personal webpage she’s starting the conversation for change. Living in a fast-paced generation that is losing the gift of being thoughtful last year she started her own business “Guyleigh’s Greeting Cards” that specializes in “personalizing the moment while creating memories”. Her intent is simple, she always wants to be impactful understanding how important it is to not only give back but to reach back and help another person up.



Joseph Koot - Europe, One Step at a Time

In “Europe, One Step at a Time,” the reader joins me on a 6,000-kilometre hike from southwest Portugal to northeast Estonia. With my retirement came the opportunity to take six trips to Europe to fulfill the dream of walking each step of the way across that continent.
Unfortunately, a gang assaulted me in a park soon after I started on this adventure. I returned home to heal my wounds, gather my courage and return to the trail more determined to reach that faraway goal.
Morning sunshine could bring the twitter of birds, or a thunderstorm might doom me to being splashed by passing trucks. Finding a bed for the night proved challenging, but hiking vast distances was rewarding.
In the rhythm of placing one foot in front of the other, my brain reviewed old memories as I came to terms with the challenges of my early years. The reader can join me on the two journeys: one took me along a path across Europe; the other led through the recesses of my mind.

Joseph Koot retired from a nurse manager position in the federal prison system to become an author. During retirement, Joseph hiked across Europe, which provided material and energy for the five books he has written.
His wife Joanne retired from a teaching career after they had raised five children in their home in the country overlooking Shepody Bay. Now Joseph and Joanne enjoy the youthfulness of their grandchildren.

John Langley - Canadian Confederate Cruiser

Canadian Confederate Cruiser tells the story of an elegant but unpretentious steamer that bore witness to the birth of a nation. In 1864, Queen Victoria took the Fathers of Confederation from Quebec to Charlottetown and back. Long before she could be given the recognition she deserved, Queen Victoria was lost in a hurricane off Cape Hatteras, the crew and passengers rescued by the American brig Ponvert. That incident and the events that followed it put the lost vessel into the international limelight and tweaked diplomatic relations between Canada and the United States.

John Langley, the author behind Steam Lion, the award-winning biography of Samuel Cunard, documents the life of this steamer and the unlikely cross-border tug-of-war that developed over her bell. In telling the Queen Victoria‘s story, Langley provides a better understanding of the social and political forces that led to Confederation, explaining the pivotal choices that were made.

Jane Ledwell - Return of the Wild Goose - Marquis Book Publishing Tent

Return of the Wild Goose explores the life of writer and activist Katherine Hughes. Set against the intimate relief of a PEI landscape, these poems are inspired by what is known—and unknown—about her contradictory life as a Catholic teacher in Mohawk territory; a journalist working alongside Canada’s first-wave feminists and suffragettes; the first public archivist of Alberta; and finally, as a zealous Irish nationalist. This (auto) biographical dialogue between Jane Ledwell and Katherine Hughes offers the reader a fierce remembrance of a PEI radical.

What made Hughes a trailblazer but not a feminist? An archivist who kept so few records of her own? What made her overthrow ideas of empire for Irish republican nationalism? Return of the Wild Goose remembers (and maybe fights a bit) with a fascinating historical Prince Edward Island woman so that she won’t be forgotten.

Jane Ledwell is a writer and editor in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. She has published two previous collections
of poetry, Last Tomato and Bird Calls: The Island Responds. She also co-authored Elaine Harrison: I Am an Island That Dreams
and co-edited two books of academic writing about L. M. Montgomery. Jane currently serves as executive director of the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women.

Marquis Book Publishing Tent – Front plaza 1 pm

Garry Leech - Ghosts Within: Journeying Through PTSD

What are the long-term psychological costs of violence and war? Journalist Garry Leech draws from his experiences as a war correspondent, his ongoing personal struggle with PTSD and the latest research on this mental illness to provide a powerful and vivid answer to this question. For thirteen years, Leech worked in Colombia’s rural conflict zones where he experienced combat, witnessed massacre sites and was held captive by armed groups. This raw account of his journey from war on the battlefield to an internal, psychological war at home illustrates how those who work with traumatized populations can themselves be impacted by trauma.

Leech removes some of the stigmas, fears and ignorance related to PTSD in particular, and mental illness in general, by shedding light on a largely invisible illness that mostly manifests itself behind the closed doors of our homes. Ultimately, the book uses a journalist’s journey through PTSD to provide a message of hope for all those who suffer from this illness.

Garry Leech is an independent journalist and author who has worked in Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and the West Bank over the past two decades. He is the author of numerous books and his articles have been published in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and Latin America. Garry also teaches international politics at Cape Breton University in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Diane Carmel Léger - The Lookout Tree - A Family's Escape from the Acadian Deportation

It’s 1755, and twelve-year-old Fidèle’s life is quiet and pastoral—until a sudden shift in the political situation brings chaos to Acadie. The English are hunting down and deporting all the Acadians, and the only way to escape is to run far away or to live in the wilderness.

Fidèle’s parents are taken by the English along with their newborn baby. He, his sister, Prémélia, their grandfather, Pétard, and elderly Rosalie decide to brave life in the forest near their burned-down house in the hopes that their family members will return one day. Life in the woods is harsh and unforgiving, and they only survive with the help and knowledge of their Mi’kmaw friends and a mysterious spirit who appears during times of dire need.

Spanning two decades of the terrible events of the Deportation and the long struggle to reunite and resettle afterward, The Lookout Tree is an English translation of the beloved French classic, La butte à Pétard, and a testament to the determination of the Acadian people to survive and thrive in their homeland.

Marquis Book Printing Tent 12 noon

Anne Lévesque - Lucy Cloud

n 1960s Inverness, Cape Breton, the coal mines have closed and family farms stand abandoned as men and families must find other ways to survive. Curly MacLeod, the last of the old-time horse traders, must cultivate a new clientele to support his wife Annabel and their adopted son Blaise—the back-to-the-landers who are moving to the area. The religious Annabel is less open to change. When hippies Eric and Jenny Petcoff buy the farm next door, she worries about their influence on the now teenage Blaise. And Blaise is influenced—which sets in motion a chain of events that sends tremors of even greater change through his family. Central to the developing history of the MacLeod family is his daughter Lucy, a shy and altruistic girl who grows up in Ontario but spends summers in Cape Breton with her grandparents. Her roots there are strong, but Lucy’s life is full of the strange and the wonderful. With her mystic skill, where will her true calling take her?

Filled with engaging characters, with their unique and lively Cape Breton voices, Lucy Cloud follows the fortunes and heartaches of a family with secrets and the intense longing to live fully. Anne Lévesque delivers an authentic tale of a time and a place, where people must be strong and inventive to make a good life.

Anne Lévesque’s poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction have been published in Canadian and international journals and anthologies. Lucy Cloud is her first novel. She lives with her husband near Inverness, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.

Susan Lloy - Vita

Angst, seduction, escape and extinction control these many tales—a whisper in the ear convinces a lady to take the plunge, another to take up surfing, and a young man to jump in front of a moving train—and there is joy in settling a score with despised neighbours and a conspiracy under the California sun. Some sketches are laced with passion and loss—a son comes to know his mother from a series of letters following her death, while a face transplant changes a man’s life, but with it comes the unwanted pursuit of the donor’s wife—while others show murderous aspirations and an irrepressible desire for release. Always vital, Vita opens wide the windows into our many lives.

Susan E Lloy has consistently published internationally since 2012. Her first collection of offbeat tales, But When We Look Closer, was recently published by Now Or Never Publishing. Her forthcoming collection, Vita, will be released April 15, 2019. Susan lives in Montreal.

Justine MacDonald - Remembrance Road: a Canadian Photographer's Journey Through European Battlefields

Nova Scotian photographer Justine MacDonald’s poignant impressions from her 2001 and 2017 tours of western European battlefields are indelible reminders of the horror and utter futility of war. While they inform and memorialize, they do not take sides. One cannot read this book and not be profoundly moved.

Justine MacDonald is a travel photographer and blogger based in Nova Scotia’s Annapolis Valley. She loves exploring history, and the world in general, through the lens of her camera.

She enjoys sharing her knowledge and love of photography with others – to inspire them to see the world in a new light – through introductory workshops, one-on-one tutorials, photo walks and travel presentations. She is the official photographer for Wolfville’s variety show Broken Leg Theatre and sells her work through online shops and subscriptions.

An award-winning photographer, she has participated in several group and solo exhibitions. You can find her online at

Frank Macdonald - The Smeltdog Man

an ACCIDENTAL INVENTION—a Cape Bretoner’s marijuana-laced, munchie-inspired Smeltdog—becomes the most successful fast food franchise in Canada: Good Karma Corporation!

As the billion-dollar business booms beyond his control, he consults Granddaddy Blue, whose pragmatic mixture of horse-trader economics and 1960s hippie ideals provides his grandson with the guiding principles and necessary scams he needs to survive in the corporate world.

Frank Macdonald is Inverness’s award-winning author of A Forest for Calum and other novels, short stories, and drama.

“…I was kind of embarrassed by how much I made myself laugh with this book!”

Frank Macdonald, columnist, poet, songwriter, playwright and novelist, was born in Inverness, Cape Breton, where he and his partner, artist Virginia McCoy, now live. For the past 30 years he has penned a weekly column as a humourist/satirist with Inverness Oran newspaper and other Maritime publications. His columns have appeared in two collections, Assuming I’m Right (Cecibu 1990), and How to Cook Your Cat (Cecibu 2003).

Don MacLean - With These Hands: Traditional Arts, Crafts and Trades of Atlantic Canada

In the age of big box stores and mass production, there are still artists and crafts people who make beautiful things by hand. Colourful quilts, hooked rugs, and stained glass. Resilient dories and snowshoes. Whimsical whirligigs. In this book, Don MacLean explores the traditional crafts of Atlantic Canada, visiting dozens of creators in their workshops, galleries, and homes, giving insight into their process and inspiration.

MacLean interviews Dora Gloade about Mi’kmaw bead- and leatherwork. He talks to Yvette Muise about preserving the Cheticamp hooked rug tradition. He speaks to a luthier and a jeweller. There is an irresistible allure to items that are carefully, lovingly, made by hand, whether they are carved from wood or painted on canvas, and MacLean’s book explores that. This book contains over two dozen photos taken by the author.

Don MacLean writes about the outdoors, as well as traditional crafts, from wood carving to canoe building. His articles have appeared in Atlantic Salmon Journal, Saltscapes, Outdoor Canada, and others. MacLean is the author of two books on the outdoors and sport fishing: Discover Nova Scotia Sport Fishing and A Little Thing I Tied Myself: Stories of Atlantic Canadian Fly Tiers, many newspaper columns and magazine articles. He lives in Pictou, Nova Scotia.

Julianne Maclean - A Fire Sparkling

Julianne MacLean is a *USA Today* bestselling author who has sold more than 2 million books in North America alone. Her novels have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, Russian, and Dutch. She has written twenty historical romance novels, including the bestselling *Highlander Trilogy* with MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press and her popular *Pembroke Palace Series* with Avon/Harper Collins. The first novel in her contemporary fiction series, THE COLOR OF HEAVEN, was a *USA Today* bestseller, and she has written and independently published 13 books in that series. Julianne is a four-time RITA finalist with Romance Writers of America, and has won numerous awards. Her most recent release A FIRE SPARKLING debuted at #3 in the Kindle bestseller list in the US, and was an Amazon Charts bestseller and a Washington Post bestseller. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of King’s College in Halifax and a degree in Business Administration from Acadia University in Wolfville. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter, and is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. She is represented by Creative Media Agency in New York.

Room 301, 3rd Floor 2 pm – 3 pm – Romance Writers Panel Discussion



“A young woman’s quest to find the truth about her grandmother’s past reveals World War II intrigue, mistaken identity, and a labyrinth of romance, doubt, and lies. A Fire Sparkling is a satisfying and heartfelt page-turner that keeps readers guessing until the very last page. This book combines so many of my favourite things – long-held family secrets, surprising characters, and resilient women who fight for love.” – Lynda Cohen Loigman, author of The Wartime Sisters and The Two-Family House


Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy - Never Speak of This Again

It is 1917 and Nellie, seventeen years old and pregnant, has just returned to Cape Breton from Boston to find her lover. Instead of a safe haven, she encounters rejection and humiliation and is told to clear out and never speak of this again. In her shame, she contemplates suicide at Victoria Park in Truro, but a passing stranger, headed to the WWI front, offers her some gifts that could help her survive, and allow him to run away from his own past. She returns to Boston, where she finds shelter and learns to live with dignity and purpose. The circle of life there, of struggle and kindness, of pain and beauty, for both the living and the dying convinces her to return to her family. However, her plan of a quiet life on Campbell’s Mountain does not pan out as she thought it would.

Nellie’s story reflects the lives of many Nova Scotia women who found their way to Boston. Her world becomes a matter of daily survival, while so many in the world, including the stranger from Truro, try to survive the catastrophic chaos of WWI and the Spanish Flu. Never Speak of This Again takes the reader from eastern Canada to western Canada, to Europe, and back again. In the messy existence of life, heroes can be victims and villains, and she hopes there is always a chance for redemption, but she wonders how far she can risk society’s scorn for her own personal happiness.

Brenda MacLennan-Dunphy is a born and bred Cape Bretoner, though she tends to roam the world occasionally in search of adventures with her husband, now that their four grown children are self-sufficient. She loves to delve into community stories through her four plays and now her first novel.

Kevin Major - Land Beyond the Sea


In the small hours of October 14, 1942, a German U-boat sank the passenger ferry SS Caribou in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Of the 237 people on board, 136 perished, including 49 civilians. In Land Beyond the Sea, bestselling author Kevin Major reimagines the events of that fateful night from the perspectives of both those aboard the doomed vessel and the German U-boat commander who gave the order. With his characteristically sharp, evocative prose style, Major delivers an epic work of historical fiction, detailing a life-and-death conflict in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. Land Beyond the Sea is a powerful and empathetic testament to the acts of destruction and the acts of heroism carried out in the name of home.

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.



Jill Martin - Murder in the Fourth

Meet Lorraine Armstrong, a feisty, rebellious teen growing up in a strict Jehovah’s Witness family in a small southwest Ontario town in the late 1960s. Why must there be so many unfair rules – no birthday parties, no Christmas, no regular friends – she rails against her mother; while in a Kingdom Hall not far away, young Georgia Jackson goes missing. Whispers of abduction and murder terrorize the quiet community.

A week later Lorraine’s brother Peter is critically injured in a car accident and her father consents to a blood transfusion. Punishment is swift and calculated.

The powder keg already smoldering in Lorraine’s mind explodes. Lorraine’s story will make you laugh; it will make you weep, but her eventual escape and the long road of reconciliation from the haunting memories of her past will make you cheer out-loud.

Murder in the Fourth is both a story of escape and exposure: escape from the clutches of a fear-driven ideology, and exposure of the secret mind-bending machinations religious cults employ to keep members compliant, submissive and isolated from mainstream society. Depicting one family’s suffering and righteous indignities under the strict and arbitrary tenets of the Jehovah’s Witness organization, this touching narrative mirrors thousands of other families torn apart by the divisive nature of similar religions. In this remarkable work, Whicher and Martin take murder to a new level.

Jill Martin was an educator on Nova Scotia’s South Shore, serving as the last principal of Lunenburg Academy. Following her retirement, she has devoted her spare time to research projects, and writing books and articles about Sable Island. She is an author-historian for Adventure Canada expedition cruises to Sable Island. She presently sits on the board of Friends of Sable Island Society as Director of Education. Murder in the Fourth is her first co-authored book.

CBC Headliner Host - Nic Meloney

Nic Meloney is Wolastoqew (Maliseet) from Woodstock First Nation, N.B., born and
raised in Cape Breton Island, N.S. He currently lives and works in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral territory of the Mi’kmaq in Nova Scotia, for CBC’s Indigenous Unit.

Nic began his career with CBC as a video journalist with CBC Nova Scotia, working out
of both the Sydney and Halifax stations. Since taking a staff position with the Indigenous Unit, Nic’s shared the stories of Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island/North America and internationally – from the Cree of James Bay to the Maori of New Zealand. “Actually seeing and hearing the stories of Indigenous Peoples, in their own voices, is of great personal value for me. It’s enhancing my own story and how I see the world, every day. I think the same can be true for any human who’s willing to watch, listen and learn.” You can follow Nic @nicmeloney @CBCIndigenous

Nic will be celebrating his 2nd anniversary with Word on the Street and you can join him in conversation with Authors Theresa Meuse and Alan Syliboy at 10 am in the CBC Tent Front Plaza.

Theresa Meuse - The Gathering

Alex is attending her first Mi’kmaw spiritual gathering or mawiomi. Though she is timid at first, older cousin Matthew takes her under his wing. Meeting Elders along the way, they learn about traditional Mi’kmaw culture: the sacred fire, drumming, tanning and moccasin decorating, basket- and canoe-making, and enjoy a Mi’kmaw feast. Most importantly, Alex finds her voice in the talking circle.

With contemporary illustrations by the bestselling illustrator Art Stevens, The Gathering is an inclusive story that will educate and entertain Indigenous and non-Indigenous readers alike.

Theresa Meuse is a Mi’kmaq author, born and raised in Nova Scotia. She has worked in many areas involving her culture and presently works as a Mi’kmaq Aboriginal Student Support Worker for the Halifax Regional Center of Education. She is married, a mother of three children and the grandmother of four.

Shandi Mitchell - The Waiting Hours

When tragedy erupts on a stifling summer night, three ordinary people, with the extraordinary jobs of rescuing strangers, are connected to one another in ways both explicit and invisible. Each is deeply devoted to what they do, but they are all beginning to crack under the immense pressures of their work.

Tough-as-nails Kate, when she’s not working with her beloved search-and-rescue dog, Zeus, is a trauma nurse who spends her off-duty hours trying to forget what she has seen. Estranged from her troubled family, she must confront the fact that resolution may elude her forever. Respected police officer Mike is on the edge of burnout and sets himself on a downward spiral that may be impossible to break, fraying the bonds of love that hold his family together. Tamara, an agoraphobic 911 dispatcher, who is trying her hardest to remain as calm and emotionless as an automated message, is propelled into the middle of a story that she can’t avoid and must enter the world to find out how it ends.

With a city prickling under a heat wave and a hurricane threatening to make landfall, these responders will be forced to make fateful choices that will alter lives. A storm is coming and nobody is prepared.

SHANDI MITCHELL is an author and filmmaker. Her debut novel, Under This Unbroken Sky, was simultaneously published by Penguin Canada, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK), and HarperCollins (US) in August 2009. It sold in nine countries, including translation rights for Chinese, Hebrew, Dutch, and Italian. Under This Unbroken Sky won the 2010 Commonwealth Regional Prize for First Book (Canada/Caribbean), the Thomas Head Raddall Fiction Award, the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and the 2012 Kobzar Literary Award. It was also longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Mitchell was born in New Brunswick, raised in Alberta, and now makes her home in Nova Scotia.


Andrea Miller - My First Book of Canadian Birds

Help your child identify birds like the Canada goose, American robin, and yellow warbler in their natural habitats with colourful and whimsical collage-style illustrations from breakout East Coast artist Angela Doak (Atlantic Animal ABC).

Simple, gentle text gives readers a peek into the habitats of Canadian birds and introduces child and parent to fun facts about everything from bird sounds to egg sizes! My First Book of Canadian Birds is the perfect way to introduce young readers to birds from across the country.

Andrea Miller has been an editor and staff writer at Lion’s Roar magazine (formerly called the Shambhala Sun) since 2006. She’s also the editor of three anthologies for Shambhala Publications: Right Here with You: Bringing Mindful Awareness into Our Relationships, Buddha’s Daughters: Teachings from Women Who Are Shaping Buddhism in the West, and All the Rage: Buddhist Wisdom on Anger and Acceptance.

Miller is the author of two picture books: My First Book of Canadian Birds (Nimbus Publishing) and The Day the Buddha Woke Up (Wisdom Publications). In addition, her writing has appeared in a wide range of publications, including, Mindful magazine, the Best Buddhist Writing series, The Best Women’s Travel Writing series, The Antigonish Review, Prairie Fire, The Chronicle Herald, The Globe and Mail, and Saltscapes. In the fall of 2019, Pottersfield Press will publish her book Awakening My Heart: Articles, Essays, and Interviews on the Buddhist Life.


Kat Frick Miller - If I Had an Old House on the East Coast

If I had an old house on the East Coast I would fall in love at first sight.
It would grab me by the heart, and not let go.

With introspection and deep appreciation for the East Coast, this inspirational gift book shares a dream, in words and images, of falling in love with an old house and breathing new life into it. Exploring, with lyrical prose, everything from an old house’s foundation to its layers of antique wallpaper to its decades-old gardens bursting with wildflowers, this lyrical book is a love letter to a vanishing way of life. Fully illustrated with gentle watercolours from celebrated local artist Kat Frick Miller, If I Had an Old House on the East Coast also includes practical tips for the old-home-owner, from how to clear your home of ghosts to instructions for making rosehip jelly and maple syrup.

Kat Frick Miller is an artist and illustrator from Brampton, Ontario, and has a BFA in Visual Art from NSCAD University. Her work reveals a deep connection to place, exploring local architecture, physical history and the objects, spaces, and practices that constitute rural life. She can be found on the beach, on the farm, or on the wharf soaking up the whimsy of her adopted home of Lunenburg County, Nova Scotia.

CBC Headliner Stage Host Bob Murphy

Bob Murphy 

CBC Headliner Tent 12 Noon


Bob Murphy is the host of CBC Radio One’s MARITIME NOON. Bob began his CBC career in Charlottetown as a reporter in 1989. He next moved to Moncton, working as a reporter and then as a correspondent for MARITIME NOON. In 2001, he completed the Maritimes trifecta with a move to Halifax. Bob also worked a year in Toronto with National Radio News and the Queen’s Park legislature in between Charlottetown and Moncton. Over the years his work in the Investigative Unit and as host for almost three years of CBC Mainstreet (the afternoon show in Mainland Nova Scotia) have earned him the respect of the audience and his many colleagues.

Bob pairs his passion for truth and democracy with a love for the story-telling that makes this part of Canada unique. His experience and his deep connection to all three Maritime provinces ensures MARITIME NOON continues to spark conversations that are relevant and important to Maritimers. Follow Bob @BobMurphyCBC or @CBCMaritimeNoon

 Bob is celebrating his 3rd anniversary as a CBC Headliner Stage Host and we invite you to join him in conversation with The Honourable Mayann Francis at 12 noon in the CBC Tent on the main plaza.

CBC Headliner Host - Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy is the co-host for CBC Nova Scotia News and the host of Land and Sea on CBC Television. He started his career at CBC in Charlottetown working in both radio and television before moving to CBC Halifax in 1999 as a current affairs reporter. He is
a regular on The National, dating back to 2006 when he became the Maritimes National Correspondent.

Tom has provided live coverage of Hurricane Juan, profiled Sidney Crosby in his rookie year in the NHL, and covered two Space Shuttle launches in Florida and Hurricane Dean in Jamaica for CBC The National. He’s also covered the 2014 shootings and funerals of three RCMP officers in Moncton, several Royal Family visits to Canada and interviewed legendary rocker, Sir Paul

In April 2017, he was part of the national team coverage of the 100th-anniversary events in France for the Battle of Vimy Ridge.
Tom has won several RTDNA awards, a Columbus International Film and Television Festival award and received several Gemini and Canadian Screen Awards nominations. You can follow Tom @TomMurphyCBC @CBCNS

Tom will be celebrating his 4th anniversary with Word on the Street and you can find him in conversation with Burris Devanney and Thien Tang at 11am in the CBC Tent.

Laurie Glenn Norris - Found Drowned

Based on a true unsolved crime from 1877, Laurie Glenn Norris’s debut novel tells the story of two small towns linked by the disappearance of a teenage girl. Mary Harney is a dreamy teenager in Cumberland County, Nova Scotia, whose ambitions are stifled by her tyrannical grandmother and alcoholic father. When Mary’s mother becomes ill, an already fragile domestic situation quickly begins to unravel until the October evening when the girl goes missing.

Across the water on Prince Edward Island we meet Gilbert Bell, whose son finds a body washed up on the beach below the family farm. As the community is visited first by the local coroner and then by investigators, Glenn Norris paints a fascinating and darkly comic picture of judicial and forensic procedures of the time. At once tightly plotted and pensive, the novel travels back to the circumstances that led to Mary’s disappearance and then back further to the circumstances of her parents’ marriage, all the while building toward a raucous courtroom finale.

Laurie Glenn Norris’ articles and book reviews have appeared in numerous publications including Quill & Quire and Atlantic Books Today.

Her non-fiction book, Haunted Girl: Esther Cox and the Great Amherst Mystery, (Nimbus) was a finalist for the 2013 Democracy 250 Atlantic Book Award for Historical Writing and is currently optioned to become a feature film. Her first novel, Found Drowned, was published by Vagrant Press in Spring 2019.

Laurie’s passion is biography, historical fiction and non-fiction, with a particular interest in the lives of nineteenth-century women. She is currently transcribing a series of letters for publication and researching her second novel. She holds a MA in Art History from the University of Victoria and is currently the Education and Outreach Manager at the Joggins Fossil Institute. Laurie lives in River Hebert, Nova Scotia with her husband Barry, who is a freelance editor, lots of books, and Dinah the cat.

Vernon Oickle - More Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia

Are you still afraid of things that go bump in the night? Do you still think someone is watching you even though no one is there? Do doors and windows still open and close on their own? Do you still see people in your home even though you know you are alone? If you answer yes to even one of these questions, then More Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia will make you feel not alone.

Picking up where 2015’s Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia left off, veteran ghost story teller Vernon Oickle brings to life more of Nova Scotia’s intriguing tales of the paranormal, many of which have never been shared before.

Vernon Oickle is an international award-winning journalist, editor and writer. He is the author of 30 books, including Red Sky at Night, Nova Scotia Outrageous Outhouse Reader, Strange Nova Scotia and Ghost Stories of Nova Scotia. Maritime folklore, superstitions and traditions are his passion.



Relatives in the Records

Inspired by all the epic family stories in works of fiction?  Know of a spectacular family story of your own that might make a great book or movie?  Drop in at Central Library’s Local History Room from 10am -3pm to learn how to research a family tree, and discover your own relatives in the public records with the team from Library and Archives Canada’s Halifax Office.

Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada Panel Discussion

Nicola R. White  – Moderator










Nicola R. White is an award-winning author of books, comics, and games. In 2016, she won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Romance and currently serves as President of the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. Her most recent publication is Wild Rose, a graphic novel. In late 2019, she will be releasing Jazz Age, an interactive novel, with Choice of  Games.


Julianne MacLean  – A FIRE SPARKLING

Julianne MacLean is a *USA Today* bestselling author who has sold more than 2 million books in North America alone. Her novels have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, Russian, and Dutch. She has written twenty historical romance novels, including the bestselling *Highlander Trilogy* with MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press and her popular *Pembroke Palace Series* with Avon/Harper Collins. The first novel in her contemporary fiction series, THE COLOR OF HEAVEN, was a *USA Today* bestseller, and she has written and independently published 13 books in that series. Julianne is a four-time RITA finalist with Romance Writers of America, and has won numerous awards. Her most recent release A FIRE SPARKLING debuted at #3 in the Kindle bestseller list in the US, and was an Amazon Charts bestseller and a Washington Post bestseller. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of King’s College in Halifax and a degree in Business Administration from Acadia University in Wolfville. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter, and is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. She is represented by Creative Media Agency in New York.

Julianne MacLean is a *USA Today* bestselling author who has sold more than 2 million books in North America alone. Her novels have been translated into Spanish, German, Portuguese, French, Japanese, Italian, Turkish, Russian, and Dutch. She has written twenty historical romance novels, including the bestselling *Highlander Trilogy* with MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press and her popular *Pembroke Palace Series* with Avon/Harper Collins. The first novel in her contemporary fiction series, THE COLOR OF HEAVEN, was a *USA Today* bestseller, and she has written and independently published 13 books in that series. Julianne is a four-time RITA finalist with Romance Writers of America, and has won numerous awards. Her most recent release A FIRE SPARKLING debuted at #3 in the Kindle bestseller list in the US, and was an Amazon Charts bestseller and a Washington Post bestseller. She has a degree in English Literature from the University of King’s College in Halifax and a degree in Business Administration from Acadia University in Wolfville. She lives in Nova Scotia with her husband and daughter, and is a dedicated member of Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. She is represented by Creative Media Agency in New York.

Tim Covell








Tim Covell writes a variety of fiction and non-fiction, including poetry, short humour, biography, and journal articles, and is working on romance novels. He holds degrees in English Literature, Film Studies, and Canadian Studies, and researches film classification and censorship.  Tim started writing contemporary romance novels in 2012.

Deborah Hale – The Wizard”s Ward










Deborah Hale’s first romance novel appeared in print twenty years ago. Since then she has published over three dozen works of popular fiction in the genres of historical romance, fantasy romance, inspirational romance and historical fiction. Deborah’s books have won a number of awards including the Golden Heart and her name is on Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll, which recognizes top-selling authors in the genre.






Shawna Romkey - Easterly

Shoes to die for. Shoes to kill for.

They call her the Wicked Witch of the East. They hate her for her magic, her power, her family. But Stazia wants no part of becoming the next Witch Queen of Oz. She’d rather go find a place with no magic where no one makes assumptions about who she is. Then someone drops a house on her and completely ruins her day. Not only do they kill her momentarily, but they take her ruby slippers and leave her for dead.

She hunts the murderer-thief back to Kanzuss to get her shoes back. Without them, her magical energy and her life energy are slowly draining away, not to mention she’s trapped in Kanzuss and can’t get home. Without the shoes, she’ll be stuck in a sepia-toned world forever until she fades away into nothing.

With the help of a hunky lumberjack and her striped hyena she has to battle Dorothy and the Gales and make a choice: become wicked and kill to get her shoes back, or be stuck in Kanzuss and die on the other side of the rainbow.

She’s not wicked. She just wants her freakin’ shoes back!

A retelling of The Wizard of Oz with a tornadic twist.

USA Today best-selling author, 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.

Tom Ryan - Keep This to Yourself

It’s been a year since the Catalog Killer terrorized the sleepy seaside town of Camera Cove, killing four people before disappearing without a trace. Like everyone else in town, eighteen-year-old Mac Bell is trying to put that horrible summer behind him—easier said than done since Mac’s best friend Connor was the murderer’s final victim. But when he finds a cryptic message from Connor, he’s drawn back into the search for the killer—who might not have been a random drifter after all. Now nobody—friends, neighbours, or even the sexy stranger with his own connection to the case—is beyond suspicion. Sensing that someone is following his every move, Mac struggles to come to terms with his true feelings towards Connor while scrambling to uncover the truth.

Tom Ryan is the author of several books for young readers. He has been nominated for several awards, and two of his young adult novels, Way to Go and Tag Along, were chosen for the ALA Rainbow List, in 2013 and 2014. He was a 2017 Lambda Literary Fellow in Young Adult Fiction. Tom, his husband, and their dog currently divide their time between Toronto and Nova Scotia.

JoDee Samuelson - The Cove Journal: Life on the Islands South Shore

Over the eight years of writing her popular monthly column for PEI’s entertainment newspaper, The Buzz, artist JoDee Samuelson captures the soft edges of rural life on the peaceful South Shore of Prince Edward Island.

The passing of the seasons, the rise and fall of gardens, the friendship with neighbours, and simple daily life are all presented against the endearing backdrop of “the Cove.” JoDee’s expressive illustrations that accompany each chapter add the perfect touch.

Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, filmmaker, and artist JoDee Samuelson has lived on the beautiful South Shore of Prince Edward Island for the past thirty years. Her animated films have been shown at festivals around the world, winning numerous awards for this Island filmmaker. She is a member of the Canoe Cove Women’s Institute, a woodcarver, painter, gardener, and a baker of delicious bread.

Sarah Sawler - Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything

Ever wonder where clouds come from? Or how meteorologists predict the weather? This brand new book, starring Nova Scotia’s favourite weather reporter, Frankie MacDonald, and written by author Sarah Sawler, shares stories from Frankie’s early years, along with facts about all things sunny, rainy, snowy, and stormy. Filled with pictures, graphics, and advice from Frankie himself, this book has everything you need to Be Prepared!

When she’s not writing books, she’s working as a publicist for graphic novel publisher Conundrum Press, reviewing children’s literature, and writing web content for tech companies. She lives in Saint Margaret’s Bay with her partner, two kids, one cat, one dog, and one bearded dragon.

Sarah Sawler is the award-winning author of three books: 100 Things You Don’t Know About Nova Scotia, 100 Things You Don’t Know About Atlantic Canada – For Kids, and the Moonbeam Spirit Award-winning Be Prepared: The Frankie MacDonald Guide to Life, the Weather, and Everything (written with Frankie MacDonald).

Sarah Sawler Twitter

Frankie MacDonald Twitter

Sarah Sawler Author Facebook

Frankie MacDonald Facebook

Sarah Sawler LinkedIn

Frankie MacDonald YouTube

R.C. Shaw - Louisbourg or Bust: a Surfer's Wild Ride Down Nova Scotia's Drowned Coast

A rickety surf rig on wheels. A guide named Don Quixote. No cellphone. Louisbourg or Bust is RC Shaw’s spandex-free pilgrimage up a haunted coastline. Fuelled by Hungry Man Stew and blind optimism, Shaw battles potholed hills and remote waves en route to the Fortress of Louisbourg.

With a Nova Scotia road map in one hand and a fat copy of Don Quixote in the other, Shaw hatches a plan. He builds The Rig, a Frankenstein-inspired bicycle-plus-trailer to haul his camping gear and surf stuff. Then he circles Louisbourg with a black Sharpie and vows to take the fortress back from its malevolent tourist occupiers. Finally, on a clear June morning, he kisses his family goodbye and creaks off down the road in search of adventure for adventure’s sake. No cellphone, no safety net. Just the restless pulse of the Atlantic Ocean as it rips and tears at the coastline of the Eastern Shore.

As the lark gets real, Shaw is forever changed by the gnarly soul of Nova Scotia’s fogbound, fading coastline.

RC Shaw is a writer, surfer, teacher and father living in Cow Bay, Nova Scotia. He has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College and his work has been published in The Surfer’s Journal, The Coast and The Chronicle Herald. His first book, Louisbourg or Bust, was published by Pottersfield Press in 2018. He is currently working on a children’s book about an otter who surfs.

CBC Headliner 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, Mark Critch, to name 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 and riding her Morgan horse, Ariel. You can follow Amy @AmySmithCBC @CBCNS

Amy is celebrating her 4th anniversary with Word on the Street and you can find her in conversation with Sarah Sawler and Jeffery C. Domm in the CBC Tent at 1 pm.

Nicole Spence - Somewhere North of Where I Was

Somewhere North of Where I Was is the heartrending story of a young girl whose childhood innocence was stolen. Retold with the reflective voice of a woman who has survived and transcended the trauma of childhood poverty, neglect, and abuse, Spence’s wisdom and poignant storytelling abilities suck you into the world of a little girl whose tragic circumstances are tempered with fond family memories. One may be left to wonder how it is a child can survive and move beyond such experiences.

With brazen honesty and a driving spirit of hope, perseverance and sometimes sheer stubborn will, Spence brings the reader into her world as she lived it, moving us along, pulling us apart, compelling us to continue reading. In the years of being shuffled from one alcoholic parent to another and finally into foster care, Spence becomes a little girl we cry for, love and cheer for. Spence is everybody’s child.

Nicole Spence has had a talent for creating since she was fifteen and has always considered herself a writer. With a strong background in education, working with children with special needs, she holds an English degree with a Minor in Psychology from St.F.X. University, as well as Human Services and Educational Concentration Diploma’s from NSCC. In addition to spending her days writing, Nicole is passionate about living life to the fullest. She is a practicing Buddhist, living the values of dharma, caring for her family, volunteering in her community and living a healthy lifestyle. Nicole lives in Antigonish, Nova Scotia with her partner, Alain, and their beautiful children.

RBC Room, 3rd Floor – 2:00 pm

Amy Spurway - Crow

When Stacey Fortune is diagnosed with three highly unpredictable — and inoperable — brain tumours, she abandons the crumbling glamour of her life in Toronto for her mother Effie’s scruffy trailer in rural Cape Breton. Back home, she’s known as Crow, and everybody suspects that her family is cursed.

With her future all but sealed, Crow decides to go down in a blaze of unforgettable glory by writing a memoir that will raise eyebrows and drop jaws. She’ll dig up “the dirt” on her family tree, including the supposed curse, and uncover the truth about her mysterious father, who disappeared a month before she was born.

But first, Crow must contend with an eclectic assortment of characters, including her gossipy Aunt Peggy, hedonistic party-pal Char, homebound best friend Allie, and high-school flame Willy. She’ll also have to figure out how to live with her mother and how to muddle through the unsettling visual disturbances that are becoming more and more vivid each day.

Witty, energetic, and crackling with sharp Cape Breton humour, Crow is a story of big twists, big personalities, big drama, and even bigger heart.


Suzanne Stewart - The Tides of Time: A Nova Scotia Book of Seasons


Set in northeastern Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, The Tides of Time: A Nova Scotia Book of Seasonspaints vivid portraits of contemporary labourers whose harvests mark the rhythms of the seasonal year. Each of the twelve monthly chapters tells the story of a labour unique to that month, including jobs like tuna fishing, cranberry farming, maple syrup production, sheep farming, beekeeping, lobster fishing, and foraging for wild mushrooms. Stewart revitalizes an older, contemplative view of the sacredness of time. In keeping with the genre of nature writing, her book offers a meticulous way of looking at the world as she blends first-hand observations of seasonal change with stories of the labourers. The Tides of Timeoffers a refuge from the rush of urban life. It turns to the seasons, rural life and literature for an alternative mode of time, which is fluid, rhythmic, and gentle. The symplicity is there—close at hand.This manuscript is my first book. It is the outcome of my MFA in Creative Nonfiction, which I completed at the University of King’s College in Halifax. My shorter creative nonfiction works, essays, book reviews, literary criticism, reviews of art exhibitions, and profiles of visual artists have been published in numerous journals.

As an academic with a PhD in English literature and a specialization in the poetry of the Romantic period, I have taught at the University of Saskatchewan, Mount Allison University, and St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, where I am presently located.

I bring to my observations of rural life a literary lens. I admire the dignity of labourers and appreciate the delicate details in nature in ways that are reminiscent of the writing of William Wordsworth, Dorothy Wordsworth, John Keats, Gerard Manley Hopkins, Emily Dickinson, Henry David Thoreau, and Robert Frost, among others.

When not writing, reading or teaching, I spend my time outdoors: running, hiking, walking, and cycling year-round. My journeys into the countryside, during all four seasons, have inspired this book and shaped my aesthetic experience of the world.

Alan Syliboy - Wolverine and Little Thunder: A Story of the First Canoe

From the bestselling creator of The Thundermaker comes another adventure featuring Little Thunder and Wolverine—a trickster, who is strong and fierce and loyal. The two are best of friends, even though Wolverine can sometimes get them into trouble. Their favourite pastime is eel fishing, whether it’s cutting through winter ice with a stone axe or catching eels in traditional stone weirs in the summer. But that all changes one night, when they encounter the giant river eel—the eel that is too big to catch. The eel that hunts people! At once a universal story of friendship and problem-solving, Wolverine and Little Thunder is a contemporary invocation of traditional Mi’kmaw knowledge, reinforcing the importance of the relationship between the Mi’kmaq and eel, a dependable year-round food source traditionally offered to Glooscap, the Creator, for a successful hunt.

Alan Syliboy grew up believing that native art was generic.  “As a youth, I found painting difficult and painful, because I was unsure of my identity.”  But his confidence grew in 1972 when he studied privately with Shirley Bear.  He then attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, where 25 years later, he was invited to sit on the Board of Governors.  Syliboy looks to the indigenous Mi’kmaq petroglyph tradition for inspiration and develops his own artistic vocabulary out of those forms.  His popularization of these symbolic icons has conferred on them a mainstream legitimacy that restores community pride in its Mi’kmaq heritage.

Thien Tang - The Other Side of the Sun: the True Story of a Refugee's Journey

As one of the boat people refugees, Thien escaped war-torn Vietnam on a harrowing journey that landed him in a Malaysian refugee camp. Thien Tang had an ordinary childhood living in South Vietnam until it became a Communist state. His father feared persecution of his family and sent his fourteen-year-old son into hiding for over a year. Upon his return, Thien attended a local high school and found a classmate sweetheart. Life once again was good. But it wasn’t meant to last. Thien was forced to go back into hiding again with no hope of return. Like thousands of others, he fled Vietnam on a crowded boat in search of a new life. But first, he had to cross the treacherous South China Sea to reach Malaysia.

Thien’s ship was attacked by pirates and shot at by police. On land, he and his fellow refugees were jailed, starved, and beaten, but survival only brought on tougher challenges. The soldiers forced them at gunpoint back into their damaged boat to be towed to sea. He sought asylum in the United States but found the refuge he was seeking in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where he lives today.



Susie Taylor - Even Weirder than Before

Daisy’s job is to be as unobtrusive as possible. But when her father suddenly leaves and her mother breaks down, Daisy’s old life disappears, and she is set free in the rift created between her parents. Susie Taylor’s sharp, quick-witted prose carries Daisy through a family cataclysm, relationships with boys, and her increasingly confusing feelings towards girls, especially Wanda. A refreshingly perceptive and honest debut, Even Weirder Than Before explores the nature of family, friendships, and sexual awakenings—and introduces one of Newfoundland’s most exciting new writers.

Susie Taylor’s work has won the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for emerging writers, Riddle Fence’s Leaside Fiction Prize and Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters awards. Even Weirder Than Before is her first novel. She lives in Harbour Grace.

Vernon Theriault - Westray: My Journey from Darkness to Light

Vernon Theriault was off shift when the Westray mine exploded in 1992, killing twenty-six men in Plymouth, Nova Scotia. Theriault took part in the perilous rescue operation that followed, as the small community hoped against hope that survivors would be found. As the magnitude of Westray took hold, Theriault found himself struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder and nightmares. When he tried to re-educate himself for another line of work, he discovered that he was both illiterate and dyslexic. Theriault found new purpose when he became part of a labour movement that successfully lobbied the federal government to bring in a worker-safety law that became known as the Westray Bill.Theriault collaborated with his cousin Marjorie Coady to write this book, which contains colour photographs as well as excerpts from the report of a judicial inquiry that called Westray “an accident waiting to happen.” Theriault describes what it was like to work underground in the mine and takes readers through the harrowing rescue, which recovered fifteen of the twenty-six bodies. Theriault openly discusses his complicated journey in this straightforward, simply written memoir, which begins with the promise of a good job with good pay at Westray.

My story is about a coal mine in Plymouth, N.S., Canada. May 9/92 there was an explosion that rocked the community at 5:18 am killing twenty-six co-workers. I’ve just lift ten hours before the explosion happed, I was working an overtime shift (May 8/92 8:00 am to 8:00 pm). May 9/92 my regular shift started at 8:00 am, around 10:00 am that morning I was going underground as bare face rescuer. No sleep for five days, my last rescue shift at Westray followed me home. Issues that I deal with, Nightmares, Survivor’s Guilt and PTSD. Rehabilitation after all my appeals with WCB, I was appointed a counselor to visited my home March 1993. My gold was to try to Educate myself, but known it was going to be hard. Because I couldn’t read or write, illiteracy. 1994 receive the Medal of Bravery. 1995 learn that I had dyslexic. March 1997 seniority back at Trenton Car Works, hired June 1981, lay-off 1986. 1998 joined the local union (United Steelworkers). 1999 asked by our local union to go to Ottawa, for USW. National Policy Conference in Ottawa. 2000, 2002, and 2003 seeking Justice, lobbying the Lawmakers in Ottawa. 2003 big day came, Westray Bill, passed into law. I started working on my book 2002, sixteen years later after putting words on tapes, paper. 2014 Marjorie Coady (my cousin) helped me write my book, Nimbus Published my book July 2018. This story everyone ought to know told in the simple words of the man who lived it, me! (Vernon Theriault)


Brenda Thompson - A Wholesome Horror: Poor Houses in Nova Scotia

Brenda Thompson’s poignant treatise on the treatment of the poor in Nova Scotia and the evolution of private and government-subsidized poor houses. None of these 32 buildings remain. This is a very important book that makes us pause and ask serious questions.

Brenda Thompson was raised in the Hippie era of peace, social justice and acceptance. Having grown up in that environment, Brenda became educated in social justice issues, earning an MA from Acadia University. Brenda worked for many years (both paid and volunteer) for non-profits in the area of human rights. Now (finally) mortgage-free, she became self-employed to concentrate on her passions of writing, social justice and history. Brenda is married to a very patient man and has two amazing daughters. She lives in a geodesic dome in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia.



True from the Rainbow Kingdonm

True and the Rainbow Kingdom (TRK) follows 8-year-old True and her best friend Bartleby the cat, as they help the whimsical citizens of the Rainbow Kingdom, a wondrous, colourful universe filled with delightful and fantastical citizens. True is the only one with the ability to activate the magical powers of The Wishes of the wishing tree, solve problems in the Rainbow Kingdom and empower viewers with her imagination, mindfulness and empathy.

True and her friend Bookaboo will be meeting with families all day at Word on the Street.  You will find True on the Front Plaza or wandering through Halifax Central Library.

Len Wagg - Nova Scotia From the Air: Then and Now

In this brilliant follow-up to the bestselling Then & Now, award-winning photographer Len Wagg again takes readers back through time. Aerial landscapes shot in dazzling colour from Louisbourg to Church Point are contrasted with black-and-white photos from the Nova Scotia Archives collection. Readers will see high rises where there were once open fields; stark vistas filled in with residences and windmills. In some side-by-side pairings, the change is startling; in others, subtle.

Nova Scotia from the Air is both a photo book and an historical study. Wagg flew over towns and landmarks from one end of the province to the other, recreating scenes from archival photos dating back to the 1930s. This remarkable collection of then-and-now images shows both the growth and the decline of this province by the sea. The 100 photographs evoke nostalgia and surprise.

Len Wagg is an award-winning Canadian photographer, journalist, author and presenter. A visual storyteller for over three decades, he is well known for capturing the majestic beauty of his native Nova Scotia’s wildlife and salt-strewn landscapes. His assignments have taken him all the way from the deserts of Ethiopia to the cockpit of a CF-18 over Europe, and all across Canada.
Len’s work has been published in the New York Times, Maclean’s, TIME Magazine, and other renowned publications. He is the author of five books, including the award-winning Wild Nova Scotia, and his most recent Then and Now tracking famed Nova Scotian photographer Wallace MacAskill

Allison Watson - Transplanted: My Cystic Fibrosis Double Lung Transplant Story

When Allison Watson awoke that day, she knew she was in a hospital bed. That’s all. She had no idea how much time had passed since she had seen her family. When she tried to focus, her vision was blurry, and when she tried to wave someone down, she became so exhausted she thought she was dying. Hours later, when Watson was able to communicate, she asked a nurse if the news was good or bad. “It’s good news,” the nurse replied. “You had your lung transplant four days ago.”

About 4,100 people in Canada have cystic fibrosis, and many are living longer today, thanks, in part, to transplants. CF mainly affects the digestive system and lungs, and there is no cure. In this candid memoir, Watson describes living with the disease and her life-altering surgery in 2014. Watson and her sister, Amy, both grew up with CF, and Allison had always believed that Amy would be the one to get a transplant first. The decision to undergo surgery was not easy. Nor was the road to full recovery. In this book, Watson, who cycled across Canada with her brother in 2008 to raise awareness of CF, describes her journey.

Allison Watson was born with cystic fibrosis. After undergoing a double lung transplant and subsequently getting post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorder, she hopes her days of medical turmoil are in her past. Allison has a BSc in biology and recreational therapy from Dalhousie University. She loves board games, reading, and hiking.



Ruth Anne Whicher - Murder in the Fourth: A Case of Mind Slaughter

Meet Lorraine Armstrong, a feisty, rebellious teen growing up in a strict Jehovah’s Witness family in a small southwest Ontario town in the late 1960s. Why must there be so many unfair rules – no birthday parties, no Christmas, no regular friends – she rails against her mother; while in a Kingdom Hall not far away, young Georgia Jackson goes missing. Whispers of abduction and murder terrorize the quiet community.

A week later Lorraine’s brother Peter is critically injured in a car accident and her father consents to a blood transfusion. Punishment is swift and calculated.

The powder keg already smoldering in Lorraine’s mind explodes. Lorraine’s story will make you laugh; it will make you weep, but her eventual escape and the long road of reconciliation from the haunting memories of her past will make you cheer out-loud.

Murder in the Fourth is both a story of escape and exposure: escape from the clutches of a fear-driven ideology, and exposure of the secret mind-bending machinations religious cults employ to keep members compliant, submissive and isolated from mainstream society. Depicting one family’s suffering and righteous indignities under the strict and arbitrary tenets of the Jehovah’s Witness organization, this touching narrative mirrors thousands of other families torn apart by the divisive nature of similar religions. In this remarkable work, Whicher and Martin take murder to a new level.

Ruth Anne Whicher was born into a Jehovah’s Witness family and draws from profound personal experience for her first novel. Ruth Anne has created a compelling saga of a family mired in religion and their ultimate escape from the clutches of a cult. Rather than a memoir, she chose creative non-fiction to debut her story. Ruth Anne lives in Nova Scotia with her husband John.

Nicola R. White - Wild Rose

 Nicola R. White is an award-winning author of books, comics, and games. In 2016, she won the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in Romance and currently serves as President of the Romance Writers of Atlantic Canada. > Her most recent publication is Wild Rose, a graphic novel. In late 2019, she will be releasing Jazz Age, an interactive novel, with Choice of Games.

Room 301, 3rd Floor 2 pm – 3 pm – Romance Writers Panel Discussion



Alexa Wilcox - Fire Crystal

Fire Crystal is the second book in the Globe of Tarahabi Series, following Aqua Jewel. Narrated by Haras, this book follows his unlikely group of friends as they search of answers to their new powers. Their quest takes them to Haras’s own village where he is faced with the damage his exile has done to his family. Haras must discover who he is as he struggles with his growing feelings for Lae, but above all, he must learn to control his new power of fire, for fear of harming everyone he loves.

Alexa Wilcox began writing her first novel, Aqua Jewel, at the age of twelve, as a Christmas gift for her mother. After editing her first draft, she submitted Aqua Jewel to the Scholastic Arts and Writing competition where she was awarded a gold key for her work. Alexa self-published Aqua Jewel and at the age of fifteen, she completed the sequel to Aqua Jewel called Fire Crystal which won a Silver key in the Scholastic Arts and Writing competition.