Ali Bryan is an award-winning novelist and creative nonfiction writer who explores the what-ifs, the wtfs and the wait-a-minutes of every day. Her first novel Roost, won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was the official selection of One Book Nova Scotia. Her second novel, The Figgs, was a finalist for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour and has been optioned for TV by Sony Pictures. She has three novels forthcoming in 2023: The Crow Valley Karaoke Championships (Henry Holt), Coq (Freehand Books) and The City (Dottir Press).
Alex is a francophone theatre creator, clown, freelance communicator, and queer community activist born and raised in Sudbury. He is a graduate of Laurentian University’s late French-language Theatre and Political Science programs. A dabbler in playwriting, poetry, and acting, Alex’s first full-length self-directed project, Nickel City Fifs, a celebration of Sudbury’s queer and francophone communities, will be coproduced with Théâtre du Nouvel-Ontario in June 2023. Alex has worked for and with many local francophone arts organizations and currently serves as President of Théâtre Action, a service organization supporting all members of Ontario’s francophone theatre community.
Bennett Malcolmson is a film photographer and zine maker. He received his Undergraduate in Political Science from the University of Guelph and is a graduate of Seneca College’s Documentary Film Institute. He lives in Sudbury, ON with his girlfriend and their three cats.
Blaise Ndala is an award-winning novelist. His first novel, J’irai danser sur la tombe de Senghor, won the Ottawa Book Prize in the French Fiction category, was a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, and has been optioned by the award-winning French film director and producer Rachid Bouchareb. His second novel, Sans capote ni kalachnikov, won the 2019 edition of the Combat national des livres de Radio-Canada and was also a finalist for the Trillium Book Award, Les Afriques Prize, the Black Africa Literary Prize, and the Prix Ivoire for African Literature (Special Mention). His latest novel, Dans le ventre du Congo (In the Belly of the Congo), won the Prix Kourouma and the Prix Ivoire for African Literature, and was also a finalist for the Grand Prix du Roman Métis, the Five Continents of the Francophonie Prize, and the Porte Dorée Literary Prize. Originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Blaise Ndala emigrated to Canada in 2007. He worked as a representative in Haiti for the NGO Avocats sans frontières Canada and is now a jurist in Ottawa. Connect with him at his website BlaiseNdala.com or on Twitter at @Blaise_Ndala.
Britta Badour, also known as Britta B., is a poet and author of Wires that Sputter (McClelland & Stewart, 2023) living in Toronto. Her work has featured in notable spheres such as The Walrus Talks, Art Gallery of Ontario, Canadian Women’s Foundation, as well as literature festivals like The FOLD and LitFest Bergen. She curates an annual showcase called Soundtracks & Stanzas presented by Toronto International Festival of Authors. Britta holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph and teaches spoken word performance at Seneca College.
Dave Hurlow is a Toronto-based musician, writer and educator. He was a founding member of the Juno nominated rock band The Darcys, and currently releases music as Decafwolf. A graduate of King’s College University in Halifax, his previous publications include the short story collection, Hate Letters from Buddhists (Steel Bananas Press, 2014), as well as articles on literature and music for NOW and The Ex-Puritan magazine. He also develops and facilitates creative writing and music programs for Story Planet, and is currently training to become a teacher. Deep Sea Feline is his first novel.
Deborah Dundas is the Books Editor at the Toronto Star with a broad background in the media, including stints in business, lifestyle and national and city politics, in Canada and while working and living in Northern Ireland. She has interviewed some of the world’s most recognizable authors including Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Franzen, Zadie Smith and John Irving. She regularly appears on stage, television and radio and is deeply involved with the literary community, often acting as a juror or host. She studied English and Political Science at Toronto’s York University and is currently pursuing an MFA at the University of King’s College.
A former non-profit director, magazine editor and writing coach, Dinah Laprairie finds work most exciting when she serves those who are using their talents or making social change. You’ll find her in the background, making sure the event rolls out, the story is edited, the grant applications are written, the promo material and press releases are sent out. With experience in one-to-one memoir coaching, she’s worked closely with people to unearth their hidden stories and talent for storytelling.
Hana Shafi is a writer and artist who illustrates under the name Frizz Kid. Both her visual art and writing frequently explore themes such as feminism, body politics, racism, and pop culture. She’s published articles in publications such as The Walrus, Hazlitt and This Magazine, and has been featured on Buzzfeed, CBC, Flare Magazine, and Shameless. She received the Women Who Inspire Award from the Canadian Council for Muslim Women in 2017. Her first book, It Begins With The Body was selected by CBC books as one of the best poetry books of 2018. Her second book, a compilation of essays and illustrations from her notable affirmation art series, titled Small, Broke, and Kind of Dirty: Affirmations for the Real World came out in 2020. Hana and her family immigrated to Mississauga from Dubai in 1996, and she now lives in Toronto with her two cute, but sometimes annoying, cats.
Haroon Siddiqui is editorial page editor emeritus of the Toronto Star, Canada’s largest paper, and a senior fellow at Massey College. A member of the Order of Canada, he has covered or supervised coverage of Canada for fifty years through ten prime ministers, and also reported from fifty nations, including his native India. He lives in Toronto.
Although perhaps best known as an actor, Hiro is an award-winning playwright and sought-after story consultant. He was story editor on several critically-acclaimed Canadian television series: Da Vinci’s Inquest, Da Vinci’s City Hall, Intelligence, and Blackstone. His plays Tiger of Malaya and The Patron Saint of Stanley Park have been performed across Canada. His most recent play, Indian Arm received the 2015 Jessie Richardson Award for Outstanding Original Script and the 2017 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Drama.
Jamaluddin Aram is a documentary filmmaker, producer, and writer from Kabul, Afghanistan. His works have appeared in Numero Cinq, The Write Launch, and Cagibi literary magazine among others. Jamaluddin’s short story “This Hard Easy Life” was a finalist for RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in 2020. He was selected as a mentee by Michael Christie for the Writers’ Trust of Canada Mentorship program for his book Marchoba, now titled Nothing Good Happens in Wazirabad on Wednesday, his debut novel. He is the associate producer of the Academy Award–nominated film Buzkashi Boys. Jamaluddin has a bachelor’s degree in English and history from Union College in Schenectady, New York. He lives in Toronto. Connect with him on Facebook @Jamaluddin.Aram or on Instagram and Twitter @JamaluddinAram.
Jonathan Pinto is the host of CBC Thunder Bay andCBC Sudbury’s afternoon radio show on CBC Radio One, Up North. Over the last ten years with CBC, Jonathan has maintained an unwavering commitment to truth, accuracy and accountability. He has designed extensive online candidate guides to keep voters informed during municipal elections, and even climbed aboard a fishing boat to report on Canada’s largest freshwater fishery. He started his career as a producer at CBC Toronto, and also has a Masters in Urban Planning and a Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies.
Kirby’s work includes Behold (2023), a stage adaption of Poetry is Queer (Palimpsest Press, 2021) What Do You Want to Be Called? (Anstruther Press, 2020) This Is Where I Get Off (Permanent Sleep Press, 2019) and She’s Having a Doris Day (KFB, 2017) They are the publisher, purveyor of fine poetry at knife | fork | book and Festival Director of the Fertile Festival of New & Inventive Works, Toronto. poetryisqueer.com
Marion Agnew is the author of a personal essay collection, Reverberations: A Daughter’s Meditations on Alzheimer’s (Signature Editions, 2019). It was shortlisted for the Louise de Kiriline Lawrence award for nonfiction. Her essays have been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a National Magazine Award. She lives in Shuniah, Ontario, mere yards from Lake Superior, on Anishinaabe/ Robinson-Superior Treaty territory.
Matthew is a writer, theatre creator, and teacher, born and living in Sudbury. He has a published novel, The City Still Breathing (Coach House Books), and a play, Black Dog: 4 vs. the wrld (Playwrights Canada Press). He teaches Creative Writing at Laurentian University, and has served as Playwright-in-residence with the Sudbury Theatre Centre and Pat the Dog Theatre Creation, where he helped to create both the Playwrights Junction and the PlaySmelter Festival. His latest play premiered in 2022 at STC, as Ever Falling Flight, and at Le TNO, as Aéroportée. In his spare time he is usually working.
Matthew Del Papa
Born with spinal muscular atrophy, Matthew Del Papa has been in a wheelchair since the early 1980s. A graduate of Laurentian University (MA Humanities), past president of the Sudbury Writers’ Guild, and currently on the board of directors for Wordstock Sudbury Literary Festival, he has been writing steadily since 2005. An amateur local historian and part-time columnist, his work has been published in newspapers and magazines, as well as anthologies such as Spooky Sudbury (Dundurn Press, 2013) and Nothing Without Us Too (Renaissance Press, 2022). He lives in Capreol.
Patricia Westerhof is an author, speaker, and writing coach. Her broad and eclectic tastes in reading have led to a similarly broad range of genre of her published works. Along with her most recent book, The Canadian Guide to Creative Writing and Publishing, she has written novels, short stories, a textbook, and writing curriculum.
Patricia, who holds an MA in Education from the University of Toronto, is a sought-after writing coach, working with writers of all ages, from teens to seniors. She is currently working on a new novel inspired by her recent experience of having been forced to write an index.
Jordan Abel is a queer Nisga’a writer from Vancouver. He is the author of The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize), Un/inhabited, and Injun (winner of the Griffin Poetry Prize). NISHGA won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and the VMI Betsy Warland Between Genres award, and was a finalist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction, and the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. Abel’s work has been published in numerous journals and magazines—including Canadian Literature, The Capilano Review, and The Fiddlehead—and his work has been anthologized widely, including The Broadview Introduction to Literature. Abel completed a Ph.D. at Simon Fraser University in 2019, and is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of English and Film Studies at the University of Alberta where he teaches Indigenous Literatures, Research-Creation, and Creative Writing. novels, short stories, a textbook, and writing curriculum.
Kim Fahner lives and writes in Sudbury. Her most recent poetry collections are Emptying the Ocean (Frontenac House, 2022) as well as a limited edition chapbook, Fault LInesand Shatter Cones (Emergency Flash Mob Press, 2023). Kim is the First Vice-Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada (2023-25), a member of the League of Canadian Poets, and a supporting member of the Playwrights’ Guild of Canada. Her first novel, The Donoghue Girl, will be published by Latitude 46 in Fall 2024.
Find more information http://www.kimfahner.com
The city of Greater Sudbury’s 7th Poet Laureate, Kyla Heyming (KPH) is a bilingual Canadian writer with a yearning to set her soul in ink and paper. Fiercely driven to ensnare all of life’s little moments, she works tirelessly for her passion so that she may someday lead others to find their own meaning in her words.
Roger Nash is a former Poet Laureate of the City of Greater Sudbury, Professor Emeritus in the Philosophy Department of Laurentian University, and Cantor at Shaar Hashomayim Synagogue. He has authored seven books of poetry, one of short stories, and three of philosophy, as well as editing four anthologies of poetry. His most recent book of poems is Something Blue and Flying Upwards: New and Selected Poems (Scrivener Press, Canada, 2006). His literary awards include the Canadian Jewish Book Award for Poetry (1997), the PEN/O.Henry Prize Story Award for one of the twenty best short stories published in the whole of North America in 2009, Arc’s Confederation Poets Prize (1997, 2001), 1st place in Fiddlehead’s Poetry Contest (1994), and 1st place in Prism international’s Poetry Contest (1986).
Randall Perry is a writer and editor living in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Certificate in Publishing from Toronto Metropolitan University and is currently a fiction editor at Exile Editions and Exile Quarterly. He has served as administrative judge and anthology editor for both the Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Competition (years eight through ten) and the inaugural Nona MacDonald Heaslip Short Story Prize (2023). His own fiction has appeared in Islandside and On the Run magazines, and in the anthologies Fear from a Small Place and Storgy 2019. His non-fiction essays, columns, and reviews have appeared in Wayves, The ARC Quarterly, Outlooks, and fab.
Stuart Ross is the 2019 recipient of the prestigious Harbourfront Festival Prize. He is a Cobourg-based fiction writer, poet, editor, translator, and creative-writing instructor and co-founder, with Nicholas Power, of the Toronto Small Press Book Fair. In 2008, he became a founding member of the Meet the Presses collective, which puts on the annual Indie Literary Market and administers the bpNichol Chapbook Award.
Stuart is the author of twelve full poetry collections and five novels.
Rod Carley is an author, humourist, actor, director, playwright, cat wrangler, pie lover, and club sandwich aficionado. He is the award-winning author of three works of literary fiction (humour): Grin Reaping (long listed for the 2023 Leacock Medal for Humour, 2022 Bronze Winner for Humour from Foreword Review INDIES, and a Finalist for the 2023 Next Generation Indie Book Award for Humor/Comedy), Kinmount (long listed for the 2021 Leacock Medal for Humour and Winner of the 2021 Silver Medal for Best Regional Fiction from the Independent Publishers Book Awards), A Matter of Will (Finalist for the 2018 Northern Lit Award for Fiction). He has lived in Toronto, North Bay, and recently returned to his hometown of Brockville with his wife Marian and their two rescue cats, Hilton and Howie.
Tanya is queer poet and educator committed to access and equity. As a Toronto based poet who facilitates spoken word workshops, Tanya has more than 10 years of experience as a professional poet and continues to innovate. A Toronto Poetry Slam organizer, a member of the League of Canadian Poets and has worked with the Ontario Arts Council’s Artist in Education program, with Louder Than A Bomb Toronto, and TDSB Creates.
Therese Estacion is part of the Visayan diaspora community. She spent her childhood between Cebu and Gihulngan, two islands found in the archipelago named by its colonizers as the Philippines, before she moved to Canada with her family when she was ten. She is a teacher and is currently studying to be a psychotherapist. Therese is a bilateral below knee and partial hands amputee, and identifies as a disabled person/person with a disability. Therese lives in Toronto. Her poems have been published in CV2 and PANK Magazine and shortlisted for the Marina Nemat Award. Phantompains is her debut book.
Tyler Pennock is a two-spirit adoptee from a Cree and Metis family around the Lesser Slave Lake region of Alberta. Tyler is a member of Sturgeon Lake Cree Nation. They currently teach in the Indigenous Studies Department at the University of Toronto, and School of English and Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. They graduated from Guelph University’s Creative Writing MFA program in 2013, and currently live in Toronto. Their first Book, BONES (Brick Books) was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and the Indigenous Voices Award for Poetry, and longlisted for the Raymond Souster Award in 2021. Their second book, BLOOD was released in September 2022.
Terry Fallis is a two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, Terry Fallis is the award-winning author of nine national bestsellers, including his most recent, A New Season (2023), all published by McClelland & Stewart (M&S). Terry has written for many publications including Maclean’s, Canadian Geographic, Reader’s Digest, Toronto Life, the Globe and Mail, the National Post, and the Toronto Star. Terry lives in Toronto.