Jackie Kaiser is President of Westwood Creative Artists, a Toronto based full-service literary agency that represents a diverse range of writers in the book publishing marketplace, working with co-agents to sell rights in more than 50 countries around the world, well as in the film, television, stage and podcast spaces. Prior to joining WCA, Jackie was Executive Editor at Penguin Books Canada.
Alysia Kolentsis is an Associate Professor of English at St. Jerome’s University in the University of Waterloo.
Doretta Lau is the author of the short story collection How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun? (Nightwood Editions, 2014). The book was shortlisted for the City of Vancouver Book Award, longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and was named by The Atlantic as one of the best books of 2014.
Evelyn Lau has authored thirteen books. Her memoir Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid (HarperCollins, 1989), published when she was eighteen, was made into a CBC movie starring Sandra Oh. Evelyn’s prose books have been translated into a dozen languages; her poetry has received numerous awards. She has been writer-in-residence at UBC, Kwantlen and VCC, as well as Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Calgary. Evelyn was Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver (2011-2014).
Jen Sookfong Lee was born and raised in Vancouver’s East Side, and she now lives with her son in North Burnaby. Her books include The Conjoined, nominated for International Dublin Literary Award and a finalist for the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, The Better Mother, a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, The End of East, The Shadow List, and Finding Home. Jen acquires and edits for ECW Press and co-hosts the literary podcast, Can’t Lit.
Ágnes Vashegyi MacDonald is a Hungarian-Canadian sociologist. Born in Budapest and moved to Vancouver, Canada in the early 1990s, Ágnes has been enjoying the experience of living a hyphenated identity. This two-ness of being Hungarian and Canadian has given her a particular emigrant/immigrant view which she has been tapping into through her studies and scholastic work. Ágnes completed her MA in Sociology and Ph.D. in Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia. Since her graduation in 2010, she has been teaching Sociology at various institutions in Vancouver. In 2007, Ágnes reviewed Tamas Dobozy’s book, Siege 13 in the Journal of the AmericanHungarian Educators Association, and interviewed Tamas for The New Hungarian Voice which was republished in La Présence Hongroise Au Canada in 2007.
Kirsteen MacLeod is the author of two books, In Praise of Retreat (nonfiction/memoir) and The Animal Game (short stories). A native Glaswegian, she has also lived in Toronto and Brazil. Her prose and poetry have appeared in many literary journals, magazines and anthologies, and her work has been a finalist for the CBC Literary Award (creative nonfiction) and Arc Poetry’s 2020 Poem of the Year. Kirsteen divides her time between her home in Kingston, Ontario, and a riverside cabin in the north woods.
Sara Martin is a high school librarian in Kitchener, where she has been connecting books and readers for nearly 20 years. When she’s not sharing her love of reading, Sara can often be found “Zoom baking” with her family or singing with the award-winning DaCapo Chamber Choir.
Jean McNeil is the author of 14 books of fiction, non-fiction, poetry, and travel. She has twice been the winner of the PRISM International competition, and her work has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Journey Prize, the National Magazine awards, and the Pushcart Prize. In 2016 her memoir and travelogue based on her year as writer-in-residence with the British Antarctic Survey, Ice Diaries, won the Adventure Travel and Grand Prizes at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival and was named one of the best nature writing books by The Guardian newspaper in 2018. She is Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Originally from Nova Scotia, she lives in London, UK.
Pamela Mulloy is the Editor of The New Quarterly and the Creative Director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in 2018, and her second novel As Little As Nothing will be published by ECW Press in the fall of 2022. She has lived in Poland, England and the United States and now lives in Kitchener, Ontario.
Vinh Nguyen is an educator and writer. His writing can be found in Brick, LitHub, The New Quarterly, and The Malahat Review.
Nam Nguyen is a Toronto-based playwright and lyricist of Vietnamese descent. His publisher forced him to write this bio less than a month after he graduated from the University of Toronto, at a time when his only work of note was this one. Nam was named one of NOW Magazine’s Breakthrough Stage Artists of 2019 following the premiere presentation of A Perfect Bowl of Pho by fu-GEN Asian Canadian Theatre Company. His plays have been performed in theatres all across the TTC streetcar network.
Born in Poland, Margaret Nowaczyk is a pediatric clinical geneticist and a professor at McMaster University and DeGroote School of Medicine. Her short stories and essays have appeared in Canadian, Polish and American literary magazines and anthologies. She lives in Hamilton, ON, with her husband and two sons.
Susan Olding is the author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays, and Big Reader (Freehand Books, 2021). Her poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and magazines, including Arc, Prairie Fire, Maisonneuve, the Malahat Review, and the Utne Review. Her most recent contribution to TNQ is “Pacific Spirit,” the magazine’s first photo essay. She currently lives in Victoria, BC, but Zooms back to Kingston to meet with the Villanelles.
Sarah Raughley grew up in Southern Ontario writing stories about freakish little girls with powers because she secretly wanted to be one. She is a huge fangirl of anything from manga to sci-fi fantasy TV to Japanese role-playing games and other geeky things, all of which have largely inspired her writing. Sarah has been nominated for the Aurora Award for Best YA Novel and works in the community doing writing workshops for youths and adults. On top of being a YA writer, Sarah has a PhD in English, which makes her a doctor, so it turns out she didn’t have to go to medical school after all. As an academic, Sarah has taught undergraduate courses and acted as a postdoctoral fellow. Her research concerns representations of race and gender in popular media culture, youth culture, and postcolonialism. She has written and edited articles in political, cultural, and academic publications. She continues to use her voice for good. You can find her online at SarahRaughley.com.
Waubgeshig Rice is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from the journalism program at the university formerly known as Ryerson in 2002, and spent most of his journalism career with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation as a video journalist and radio host. He left CBC in 2020 to focus on his literary career. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.
Susan Scott has an ear for the sublime, the personal, and edgy. Transgressive storytelling that inspires change informs her life-writing webinars and collaborations with fellow artists, activists, and scholars. As TNQ’s lead nonfiction editor (2012-9), she
championed neglected voices and attracted National Magazine Award-winning work that went on to Best Canadian- and Best American Essays. As a contributing editor, she directs the Wild Writers Mentorship Program. Learn more from her website. Or check out her latest book, Body & Soul, and see why Sarah Selecky calls this unorthodox collection “a revelation.
Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland, and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Her novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, won the Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award and the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award, and was shortlisted for the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction. Her middle-grade novel, Ebb & Flow, was short-listed for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was the winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Heather has also written three picture books for young readers. Her Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing.
Carrie Snyder is the author of three books of fiction, including Girl Runner, which was translated into a dozen languages and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Prize, and The Juliet Stories, a finalist for the Governor General’s award. Her new novel, Francie’s Got A Gun, is forthcoming in 2022 from Knopf Canada. Her creative non-fiction has been published in a number of anthologies. Carrie is also the co-founder and project coordinator of The X Page Storytelling workshop, a multicultural performance project that she runs in collaboration with other artists in Waterloo, Ontario, which is where she lives with her family. You can find Carrie on Instagram; or at carriesnyder.com, where she still insists on publishing a literary blog (her children have firmly requested she not look into TikTok).
Claire Tacon is the author of In Search of the Perfect Singing Flamingo (Wolsak & Wynn), which was the 2019 Hamilton Reads selection. Her first novel In the Field (Biblioasis), was the winner of the 2010 Metcalf-Rooke Award and her short fiction has been shortlisted for the Bronwen Wallace Award, the CBC Literary Prize and has appeared in various journals and anthologies. She has an MFA from the University of British Columbia and has been a lecturer at St. Jerome’s University since 2011.
Sarah Yi-Mei Tsiang is the author of the poetry books Status Update (2013), which was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award and the Gerald Lampert award winning Sweet Devilry (2011). Her new book, Grappling Hook, is forthcoming with Palimpsest Press. She has been widely anthologized in such collections as Best Canadian Poetry 2013, Poet-to-Poet (2013), and the Newborn Anthology (2014). She is the editor of the poetry collection, Desperately Seeking Susans (2013) and the Poetry Editor for Arc Poetry Magazine. Sarah currently works as the Creative Director for Poetry In Voice and teaches in UBC’s optional residency MFA.
Paul Vermeersch is the author of seven books of poetry, a professor of publishing at Sheridan College, and the senior editor of Wolsak and Wynn Publishers. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Guelph for which he received the Governor General’s Gold Medal. His most recent book is Shared Universe: New and Selected Poems 1995-2020. When he’s not making art out of words, he likes to make art out of paint and sometimes even out of sounds. He lives in Toronto.
Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook, On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press 2019), and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions, 2021). Among other recognitions, she was most recently shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year award and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies. She is an editor at Room magazine. Her current projects include a second poetry manuscript, Choreography of Forgetting, and her poetic, sociological memoir, Memory Home Lane.
Jack Wang is the author of We Two Alone (House of Anansi, HarperVia), winner of the 2020 Danuta Gleed Literary Award from the Writers’ Union of Canada for best debut collection in English. His fiction has been longlisted for the Journey Prize and shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. He is the recipient of a 2021 Research and Creation Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts and a 2021 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellowship in Fiction from the New York Foundation for the Arts. In 2014-15, he held the David T. K. Wong Creative Writing Fellowship at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England. He teaches writing at Ithaca College.
Andrew Westoll is an award-winning author and professor whose writing explores our fraught, ever-evolving relationship with the natural world. His books include The Riverbones (2008), the Charles Taylor Prize-winning The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary (2011), and The Jungle South of the Mountain (2016). His next book, The Zoo and You, explores the many enigmas of the modern zoo, and is forthcoming from Doubleday Canada. Andrew is Associate Professor, Teaching Stream, of Creative Writing and English at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTSC), where in 2019 he won the annual UTSC Teaching Award, which recognizes sustained teaching excellence. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, is a Gold National Magazine Award winner, and his books have been published in the USA, UK, Australia and Poland.
Kathleen Winter’s novel Annabel was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the Orange Prize, and numerous other awards. It was also a Globe and Mail “Best Book,” a New York Times “Notable” book, a Quill & Quire & “Book of the Year” and #1 bestseller in Canada. It has been published and translated worldwide. Her Arctic memoir Boundless (2014) was shortlisted for Canada’s Weston and Taylor non-fiction prizes, and her last novel Lost in September (2017) was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. Born in the UK, Kathleen now lives in Montreal after many years in Newfoundland.
Equipoise, Katie Zdybel‘s debut collection of short fiction, was shortlisted for the 2018 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction and received a 2019 Canada Council for the Arts Award. Stories within the collection were awarded the 2018 Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award, the 2019 Exile’s Carter V. Cooper Short Fiction Award for Emerging Writers (a second story by Katie was also shortlisted for the prize), and were publisher-nominated for a 2019 Writers’ Trust Journey Prize and a 2021 National Magazine Award. Stories from the collection have appeared in The New Quarterly, Exile Quarterly, The Malahat Review, The Antigonish Review, and elsewhere. Katie is represented by the CookeMcDermid agency; she’s a recent graduate of the UBC MFA in Creative Writing program and is currently at work on her first novel with generous support from a second Canada Council for the Arts Award.
LAMEES AL ETHARI holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching creative and academic writing since 2015. She has published a collection of poems titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris (2018) and, more recently, a memoir titled Waiting for the Rain (2019). Her poems have appeared in About Place Journal, The New Quarterly, The Malpais Review, and the anthology Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here. She is a nonfiction editor with The New Quarterly and a co-coordinator for The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop for Immigrant Women.
ASHLEY-ELIZABETH BEST is a disabled poet and essayist from Kingston, Ontario. Her work can be found in CV2, Ambit Magazine, The Literary Review of Canada, The Columbia Review, and Glasgow Review of Books, among others. In 2015, she was a finalist for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and her debut collection of poetry, Slow States of Collapse, was published with ECW Press.
ERIN BOW is an award-winning poet and novelist, whose honors include the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, the CBC Literary Award for poetry, and a Governor General’s Award. She was trained as a physicist, and does science writing about things like black holes and quantum gravity. Her novels are written in her garden shed, in the rotating company of her novelist-husband, two joyfully creative tween-aged kids, and an unnerving number of shed spiders.
SUSAN BRYANT lives in Waterloo, Ontario, where she taught English for 25 years at Renison University College. She migrated from the U.S. as a teenager to attend the University of Toronto and has happily made Canada her home.
Raising her family in Elmira, Ontario, she witnessed in 1989 the devastating contamination of the town’s water with toxic chemicals from a local factory. Ever since, she has been a local activist for a clean environment, especially focused on water issues. To relax when that work gets stressful, she finds a quiet spot and spies on birds.
CATHERINE BUSH is the author of five novels, including Blaze Island (2020), the Canada Reads long-listed Accusation (2013), the Trillium Award short-listed Claire’s Head (2004), andThe Rules of Engagement (2000), a New York Times Notable Book and a Globe & Mail Best Book of the Year. She was recently a Fiction Meets Science Fellow at the HWK in Germany and has spoken internationally about addressing the climate crisis in fiction. She is an Associate Professor at the University of Guelph and Coordinator of the Guelph Creative Writing MFA, located in Toronto, Canada.
JANE BUYERS is a visual artist. She has an Honours B.A. in Visual Art from York University (1973) and a Master of Education in History and Philosophy from the University of Toronto (1990). She was Professor in the Fine Arts department at the University of Waterloo from 1988 to 2010, where she is now Distinguished Professor Emerita.
Buyers has worked in a variety of media and processes in printmaking, sculpture, drawing and commissioned public works. Many of her works incorporate references to books. She has exhibited across Canada, as well in United States, U.K., Germany and Italy, in over forty solo exhibitions and in more than one hundred group exhibitions. Her work is in numerous private, corporate and public collections.
MICHAEL CRUMMEY has published eleven books of poetry and fiction, including the novels River Thieves, The Wreckage and Sweetland, and Little Dogs: New and Selected Poems. His third novel, Galore, won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize (Canada and Caribbean). His latest, The Innocents, won the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award and was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor-General’s Award, and the Roger’s Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. He lives in St. John’s.
NANCY JO CULLEN’S fiction and poems have appeared in Best Canadian Poetry 2018, The Journey Prize, Best Canadian Fiction 2012, The Puritan, Grain, filling Station, Plenitude, Prairie Fire, This Magazine, Room and Arc Poetry Magazine. She has published three critically acclaimed collections of poetry with Calgary’s Frontenac House Press and has just completed her fourth poetry manuscript. Nancy is the 2010 recipient for the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. Her first novel, The Western Alienation Merit Badge was released in May 2019 by Wolsak and Wynn. Her short story collection, Canary, was the winner of the 2012 Metcalfe Rooke prize.
SADIQA DE MEIJER is a writer of poetry, essays, and short fiction. She was born in Amsterdam and emigrated to Canada as a child. Her poetry collections are Leaving Howe Island and The Outer Wards. Her essay collection, alfabet/alphabet, examines the imprint of her first language on her life in English. She also writes on themes of migration, belonging, domesticity, and landscape.
ANTONIO MICHAEL DOWNING grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn, and Kitchener. He is a musician, writer, and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses (Blaurock Press), was published to critical acclaim. In 2017 he was named by the RBC Taylor Prize as one of Canada’s top Emerging Authors for nonfiction. He performs and composes music as John Orpheus.
HELEN HUMPHREYS is an acclaimed and award-winning author of fiction, nonfiction and poetry. Her work includes novels Machine Without Horses, The Evening Chorus, Coventry and Afterimage. Her nonfiction includes The Ghost Orchard, The Frozen Thames, as well as the memoir Nocturne. She has won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Toronto Book Award, and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Trillium Book Prize, the Lambda Literary Award and CBC Radio’s Canada Reads. The recipient of the Harbourfront Festival Prize for literary excellence, Helen Humphreys lives in Kingston, Ontario
MAHAK JAIN writes fiction and poetry for young people and adults. She is the author of the picture book Maya (illustrated by Elly Mackay), which was a CBC Best Book of the Year, a Kirkus Best Book of the Year, and winner of the 2017 South Asia Book Award. Her short fiction and poetry have appeared in magazines across the US and Canada, and she has been long listed for the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Born in Delhi, Mahak has also lived in Dubai, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Montreal. She currently lives in Toronto, where she is a professor of creative writing.
CHELENE KNIGHT is the author of the Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award, and long-listed for the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail, the Walrus, and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter, winner of the 2020 Saskatchewan Book Award.
The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” Knight was the previous managing editor at Room magazine, and the previous festival director for the Growing Room Festival in Vancouver. She is now CEO of her own literary studio, Breathing Space Creative and she works as an associate literary agent with Transatlantic Agency. Chelene often gives talks about home, belonging and belief, inclusivity, and community building through authentic storytelling. Chelene teaches part time at the University of Toronto.
ANITA LAHEY’s latest book is The Last Goldfish: a True Tale of Friendship (Biblioasis, 2020). She’s also author of the Véhicule Press poetry collections Out to Dry in Cape Breton and Spinning Side Kick, and the prose collection The Mystery Shopping Cart: Essays on Poetry and Culture (Palimpsest, 2013). Anita is a past editor of Arc Poetry Magazine and has served as series editor of the annual anthology Best Canadian Poetry since 2018, and prior to that was BCP’s assistant series editor since 2014. She lives in Ottawa, on unceded Alongonquin, Anishinabek territory.
AMANDA LEDUC’s essays and stories have appeared in publications across Canada, the US, and the UK. She is the author of Disfigured as well as of the novels The Miracles of Ordinary Men and the forthcoming The Centaur’s Wife. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, where she works as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories.
Y. S. LEE’s fiction includes the young adult mystery series The Agency (Candlewick Press), which has been translated into six languages. Her work has either won or been shortlisted for various prizes including the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s inaugural John Spray Mystery Award, the Ontario Library Association’s Red Maple Award, and the Arthur Ellis Award. Her first novel for adults was nominated for the K. M. Hunter Artist Award as a work-in-progress. This year, Ying began to explore poetry as a member of The Villanelles writers’ group. She lives in Kingston, Ontario, within traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory.
KIRSTEEN MACLEOD is a writer of poetry, fiction and creative non-fiction whose work has appeared in literary journals including TNQ and Malahat Review. Her work has been a finalist for many awards, including ARC Poetry’s 2020 Poem of the Year. Kirsteen, a yoga teacher, also leads “relaxed writing” yoga workshops. Her new nonfiction book, In Praise of Retreat, is forthcoming in Spring 2021 (ECW Press) – see “Green Cathedral” for a preview. Kirsteen’s debut collection of short fiction, The Animal Game, was published in 2016. She divides her time between the lakeside city of Kingston, Ontario, and a riverside cabin in the north woods.
PAMELA MULLOY is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She is also a writer with short fiction published in the UK and Canada. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in 2018.
VINH NGUYEN specializes in refugee, immigrant, and diasporic literature and culture. He is a non-fiction editor at The New Quarterly, where he helps to curate the “Scatterings” series. In 2017, he was awarded the John C. Polanyi Prize in Literature. He is currently working on a critical memoir.
SUSAN OLDING is the author of Pathologies: A Life in Essays, and Big Reader, forthcoming from Freehand Books in spring, 2021. Her poetry and prose have appeared widely in literary journals and magazines, including Arc, Prairie Fire, Maisonneuve, the Malahat Review, and the Utne Review. Her most recent contribution to TNQ is “Pacific Spirit,” the magazine’s first photo essay. She currently lives in Victoria, BC, but Zooms back to Kingston to meet with the Villanelles.
WAUBGESHIG RICE is an author and journalist from Wasauksing First Nation on Georgian Bay. He has written three fiction titles, and his short stories and essays have been published in numerous anthologies. His most recent novel, Moon of the Crusted Snow, was published in 2018 and became a national bestseller. He graduated from Ryerson University’s journalism program in 2002, and spent the bulk of his journalism career at CBC, most recently as host of Up North, the afternoon radio program for northern Ontario. He lives in Sudbury, Ontario with his wife and two sons.
JAEL RICHARDSON is the author of The Stone Thrower, a book columnist on CBC’s q and the founder and Artistic Director for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD). Her debut novel, Gutter Child, arrives in 2021.