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Ryan Turner‘s stories have been published in The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, filling Station and other Canadian journals and magazines. His latest collection, Half-Sisters & Other Stories, was shortlisted for the 2020 ReLit Award, and he has a story in Best Canadian Short Stories 2024, published by Biblioasis in November 2023. Some other interests: chess, Jack Russells, and making up subway maps for cities without subways.

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Stephanie Domet is the author of two novels, and is at work on a third. She lives in Halifax where she is a freelance writer and editor who teaches creative writing in her dining room to little kids, sews her own clothes, and absolutely wants to make you supper when you’re in town.




Liesl Mulholland is a love refugee. She moved to Halifax for work in 2013, met a handsome, young-ish man and the rest is….still unfolding. Originally from the Caribbean —born in Guyana (only English-speaking country in South America) and grew up in Barbados (best friends with Rihanna, if only in her head)—Liesl has been trying to embrace Nova Scotia. After running away back to the Caribbean every winter, she’s grudgingly accepted that she enjoys learning to ski and skate….however, nothing beats curling up with a good book, any season.

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Sharon is a speech-language pathologist currently in an executive leadership role in health care. Over her 20-year career in the field, Sharon has focused on language, speech, literacy, and brain development with early learners and their caregivers in the education, health, and non-profit sectors. She fell in love with the East Coast so much that, in 2019, she traded her life in the west for the hustle and bustle of Kjipuktuk/Halifax and the calm expanse of the ocean and the peace that it brings. You will often find her reading at a local brewery, enjoying the scene, and ready to talk about books and literacy with anyone willing to join her for a pint.

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As an immigrant from “the troubles” of Northern Ireland, Paul Black has lived a life of great good fortune in Canada. Given his druthers, he’d generally choose to be cycling or getting out to explore the diverse nature of this world. A craft beer and a good conversation/laugh makes him happy, as do his kids. More fiction than non on his bookshelf; and the Hip or Snow Patrol and some current affairs podcasts on his playlist. He serves as Chair of the Board of LOVE NS, teaches politics at Acadia, and juggles an eclectic consulting practice.

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Whitney MacLean is a Certified Fundraising Executive and the Manager of Philanthropy and Engagement at the Nova Scotia Community College Foundation. She also serves as President of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Nova Scotia Chapter and sits on the AFP Canada Foundation board. 

She spends her time split between Dartmouth and Cape Breton. When she’s not in the fundraising world, you can find her spending time with friends and family. 



Joe Britto is a writer born in the UK of Burmese immigrants. He holds a BA in English, and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Literature. His varied career path has included, fire-fighter, radio producer, and management and mindset consultant. His published works are Worth, a Story of Love and Self-Esteem and The Six Attributes of a Leadership Mindset. Joe is currently shopping his second novel, and is working on his third.  

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Jane Estey is a retired banker and is thrilled to have returned to her Bluenose roots after living and working across Canada and Internationally. Her career started in branch banking, and later focused on diverse aspects of the financial services sector including Compliance and Risk management, Project management and Operational transformation. Jane currently consults and tries not to let work interfere with paddleboarding or golf. She comes from a family of avid readers and credits her mother’s influence with her lifelong love of Atlantic Canadian fiction. She has been involved with non-profit boards for several years and is thrilled to be supporting the continued positive trajectory of the AfterWords Literary festival.

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Desiree Gregory grew up in the land of Green Gables and has been nurturing a love of stories ever since. The focus of her career is building healthy communities, and she believes that spaces where people connect over storytelling are instrumental to creating liveable cities. She lives by the ancient proverb that having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.

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Ray Fernandes is a children’s & youth librarian who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He’s an avid music geek and book nerd, who loves to travel, hike, bike, host dinner parties and embark on random adventures with his family. He sits on the Board of Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Awards, and the Halifax Community Learning Network. In his spare time he writes book reviews for CM: Canadian Review of Materials, participates on a number of selection committees with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and acts as judge for a number of children’s and young adult literature awards.

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Trina Roache is a proud member of the Glooscap First Nation and an award-winning Mi'kmaw video journalist with APTN Investigates. Over the last two decades, she has dedicated herself to telling Indigenous stories in Canada, with a main focus on Mi'kma'ki, the unceded traditional territory of the Mi'kmaq. From politics to land protection, treaty rights to reconciliation, Trina is honoured when the people living the story trust her tell it.


El Jones, Robyn Schleihauf, Sue Goyette, Sara Adams.

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