RYAN TURNER | CO-FOUNDER & CO-DIRECTOR
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. He is the co-founder and co-director of the AfterWords Literary Festival in Halifax.
STEPHANIE DOMET | CO-FOUNDER & CO-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
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.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LIESL MULHOLLAND | PRESIDENT
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.
SARA ADAMS | VICE-PRESIDENT
Sara is an experienced high school teacher of French immersion language and sciences, Yoga and Dance, among other courses. She is passionate about helping people and life-long learning. In addition to teaching high school, Sara also freelances as a copywriter and content creator. Sara enjoys advocating dance for all ages, backgrounds and abilities, particularly in schools. Her board experience is related to her passion for dance, as she has served many years as President of the Board of Directors for Dance Nova Scotia (DANS). Sara resides in Dartmouth, NS with her husband and two children.
PAUL BLACK | TREASURER
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.
DESIREE GREGORY | SECRETARY
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.
Robyn is a lawyer who runs her own practice in Halifax. She writes creative non-fiction pieces for her blog, But that's not fair. Her work is informed by having grown up in an industrial town, having waitressed for a decade and then having gone to law school, as well as by her sobriety. She lives with a tailless cat named Bobby and a corgi named Chips. She is an avid reader, a fairweather runner and a decent dominoes player.
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.
Sue Goyette lives in Halifax and has published six books of poems and a novel. Her latest collection is Penelope (Gaspereau Press, 2017). She has been nominated for the 2014 Griffin Poetry Prize and the Governor General’s Award and has won several awards including the 2015 Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for her collection, Ocean. Sue teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Dalhousie University.
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 is a poet, journalist, educator, and prison abolitionist living in Halifax. She was the fifth Poet Laureate of Halifax and the fifteenth Nancy’s Chair in Women’s Studies at Mount Saint Vincent University.
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.
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.