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Nova Scotia

Anne Louise MacDonald

Anne Louise MacDonald lives outside of Antigonish, Nova Scotia at Hug a Horse Farm with her husband and two horses. She is an teacher of natural horse and hoof care, and is currently working part time as managing the Animal and Plant Care Facility at Saint Francis Xavier University. She is an author of children's and young adult literature, as well as non-fiction books. Anne Louise has presented writing workshops for children and adults including the River John Festival Read by the Sea Festival, as well as the Pictou-Antigonish Regional Public Library.

Due to technical difficulties, the video interview with Anne Louise is unavailable. However, a fairly complete audio recording of her interview has been transcribed, and you can read the transcript of the interview [pdf] here.

Budge Wilson

Budge Wilson was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia and educated at Dalhousie University (B.A., Philosophy & Psychology; Diploma in Education; Phys. Ed. Certificate). Wilson has had an eclectic career: she taught English and art at the Halifax Ladies’ College (now Armbrae Academy), worked as a photographer and commercial artist, and was a fitness instructor for over 21 years (Dalhousie University, 2006). Wilson began writing full time in 1978, and published her first book The Best Worst Christmas Present Ever in 1984. Since then, Wilson has published 34 books, many articles, and her work has appeared in over 90 anthologies. Wilson has won over 15 awards during her literary career, including the Municipality of Halifax Mayor’s Award for Cultural Achievement in Literature in 2003. In 2004, Wilson was made a Member of the Order of Canada; and in 2010, she received an Honourary Degree (LLD) from Dalhousie University.

Budge Wilson's series of stand-alone novels featuring the recurring character of Lorinda (Thirteen Never Changes, 1989; Lorinda's Diary, 1991) sits in a middle age-range between Wilson's picture and chapter books and her older adolescent young adult collections like The Leaving: Stories (1990), and Fractures: Family Stories (2002). Wilson demonstrates an evolving sensibility for the complexity of issues that follow children into young adulthood; as Lorinda matures with each novel, for example, so too do the themes and issues Wilson writes about. Although these middle range young adult adolescent novels end in tidy resolution, the narrators in Wilson's older adolescent young adult books often reflect back on their youth from a place of acceptance over issues that remain unresolved. Wilson's strength as a writer lies in both her thematic consistency (i.e., addressing perennial issues of inner conflict and identity) and her adaptability to her audience (i.e., presenting her thematic consistency to both children and young adults). These strengths are best executed in her recent prequel to L. M. Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables (1908). Before Green Gables (2008) follows Anne from birth to her fateful train ride to Avonlea. Wilson's ability to create young characters that persevere through personal adversity is successfully tested in this 2008 prequel.  Most of her YA novels and short story collections are "crossover" books, read by both teens and adults.

The following interview was conducted on January 28, 2011. For a transcript of the interview go here.

Eric Orchard

Eric Orchard grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Orchard began illustrating in grade school before going on to study painting and art history at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. He has illustrated three picturebooks, as well as the web comic Harry and Silvio.

Geoff Butler

Geoff Butler was born and on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, and lived in Newfoundland throughout his childhood. As an adult, Butler attended Memorial University in Newfoundland before moving to New York State where he attended Syracuse University. He also studied at the Art Students’ League in New York City. Butler is a painter, writer, and illustrator. He has written and illustrated his own books, as well as illustrated books for other authors. His artwork has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and in 2006 Butler was elected member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Butler currently lives in Granville Ferry, Nova Scotia where he continues to write and paint.

Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce was born in New Jersey in 1951, and has lived in Canada since 1978. Throughout the years, Choyce has worked as a rehab counselor, a freight hauler, a corn farmer, a janitor, a journalist, a guitarist, a newspaper boy and a well-digger, but he is best-known for his work as a writer. From young adult fiction, to poetry, to histories and anthologies, Choyce's name is attached to almost 100 published texts. In addition to writing, Choyce also teaches part-time at Dalhousie University, runs Pottersfield Press, hosts a Halifax-based talk show, is part of a band called "Lesley Choyce and the Surf Poets," and, as evident by his band's name, is an avid surfer. 

Choyce currently lives in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia. 

Shauntay Grant

Shauntay Grant is a writer, spoken word performer, broadcast journalist and musician. She has shared her blend of poetry and music internationally at festivals and events, and as Halifax's third Poet Laureate she organized Canada's first national gathering of Canadian Poets Laureate in 2010. Shauntay conducts arts workshops and performances for youth and adults at festivals, schools and community centres around the country, and she was a Poet of Honour at the 2010 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in Ottawa. Her children’s picture book memoir Up Home (Nimbus 2008) won a 2009 Best Atlantic Published Book Award, and her stage play Steal Away Home won the 2011 Jury Award for Outstanding Drama at the Atlantic Fringe Festival. Shauntay is the recipient of a 2011 INSPIRE Award from Big Brothers Big Sisters. She’s been a regional music host for CBC Radio in the Maritimes, and she was the national host for CBC Radio’s Poetry Face-Off in 2008 and 2009. Shauntay serves on the board of Youth Voices of Nova Scotia and she coordinates CommUNITY, a spoken word showcase and charity event presented monthly in Halifax.

Susan Tooke

Susan Tooke was born and raised in New Jersey, and knew from an early age that art was her passion. In 1972, Tooke graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor in Fine Arts, and began teaching in Newark, New Jersey. It was during this time that Tooke also enhanced her education by taking courses in photography and animation at the New School in New York City. In 1980, Tooke moved to Nova Scotia, and in 2000 she illustrated and published her first book, A Seaside Alphabet.

Vicki Grant

Vicki Grant was born, raised, and currently resides in Halifax, Nova Scotia. That said, she has also spent time living in Toronto, Montreal, Quebec City, Vancouver, Boston, and Totonicapán, Guatemala.

Before becoming a writer, Grant worked as a copywriter and a producer and writer of children's television. Vicki Grant is an engaging writer who uses humour. She has nine published books, with a tenth soon on its way. As a writer of young adult fiction, she frequently participates in the Writers in the Schools program, hosts the "Kid Lit Cafe" at a local coffee shop, and travels across Canada to partake in numerous book award tours and writers festivals.

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