Natale Ghent is an award-winning author and journalist. She has been writing stories and poems since she was a very young girl and hopes to continue until she is a very old woman. Her early stories revolved heavily around a family of single-celled circles: Momma Circle, Daddy Circle, and two Baby Circles. All the Circles looked pretty much the same, except that the Momma Circle wore a mink stole and the Daddy Circle wore a hat, naturally. Evolving from circles to stylized stick fairies, Natale has slowly moved up the evolutionary ladder to working with animals, humans and beyond (angels, faeries, the little people). When she’s not writing, she can be found camping in the woods of Northern Ontario.
Jen lives with her husband on a houseboat in the San Francisco Bay Area and spends time every summer on Lake Champlain in Vermont with their four grown daughters. She shares updates on writing, biking, and floating home life on twitter @JenGenn and Instagram. Learn more at .
“This book magnificently conveys the drama and emotional intensity that so often typify the teen experience… Without ever once belittling Betsy’s reactions, Grant leads her on a journey of healing and self-discovery, and she gives readers the opportunity to watch her come to her own realizations about life, love and friendship. The author not only provides a very authentic depiction of her characters and of teens in general, but she also recognizes and celebrates their capacity to grow and be transformed by their experiences. And she manages to convey these truths in her own unique fashion: with a sly humour always lurking just beneath the surface. While it was somewhat surprising that there was never any eventual confrontation between Betsy and Nick and Carly, the ending is absolutely perfect, highlighting the dichotomy between Betsy’s initial feelings of despair and her new awareness of herself and the world. This book is a sensitive exploration of one teen’s maturation but first and foremost, it is a highly entertaining read that should speak to a wide range of readers.”- Atlantic Books Today
-Winner, Young Canada Reads, CBC Radio Halifax, 2009
-Nominated, Garden State Teen Book Award,
New Jersey Library Association, 2008
-Best Juvenile Nominee, Arthur Ellis Award, 2006
-Tayshas Reading List 2006
-Best Children’s Books of the Year – Bank Street College of Education, NYC
-CLA Book of the Year Notable 2006
-Nominee, Ann Connor Brimer Award, 2005
-New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age, 2006
-Nominee, Edgar Allan Poe Award, 2006
-Honour Book, Silver Birch Award, 2006
She began her career creating ads for Chiat/Day and McCann-Erickson, moved on to writing scripts for Theodore Tugboat, Big Comfy Couch and her own Gemini Award-winning series Scoop & Doozie before graduating to young adult fiction. Her fifteen novels have appeared on shortlists for almost every major Canadian award and numerous American ones as well.
Harold R. Johnson is the author of five works of fiction and two non-fiction. His most recent work “Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (and Yours)” was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Nonfiction. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan to Swede Cree parents, Harold has a connection to the land from which he writes. After having had a variety of occupations, Harold attended Harvard University to obtain a Master’s Degree in Law. Harold managed a private law practice for several years before he became a Crown Prosecutor.
“Beautifully observed and written with great warmth and wit, They Left Us Everything is an absorbing memoir of grief, growth, and decluttering. Plum Johnson must deal not merely with the legacy of her difficult, ill-matched parents, but is handed the burden of disposing of the seemingly endless contents of their 23-room Lake Ontario home, which becomes a character on its own in the telling. The task, which she initially thinks manageable, proves Herculean, far more complex than she’d imagined, involving understanding her past and packing up its contents, both literal and metaphorical. A story of love, loss, and legacy, written with compassion and humour, it subtly evokes T.S. Eliot’s lines: “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – 2015 RBC Charles Taylor Prize jury citation
Daniel Jones is a psychology professor at the University of Texas, El Paso. He runs the university’s Dark Triad and Corporate Crime Laboratory, which focuses on the “Dark Triad” of personality: psychopathy, Machiavellianism, and narcissism. Jones is a specialist in the emerging field of emotional promiscuity, the study of why some people fall in love quickly and repeatedly, often with dangerous consequences. Originally from New Jersey, Jones received his PhD from the University of British Columbia, where he was a postdoctoral researcher under Dr. Robert Hare, the world-renowned psychopathy researcher. Jones was the recipient of the prestigious Killam Graduate Fellowship at UBC, and he has received grants from the Donner Foundation and the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. He is an active member of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology, the Association for Research on Personality, the American Psychology and Law Society, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. Jones’s research has been featured in news outlets such as the Huffington Post and the Boston Globe.
Lucille Joseph is one of the founders of the Luminato arts festival where she continues to serve as Vice Chair of the Board. She is the former Chair of the National Ballet of Canada, and is a member of the Board of the Walrus Foundation, publisher of Walrus magazine. She pursued a career with The Boston Consulting Group and the Bank of Montreal and from an early age has also studied under Canadian philosopher Kenneth G. Mills. She is writing a book on the reinvention happening in man’s search for meaning. The book reflects her own experience of combining a business career with the spiritual search, bringing insight to the surge of interest today in integrating the formerly opposite worlds of secular and sacred practices.
Plum Johnson is an award-winning writer who lives in Toronto. She had an American mother and a British father whose compromise was to raise their children as Canadians. Growing up on the shores of Lake Ontario, they made annual pilgrimages by car down Route 15 to Richmond, Virginia, stopping to read every historical marker along the way. They Left Us Everything was nominated for the Leacock Medal for Humour, the Kobo Prize, and was the winner of the RBC Taylor Prize for non-fiction.
Elaine Kalman Naves was born in Hungary, grew up in Budapest, London, and Montreal, and is the author of eight books, among them two award-winning memoirs about her family: Journey to Vaja, and Shoshanna’s Story. A long-time columnist for the Montreal Gazette and frequent contributor to CBC Ideas, Elaine has also written more than 500 articles and stories published in a variety of Canadian and international publications. Elaine’s honours include a Canadian Literary Award for Personal Essay, two Quebec Writers’ Federation prizes for non-fiction, and two Jewish Book Awards for Holocaust Literature. Her most recent book, The Book of Faith, was longlisted for the 2016 Leacock Prize for Humour.