The 2015-16 Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program hits the half-way point on February 24, and mentors and mentored alike are busy reviewing, honing, and polishing their craft and creative conviction as writers.
This greatly respected program supports emerging writers, many of whom have gone on to have their work published professionally. For this year's program cycle, thirty applications from emerging writers and thirty-three expressions of interest from prospective mentors were reviewed by an assessment panel of three peers. The result was five mentorship pairs who began working on the emerging writers' projects in December 2015 and will conclude with a public reading at the Celebration of Emerging Writers on May 7, 2016. (Mark your calendars!)
As always, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts for its generous support of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program.
All five mentorship pairs are working on fiction manuscripts for this year’s program cycle. (Take note, emerging poets and non-fiction writers: you can help mix-up the diversity of forms in the program by applying to the next cycle deadline on October 14, 2016!) But back to the present, and a brief introduction to the 2015-16 Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program participants, all of whom you can meet & learn more about in May:
Nicola Davison (Dartmouth) working with mentor Carol Bruneau (Halifax) on a fiction manuscript:
Nicola Davison recently came back from away to settle in Nova Scotia. She is a photographer, wife and mother who is entirely dependent on a good story to put her to sleep at night. Under the expert guidance of her mentor, she is polishing up the final draft (she hopes) of her first novel.
Carol Bruneau is the Halifax-based author of two short story collections and four novels: These Good Hands, Glass Voices, Berth, and Purple for Sky, winner of the 2001 Dartmouth Book Award and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. Her novels have been published internationally. Her articles and reviews have appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Literary Review of Canada and The Halifax Chronicle-Herald, and her essays and stories in various anthologies and journals. She has been writer in residence at Dalhousie and Acadia universities. A part time faculty member of NSCAD University, she teaches Writing for the Arts.
Erinn Beth Langille (Truro) working with mentor Linda Little (River John) on a fiction manuscript:
Erin Beth Langille is a writer, editor, arts administrator and freelance critic. She has degrees from Dalhousie University, the University of Essex, and two from NSCAD. A past participant of several residency programs, she is co-founder and writing director of The Lemon Tree House Residency in Tuscany, Italy.
Linda Little is the author of three novels: Grist, Scotch River (which won the 2007 Raddall Atlantic Fiction Prize), and Strong Hollow. Her first children’s picture book, Work and More Work came out in 2015. She lives in River John and teaches English at Dalhousie Agricultural Campus.
Chad Lucas (Beaver Bank) working with mentor Darcy Rhyno (Little Harbour) on a young adult fiction manuscript:
Chad Lucas has worked as a reporter, communications advisor, journalism instructor, freelance writer and columnist. He is a previous winner in the Atlantic Writing Competition's short story category and a finalist in the Writers' Union of Canada's Writing for Children competition. He was longlisted for the 2015 CBC Short Story Prize. His short fiction has appeared in Event and The Dalhousie Review.
The worst job Darcy Rhyno ever had was pitchforking fish guts around on the back of a dump truck. Writing seemed cleaner work. Read Conductor of Waves and Holidays (his two short story collections) and his novel for young adults, Monsters of Suburbia, and the hundreds of magazine articles he’s written to see if he should have stuck to slinging fish guts.
Linda McLean (Halifax) working with mentor A.J.B. (John) Johnston (Halifax) on a fiction manuscript:
Linda McLean is a writer, musician and teacher with a Masters in Arts Education. She is an award-winning, critically acclaimed songwriter with over 50 songs produced and published, and writes poetry, songs, short stories and novels. She lives in Halifax with her husband and one dog.
A.J.B. (John) Johnston is the author of three novels and fourteen books of history. He spent 23 formative years as an historian at the Fortress of Louisbourg. For his body of work on that time and place France made him a chevalier of its Ordre des Palmes académiques. Thus far, John's fiction has also been about the 18th-century world.
Lindsay Wilson (Halifax) working with mentor Susan Haley (Black River) on a fiction manuscript:
Lindsay Wilson is a graduate of the Ryerson Theatre School in Toronto, Ontario and holds an M.A. in Creative Writing from Concordia University, Montreal. In 2011 she received a Conseils des arts et lettres du Quebec grant for her play Blind. Blind was nominated for several Montreal English Theatre Awards after having its world premiere in April 2014.
Susan Haley is the author of eight novels, two of which, A Nest of Singing Birds and Getting Married in Buffalo Jump, were made into movies by the CBC. Her latest novel is Petitot, published by Gaspereau Press in 2013. She has conducted a fiction writing course in the Acadia ALL program for the past 14 years. She is a book reviewer for Fiddlehead. Susan was once an academic philosopher and has a PhD from the University of Alberta. She lives on a farm in Black River, N.S.