Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program banner


  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau (Halifax) & apprentice Sean Bedell (Dartmouth)
  • Fiction: Dian Day (Central Caribou) & apprentice Vanessa Lent (Dartmouth)
  • Fiction: Jacqueline Dumas (Dartmouth) & apprentice K.R. Byggdin (Halifax)
  • Fiction: Linda Little (River John) & apprentice Judy Kaiser (Fourchu, Cape Breton)


  • Fiction: Bethany Myers (Halifax) & apprentice Laura Redman (Church Point)
  • Fiction: Ian Colford (Halifax) & apprentice Bretten Hannam (Bear River) 
  • Fiction: Norene Smiley (Pugwash) & apprentice Allison Richard (Avonport)
  • Fiction: Sylvia Gunnery (LaHave) & apprentice Bethany Lake (Halifax)

2017 (more on these participants)

  • Fiction: Stephanie Domet (Halifax) & apprentice Amanda Peters (Falmouth)
  • Fiction: Stephen Law (Kennetcook) & apprentice Louise Cameron (Halifax)
  • Poetry: Margo Wheaton (Halifax) & apprentice Caira Clark (Halifax)

2016 (more on these participants)

  • Fiction: A.J.B. (John) Johnston (Halifax) & apprentice Linda McLean (Halifax)
  • Fiction: Carol Bruneau (Halifax) & apprentice Nicola Davison (Dartmouth), who went on to publish In the Wake with Nimbus Publishing in 2018
  • Fiction: Linda Little (River John) & apprentice Erin Beth Langille (Truro)
  • Fiction: Susan Haley (Black River) & apprentice Lindsay Wilson (Halifax)
  • YA Fiction: Darcy Rhyno (Little Harbour) & apprentice Chad Lucas (Beaver Bank)


  • Fiction: Binnie Brennan & apprentice Sally Reardon, who went on to publish The Spanish Boy with Signature Editions in 2016
  • Fiction: Keir Lowther & apprentice Helen Petrulak
  • Poetry: Alice Burdick & apprentice Bethany Hindmarsh
  • Poetry: Carole Langille & apprentice Maryann Martin
  • YA Fiction: Krista Johansen & apprentice Lindsey Carmichael


  • Fiction: Dana Mills & apprentice Maureen St. Clair, who went on to publish Big Island, Small with Fernwood Publishing in 2018
  • Non-fiction: Kathleen Martin & apprentice Lindy Weilgart
  • Poetry: Anne Simpson & apprentice Rita Wilson
  • Poetry: Elaine McCluskey & apprentice Marie Solis
  • Poetry: Jaime Forsythe & apprentice Nolan Natasha, who went on to publish I Can Hear You, Can You Hear Me? with Invisible Publishing in 2019


  • Jaime Forsythe & apprentice Kristin Slaney
  • Heather Jessup & apprentice Joshua Tibbetts
  • Shandi Mitchell & apprentice David Hood, who went on to publish What Kills Good Men with Nimbus Publishing in 2015
  • Stephens Gerard Malone & apprentice Corrinne Gilroy
  • Ian McGillis & apprentice Jessica Chisholm (McGillis, a member of the Quebec Writers' Federation, participated in the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program as part of an exchange initiative made possible by the generous support of The Writers’ Trust of Canada; in the same year, Alexander MacLeod mentored an apprentice writer from Quebec)


  • Kate Kennedy & apprentice Vincent MacIllivray 
  • Stephanie Domet & apprentice Meagan Campbell
  • Susan Haley & apprentice Carmelita Boivin-Cole
  • William Kowalski & apprentice Ian MacLeod 


  • Brian Bartlett & apprentice Anna Mancini
  • Carol Bruneau & apprentice Catherine Cooper
  • Philip Roy & apprentice Katrina Nicholson
  • William Kowalski & apprentice Jan Florek 


  • Lorri Neilsen Glenn & apprentice Brian Braganza 
  • Mary Jane Copps & apprentice Jane Finlay-Young
  • Matt Robinson & apprentice Jenny McDougall 
  • Maureen Hull & apprentice Sara Jewel-Mattinson
  • Stephens Gerard Malone & apprentice Melanie Furlong

Past Participants Professionally Published

  • Glenna Jenkins, Somewhere I Belong, Acorn Press Canada, 2014. (Mentored in 2011 by William Kowalski)
  • Jan Coates, The Hare in the Elephant’s Trunk, Red Deer Press, 2010. (Mentored in 2009 by Gary Blackwood)
  • Judy Dudar, I Spy a Bunny, Nimbus, 2009.  (Mentored in 2009 by Sylvia Gunnery)
  • Christine McRae, Next to Nothing, Wolsak and Wynn, 2009. (Mentored in 2007 by Marilyn Iwama)
  • Keir Lowther, Dirty Bird, Tightrope Press, 2012. (Mentored in 2007 by Bill Kowalski)
  • Amy Jones, What Boys Like, Biblioasis, 2009.  (Mentored in 2005 by Linda Little) 
  • Shandi Mitchell, Under This Unbroken Sky, Penguin, 2009. Simultaneously published by Penguin Canada, Weidenfeld & Nicolson (UK) and Harper Collins (US) in August 2009. (Mentored in 2005 by Sue Goyette) 
  • Emily Holton, Dear Canada Council / Our Starland, Conundrum Press, 2008. (Mentored in 2005 by Donna Morrissey) 
  • Jacob Mooney, The New Layman’s Almanac, M&S, 2008.  (Mentored in 2005 by Lesley Choyce)
  • Ryan Turner, What We’re Made Of, Oberon Press, 2009. (Mentored in 2004 by Richard Cumyn)
  • Ami McKay, The Birth House, Knopf, 2006. (Mentored in 2003 by Richard Cumyn)
  • Genevieve Lehr, The Sorrowing House, Brick Books, 2004. (Mentored in 2002 by Sue Goyette) 
  • Marilyn Iwama, Skin Whispers Down, Thistledown Press, 2003. (Mentored in 2002 by Sue MacLeod)


Introducing the 2017 Mentorship Program Participants

The three 2017 mentorship pairs began working together on January 5, 2017, and concluded the program with a public reading at the WFNS Celebration of Emerging Writers on June 10, 2017.

Stephanie Domet (Halifax) mentoring Amanda Peters (Falmouth) on a fiction manuscript:

Stephanie Domet’s debut novel, Homing (Invisible Publishing, 2007), won the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award in 2008. Fallsy Downsies was published in October 2013 by Invisible Publishing, and won the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award in 2014. She is at work on a third novel. Her non-fiction writing has been published in the National Post, Quill and QuireThe Coast and other local and national outlets. In addition she has taught writing workshops at the Shelburne Writers’ Festival, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia and the Tatamagouche Centre, and has served on literary arts juries for the Canada Council, the Province of Nova Scotia and the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia. She lives in Halifax, where she makes a mean brisket, and is always up for a little tennis.

Amanda Peters has wanted to write for most of her life. In 2016 she completed her Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto. Last year she was short listed for the Atlantic Writing Competition in the short fiction category. She is excited to be one of the recipients of the 2017 Alistair Macleod Mentorship program. Amanda was born and raised in the Annapolis Valley and currently resides in Falmouth with her husband.

Stephen Law (Kennetcook) mentoring Louise Cameron (Halifax) on a fiction manuscript:

Stephen Law is an author, mediator, facilitator and grows organic garlic while watching his kids play up in their treehouse on his farm. For him, writing in alternative coffee shops, on his couch or in libraries seems to work best. His first novel, Tailings of Warren Peace (Roseway, 2013) was nominated for the Margaret and John Savage First Book Award. His second novel, Under Her Skin (Roseway) will be published in the fall of 2017.

Louise Cameron was born in England and grew up in Halifax. She got her Master’s degree in English at Dalhousie University where she discovered that she was not cut out for an academic career. Since then, Louise has worked as a book-seller, a free-lance writer, a news writer for CBC’s The National and a producer for CBC News.  Currently she works in her attic on her first novel.

Margo Wheaton (Halifax) mentoring Caira Clark (Halifax) on a poetry manuscript:

Margo Wheaton was born in Moncton, New Brunswick and currently lives in Halifax. Her poems, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications including The FiddleheadThe Globe and MailThe Literary Review of CanadaThe New QuarterlyPrism, and Undercurrents: New Voices in Canadian Poetry (Cormorant). Her work received the Alfred Bailey Award for poetry and her first collection of poems The Unlit Path Behind the House was published by McGill-Queen’s University Press in 2016.

Caira Clark writes poetry and (sometimes) fiction. Her poetry has been shortlisted in the untethered Poetry Competition (2015) and placed in the Fog Lit Emerging Writers Competition (2015). She is working on her first poetry collection, which distills her experiences as an environmental scientist and a marine biologist in remote Canadian locations. She grew up in New Brunswick, but now calls Dartmouth home.

Introducing the 2016 Mentorship Program Participants

The five 2016 mentorship pairs began working together in December, 2015, and concluded the program with a public reading at the WFNS Celebration of Emerging Writers on May 7, 2016.

Carol Bruneau (Halifax) mentoring Nicola Davison (Dartmouth) on a fiction manuscript:

Carol Bruneau is the Halifax-based author of two short story collections and four novels: These Good HandsGlass VoicesBerth, 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.

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.

Want to hear about the impact of the Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program first-hand? Carmel Mikol (host of the Hyacinth Podcast) interviews Carol Bruneau and Nicola Davison about the benefits of the program and how it helped them write two award-winning novels. Watch the interview >>

Linda Little (River John) mentoring Erinn Beth Langille (Truro) on a fiction manuscript:

Linda Little is the author of three novels: GristScotch 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. 

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. 

Darcy Rhyno (Little Harbour) mentoring Chad Lucas (Beaver Bank) on a young adult fiction manuscript:

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. 

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.

A.J.B. (John) Johnston (Halifax) mentoring Linda McLean (Halifax) on a fiction manuscript:

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.

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.

 Susan Haley (Black River) mentoring Lindsay Wilson (Halifax) on a fiction manuscript:

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.

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 BlindBlind was nominated for several Montreal English Theatre Awards after having its world premiere in April 2014.