About the Authors

Helen Bacoka and her husband now reside in Etobicoke after many years in California. Helen studied Theatre Arts at Los Angeles City College and has a B.A. Degree from The University of Waterloo. Her writing portfolio consists of two stage plays, one movie script, adult short stories, children's stories, and poetry.

Gail Balfour, a fourth-generation Torontonian, is a freelance journalist specializing in technology, health and business. She is also editor of the health website womenshealthmatters.ca. She lives in Bloor West Village with her cat Pollyanna, and hopes to one day overcome her vice of procrastination. One day, maybe. But not today.

Carole Barrett grew up in Ottawa and teaches English in Toronto. A graduate of Queen's University who majored in English Literature, she honed her writing talent at various writers' workshops and groups. Ever an avid reader, she writes in her "spare" time and promises to finish her memoirs someday.

Melanie Christensen grew up in Alberta. After moving to Ontario, She received her degree at the University of Toronto and became an Associate in the Society of Actuaries. Married to a physicist, she has two sons, both studying physics in graduate school.

Minerva Cook credits Jack Livesley's workshops for inspiring her to write and publish her poetry. She has moved to rural Grey County since her retirement from the medical practice in Toronto. She appreciates the opportunities to study, observe and write about the natural world.

Nancy Donnaperna spends her days earning a living in Marketing & Communications field, but her true full-time occupation-and most rewarding-is being a mother to her son and daughter. Following close is a passion for creative writing, and the satisfaction gained from transcending words into art.

Frances Frommer, a retired librarian, has published book reviews in Canadian Writer's Journal and articles in various cat publications. She now reviews books for the newsletters of Hamilton Public Library, Lakeview Toastmasters, and Personal-Development.com. Her current project is a humorous self-help book, Surviving and Thriving Solo.

Paul Gyori helped start a live-action role-playing organization that is the inspiration for many of his fantasy stories. Currently he is working on a WWII semi-fiction spy novel centered around Camp X, once a secret agent training camp near Oshawa.

Robert Jones was for many years counsel to a major national Canadian corporation. He has written extensively on corporate issues, and founded and administered conferences of the legal profession in Canada. In 2000, in Recognition of his contributions, he was named a Life Member of the Canadian Bar Association.

Jack Livesley, author, teacher and broadcaster, has written five books on media and education. He has conducted workshops in writing, media, and drama, across Canada (including sessions at Stratford and Shaw Festivals) and at major conferences in the USA.

Deb Loughead, Toronto writer and poet, became enchanted with wordplay as soon as she learned to read. She is author of 16 books for children and young adults. Her award-winning adult fiction and poetry have appeared in a variety of Canadian publications. Visit her website at www.DebLoughead.ca.

Barb MacDonald, a graduate of Ryerson's Radio and Television Arts Program, roamed the editing suites of Degrassi Junior High, and YTV before trading her career for love. When she is not hanging out with her husband and two boys at some of the finer hockey rinks in Mississauga, she is writing stories about suburban angst and dysfunctional families.

Corinne Cast McCorkle grew up near Chicago and earned degrees at Northwestern University and University of London Royal Holloway. Her writing career began with a class play in Grade Three, and includes business communications and freelance journalism/pr. She has lived in Germany and England and now resides in Mississauga with her husband, two sons and one grey cat.

Claire Moran worked in the child welfare field for twenty years, telling other people how to live. Once all the families in Toronto were perfect, she retired and devoted herself to writing articles solving crucial world problems, such as how to give a party, how to become a model etc. She has been published in various newspapers and magazines but none of them will admit it now.

Barb Nobel loves family, travel, writing and body building. Her goal is to become a brawny eccentric little old lady, enjoying all the excitement life has to offer, including younger men.

Marianne L. Pelletier was born in Ottawa, Ontario, raised in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, and is living in Toronto. With a lifelong passion for writing, Marianne's genre of choice is period pieces, medieval fiction in particular. Of late, she has shifted her direction towards documenting travels with her father, a WWII veteran.

Livia Pravato-Fuchs lives in Toronto, and has been writing children's stories since 1995. Recently, she has published newsletters for various not-for-profit agencies. Her dream is to have her stories published to help educate and inspire children. She gets her inspiration from past experiences, and finding imaginative solutions to things like global warming.

Isobel Raven, a Toronto resident, has written both non-fiction and fiction since retiring from teaching. The Future of Fonics appeared in 2005. She read her story
'The Rushton Lions Club Spring Extravaganza" at The Stephen Leacock Festival of Humour in Orillia that summer.

Astrid Rutsatz (born 1939 in Germany) immigrated to Canada in 1970. In Germany she worked as a Translator, English and Spanish, and in Canada as an Executive Secretary for an international logistics organization in Missassauga. She retired in 2002 after 28 years of service.

Brigitte Sargent, born in 1934 the second of six children in rural Mecklenburg, Germany; 1945 dispossessed and exiled, grew up in the Hansa City of Luebeck; certified in early childhood education; 1963 immigrated to Montreal, Canada; 1964 married; two children; 1972 moved to Toronto; 1994 joined writers workshop.

John M. Sargent, retired professional engineer. Thirty years in aerospace manufacturing. After too many years of editing the bejeebers out of standards and specifications, decided to try writing that was ambiguous and excessive instead of precise and succinct.

Justin Snaith is a filmmaker and artist who has been writing since the mid nineties. He is currently working on his first feature film 'Eelavan' and novel 'Miludi's Star.' For more information check out his website www.justinsnaith.com.

Joan Strathdee is a retired court reporter. She has Written many thousands of stories in transcript form, and has encountered a myriad of unique personalities. She is now using this experience to write her own stories. Joan has had one of her stories published and is currently writing a novel. She lives in Mississauga with her husband and two adopted cats.

Caroleen Whiteley is a recent graduate of the Humber School for Writers Creative Writing Correspondence Program, and a freelance writer who has written for print media, television and the internet. "Dark Night" is an excerpt from a novel she is currently working on. Caroleen is a grateful student of Jack's and was a member of the Jolly Lits on and off for several years, between babies and church Christmas plays. She lives in Toronto with her husband Dan, their two redheads and a Shih-Poo named Itsy-Bitsy.

Paul Valliere, aka Bill Rundle, has been pleased to receive the mentoring of Jack Livesley for over ten years. He first arrived at Jack's Richview Collegiate evening class circa 1996. It was supposed to be a fiction class. 'But sir, I'm a poet". Response. "We can work with that."

Gerda Voss was born and educated in Germany, and cam to Canada in 1953. Upon retiring as a Professional Engineer, she took up writing as a hobby, concentrating on non-fiction. She joined the Jolly Lits when they were still meeting in Jack's basement on Pacific Avenue.

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