Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. Her suspense novels include The Neighbors, bestsellers Her Secret Son and Sister Dear, and You Will Remember Me. Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons. Connect on Facebook and Instagram @HannahMaryMckinnon, and on Twitter @HannahMMcKinnon. For more, visit www.hannahmarymckinnon.com.
Willy Vlautin, born and raised in Reno, Nevada, has published six novels, The Motel Life, Northline, Lean on Pete, The Free, Don’t Skip Out On Me and The Night Always Comes. Both The Motel Life and Lean on Pete have been turned into major motion pictures. Vlautin also founded the band, Richmond Fontaine and the Delines. He currently resides in Scappoose, Oregon.
Thomas King is an award-winning novelist, short-story writer, scriptwriter and photographer. His critically acclaimed, bestselling fiction includes Medicine River; Green Grass, Running Water; One Good Story, That One; Truth and Bright Water; A Short History of Indians in Canada; The Back of the Turtle (winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction); The Inconvenient Indian (winner of the RBC Taylor Prize); Indians on Vacation; the DreadfulWater mystery series; and the poetry collection 77 Fragments of a Familiar Ruin. A Member of the Order of Canada and recipient of a National Aboriginal Achievement Award, Thomas King lives in Guelph, Ontario.
Kenneth Oppel is the author of numerous books for young readers. His award-winning Silverwing trilogy has sold over a million copies worldwide and was adapted into an animated TV series and stage play. Airborn won a Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award and the Governor General’s Literary Award; its sequel, Skybreaker, was a New York Times bestseller and was named Children’s Novel of the Year by the Times (UK). Born on Vancouver Island, Oppel has lived in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, as well as England and Ireland. He now resides in Toronto with his wife and children.
Jael Richardson is the executive director of the FOLD literary festival, the books columnist on CBC Radio’s q and an outspoken advocate on issues of diversity. She is the author of The Stone Thrower: A Daughter’s Lesson, a Father’s Life, a memoir based on her relationship with her father, CFL quarterback Chuck Ealey. The memoir received a CBC Bookie Award, an Arts Acclaim Award and a My People Award. Her essay “Conception” is part of Room’s first Women of Colour edition and excerpts from her first play, my upside down black face, appear in the anthology T-Dot Griots: An Anthology of Toronto’s Black Storytellers.
Jordan Tannahill is an internationally acclaimed playwright who was born in Ottawa and is currently based in London. Two of his plays have won a Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. He has written one previous novel, Liminal, which was published to much acclaim and named one of the best Canadian novels of 2018 by CBC Books. CBC Arts named him as “one of sixty-nine LGBTQ Canadians, living or deceased, who has shaped the country’s history.” He is a regular columnist on CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter.
Polly Samson’s first novel, Out of the Picture, was shortlisted for the Authors’ Club Award and many of her stories have been read on the BBC’s Radio 4. Samson has written an introduction for a collection of Daphne du Maurier’s earliest stories and has been a judge for the Costa Book Awards. Her novel The Kindness was named Book of the Year by the Times and the Observer. She is currently writing the introductions to new editions of Charmian Clift’s Peel Me a Lotus and Mermaid Singing. Samson has written lyrics for four number-one albums and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Louisa Onomé is an organizer for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), which works to bring attention to diverse authors and stories, and has previously participated in the London Writers’ Fair. Onomé, a Nigerian-Canadian, holds a bachelor’s degree in professional writing from York University. She lives in the Toronto area and when not writing, she works in counselling.
Ben Philippe is a New York-based writer and screenwriter. Born in Haiti and raised in Montreal, Canada, he has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and an MFA from the Michener Center for Writers in Austin, Texas. He has written two young adult novels: Field Guide to the North American Teenager, winner of the 2020 William C. Morris Award; and Charming as a Verb. Sure, I’ll Be Your Black Friend is his first book of adult nonfiction.
Zahra Al-harazi is the co-founder of Skillit, an experiential marketplace for skills, and was the CEO of Foundry Communications, an internationally acclaimed, award-winning marketing and communications firm based in Calgary. A sought-after speaker and consultant for leading institutions and events around the world, Al-harazi served for several years as the Canadian ambassador for UNICEF. A true citizen of the world, she has lived on four continents, visited more than a hundred countries, and argued for human rights in five languages. She is the author of What It Takes . . . To Live and Lead with Purpose, Laughter, and Strength.