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Alexander MacLeod’s short stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and The O Henry Prize Stories. His first collection, Light Lifting (Biblioasis), was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. In 2021, he and his friend, Andrew Steeves of Gaspereau Press, were awarded the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award for their collaboration, Lagomorph. Alexander lives in Dartmouth and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Martha Wainwright is an internationally renowned singer-songwriter, with over two decades of industry experience. Critically-acclaimed for the rawness and emotional honesty of both her vocals and lyrics, her albums include: Martha Wainwright (2005); I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too (2008); Come Home to Mama (2012); the JUNO-nominated Songs in the Dark (2015), a collaboration with her half-sister Lucy Wainwright Roche; Goodnight City (2016); and her latest album Love Will Be Reborn (2021). She is also an actress and was featured in Martin Scorsese’s Aviator and the recent HBO special, Olive Kitteridge. Her memoir, Stories I Might Regret Telling You (2022) was a national bestseller.

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J.M. Miro lives and writes in the Pacific Northwest. He also writes, some days, under the name Steven Price.

Vivek Shraya is an artist whose body of work crosses the boundaries of music, literature, visual art, theatre, and film. Her bestselling book I’m Afraid of Men was heralded by Vanity Fair as “cultural rocket fuel,” and her album Part-Time Woman was nominated for the Polaris Music Prize. The founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books, Shraya is a seven-time Lambda Literary Award finalist. She’s been a brand ambassador for MAC Cosmetics and Pantene, and is a director on the board of the Tegan and Sara Foundation, and an assistant professor of creative writing at the University of Calgary. She’s currently adapting her debut play, How to Fail as a Popstar, for television with the support of CBC.

A renowned speaker, and bestselling author, Dr. Gabor Maté is highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. Dr. Maté has written several bestselling books, including the award-winning In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters With Addiction; When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, and Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and co-authored Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need To Matter More Than Peers. His works have been published internationally in nearly thirty languages. His new book, The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness and Healing in a Toxic Culture written with his son, Daniel Maté will be published in mid-September. Daniel Maté is a musical theatre lyricist and composer whose work has been honoured with the Edward Kleban Prize, a Jonathan Larson Foundation Grant and the Cole Porter Award for Music and Lyrics. He is the producer and host of the YouTube program “Lyrics To Go”. With his father Gabor, Daniel regularly co-leads the popular workshop Hello Again: A Fresh Start for Parents and Their Adult Children. He also runs a “mental chiropractic” service called Take A Walk With Daniel (walkwithdaniel.com).

Rawi Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and lived through nine years of the Lebanese civil war during the 1970s and 1980s. He immigrated to Canada in 1992 and now lives in Montreal. His first novel, De Niro’s Game, won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for the best English-language book published anywhere in the world in a given year, and has either won or been shortlisted for seven other major awards and prizes, including the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General’s Literary Award. Cockroach was the winner of the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and a finalist for the Governor General’s Award. It was also shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Award and the Giller Prize. His third novel, Carnival, told from the perspective of a taxi driver, was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Award and won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. His work has been translated into 30 languages.

Miguel Syjuco is a Filipino writer, civil society advocate, and professor at New York University Abu Dhabi. His debut novel, Ilustrado, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year and won the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Palanca Awards Grand Prize, his country’s top literary honor. He has worked as a contributing opinion writer for The International New York Times, written for many of the world’s most respected publications, and spoken on Philippine politics and culture at the World Forum for Democracy and the World Economic Forum. He serves on the advisory councils of both the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, an arts residency program, and the Resilience Fund, a project by the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime to empower communities most threatened by criminality.

Cody Caetano is a writer of Anishinaabe and Portuguese descent and an off-reserve member of Pinaymootang First Nation. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto, where he wrote this memoir under the mentorship of Lee Maracle. Excerpts of Half-Bads in White Regalia earned him a 2020 Indigenous Voices Award for Unpublished Prose.

Tajja Isen is a writer, editor and voice actor. Her essays and criticism have appeared in dozens of outlets across the US and Canada. She is the editor in chief of Catapult magazine, the former digital editor of The Walrus and has also edited for Electric Literature. She is the coeditor of the essay anthology The World As We Knew It: Dispatches from a Changing Climate. A voice actor for more than two decades, Isen can be heard on such animated shows as Atomic Betty, The Berenstain Bears, Super Why!, Go, Dog. Go!, Jane and the Dragon, and many others.

David Demchuk has been writing for print, stage, digital and other media for nearly 40 years. His debut horror novel The Bone Mother, published in 2017, was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Amazon First Novel Award, the Toronto Book Award, the Kobzar Book Award and a Shirley Jackson Award in the Best Novel category. It won the 2018 Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic in the Adult Fiction category. It was listed in the Globe and Mail‘s 100 best books of 2017, came in at #22 in the National Post‘s top 99 books of the year and became a #1 bestseller on Amazon.ca.

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