2018 North Island Writers Conference


  • January 26 & 27, 2018
  • Co-sponsor: North Island College
  • Location: Tyee Building, North Island College – Comox Valley campus
  • Cost: $25 per session
  • Registration via NIC – see Registration tab


Friday night – January 26, 2018, Tyee Lounge, NIC campus     Open to public

Reception: 6:30 – 7:00pm
Keynote speaker: 7:00 – 7:30pm
Book sales / social: 7:30 – 8:30pm

Keynote Speaker:
Bev Sellars – Haig-Brown Writer-in-residence 2017-2018

Bev SellarsBev Sellars is a former Chief and Councillor of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia. First elected chief of Xat’sull in 1987, a position she held from 1987-1993 and then from 2009-2015. She also worked as a community advisor for the BC Treaty Commission. Ms. Sellars served as the representative for the Secwepemc communities on the Cariboo Chilcotin Justice Inquiry in the early 1990s. Ms. Sellars has spoken out on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resources exploitation in her region.

Ms. Sellars is the author of They Called Me Number One, a memoir of her childhood experience in the Indian residential school system and its effects on three generations of women in her family, published in 2013 by Talon Books. The book won the 2014 George Ryga Award for Social Awareness, was shortlisted for the 2014 Hubert Evans Non-Fiction, and was a finalist for the 2014 Burt Award for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Literature. Her book, Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival, published in 2016 by Talon Books, looks at the history of Indigenous rights in Canada from an Indigenous perspective. Sellars has a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from the University of British Columbia. She is currently Chair of First Nations Women Advocating Responsible Mining (FNWARM) and serves as a Senior Advisor to the Indigenous Leadership Initiative (www.ilinationhood.ca).

In the 2017-2018 Residency, Bev Sellars will be focusing on reaching out to the various Indigenous communities of the North Island in an attempt to create stronger dialogue around issues of Reconciliation.  In addition she will also be working closely with SD72 to provide opportunities for students to learn more about contemporary Indigenous affairs.

Saturday – January 27, 2018
8:30am to 4:30pm

8:30 – 8:45: Registration, refreshments, book sales, networking
8:45 – 10:45: Workshop and panel sessions – Tyee Hall – 201, 202, 203, 204, 205
10:45 – 11:00: Break – refreshments, books sales, networking
11:00 – 1:00: Workshop and panel sessions – Tyee Hall – 201, 202, 203, 204, 205
1:00 – 2:00: Break – lunch, book sales, networking
2:00 – 4:00: Workshop and panel sessions – Tyee Hall – 201, 202, 203, 204, 205
(Please note: three workshops run from 1:30 – 4:30)

Workshops & Panels: 8:45 – 10:45

Tyee 201: Songwriting – Judy Wing
Tyee 202: Mystery – Bruce Burrows
Tyee 203: Self-Publishing – Craig Shemilt
Tyee 204: Short Story – Judy LeBlanc
Tyee 205: Creative Non-fiction – Bernice Friesen, Betty Donaldson, Kim Bannerman

Workshops & Panels: 11:00 – 1:00

Tyee 201: From Concept to Completion – Dave Young, Betty Annand, David Buckland
Tyee 202: Sci-Fi / Fantasy – B.V. Bayly
Tyee 203: Playwriting – Kymme Patrick
Tyee 204: Using History in Your Writing – Jeanette Taylor, Rick James, Howard Stewart
Tyee 205: Memoir – Terrance James

Workshops & Panels: 2:00 – 4:00

Tyee 201: Memory to Manuscript – Marlet Ashley  (Time: 1:30 – 4:30)
Tyee 202: Young Adult – Jayne Barnard
Tyee 203: The Myth of Writers Block – Junie Swadron  (Time: 1:30 – 4:30)
Tyee 204: Children’s Literature – Mary Murphy, Susan Ketchen, Clyde Woolman
Tyee 205: Yes, You Need an Editor – Trevor McMonagle  (Time: 1:30 – 4:30)

Panelists will discuss their background and experience with the genre. Each will respond to set questions and read from their work. There will be time for audience questions.
(Please look under “Presenter bios” tab for more information about each presenter.)

Children’s Literature Panel:  (2 hours)

  • Presenter: Clyde Woolman
  • Presenter: Mary Murphy
  • Presenter: Susan Ketchen

Local History Panel: Using History in Your Writing (2 hours)

  • Presenter: Howard Stewart
  • Presenter: Jeanette Taylor
  • Presenter: Rick James

Creative Non-fiction Panel:  (2 hours)

  • Presenter: Bernice Friesen
  • Presenter: Betty Donaldson
  • Presenter: Kim Bannerman

From Concept to Completion Panel:  (2 hours)

  • Presenter: Betty Annand
  • Presenter: David F. Buckland
  • Presenter: David Young

(Please look under “Presenter bios” tab for more information about each author.)

Memory to Manuscript – Marlet Ashley  (3 hours) – This will be a participatory workshop focusing on fiction it will be limited to 10 participants.In this workshop, we will dig deep into our memories, our first memories and work with the emotions evoked by that memory. Those memories that have stayed with us over time have remained for a reason. As writers, we can explore the emotions evoked by those memories and use them in our writing. We will move from memory to emotion to story in this workshop.  Bring writing implements (paper, pens or tablets, laptops) and be prepared to share work with others.

The Myth of Writers Block – Junie Swadron  (3 hours) – This is a three hour experiential and participatory workshop, offering the attendees fool-proof and often hilarious solutions to getting even the biggest skeptics writing…should they dare to tell the truth.

Self-publishing: What it Takes to Produce a Great Book – Craig Shemilt  (2 hours) – Why are authors turning to self-publishing? Craig will go over some ideas to solve your book printing requirements and how easy it is to self-publish. He will discuss how to create a great book from editing through to design and formatting. Craig will also provide marketing ideas and tools, as well as information on e-books and the book market.

Yes, You Need an Editor – Trevor McMonagle  (3 hours) – This is an interactive workshop for writers working on a manuscript of any length and genre. It is divided into three sections:
First – What will an editor do? What are different types of editing? How do you find an editor? What about a contract? Rates? What is PEAVI? What do publishers expect? What is a query letter? What are copy-editing marks? I will address these questions and others that arise.
Second – Writers of all levels of experience and skill need an editor, but before they engage such a person, there are many things that can be learned about writing and bookmaking from the careful observance of what others have done. Looking carefully at a number of current books will constitute the second part of this workshop.
Third – Each participant will submit up to one page of a current manuscript along with a maximum of three questions of any sort on that selection. (Submission info to come.)

Short Story – Judy LeBlanc  (2 hours)

Mystery – Bruce Burrows  (2 hours)

Sci-Fi and Fantasy – B.V. Bayly  (2 hours) – This workshop will explore how the marketplace is shifting, the increasing cross-over with other genres, the decline of hard science fiction and fantasy. Bayly will talk about the realities of being a sci-fi author and his personal experiences. Learn about the necessary evil of doing your own marketing, traditional vs indie publishing, building a world with plausible science, the use of technology in sci-fi – ray guns vs realism – and characters that span time.

Young Adult – Jayne Barnard  (2 hours) – Writing Through the Young Adult Lens – From the best-selling teen novel of all time to recent popular titles, this interactive session examines the defining characteristics of YA fiction. Explore the writing styles, characters, themes, and plots most wanted by publishers today, and those most hated by agents, editors, and readers. Includes character and plot development exercises.

Memoir – Terrance James  (2 hours) – This session will cover the psychology of memoir writing (motivation, truth, risk, consequences), the mechanics of putting together a good memoir (story, research, embellishments), and the all-important question of how to publish.

Songwriting – Judy Wing  (2 hours)

Playwriting – Kymme Patrick  (2 hours)


Presenter bios

(Listed alphabetically by author’s first name.)

Bernice Friesen, B.F.A., B.Ed. – Creative Non-fiction panel 
Bernice Friesen grew up on a farm in Saskatchewan and now makes her home on Hornby Island and in Comox, BC. She started her career as a visual artist, with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in printmaking. After receiving her B.Ed., she followed portraiture straight into writing – getting inside the head instead of representing the surface.

Short fiction: The Seasons Are Horses (Thistledown Press, 1995) – won the Vicky Metcalf Award for best young adult short story in Canada
Poetry: Sex, Death, and Naked Men (Coteau Books, 1998)
Novel: The Book of Beasts (Coteau Books, 2007) – shortlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust of Canada Fiction Award, was a Globe and Mail’s top 100, and won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction.


Betty Annand – From Concept to Completion panel 
The youngest of five children born to Bert and Nellie White, Betty’s family moved to Bevan, then known as Courtenay, when she was ten. She attended school in Courtenay and worked in the Courtenay Post Office. In 1949, she married Art Annand whose family were early pioneers to the Comox Valley. Through their many friends, and her husband’s family background, Betty developed a keen interest in the history of the Comox Valley. She still lives in the house on Arden Rd she and Art built in 1956.

Over the years, Betty has worked many volunteer hours at her church, St. Joseph’s General Hospital in Comox, and local theatre. In honour of Courtenay’s centenary celebrated in 2015, she was one of the honourees awarded “Citizen of the Century” for her volunteer work.

Betty has written many comedy plays for the local seniors’ drama club and three historical books., , and Voices from Courtenay Past. The Girl from Old Nichol, published December 2017, was my first novel. My second novel, The Woman from Dover, a sequel to The Girl from Old Nichol, will be launched on January 21, 2018 in Courtenay.

Growing up in the White House (Rising Sun Publications, 1999); Voices from Bevan (Rising Sun Publications, 2002); Voices from Courtenay Past (Victoria Bindery, 2007)
Novels: The Girl from Old Nichol (Amberjack Publishing, 2017); The Woman from Dover (Amberjack Publishing, 2018)

www.amberjackpublishing.com  (Website is currently experiencing difficulties.)

Betty Donaldson, Ph.D – Creative Non-fiction panel 
Dr. E. Lisbeth (Betty) Donaldson is Professor Emerita, University of Calgary. As a scholar, she is widely published in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters. As a freelance writer, Betty has written magazine and newspaper articles, CBC scripts, and poems. Betty has also served on many executive boards of professional, creative, non-governmental, and private organizations.

She lived seasonally in the Comox Valley from 2002-2006 while writing her most recent novel and became a permanent resident in 2007.

Betty has received numerous awards for her plays and academic research. She was also honoured with the 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal for her book: Coming of Age: A Century of Educating Alberta Girls and Women (Detselig Enterprises, 2004).

Coming of Age: A Century of Educating Alberta Girls and Women (Detselig Enterprises, 2004) – Betty was honoured with the 2005 Alberta Centennial Medal for this book; The McLoughlin Correspondents; With Great Affection, Letters between a brother and sister during the fur trade era (Athena Press, 2006)
Plays: Ian and Irving (1980) – Winner of Alberta 75th Play Writers Competition; Three Squares and a Triangle (1982); Pauline Johnson: Proud Patriot and Poet (Maenad Theatre Production, 1993); Images of the Goddess (Maenad Theatre Production, 1995)

Bruce Burrows – Mystery workshop

My professional writing career started in 1994, when I was asked to write a column for the North Island Gazette about commercial fishing, which was a trade that I practiced at the time. These columns were collected into a self-published book, Blood on the Decks, Scales on the Rails.

In 2002, unemployed and seeking some quick cash, I began writing a murder mystery. I finished it in 2011 and The River Killers was published by Touchwood Editions. The second book of this trilogy, The Fourth Betrayal, came out in 2014. I am working on final episode.


B.V. Bayly – Sci-Fi and Fantasy workshop
B.V. Bayly was raised in Calgary and moved to the Comox Valley in 2007. Never one to conform to the traditional nine-to-five work model, he has held a variety of jobs. He has a passion for creating and telling stories of science fiction. He has a degree in marketing and was mentored in writing by New York Times best-selling author Kathy Tyers.

B.V. Bayly’s Eden’s Ore series stories take place in a dystopian world starving for energy. When a new source is discovered, with its ability to produce unlimited supply of energy, the cost to keep the lights on tears the world apart. War has come and there is a struggle to survive in the wave of a new world order sweeping across the globe.

Books: Eden’s Ore: Secrets (Promontory Press, 2014); Eden’s Ore: Revelations (Promontory Press, 2015); Eden’s Ore: Judgement (2015); Eden’s Ore: Uprising (2016); Eden’s Ore: Atonement (2016)


Clyde Woolman, M.Ed. – Children’s Literature panel
Clyde Woolman grew up in Burnaby and attended SFU and UBC for a Masters degree in Education. A long career in public education as teacher, counsellor, principal, and superintendent of schools was the original catalyst for articles published in the Canadian School Executive Journal. He started his career in Gold River before he moved to Revelstoke for a vice-principal position, eventually becoming principal of the school.

Returning to Vancouver Island, he was principal of the old Courtenay Junior School on Harmston, Highland Secondary, Vanier Secondary and Ecole Puntledge Park Elementary. During his education career in the Comox Valley school district he was also Assistant Superintendent and, for six years, Superintendent of Schools. Since that time he has become engaged in writing and presented over sixty author visits to schools on Vancouver Island, Burnaby, Abbotsford, and Kelowna.

Books: Smugglers at the Lighthouse (Moosehide Books, 2010); Yurek: Edge of Extinction (Moosehide Books, 2013); The Shadow of Gold – start of a new series now at a publisher for consideration; Hepting’s Road (Friessen Press, 2018).


Craig Shemilt – Self-publishing workshop 
Craig Shemilt has been in the printing, manufacturing and sales industry for more than 40 years. He is a partner in Island Blue Print and Printorium Bookworks, a family-run business that is 105 years old. Craig presently is the account manager for Island Blue Book Printing and has a client base of more than 3000 authors and 200 publishing companies across Canada. Island Blue Book Printing has more than 13,000 book titles archived to their system.


David F. Buckland, M.A. – From Concept to Completion panel
David F. Buckland is an author and blogger with a graduate degree in Vedic Science. He has a professional history in information technology and new media. During the dot-com boom, he launched what became a web applications company for construction document management. He then assisted companies making technology choices. Most recently, he has been researching and writing on human potential and post-personal stages of development.

David has taken multiple workshops on book publishing, has published hundreds of articles on-line, has self-published Our Natural Potential in print and e-book formats through multiple distributors, and has written articles on preparing and publishing your work.

Books: Our Natural Potential (Davidya Publishing, 2017)


David Young, B.A. – From Concept to Completion panel 
Dave Young was born in Port Alberni, BC where he spent summers working on the boats. After a brief sojourn to start on a law degree, he returned to the boats and earned his Master Home Trade Marine Certificate.

Dave worked pretty much his whole career on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. By staying in one area, he witnessed many changes over a period of some 50 years. Now retired, Dave started to write about the history of the area and of the company in which he became half owner and senior master. His impetus was to record first-hand knowledge about a disappearing life style to share with his children and grandchildren.

Dave approached Harbour Publishing as being the logical publisher for this sort of story and was not disappointed. As a first timer to the publishing world, he kept track of events as they unfolded.

Books: The Uchuck Years (Harbour Publishing, 2012)


Howard Stewart, Ph.D. – Local History panel 
Howard Stewart was born and raised on the shores of the North Salish Sea. He earned a Ph.D. from UBC in geography and has worked for the United Nations, local and national governments, international agencies, communities, NGOs and industries around the world. He has contributed to numerous periodicals, and professional and academic publications. He lives on Denman Island.

Books: Views of the Salish Sea: One hundred and fifty years of change around the Strait of Georgia (Harbour Publishing 2017)


Jayne Barnard – Young Adult

Longtime crime and mystery writer, and author of the steampunk Maddie Hatter Adventures.


Jeanette Taylor – Local History panel 
Jeanette Taylor has an infectious passion for the stories of the people and places of the BC coast, many of which she collected in her years with the BC Archives and the Museum at Campbell River. Latterly, she was the executive director of the Campbell River Art Gallery.

Jeanette now coordinates The Scribes Comprehensive Writing Services collective, for whom she writes a blog, and mentors aspiring writers through workshops, one-on-one tutoring (locally and internationally) and manuscript reviews. Jeanette is a member of the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society and Federation of BC Writers. She is also a long-time member of a writers’ group.

She has four books in print, three of them with Harbour Publishing of Madeira Park, BC and her current project is a biography of a Cariboo Gold Rush-era immigrant. Jeanette writes from the office of her 1893 log home on Quadra Island, BC, overlooking gardens, orchards and the sea. When not writing, or digging for details about some intriguing character of the past, Jeanette’s favourite place to be is pulled up in her kayak on a remote beach – getting set to explore some long-forgotten homestead or aboriginal village site.

Books: River City, A History of Campbell River & the Discovery Islands (Harbour Publishing, 1999); Exploring Quadra Island, A Guide to Hiking Trails and Heritage Sites (Quadra Island Recreation Society, 2001); Tidal Passages, A History of the Discovery Islands (Harbour Publishing, 2008); The Quadra Story, A History of Quadra Island (Harbour Publishing, 2009)
Anthologies: Raincoast Chronicles 23, Stories & History of the BC Coast (Harbour Publishing, 2015)


Judy LeBlanc – Short Story
Judy LeBlanc’s short stories have been published in numerous literary journals including Filling Station, The Malahat Review, Prism, Antigonish Review and Grain. In 2017, she was long-listed for the Prism Short Fiction contest, and in 2015 she won the Islands Fiction contest. In 2012, she won the Antigonish Review’s Sheldon Currie Fiction contest and was long-listed for the CBC short story prize. She has written reviews for The Coastal Spectator and the Malahat Review.

She teaches English and Creative Writing at North Island College and is a founding member and former artistic director for the Fat Oyster Reading Series. Promise of Water, her collection of short stories, was published by Oolichan Press and released in fall, 2017.

Books: Promise of Water (Oolichan Press, 2017)


Judy Wing – Songwriting  
Judy Wing is a multi-genre songwriter and performer from the Comox Valley. She has recorded five albums of original music. In 2014, Judy was awarded the Vancouver Island Music Award Song of the Year in the Roots music category. She also received nominations for Rock/Pop song of the year in 2014 and Female Songwriter of the Year in 2007.


Junie Swadron – The Myth of Writer’s Block 
Junie Swadron is an author, playwright, psychotherapist, international speaker, and writing coach assisting writers to become authors. She has spent the last twenty years guiding thousands of students in writing and sharing their life stories through a deep and powerful process that completely transformed how they experienced their life journey.

Books: Re-Write Your Life, A Transformational Guide to Writing and Healing the Stories of Our Lives; Write Where You Are: A Book For Those Who Dream Of Writing But Don’t Know Where To Begin
Play: Madness, Masks and Miracles: A Play to Help Dispel Myths and Stigmas about Mental Illness – has won international acclaim.


Kim Bannerman – Creative Non-fiction panel 
Kim was raised in the Comox Valley and Vancouver Island is where she sets many of her stories. She writes short stories, novels, and screenplays from her home in Cumberland, BC. Her work has appeared in journals like Room of One’s Own and Parabola magazine, and in anthologies like the ground-breaking Paraspheres (2006), 100 Stories for Queensland (2011), She’s Shameless (2009), Wolf-Girls (2012), Girl at the End of the World (2014), In the Company of Animals (2014), In An Unknown Country (2016), and Nothing (2018).

Kim and her husband, Shawn Pigott, run Fox&Bee Studio, a video production company.

Books: Bucket of Blood (Fox&Bee Studio, 2012); The Tatooed Wolf (Hic Dragones Press, 2014); Mark of the Magpie (Fox&Bee Studio, 2014); The Agony of Alice (Fox&Bee Studio, 2017)


Kymme Patrick – Playwriting

Kymme Patrick is the founder and Artistic Director of TheatreWorks Centre for Performing Arts. Since graduating from the American Academy of Performing Arts in Pasadena, California, Kymme has become an award-winning actor, director and teacher. She has created numeours age-appropriate scripts to suit the various skill levels of her students. Most recently, she has focused on her love of history and has developed historical dramas which combine education and entertainment.

Kymme has won several Theatre BC Best Original Scripts, notably Threads of Change, Asylum and Coal Town Remembered. Recently Kymme was presented the prestigious Donna Lamb Award for outstanding contributions to community theatre, and Comox Valley’s Unsung Hero Award for 2017.


Marlet Ashley, B.A., B.Ed., M.A. – Memory to Manuscript workshop – Fiction
Marlet was born in Windsor, Ontario where she studied and taught English and Creative Writing at the University of Windsor, publishing short stories and poetry in a variety of literary publications including Taproot, Generation, and Wayzgoose. She was privileged to study under such authors as Alistair MacLeod and Eugene McNamara. Prior to this, she was an arts and crafts columnist for The Windsor Star.

After moving to Vancouver, BC in 1995 she continued to teach English at Kwantlen Polytechnic University where she became the Canadian Author of the textbook Literature and the Writing Process, Pearson, Prentice Hall. She was a semi-finalist for the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award (2012) for her short story “A Garden of Marigolds.” Currently, she is working with artist-illustrator Kate Brown on a number of children’s books in a series titled Revelry on the Estuary.

Books: Revelry on the Estuary series

  • Interlopers – Book 1 (Ashley Brown Books, 2012)
  • Trumpeters Tribulations – Book 2 (Ashley Brown Books, 2013)
  • Penelope Piper’s Great Adventure – Book 3 (Ashley Brown Books, 2013)
  • Henri Sings the Blues – Book 4 (Ashley Brown Books, 2010)
  • Pirates Life for Gabby – Book 5 (Ashley Brown Books, 2017)
  • Must Be Christmas (Ashley Brown Books, 2012)


Mary Murphy – Children’s Literature panel
The Alchemy of Words – A Journey into the Psyche of an Irish Writer.”

This quote best describes the experience one has when listening to Irish-born Mary Murphy speak about her journey as a creative artist and the ease at which she enters the realm of children’s literature.

Besides writing books for children, Mary is an accomplished singer/songwriter and has authored ten musical CDs. She regularly tours as a musician, which has included being a featured singer for appearances by the Irish Rover founder, Will Millar. Mary is also the co-owner of Dove Creek Recording Studios in Courtenay, BC.

Books: The Emerald Diaries: Secrets of an Irish Clan (Dove Creek Studios, 2009); Away with the Fairies: Book One (Dove Creek Studios, 2012); Away with the Fairies: Book Two (Dove Creek Studios, 2015)

An audio CD is included with both Book One and Book Two of the Away with the Fairies featuring Mary reading the tales and singing songs.


Rick James, B.A. – Local History panel
Born and raised on Vancouver Island, Rick has spent nearly his entire life on Canada’s West Coast and many of those years out on the water. He started out at an early age sports fishing with his father and later moved on to crewing aboard a salmon seiner, working out of Sointula and Alert Bay.

Rick has contributed articles to numerous magazines, including British Columbia Magazine, The Beaver: Canada’s History Magazine, The Sea Chest: Journal of the Puget Sound Maritime Historical Society, and Pacific Yachting.

Books: Ghost Ships of Royston; Historic Shipwrecks of the Sunshine Coast (co-author); Historic Shipwrecks of the Central Coast (co-author); Raincoast Chronicles 21: West Coast Wrecks & Other Maritime Tales (Harbour Publishing)


Susan Ketchen, M.Sc. – Children’s Literature panel 
Susan Ketchen is the author of the four-volume Born That Way series, published by Oolichan Books. Her early writing won a Canadian national short story competition and was published in Miss Chatelaine magazine. She has also had numerous humour articles published in the Journal of Strategic and Systemic Therapies.

Susan has a M.Sc. in Marriage and Family Therapy, and was a therapist in private practice for many years. Her fictional characters are multidimensional and explore complex, realistic relationships. She has been an active equestrian for most of her life, currently living on a hobby farm in the Comox Valley with as many horses as she can manage, several chickens, too many roosters, two black cats, and a tolerant husband.

Books: Born That Way series:

  • Born That Way (Oolichan Books, 2009) .
  • Made That Way (Oolichan Books, 2010)
  • Grows That Way (Oolichan Books, 2012)
  • Rides That Way (Oolichan Books, 2017)


Terrance James, Ph.D. – Memoir 
Terrance James has written four books on a rare genetic condition (Prader-Willi syndrome), two educational manuals, written/edited three books of local history, one book of memoir, and two family histories.  He and his wife operate Poplar Publishing, a home-based business, that has published a dozen niche market books for first time authors in the Comox Valley in the last six years. These are all books of memoir or autobiography written by seniors.

Trevor McMonagle – Yes, You Need an Editor
A long-time resident of Campbell River, Trevor McMonagle grew up in Manitoba, his literary sensibilities nurtured by the traditional cadences of the King James Version of the Bible and the modern cadences of poets such as Al Purdy. Nearly twenty years ago, he and his wife were instrumental in establishing Words on the Water and the Haig-Brown writer-in-residence program. Following his professional career in the high school English classroom, he created The Right Words Editing, a business through which he has worked on projects ranging from resumes and cover letters to full-length books. His highest values in writing: clarity, honesty and economy.



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