The traditional homelands of the Saugeen Ojibwe have been home to my family since the 1800s when they (un)settled the Queen’s Bush, in the Great Lakes region of what is now Ontario, Canada.

My field is the well-wrought essay and the memoir. Creation and critique.

I also work with artists, activists, scholars and with writers at all skill levels, helping them to release powerful, disruptive stories. 

I serve as the nonfiction editor of The New Quarterly and associate director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. In 2018 I stepped up to direct the annual Write on the French River Creative Writing Retreat.

I am a member of Native Immigrant arts collective and a proud member of the CNFC (Canadian Nonfiction Collective).

Also in 2018:

January: I’ll be returning to Meteque Gallery in the heart of Montreal’s NDG.

February 22nd: RBC Taylor Prize professional development workshop with IFOA director Geoffrey Taylor and this year’s mentees. Thanks to Su Hutchinson for making this important conversation possible.

March 3rd: Spiritual Memoir 2.0 workshop with Eufemia Fantetti, as part of the beloved University of Guelph Writers Workshop series.

March 15th: Nonfiction panel with Emily Urquhart and Tasneem Jamal, as part of Emily’s tenure as Edna Staebler Writer-in-Residence at WLU. (Psst: we all have “Edna Staebler” in our bios!)

Spring: The wayward bride in Appalachia. In 1973 I eloped to North Carolina tobacco country, where I wed, in the woods, a young man I hardly knew. I’m returning with my daughter, Toronto filmmaker Cailleah Scott-Grimes, to look for those who sheltered (and married) me way back when.

Spring: Adjudicating “Best Editorial Package” for the National Magazine Awards. Winners will be announced at the gala in early June (Toronto).

Summer: Adjudicating TNQ’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest with Tasneem Jamal and colleagues. TNQ’s contest winners are announced in August and published in our fall issue.

Fall: Workshop for the Quebec Writers Federation on how to apply to lit mags–the process demystified, indeed.

Also, this fall Native-Immigrant will complete another dress; to learn more, visit: Native Immigrant VII: Tionnhekwen: The Seeds of Life.

November: Moderating, hosting…another Wild Writers Festival, year 7! Stay tuned for details.


Highlights of 2017:

October: Launch of Foment, literary magazine cued to the Ottawa Writers Festival. Honoured to write the afterword for this year’s edition.

September: “Greeting fields.” A generous grant from the Region of Waterloo Arts Fund gave me time in ancestral territory, researching the Bruce County archives in Southampton to write the capstone chapter of my book, Sainted Dirt.

June 20-24th: Writer-in-residence at Gallery Métèque in Montreal (NDG) to celebrate the start of Native Immigrant VII: Tionnhekwen: The Seeds of Life. The residency includes a writing workshop (11-1 PM, June 24th), as well as meetings with artists, writers, publishers and activists to discuss the role of writing in cultural collaboration. I will also be joining collective members in gathering oral histories around Dress # 7, The Seeds of Life installation.

Writing Retreat to work on Sainted Dirt. The chapter, “Zion’s Children,” was long-listed in the CNFC’s recent contest. Thanks to the contest organizers and to judges willing to take risks on my unorthodox saga about eloping to a commune deep in Appalachia.

Also, Body & Soul: Creative Nonfiction for Seekers and Skeptics showcases extraordinary original work by diverse women writers from around the country. What an honour to be editing this anthology. Alison Pick penned the foreword, which will also appear in TNQ 145 (winter 2018). More details in an upcoming post.

April 28th: Arts & Literary Magazines Summit, Toronto. A chance to schmooze with colleagues in person. With 60+ lit mags (and those are the ones in English) across the country, it’s a challenge, keeping up with the surge of changes in the industry. Thanks to this year’s organizers and presenters.

April 20th: announcing the shortlist for this year’s National Magazine Awards. I had the pleasure of serving as one of three judges for the Best New Magazine Writer. We have incredible talent in this country. My best to all whose names were in the running. Keep digging. The work you do is vital. We need your voice.

Ongoing: TNQ’s diversity project began with introducing emerging writers from a broad range of backgrounds to the trials of breaking into publishing. Jagtar Atwal, Leonarda Carranza and Tamara Jong, in particular, have been our guides since 2016, when we really questioned whose works we were publishing, and why. Anna Ling Kaye, guest editor for TNQ’s summer issue (no. 143), as well as TNQ’s Consulting Editors Lamees Al Ethari and Tasneem Jamal have also been crucial to this process.

You can read more about the project at TNQ’s blog, under The Back Story.

Ongoing: TNQ’s nonfiction feature, Soundings, showcases innovations in spiritual memoir. To date we’ve featured work by Carleigh Baker, Emily McKibbonK.D. Miller, and Zarqa Nawaz. Forthcoming: Dora DueckSue Goyette, Laura LeggeAlison Pick, and more. Send your queries to editor@tnq.ca.