Write on the French River

Our 2019 Instructors, Editors, and Special Guests




Helen Humphreys 
Author of 
The Reinvention of Love and An Evening Chorus

Helen Humphreys is the acclaimed author of over a dozen books. The sought-after mentor, teacher and consultant has been awarded the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Toronto Book Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. The Toronto Star calls her “one of this country’s most beautiful writers.” Helen has written several novels, four books of poetry, and four works of creative nonfiction. The Evening Chorus (2015) was released to critical acclaim, as was The Ghost Orchard: The Hidden History of the Apple in North America (2017). Helen’s latest novel, also from HarperCollins, is Machine Without Horses.

Born in Kingston upon Thames, England, Helen lives and writes in Kingston, Ontario.

For more information about Helen Humphreys, visit http://www.hhumphreys.com/.

Alison Pick
Author of Strangers with the Same Dream, Far to Go and more

Alison Pick’s best-selling novel Far To Go was nominated for the Man Booker Prize, and won the Canadian Jewish Book Award. Far To Go was a Top 10 Book of 2010 at NOW magazine and the Toronto Star, was published around the world to international acclaim, and has been translated into several languages. Alison won the 2002 Bronwen Wallace Award for most promising writer under 35 in Canada, back when The New Quarterly was featuring her early poetry. Critics are calling Alison’s latest novel, Strangers with the Same Dream, “brilliant,” “astonishing,” “riveting,” “ambitious” and “haunting.”

Alison Pick lives and writes in Toronto.

For more information about Alison, visit www.alisonpick.com.

Andrew Westoll
Author of The Riverbones and The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary

Andrew Westoll is “a born storyteller,” says none other than Dr. Jane Goodall. Andrew’s travel memoir, The Riverbones, is set in the jungles of Suriname, and draws on the year he studied wild troops of capuchin monkeys. His next book, The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary, the biography of a family of chimpanzees rescued from a biomedical research lab, won the 2012 RBC-Taylor Prize for Literary Nonfiction, was shortlisted for several book awards, and selected as a Book of the Year by The Globe and Mail, Amazon.ca, and Quill and Quire. His celebrated debut novel, The Jungle South of the Mountain, is about a lonely primatologist who’s spent too long in the rainforest.

Andrew teaches English and Creative Writing at the University of Toronto Scarborough, where he was selected a Professor of the Year by the Underground student newspaper. 

To learn more about Andrew Westoll, visit http://andrewwestoll.com.


Consulting Editors


Pamela Mulloy
Editor, The New Quarterly (TNQ)

Pamela Mulloy is TNQ’s award-winning editor and the director of the annual Wild Writers Literary Festival, in Waterloo, Ontario. Her debut novel, The Deserters, was published by Véhicule Press (2018); her short fiction has been published in the UK and Canada, and most recently in Polish(ed), an anthology of Polish Canadian Writing (Guernica Editions, 2017). She lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband and daughter.

To learn more about Pamela’s role as literary editor, visit www.tnq.ca.

Susan Scott
Lead nonfiction editor, The New Quarterly (TNQ)

Susan Scott is the editor of Body & Soul, a break-out collection of diverse women’s stories from Caitlin Press (2019). Her literary specialties are memoir and the well-wrought personal essay. Susan’s publishing and teaching speak to a lifelong passion for creative activism, community building and healing. Susan has been a TNQ editor since 2009 and on faculty at the Retreat since 2013.

To learn more about Susan Scott, visit susanlscott.twohornedbull.ca.

Susan is also your go-to person for the 2019 program. Send your queries and concerns to her via our Contact page.


Special Guests

This year’s special guests will help us tackle thorny questions around how and why to go public with a deeply private tale. What are the costs of speaking up and out, and who is counting? 

Lamees Al Ethari
Iraqi poet, memoirist, teacher

Artist, poet, and educator, Lamees is the author of From the Wounded Bank of the Tigris (Baseline, 2018) and a forthcoming memoir, Waiting for the Rain (Mawenzi Press). She teaches writing at the University of Waterloo, and serves as a consulting editor to TNQ.

To learn more about Lamees Al Ethari, visit https://uwaterloo.ca/english/people-profiles/lamees-al-ethari.

Sharon Bala
Novelist and finalist for 2018 CBC Reads

Sharon Bala was born in Dubai and raised in Ontario. The three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Arts and Letters Award now lives in St. John’s. Her critically acclaimed debut novel, The Boat People, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2018 and the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

To learn more about Sharon Bala, visit http://sharonbala.com/


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