Here are the 40 Writers that participated in the 2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon in alphabetical order (using last names).
Thank you for digging deep into your pockets and supporting these fantastic writers for this amazing fund-raising event…we all appreciated it!
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Julie.
Kate Arms-Roberts is a freelance writer, theatre director, creativity coach, and certified Writing Circle Facilitator. Writing about other people’s lives keeps her sane in the face of her own life with four kids, including a set of triplets, and two needy black cats. Her fiction ranges from YA urban fantasy to adult literary fiction. She is an active member of the Writer’s Community of Durham Region (WCDR). Her writing has appeared online in The Creativity Post, The Artist’s Road, and An Intense Life. Kate’s short story, “Those Who Wait,” appeared in The Word Weaver.
I am currently a stay-at-home mom to a beautiful two-year-old daughter named Abby. I have always enjoyed writing but have decided to take myself and my writing a little more seriously. I hope to one day become published. I have a wonderful and supportive husband who seems to understand my sudden whims, which is awesome, because they are many! We live in Pickering on Frenchman’s Bay and I am loving life!
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Samantha.
Hey all, I’m married and a mother of two teenage boys. I have lived in Muskoka for 26 years now. I went back to school a few years ago to upgrade my spelling, math, etc., but had to leave as I got a full-time job working as a substitute teacher, and I love it.I recently found out that I could become a writer. Let me tell you it shocked me, but I do enjoy it, when I have the time. This is my second year at the MNM and I can’t wait. Here are a few things I’m interested in and like to do: paranormal (watch every TV show possible), gardening, fishing, bingo, and found out last year, I can rock a cape too. LOL! Hope you’ve enjoyed a glimpse into my life.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Nora.
Nancy Beal is a freelance writer of many different inks. From corporate communications to journalism and everything in between, Nancy is creatively non-fictional. There’s another side to this writer and that is in the freedom of fiction… so, although published many thousands of times, she is still a “virgin” where fiction is concerned.
Paula Boon has been part of the marathon for 10 years now. The convenor this year, her past roles have included winner, runner-up, organizing committee member, co-convenor and judge liaison. When not organizing or attending the MNM, Paula teaches creative writing to the lovely students at the Muskoka Montessori School, works hard toward her dream of being traditionally published, completes freelance writing and editing assignments, and enjoys life with her husband and son.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Paula.
Lenore Butcher fended off her first zombie horde at the age of 12 when they overran the kibbutz where she was living… okay, not really. Lenore is a mother of two from a small town in southwestern Ontario. She is no stranger to timeframe-specific literary contests, having successfully finished NaNoWriMo many times over and having also finished the Labour Day Three Day Novel contest three times. Her first entry netted her a top ten worldwide finish.
Her first novel, Dead Girls, Dogs and Ponies was published in both paperback and e-book format by a small press in Toronto. She still lives in the neighbourhood she grew up in, along with her loving husband, her awesome kids and one very neurotic cat.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Lenore.
Michael Codato2014 represents my third year participating in the Muskoka Novel Marathon. This gathering has quickly become my most highly-anticipated yearly event and has easily emerged as the high point of my slowly-emerging writing lifestyle. I was fortunate to achieve an excellent result last year in 2013 and hope to build on that success this year. Despite the fact I only see my fellow returning participants once every twelve months for a few days at the venue, the encouragement and support that flow from the MNM continue to inspire me throughout the remainder of the year.
I continue to refine the manuscripts I’ve previously completed and hope to be ready to publish electronically or traditionally within the near future. Although I’ve written noir-style mysteries almost exclusively to date, my hope is to try something new for this year’s marathon, to challenge myself in the spirit of the event. A personal website is forthcoming and I continue to participate in several other annual writing events and short-story contests.
This year will mark Cheryl Cooper‘s sixth novel marathon! Having signed up for the very first one in 2002, and subsequently been astounded by how many pages she could write when the responsibilities of house and home were turned over to her husband, she happily participated again in 2004, 2005, 2012 and 2013. Her first novel, Come Looking for Me (Blue Butterfly Books, 2010), set on the high seas during the War of 1812, had its beginnings in the 2004 marathon. Her sequel, Second Summer of War, was just released by Dundurn Press in February 2014. She promises Lori Twining to give some serious consideration to dressing up and taking part in the traditional Saturday night hijinks!
Cheryl’s Author Page: Click here to visit her page on Facebook.
Connie Di Pietro-Sparacino of Brooklin, Ontario, is an award-winning author and slam poet. She is a married, busy mom of four. A long-time member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR), she makes time to pursue her passion for writing by contributing to and hosting a weekly writer’s circle. Connie is currently seeking publication for her first novel, while hard at work on a new manuscript.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Connie.
Alison Doucette is a 19-year-old biomedical engineering student. She first learned of the Muskoka Novel Marathon from its co-founder, Martin Avery, in 2011, and has been a participant for the last three years. Alison loves writing fantasy and horror and has finished several stories in those genres (which are currently hidden in her room . . . somewhere), but is considering dabbling in contemporary fiction this year. She is looking forward to seeing all her fellow marathoners again!
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Alison.
Tobin Elliott’s been writing so long there may be graffiti inside his mother’s womb. His wife and kids believe he’s weird, but thankfully, put up with him (mostly). Tobin’s a horror author and has had three novellas published: Vanishing Hope, The Wrong, and the third Sam Truman mystery, Soft Kiss, Hard Death. He’s also had a short story published in the Whispered Words anthology.
When he’s not coming up with ugly stories about bad people doing horrible things (stories even his own mother won’t read, by the way), he teaches creative writing for both Trent University and Durham College. Tobin also blogs about all sorts of things that irritate him. He’s also been a judge for both the Crime Writers of Canada’s Arthur Ellis Awards and the Canadian Authors Association’s Award for Fiction.
Tobin’s a proud founding board member of the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County (WCSC), as well as a regular attendee at its sister organization, the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR). And, of course, he participates in the Muskoka Novel Marathon each year. This year will be his third.
Sometimes, he even sleeps.
Pat Flewwelling is returning again this year to reclaim her crown as the fastest and furiousest by taking back the Most Prolific Award, having won it a few years in a row (but not last year, when she was busy being a writing buddy instead). Written in 2009 as her first MNM project, the sf/horror novel Helix is being published October 2014 through Tyche Books.
Pat has several other titles in print as well, including the true crime/biography Judge Not, a real-life account of a man falsely accused by two dogged and corrupt RCMP officers. Her short story The Great Inevitable will be published in the anthology Expiration Date in November 2014. Her dieselpunk (historical science fiction) series The Fog of Dockside City was launched as a means of helping to raise funds for literacy programs. The second in the series, The Ghastly Bargain, launches June 2014, and she will be writing the third in the series, Tempest Rising as this year’s Muskoka novel. All profits of the 2013 pilot novel, The Obliteration Machine, go toward literacy programs like the ones offered by YMCA Simcoe Muskoka and by Le Centre d’alphabétisation / The Centre for Literacy in Montreal. Other works she’s completed and hoping to publish soon include historical crime (Mummer’s the Word, and Lady Butcher and the Accidental Saint, which was judged Best Adult Fiction in MNM 2011), historical sf (Her Poison Voice) and literary (Latchkey). She is currently working on the sequel to Helix.
Sue-Anne FoxI cannot now express why I enjoy writing or feel the need to write. I just do. I wrote a short novel in the sixth grade and have been dreaming up stories and characters in my mind ever since. In recent years, I have started and stopped several writing projects (mostly fiction and poetry) but have been unable to find the time to complete any one project—life always seems to get in the way. I heard very positive reviews from some of the 2013 MNM participants and I am excited to join in my first MNM this year. A focused 72 hours will surely provide a good amount of quiet time for writing.
I grew up in Montreal and now reside in Toronto. When I’m not writing, I work as a lawyer for TD Bank Group, and enjoy travelling the globe with my husband.
Having served for several years as co-chair of AIDSbeat, an annual rock ‘n’ roll charity bash organized by Toronto’s legal community in support of the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, I am no stranger to the world of fundraising. I look forward to using my experience to help raise funds for the YMCA.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Sue-Anne.
I chanced upon last year’s event and I am thrilled to be participating in the event this year. I’ve been writing for many years, since I was in elementary school. Early on, I wrote poetry, plays, and short stories. I was my unofficial high school poet, entering contests, writing a lot, and giving readings. Some of my poetry was published. After college I stopped writing as much as I had been. I went on to have five kids and life became very busy! I’ve gotten back into writing (mostly short stories), over the past several years, and I am in a writers’ group. I look forward to the intense focus of the event!
Alison HallThis is my third novel marathon. The first time I made a mess in my computer—one novel turned out to be three! The second time I actually came in runner-up in the adult category. It’s amazing to have the uninterrupted hours to write and to fully immerse myself in a project.
I am a piano teacher and love to write in my spare time. I am an active member of the Writers’ Community of Simcoe County (WCSC) and Owen Sound’s A-Scribe Writing Group. I’ve won two short story contests and continue to improve my skills in the hopes of completing a novel someday.
Deborah Lynn Harkness is a published poet, a member of the Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR), an equalist and escape artist armed with a pen, a voice and an opinion. A self-professed Literary Snob, (plots merely fodder for character and subtext), she is currently working on her first novel; a work of historical fiction that confronts issues of identity, class and gender. She likes to write in threes, does not believe in shaming the adverb but does believe in ridiculing contractions. At present, her closest relationship is with her eraser.
This is Dawn Huddlestone‘s seventh year at the Muskoka Novel Marathon. She is collaborating on a magical middle-grade series with Paula Boon and also writes adult fiction. Dawn has been on the MNM’s organizing committee for the past four years and this year is the venue coordinator. In summer, Dawn is a freelance writer and social media manager. In winter, she is the communications & events manager at our local ski hill. In addition to supporting literacy, Dawn also sits on the board of the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op to encourage food literacy and sustainability. She lives in Muskoka with her husband, daughter, a yellow Lab who won’t swim, and a fat cat who thinks she’s a dog.
Louise Hypher lives in Toronto. She is a former member of the Bunch of Seven, a science fiction and fantasy writers’ group active in the 1980’s and 90’s. She has many creative outlets, including writing, the fibre arts and jewelry-making. Last year she was inspired to complete her epic fantasy novel The Rebel of Bradinflas, which she had put on the back burner for many years but to which she is currently devoting her creative energies. She is active in SFF fandom and can be found on Facebook and Twitter.
Toronto… Tokyo… Texas… Newfoundland. Tena is a writer who teaches and a teacher who writes. She is currently revising her first of three novel manuscripts. She found last year’s Muskoka Novel Marathon to be the perfect cocktail of adrenaline and lockdown—writing 110 pages on a new story in less than 72 hours.
This year she looks forward to more of the same, the ideal kickstart as she embarks on a year-long writing sabbatical.
My family is crazy and big: two sisters, four brothers. I grew up between Barrie and a small town called Elora. I prefer the small-town life, but my family is all in Barrie so that’s where I am for now.
I have been writing since I was very little. I would love to turn that into a career. I first participated in MNM at the early age of 13—one of the two youngest ever—and was voted Rookie of the Year. I attended a few years in a row, but life became hectic and I had to take a hiatus. Since then, I’ve had a beautiful boy, James. He’ll be two in September.
So this year, I’m thinking I will work on a series of books for tots called “James Can”: James Can Eat Vegetables, James Can Get Dressed, etc. It’s been an idea brewing for a while, and I’m excited to get going with it! 🙂
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Tracey.
I have loved reading and writing since I was a child, staying up nights with a flashlight under the covers so I wouldn’t keep my sisters awake. I work fulltime for a non-profit organization in Huntsville and have two children who are both attending university. Writing is my creative outlet.
Dale Long grew up with his nose buried in the worlds of Farley Mowat, Agatha Christie and Franklin W. Dixon (AKA Leslie McFarlane et al.). In his teenaged years J.R.R. Tolkien and Piers Anthony became his reading staples. Adulthood saw yet another change as Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Mary Shelley, and Edgar Allan Poe haunted his bookshelf.
Dale’s deep sense of tradition liberally peppered with East Coast sensibilities lends a richness and old-school flavour to his writing. When he’s not writing dark fantasy, Dale likes to write old fashioned, Dickens-esque Christmas stories.
Refusing to be pigeon-holed into one genre, Dale regularly enters several writing competitions in various genres. Dale has had articles published in Metroland Newspapers and an excerpt of his first novel, a work in progress titled Echoes, was published in the WCDR anthology, Wicked Words. As well, Dale has top ten finishes in humour writing contests and most recently, Writer’s Digest.
Dale just published his first book, The Good King, in December of 2013. When he is not writing, barbecuing or playing softball, you can find him haunting Facebook, Goodreads and his WordPress blog.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Paula.
Bari McFarlandAs Chief Passion Officer at MyDharma (www.mydharma.ca), Bari is a Certified Professional Life Coach and Corporate Engagement Consultant with over 25 years experience applying the tools and techniques for positive living. Bari offers personalized coaching, retreats and corporate workshops that teach you to create the life and reality that you want. Bari is a practitioner of the Law of Attraction and a life-long learner who has studied the many pathways to self-awareness.
After spending 21 years working in the corporate world, she decided she was done with the commuting, stress and rat race and decided to start her own coaching business. Just over a year later Bari was diagnosed with breast cancer and had the real opportunity to practice what she preached.
After contributing a chapter to a book being released this year (How to Pilot When We Were Raised to Be Stewardesses), Bari got the writing bug! She has decided to use this writing marathon to write her first book and share her story and the tools she uses to live a passionate, happy, fulfilling life with others!
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Bari.
Naomi MesburAt 16, Naomi began writing under the pen name of Mimi Jones-Taylor. After an energetic and enthusiastic start to a promising career in writing, circumstances took her away from the page for too many years. During this dark time, her need and drive to write would not be silenced. She continued to crank out pieces which to this day remain hidden on portable, antiquated media.
Naomi’s drive to write overtook her sanity. She completed several pieces of fiction, and entered the world of blogging. Tired of hiding her pieces in the cloud, and encouraged by the victims of her isolation, in May 2013, she took a bold step and became a member of the WCDR, and read her first piece in public at June 2013 Words of the Season. She was encouraged to enter a shortened version of the piece in the 2013 WCDR Slam, and finished as one of the seven finalists.
A realist-romance and erotic fiction writer, Mimi is hoping to have one of her works published for wide distribution in the imminent future. Naomi is a single mother to an 8-year-old boy who shares her love of music and telling stories about imaginary friends.
Twitter: @mimijonestaylor (writing) or @woobiesmum (for all the useless knowledge in her head)
Instagram: (for pictures of her culinary creations) @woobiesmum
Blogs: http://grumbleoftheday.blogspot.ca and www.skychurchmusic.com (with Kevin T. Craig)
Seana Moorhead’s secret ambition is to be a writer, a progression from being an avid reader of all books. Currently she works as a lawyer in Owen Sound. She enjoys agility sports with her dogs, kayaking in the summer, snowshoeing in the winter and travelling to interesting places whenever possible. She is an active member in Owen Sound’s A-Scribe Writing Group. She’s excited about participating for the first time in the Muskoka Novel Marathon.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Seana.
Even before Jeanne Pengelly got her first typewriter at age 12, she had decided she would be a writer. Before long, she founded the McMaster University creative writing journal, for which she won a medal of achievement, and it was not long, again, before she became a television and radio news journalist with a master’s degree in journalism. Since then, Jeanne has worked in all media, telling what she calls the “many sides” of every story. One of her richest experiences was her time editing a newspaper and training young television journalists in a remote northern community on James Bay, where she lived for five years. A non-fiction nominee for the Pacific Northwest Writers’ Association, she has also dabbled in creative writing, photography, music, teaching, needle-crafts, fitness, and golf.
Brenna PinckardI am eighteen years old and I attend Western University for English literature and creative writing. This will be my second time participating in the marathon. It was a great experience last year, and I got a lot written. This year I have no idea what I’m doing though, so it should be interesting.
Rachel Sa is a freelance writer and former journalist with the Toronto Sun, The National Post and the Huntsville Forester. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The University of British Columbia.
Her first book, a collection of her Toronto Sun columns, was published in 2002 by Stewart House Publishing. Rachel’s first novel for young adults, The Lewton Experiment, was started at the 2004 Muskoka Novel Marathon and published in 2012 by Tradewind Books.
Elke ScholzI have been writing poems and journaling since I could. In grade 11, a teacher had us organize our musings in a book which I still have. I have continued to journal and create booklets along the way to today. This is the first Novel Marathon that I have attended. For me it is a chance to spend uninterrupted time to write and that will feel like a luxury. The last time I got hours on end to write was at university in Switzerland. I write every day, however; to allow myself to write and rewrite poetry is a treat and a fever. I like to hand-write all my poetry, I have the rewrites and process pieces all around me and my energy seems to flourish that way. I notice that I use writing as a therapeutic outlet as much as I encourage others to do the same in therapy and in expressive arts therapy. I am wondering what it will be like to be with 39 other writers?
Dyoni Smith-Page, when she’s not furiously coding away on her Internet startup, Dyoni dotes on her two delicious daughters and hilarious husband while they renovate their 1870’s house. Her free time is split between Girl Guides, community theatre, and, in the wee hours of the morning, writing/illustrating children’s books. This is her second year at the Muskoka Novel Marathon.
B. L. M. Storrie
Write all night until my brain is fried, eat too much chocolate and chips, dance around in a funny hat, walk the artsy streets in the middle of the night, type words at a table out in the street with mosquitoes biting me??
I won the Marathon two years ago and it changed. My. Life. Period.
I simply cannot wait.
Lori Twining is looking forward to 72 hours of no interruptions and no responsibilities, concentrating on writing the ultimate kick-ass manuscript. Participating in the daily MNM Hat Competition and the MNM Superhero Cape Invasion into downtown Huntsville on Saturday night will also be a highlight for this shy writer.
Lori works as a civil engineering designer during the day and slams her thoughts into her laptop at night, writing fiction full of emotion and chaos. She is currently working on three YA novels (two have received the MNM Judge’s Honorable Mention in 2012 & 2013). She is the MNM Writer Liaison, responsible for filling her fellow Novel Marathoners email inboxes, and the MNM Social Media Guru. Lori sits on the executive board for The Writers’ Community of Simcoe County (WCSC) and is one of the founding members of Owen Sound’s A-Scribe Writing Group.
When she is not writing, reading or volunteering, you can find her in a hockey arena, baseball diamond, soccer pitch, basketball court or hiding in a corner somewhere buried in a book. She has a quirky outlook on life… some consider her weird; some say she’s refreshing. Occasionally, she tells you what she really thinks. Consider yourself advised.
Ruth Walker, author of the novel Living Underground (Seraphim Editions, 2012), is also a poet, playwright, editor, and creative writing workshop facilitator who has published in Canada, the US, and the UK. Her award-winning writing has appeared in literary publications, anthologies, and periodicals, as well as in online publications.
She twice won the Dan Sullivan Memorial Poetry Contest, was a semi-finalist in the Chapters/ Robertson Davies First Novel Competition, placed 3rd in the 2007 Banff Centre Bliss Carman Poetry Award competition, was longlisted for the Montreal Poetry Prize, and nominated for a National Magazine Award.
Ruth is a graduate of Trent University, and a professional writer and editor for the Ontario government.
She is also: a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) and the Canadian Authors’ Association (CAA); a past president and long-time member of The Writers’ Community of Durham Region (WCDR); a founding editor and publisher of the literary journal LICHEN Arts & Letters Preview (1998-2007); and a creative writing workshop facilitator through Writescape.
A resident of Whitby, Ontario, she continues to teach and to write.
Karen Wehrstein has trad-published two solo fantasy novels, Lion’s Heart and Lion’s Soul, and one collaboration, Shadow’s Son, with S.M. Stirling and Shirley Meier, with Baen Books. She has also published several short science fiction, fantasy and horror stories. Between 2009 and last year she posted a much expanded and revised version of her solos online, and won two Rose & Bay Awards for crowd-funded fiction. To read: www.chevenga.com . She is currently working on and shopping a historical novel, an “autobiography” of Alexander the Great: see http://chevenga.com/node/1750 .
Karen is also a freelance journalist who has published pieces in the National Post and Montreal Gazette, but mostly works locally for publications like Muskoka Magazine and What’s Up Muskoka. She does occasional computer art for the largest progressive political blog in America, Daily Kos. Artblog: www.artofkaren.blogspot.com . Other interests include music, martial arts, hang-gliding, reincarnation, homeopathy and the spirituality of personal experience.
Karen has participated in the Muskoka Novel Marathon every year since 2006 (when she won the Most Prolific Award) and co-convened the marathon with Paula Boon 2010-2012 and Dawn Huddlestone in 2013. She has entered the Best Novel competition twice, placing in the top three both times.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Karen.
Nancy WestWriting was a passion of mine as a youth, but years of full-time work and volunteering have left little time to nourish this piece of me, and the flame has lowered and flickered, but has never gone out.
Working for the YMCA and experiencing firsthand all the good that the fundraised dollars are doing has been very exciting. Meeting and spending time with the MNM writers has fanned the flame that I pretty much ignored the last 30 years.
I am the Team Leader of YMCA Employment and Literacy Services in Huntsville. I am married, and have a 13-year-old Golden Retriever at home. My job requires me to be a Jill of all trades, and life is never boring. I work with a great team, and get to celebrate with our clients and learners as they achieve both small and large goals. How great is that?
I like sunshine, gardening, hiking, canoeing, reading and jewelry-making.
MNM 2014 Donations: Click here to donate to Nancy.
Shellie Westlake hasn’t had much time to write in the last year. She hopes that this year’s marathon, her sixth, will help her to get back on track. She won Best Novel in the juvenile/young adult category at the 2012 marathon for her manuscript A Field Guide to Dragons and Other Exotic Animals.