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The Judges for the 10-14 yr. old age category: Fiction, Non-fiction, Poetry

TROY KENT – AUTHOR

Troy Kent has been in education for over 25 years and was a high school English teacher for over two decades. He is a graduate of Acadia University in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. Troy currently resides in Long Sault, Ontario. He is the author of the endearing children's book titled The Reading Promise, as well as the whimsical children's book titled Stinky Blinky. His books have won in excess of 45 national and international writing awards, including a Gold Medal in the Readers’ Favorites Book Awards. He is also a nominee for the 2018 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award – the world’s largest award in children’s literature.  

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CAROLYN THOMPSON GODDARD – AUTHOR

Carolyn Thompson Goddard was born and raised in North Dundas, attended Carleton University where she received a Bachelor of Arts.  She has volunteered and worked in school libraries for over 30 years as well as currently doing freelance reporting for The Chesterville Record and researching and writing on local historical events. She has written books on Holy Trinity Anglican Church history and a history of the Chesterville Fair.  Her most recent historical fiction for young people is on the Morewood Cenotaph entitled The Morewood War Memorial.  In this picture book, a youngster is told some of the local stories associated with the Morewood War Memorial and why it was created.  A portion from the sale of the books is provided to the Morewood Cenotaph Committee.

The Judges for the 21 + yr. old age category: Fiction, Non-fiction

BRIAN TALMEY - POET, AUTHOR

Brian is a freelance editor/refugee of the online Independent Music scene. After graduating from journalism school in time for the massive newspaper layoffs in 2010, he quickly learned to monetize his passion for poetry and music reviews. His writing tends to reflect his world view-a mix of bleak nihilism and relentless optimism. 

TOM SCHOCH

Writing has always been a central part of Tom's career no matter where it took him and what mask he would wear. Whether it was his time as a television and radio host, as a reporter and photographer or while pursuing performance arts, the written word has been a vital building block for success. A great story can transcend any language or format. The written word gives it life. 

The Judges for the Short Play Genre

JANE WHEELER - ACTOR

Jane is a Montreal actor who works in theatre, film, television and voice. You'll see her in Xavier Dolan's upcoming film 'The Death and Life of John F. Donovan', other credits include 'Lemonade', 'Brooklyn', 'Brad's Status' and Vim Venders' 'Everything Will Be Fine'. Some of Jane's favourite stage roles include Iris in 'Mouth to Mouth' by Alexandria Haber,, Olivia in 'Twelfth Night', (Centaur), Chris in 'Dancing at Lughnasa' (Centaur), and Sally Bowles in 'Cabaret' (Theatre Lac Brome).  Jane loves the Arts in all its forms- she is an avid reader, a dabbling writer, sings in a choir and dances whenever she can, in fact, Jane will be playing a ballet teacher in Geordie Theatre's upcoming production of 'Reaching for Starlight'. She appreciates and applauds the skill and bravery of all participants in this exciting competition.

RACHELLE EVES - ACTOR, MUSICIAN, WRITER

Rachelle, dedicated to the creative way of life., loves acting, playing music with the Ha’Loonies and writing in various genres. Rachelle found her arts home and fellow expressive folk at The Dundas County Players appearing in “Marion Bridge”,  “Pump Boys & Dinettes”, “Darling Judith” and Alexandria Haber’s “On This Day”. Her favorite writing experiences have always been about sharing, digging into texts and working through the process of revision with fellow writers. While living in Harrietfield, Scotland, she was once sitting scribbling scenes in the Drumtochty Tavern. She noticed another lady with pen and journal; thiis led to the formation of a writing group with Rachelle, Hazel Buchan Cameron and Patricia Ace. Later, she partnered with Moira Law and experimented with co-writing short fiction. Rachelle also writes songs. Her short stories “The Appointment” and “Weeding” appeared in the Foliate Oak Literary Magazine and The Avalon Literary Review. She is delighted to have the opportunity to read and dig into the writing at The Bunch of People and the McCloskey Project’s “Writing in 150” event. Rachelle loves her country life at Netherfield Farm with Paul, Winnie and Frodo.     

ALEXANDRIA HABER - PLAYWRIGHT, ACTOR

Alexandria Haber is a Montreal based actor and playwright. Her plays have been produced across Canada and include: Life Here After, I Don’t like Mondays, Housekeeping & Homewrecking, Ordinary Timesand Birthmarks. She has also written several radio dramas, produced by CBC Radio, as well as short stories. She is in development with Quiet Revolution Pictures with her first feature film. Most recently, her play, Cross My Heart (co- written with Ned Cox), was produced at the Montreal Fringe Festival. It was shortlisted for Best New Text.  Currently, she is at work on a short play for Edmonton’s Theatre Yes, to be produced as part of their National Elevator Play project in January 2014. While in Tarragon’s Playwrights Unit, Alex wrote On This Day, one of her more recent plays which was produced by Dundas County Players in 2017.

The Judge for the Spoken Word/Slam Poetry 

SUZANNE MILLAIRE-STEELE - ACTOR/SINGER

Suzanne is always ready to perform. Her love of the stage, be it acting, singing or stand-up, is evident. Improv comes naturally and her creativity is in constant abundance. She is also the 4th cousin of Mark Wahlberg :-)

The Judges for the Poetry Genre

SANDRA STEPHENSON / CZANDRA - POET

Since 2005, Sandra Stephenson has published poetry under the name Czandra  ( a name given to her by bill bissett). Sandra's chapbooks can be found on Amazon and Lulu. Credits  also include her writings in various anthologies published in Washington State, Nova Scotia and as far away as New Zealand  where some of her Tanka works have been published. She is a core reviewer for Haiku Canada and their online review HCShoHyoRan

MURRAY BARKLEY – AUTHOR/HISTORIAN

Murray Barkley published his most recent book “Speaking of Avonmore Once Again” in 2017 as a sequel to his 2006 publication “Speaking of Avonmore”. A graduate of Queen's University with an Honours B.A. and M.A. in History, Murray taught at both Toronto and York universities and was research associate of Claude Bissell on the biography of Vincent Massey.  Murray has contributed scholarly articles to the Dictionary of Canadian Biography, Acadiensis, the Canadian Historical Review, the Loyalist Gazette, and others.  He wrote the Chapter on the War of 1812 in Allegiance: The Ontario Story in the Canadian Heirloom Series; and was an historical consultant on the CBC documentary television series "The Undaunted", which aired nation-wide on CBC, in 1983. Murray is also known as the proprietor “Barkley’s” store in Avonmore, which was his famliy’s business for 106 years.

The Judges for the Song Writing Genre

JOHN JORDAN - MUSICIAN, SONGWRITER

Sax player, singer, songwriter John Jordan is the leader of Osmosis Unlimited and was in with The Kingpins, The Planet Smashers, & Me Mom & Morgentaler. Since spring 2018 he has also self-produced and released 5 solo albums and 2 with Bipolarizers.