Hubbards Writers Festival – The Memoir

June 3 and 4, 2017

Presenters and Workshop Leaders

Silver Donald Cameron

Silver Donald Cameron is currently the host and executive producer of the ambitious environmental web site, and the writer and narrator of its recently-released feature documentary, Green Rights: The Human Right to a Healthy World. He has written numerous plays, films, magazine articles, radio and TV scripts and 18 books, including Sailing Away from Winter (2007) and A Million Futures: The Remarkable Legacy of the Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation (2010). He has also been a columnist with the Globe and Mail and the Halifax Sunday Herald. His classic 1998 book on shorelines, The Living Beach (1998), was re-issued in 2014, and his 18th book, Warrior Lawyers: From Manila to Manhattan, Attorneys for the Earth – a companion volume to the Green Rights documentary – appeared in September, 2016.


Dr. Cameron has built his own cruising sailboat, cruised throughout the Maritimes and as far south as the Bahamas, and restored four heritage homes in rural Cape Breton. He has also been a professor or writer-in-residence at seven universities and Dean of Community Studies at Cape Breton University. He holds two honorary doctorates as well as a Ph.D., and in 2012 he was appointed to both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. Follow him on Twitter @silverdonald

Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Lorri Neilsen Glenn is a poet, essayist, researcher and teacher who lived in Hubbards for 20 years before moving to Halifax. Poet Laureate of Halifax from 2005-2009, Lorri is the author and editor of 12 books of award-winning creative nonfiction (including memoir), poetry, and scholarly work. Lorri has served as writer and/or scholar in residence at universities across Canada, in Australia and New Zealand, and on juries for the Canada Council, the CBC literary contest, the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia, among other organizations.


Her acclaimed workshops in memoir, creative nonfiction, and poetry have been held in Chile, Greece, Ireland, and all provinces of Canada. Lorri is on faculty at Mount Saint Vincent University and in the MFA Program in Creative Nonfiction at The University of King’s College in Halifax. Her forthcoming historical memoir, Following the River (Wolsak and Wynn, 2017), tracks her search for stories of her Indigenous foremothers and their contemporaries in 19th Century Manitoba. Find her on Twitter @neilsenglenn

Marjorie Simmins

Marjorie Simmins is the author of Coastal Lives, a memoir about living on Canada’s East and West coasts. Published by Pottersfield Press in 2014, the book received excellent reviews across the country. Her second book, Year of the Horse, also published by Pottersfield Press, was published in September 2016. In May 2017, Simmins concluded a cross-country book tour with Year of the Horse, a non-fiction story about her life with horses, which has been warmly received by readers and reviewers alike.


Raised in Vancouver, Marjorie Simmins now divides her time between British Columbia and Nova Scotia. She began her twenty-five year career as a freelance journalist in Vancouver. While her primary “beats” focused on commercial and sport fishing, she also published numerous essays and articles in magazines and newspapers across Canada, and in the United States. Her essay, “Trips from There to Here,” published in Saturday Night, won a Gold Medal at the 1994 National Magazine Awards. She also won a Gold Medal at the 2013 Atlantic Journalism Awards for the best Atlantic Magazine article. Simmins has written for provincial and national magazines, and has been published in newspapers and anthologies in Canada and the United States.


Marjorie Simmins has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from the University of British Columbia, and a Certificate in Adult Education from Dalhousie University. In 2011, she completed a Master of Arts, focusing on memoir studies, at Mount Saint Vincent University. In addition to teaching memoir writing, Simmins is also available as a keynote speaker. Her areas of expertise include writing and women’s health, memoir writing, coastal lives, coastal fisheries, and the equestrian world. She is happy to tailor-make a speech for maximum entertainment and knowledge. Follow her on Twitter @marjoriememoir

Meryl Cook

Meryl Cook spent 20 years in her business as a Homeopath and Bowen practitioner. Following her diagnosis and treatment for breast cancer in 2015/2016, Meryl transformed her life and her business through writing and rug hooking. She stepped aside from seeing patients to make room for her new business: Meryl Cook.


Meryl’s mission is to inspire others to reconnect with their joy and creativity. She shares practical steps to unblock creativity, work through difficult situations, and find meaning in life again. Her mediums are contemporary rug hooking and writing. She uses her experience as an author, health professional, rug hooker and cancer survivor to help others move from wake-up call to wellness through tapping into their creativity. She is known as The Healing Mat Lady on Twitter and Facebook.


Meryl teaches Hook a Healing Mat workshops, does individual custom healing mat designs and inspires others to take a step towards wellness through her keynote speaking and writing. Meryl’s book One Loop at a Time, a story of rug hooking, healing and creativity was published in late 2016 by Full Circle Publishing. Meryl blogs for online magazine and on her website Follow her on Twitter @HealingMatLady

Linda Wasylciw

Linda grew up in a remote farming community in northwest Alberta, Canada, far from the industrialization of the modern world and where she was raised on eggs collected from the hen house, home grown vegetables from the garden, and dairy from their milk cow, Molly. By aged eleven she knew that she wanted to be a writer but, as it was with many things in life, her ambitions were delayed.


Linda is a mother to two children and worked a full career in banking, as a Financial Advisor. At retirement she moved to live aboard a sailboat – thinking that the time had come when she could write. But that wasn’t to be. An extensive sailing voyage soon took over her life, beginning with Alaska and Mexico then taking her across the South Pacific to dozens of tropical islands between French Polynesia, New Zealand and Australia. Perhaps it was her “accumulation” time because in those five years she managed to fill books with notes about places she had visited, all the while, creating imaginary characters for the books that would follow.


When it happened – and she began writing – there was no stopping her. I took out her box of notes and started living her life-long dream. Now Linda writes every day, sometimes for much longer than deemed healthy. She is happiest when writing and often has two or three stories or writing projects on the go – at the same time. – Liverpool, N.S.

Jeanne Germani

Jeanne Germani is a visual artist who resides in Newfoundland. She has a background in Early Childhood Development, has studied extensively in Book Arts, Paper Making and Alternative Photography. Working with mixed media and photography she creates unique and limited edition artists’ books which incorporate her writing and poetry.


From 1994 to 2005 she served on the boards of the Arts and Heritage Foundation of St. Albert, Alberta, Profiles Public Gallery and SAPVAC, the Visual Arts Council of St. Albert.  In 2001 she received a Legacy Grant to study Paper Making at Red Deer College, Alberta and in 2002 was nominated as Emerging Artist of the year in St. Albert.


Her work has been published and exhibited regularly and can be found in private collections in Canada and the United States as well as in the Permanent Art Collection of The Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Edmonton, Alberta, Special Collections, MacEwan University, Edmonton, Alberta and the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia.


Jeanne lived in Wolfville, Nova Scotia and in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario before returning to live in Norris Point, Newfoundland, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park where she continues to work and teach, inspired by her beautiful surroundings.


Judy Hopkins

Judy Hopkins is a retired Nova Scotia High School teacher and original member and vice-chair of the Hubbards Heritage Society since 1995.


Judy has been involved in creating community memoirs: researching, writing, and producing twenty-two dinner theatres based on the history and people of the Hubbards area.


After a topic is decided, Judy and others brainstorm for names of people to interview before beginning the process of conducting interviews, and relevant collecting pictures and documents. Judy then goes through the material looking for ideas that will convert to skits, which, in turn, helps her write a general narrative for the evening.