Meet Our Contributors

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: O Canada The Wonders of Winter

Meet Our Contributors

Tanya Ambrose has retired from teaching grades seven and eight. She enjoys traveling, gardening, dancing, painting and writing. Although she has published some stories in Canadian literary magazines, her focus has switched to spending joyful time with two young granddaughters.

Jennifer E. Bailey’s first published story, “A Son’s Love,” appeared in Chicken Soup for the Canadian Soul. She has been married to Roy for thirty-seven years and they have three children: Rijn, Jesse and Cassia (Joshua). She writes children’s stories, songs and skits based on Biblical truths and edits university students’ essays.

With a camera around her neck and a notebook in her backpack, recently retired Barbara Baker spends her free time racing up and down the Rocky Mountains to capture them. Her passion for writing is dedicated to finishing a YA novel, unless of course a bird flies by her window. E-mail her at [email protected].

Jean Ballard retired from teaching sociology at the University of the Fraser Valley, and enjoys writing and photography on Vancouver Island. She is a regular contributor to the Chemainus Valley Courier and volunteers with several animal rescue groups. She can be contacted via her blog at

Ardy Barclay received her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. She started her teaching career in 1970, specializing in Special Education. Retired in 2007, Ardy enjoys winters in Florida as well as fishing, reading, and spending time with her granddaughters.

Gail Neff Bell is retired and a grandmother. She was formerly a teacher and a lawyer. She lives with her husband in Tsawwassen, BC, where she enjoys swimming, walking with stride poles, trying new recipes, and organizing community groups.

William Bell is a financial planner, and has authored two books, and numerous articles on business and the human condition. Bill is an avid photographer and golfer. Married to Ellen, they have three daughters — Leah, Deandra and Alexis — all of whom live in southern Ontario. E-mail him at [email protected].

Susan Blakeney is a writer of fiction for children and young adults with several projects well underway. These include two historical novels and one work of speculative fiction — the story that awoke her passion for writing several years ago. E-mail her at [email protected].

Marilyn C. Bodogh is a two-time World Curling Champion in 1986 and 1996. She loves to travel around the world with her husband Neil Dixon, taste fabulous wines, cook for family and friends and spend time with all of her grandchildren.

Dian Bowers is a child of the late forties and grew up in small-town Canada. She has lived in two countries, has had a fulfilling career and family life, and has travelled extensively. When she retired, she needed an outlet to document her life experiences, which writing has provided.

Ellie Braun-Haley started her writing career as a newspaper correspondent. Later she wrote books for adults who work with young children. Eventually her research took her to investigating miracles, a topic she thoroughly enjoyed! She has also written children’s stories, true short stories and rhymes! She presents talks on miracles.

Kimberley Campbell resides in Lincoln, NB with her husband, two cats and two retired racing Greyhounds. She enjoys skating, walking and biking with her husband and hounds, as well as reading, writing and spending time with her three young nieces.

Judy Carter graduated from the University of Western Ontario and is a high school English teacher. She has previously published stories in Chicken Soup for the Parent’s Soul. When she’s not marking essays, Judy enjoys running, yoga, golf, playing guitar and doing a little creative writing. E-mail her at [email protected].

Ian Charter has worked in the printing industry for close to thirty years in various positions including production, management and sales. He enjoys just about anything on the water and is a certified diver. E-mail him at [email protected].

Cindy Clemens received her B.A. degree from the University of Windsor. She has had a diverse career but her most important title is that of Jacob and Jonathan’s mom. Cindy and her husband live on a hobby farm in southwestern Ontario.

Harriet Cooper is a freelance writer and has published personal essays, humour and creative nonfiction in newspapers, newsletters, anthologies and magazines. She is a frequent contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She writes about family, relationships, health, food, cats, writing and daily life. E-mail her at [email protected]

Randall Crickmore is a retired teacher, inveterate traveller and sometimes writer now living in Niagara Falls, ON. He has published numerous articles in newspapers and magazines, written one novel and several books of children’s verse.

Jo Darlington is a retired nurse-manager, married to her husband Steve for thirty-nine years, mother of four, grandmother of three, a life-long reader and writer, who lives in the country not far from Annie’s Fish Pond.

Patricia A. Donahue is an award-winning novelist; her Mighty Orion series is set in northern New Brunswick. She is published academically and her short stories appear in anthologies. She is an R.N., with bachelor’s and master’s degrees from U.B.C. Patricia is a post-secondary instructor and therapist who likes hiking and sailing.

Lynn Dove is the author of the award-winning Wounded Trilogy and her popular blog, “Journey Thoughts.” When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, and grandchildren. She has previously been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Parenthood and Chicken Soup for the Soul: Devotional Stories for Wives.

MaryLou Driedger is a retired teacher who works as a freelance journalist, a university advisor and art gallery tour guide. Her favorite role in life is being a grandmother.

David Eklund was born and has lived in Alberta all his life. The story of his father and his faithful dog Ring is well known in the Eklund family. They hope to share the story with animal lovers everywhere.

Sue England credits Clare Bolton (Aurora Cultural Centre) and Isobel Warren for inspiring her to resurrect her creative spirit. She is a member of Writers’ Community of York Region, a Realtor with Royal LePage with her life partner Steve, and is writing a story for children.

Penny Fedorczenko is a retired teacher with a B.A. degree in sociology. She enjoys travel, writing, gardening, cooking, and spending time with family and friends. She is working on a fictional novel. This is her third story in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail her at [email protected].

Larry Fedoruk is a writer/broadcaster. His daily talk shows can be heard on 610CKTB in Niagara and on Newstalk1010 in Toronto. Larry covers a variety of social topics as well as news of the day. He was born and raised in Saskatchewan, but has called Ontario home for the last thirty years.

Maureen Flynn is a Canadian writer who enjoys time with family and friends. Her interests include golf, boxing and walking the family dog. Maureen writes for a local newspaper and is working on a series of fiction novels. The first, Buckle My Shoe, is soon to be released. E-mail her at [email protected].

Liz M. Forbes, a fifth-generation Canadian, was born in Victoria, BC, and now lives in the beautiful Cowichan Valley on Vancouver Island. She writes “stories from her life” and a column for a local paper. Liz is published in Somebody’s Child, an adoption anthology by TouchWood Editions.

John Forrest is a retired educator who writes about the exceptional events and wonderful people in his life. He lives in Orillia, ON with his wife Carol, where they enjoy golf, travel and following the life adventures of their children Rob and Dana. E-mail him at [email protected].

Hazel Fulford received a B.A. degree in English from Lakehead University in 1979, when she was fifty-seven. Since then she has published short stories, travel articles and nonfiction books. She enjoyed traveling, swimming, and secretarial work but is now retired from everything but writing. Hazel lives in Thunder Bay, ON.

Born in Tofield, Alberta, Amanda Green is a Principal dancer with Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet. She has appeared as Odette/Odile in Swan Lake, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty and Irene in Twyla Tharp’s The Princess & The Goblin. Green lives in Winnipeg with her husband, RWB Company dancer Eric Nipp.

Bev Sandell Greenberg taught for many years in adult ESL and literacy programs in British Columbia and Manitoba. A freelance reviewer and editor, Bev lives in Winnipeg, MB and is working on a novel about an immigrant family in crisis. E-mail her at bevg[email protected].

Ross Greenwood holds degrees from the University of Toronto. He is an educator, preacher, travel agent, career counsellor and a retired Royal Canadian Naval Reserve officer. His interests include writing, travel, gardening. Through experiencing many personal miracles, he knows there is a higher power! E-mail him at [email protected].

Astra Groskaufmanis is a mother of three living in Ottawa, ON. The zamboni fumes-inhaling years when all three of her kids played hockey inspired her to write her memoir, Offside by a Mile, that chronicles the frantic and hilarious moments and will resonate with hockey moms everywhere. Read her blog at

Sarah Hodges is Head Coach of the University of Regina Cougar Women’s Hockey Team. As a member of the Hockey Canada Coaching Pool, in 2010-11 she led the National U18 team to a silver medal at the World Championships in Stockholm. Sarah and her husband Chris live in Regina, SK with their daughter Annie.

Alison Karlene Hodgins is completing her first travel novel about her experiences in Australia. Born in Grande Prairie, AB, she has traveled to over twenty-five countries in her twenty-one years. Her hobbies include making hemp bracelets, learning foreign languages, and drinking really good coffee. You can follow her at

Matty Hughes is twenty-eight years old and lives in Edmonton. He enjoys yachting, Golden Retrievers and espionage. E-mail him at [email protected].

Crystal Johnson finds great joy in writing — it feeds her soul and acts as her creative outlet. She has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist in hospitals since 2008 and feels privileged to work with clients and learn with and from them. She has a supportive family who stand by her in her many and varied endeavours.

Lynn Johnston has been sharing the amusing, moving lives of the Patterson family with millions of readers since 1979 in her award-winning comic strip, For Better or For Worse. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Lynn has received the Order of Canada and claims a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. Visit her at

Carol Kavanagh longs to write the best poem ever, or the best short story ever, but feels this will be a lifetime endeavour. When she’s not engaged in art, she cares for her mother and lives with her husband in Saskatoon, SK. This is her second short story publication.

Deborah Kinsinger, Ph.D., has been writing all her life. She has a private practice in Counseling Psychology in Ontario. Deborah uses the power of story in her work. The healing power of nature, and the precious moments of family life have long been an inspiration for her writing.

Gordon Kirkland has written eight books of humour. Six of these are collections of short stories, and three have received the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour as runners up for the medal. The other two are novels. The Plight Before Christmas hit #1 on Amazon’s Parenting and Family Humour Bestseller list.

Arlene Kochberg is a wife, mother and grandmother. She works with husband, Ian, a master printmaker who creates musical and spiritual works of fine art. Arlene handles the galleries, customers, books shows, frames the art, and still finds time to play violin in a string orchestra. Learn more at

Greg Lamothe is a career martial arts instructor with his own school that he operates out of Victoria, BC. He enjoys training, reading, writing and most of all, spending time with his wife and two children. E-mail him at [email protected].

Stephen Lautens is a lawyer and writer whose weekly column appears in the Calgary Sun. Stephen has completed one unpublished novel and is now working on his second unpublished novel. E-mail him at [email protected].

Vincent Lecavalier is from Ile Bizard, QB. After fourteen years with the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he was Captain, he now plays with the Philadelphia Flyers. A member of Team Canada, he’s played in both the World Cup and the Olympics. Vince has set multiple scoring records and won innumerable accolades and awards. He and his wife Caroline live in Tampa and New Jersey with their three children.

An award-winning author, playwright, filmmaker and journalist, Mark Leiren-Young won the 2009 Leacock Medal for Humour for his first memoir, Never Shoot a Stampede Queen (Heritage), which prompted him to write his second humourous memoir, Free Magic Secrets Revealed (Harbour). Learn more at

Jeanette Lynes grew up on a farm one hundred miles north of Toronto, ON. She is a novelist, poet, and writing teacher.

Dorothy MacAulay left us in the spring of 2008. She lived to write and entertain with her pleasant, upbeat stories and poems. She is missed dearly and it gives her family great pleasure knowing how proud she would be to appear in this wonderful book.

Zabe MacEachren has continued to follow her passion for nature-based education activities. She holds a PhD in what she jokes is “woodcraft lore” and coordinates the Outdoor and Experiential Education program at Queen’s University. When she is not behind her office desk you can find her canoeing or snowshoeing.

Claire Mackay got her first job at ten years old at a public library. While hired to dust and put away books, she read them instead. Claire has three sons and five grandchildren, including twins. She was an editorial consultant for Houghton Mifflin, a feature columnist and a freelance writer.

A graduate of Queen’s University, Gail MacMillan is the author of twenty-eight published books and several hundred magazine articles published both in North America and Europe. She lives in New Brunswick with her husband and two dogs. E-mail her at [email protected]

Carol Margaret received her B.Sc. degree from Mount Allison University in 1985 and her D.V.M. from the Atlantic Veterinary College in 1990. She lives in Ontario with her husband and four children. She enjoys gardening, writing, yoga and rowing. Carol is working on her first book.

David Martin’s humor and political satire have appeared in many publications including The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and Smithsonian magazine. His latest humor collection, Screams & Whispers, is available on David lives in Ottawa, ON, with his wife Cheryl and their daughter Sarah.

Dan Mathieson, Mayor of his hometown, Stratford, since 2003, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Western Ontario. He enjoys golfing, travelling and spending time with his family and friends. E-mail him at [email protected].

Stefano Mazzega has been a forensic scientist with the RCM Police for almost thirty-four years. He is the General Manager of the forensic laboratory in Vancouver. He is nearing retirement and hoping to transition to a career in writing. Stefano writes humour and suspense.

Dennis McCloskey has a journalism degree from Ryerson University in Toronto. He is the author of the award-winning biography My Favorite American. This is his fourth story in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. E-mail Dennis at [email protected].

Nancy McIntosh works as a Food Bank Community & Development Coordinator. She’s been a radio announcer, newspaper columnist, clothing and art designer and won numerous awards for corporate window displays, merchandising and advertising campaigns. She intends to focus on traveling, painting and illustrating children’s books. E-mail her at [email protected].

When not playing hockey with the Sharks, Sandi McTavish works in educational publishing and lives in Toronto, ON. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in English and a Master of Education.

Freelance writer Chantal Meijer lives in Terrace, BC with her husband Rick. They have four children and four grandchildren. Chantal’s work has been widely published in magazines, newspapers and anthologies — including four Chicken Soup for the Soul editions. She is currently working on a memoir. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sharon Melnicer is a writer, artist and teacher in Winnipeg, MB. She has frequently aired the “Slice of Life” pieces that she pens on CBC Radio. A retired high-school English teacher and university instructor, she continues to teach life-story writing to adults and is a recognized artist who shows and sells throughout North America.

Paula Meyer received her Master of Education degree from the University of Manitoba in 2011. A Vice-Principal in Winnipeg, she is a mother to three amazing women who have taught her so much about the importance of community. Paula enjoys travelling adventures and reading. E-mail her at [email protected].

Patricia Miller earned a B.A. degree in Social Sciences from UWO, and a Recreation diploma from Centennial College, before studying Creative Writing at Durham College. Patricia is a Coordinator and mom who enjoys snowboarding. In 2012, she wrote her first novel, The Mausoleum Road Affair. E-mail her at [email protected].

Lisa Molinaro is a wife and mother of two busy boys. She is a bookworm, writer, blogger, teacher-by-trade and a yoga/Zumba/boxing enthusiast.

Marya Morin is a freelance writer. Her stories and poems have appeared in publications such as Woman’s World and Hallmark. Marya also penned a weekly humorous column for an online newsletter, and writes custom poetry on request. She lives in the country with her husband. E-mail her at [email protected].

Diane C. Nicholson is a professional photographer, photo artist (specializing in animals and nature) and writer. This is her sixth story published in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series. She lives in beautiful British Columbia with her menagerie and long-suffering husband. E-mail her at [email protected].

Sandra Pady is the founder of The Donkey Sanctuary of Canada, an animal rescue/animal welfare education charity ( Although she retired in 2012, through her writing Sandra continues to encourage standards of positive care and respect for her equine friends.

Jacqueline Pearce spent four winters in Ontario seeking out the best skating ponds before finishing a Master of Environmental Studies degree at York University and returning to the west coast. She is the author of several novels for children, including Flood Warning, about the Fraser River flood of 1948.

Jon Peirce holds a Ph.D. in English from Dalhousie University and a master’s degree in industrial relations from Queen’s University. A retired union labour relations officer, he lives and writes in Dartmouth, NS, and teaches writing for the Nova Scotia Seniors’ College.

Evelyn Pollock’s career included teaching, educational politics, and human rights consulting. She retired to Horseshoe Valley to write and paint. She is active in local writers’ groups and in the arts community. Since retiring, several of her short stories and a book of her art have been published. E-mail her at [email protected].

Louise Rachlis is a freelance writer in Ottawa, ON, who spent twenty-five years at the Ottawa Citizen newspaper where she was the advertising features editor. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism degree from Carleton University and is a creative fiction writer, acrylic and watercolour painter, marathon runner and triathlete.

Lea Ellen Yarmill Reburn resides in beautiful central Ontario, and was born and raised locally. She is married, a dog lover, a caregiver to many, and loves to write true life experiences — some typical and some not! She has previously been published in several periodicals and newspapers. Guardian Angels Copyright ©2009 by Lea Ellen Yarmill Reburn, first published in A Cup of Comfort for a Better World, Copyright ©2010 by F+W Media, Inc. Reprinted with permission from the author and publisher. All Rights Reserved.

David Roberts is a retired lawyer. For twenty-nine years he was the editor of the Advocate, the legal magazine for British Columbia. David functions as an arbitrator and member of several administrative tribunals and keeps bees in his back garden, which he feels need less training than dogs, are not as arrogant as cats and… make honey.

Chris Robertson is an author and speaker who has been voted “Best Keynote Speaker.” The diary of this first journey in history has been published in the book To The Top Canada. Order autographed copies of the book or get Chris as a speaker at your next meeting at

Greg Ryan grew up in Toronto, ON. He attained a journalism degree from Ryerson in 1987. After a long career in network news writing for talent, he decided to try writing something else. Greg suspects he may be one of the only cello-playing boxer-golfers in the city.

Gail Sellers enjoys writing poetry and short stories. Her hobbies include swimming, reading, attending concerts, travelling and relaxing at the cottage. She loves animals, especially cats. She plans on writing inspirational children’s stories, animal stories and poetry. E-mail her at [email protected].

Stella Shepard is a journalist/photographer living on beautiful Prince Edward Island and married to Reg Phelan. Her son, Joshua, is daddy to seven-year-old Damian, who is a joy and a blessing. Stella’s articles have been published in magazines, books and newspapers. She has just completed her first manuscript. E-mail Stella at [email protected].

Leah Silverman grew up on a small Canadian farm, and has always loved animals and writing (in fact, she wrote this bio with one of her three cats on her lap). She lives in Texas with her beloved husband and son, though she misses Canada every day — even the winters.

Elizabeth Smayda has worked in the field of social services and health for twenty-three years. She co-authored a study involving eating disorders published in 2005 and was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Finding My Faith. Elizabeth enjoys her family, writing and work. E-mail her at [email protected].

Judith Smith lives in Peterborough, ON, where she received her PSW, and social services worker diploma. She is working with intellectually disabled adults, assisting them to live independently in their own home. She also has her own women’s clothing consignment boutique called Back of the Closet Consignment Boutique.

Thomas Sullivan is the author of So Much Time, So Little Change (a collection of humorous essays from Wayman Publishing). He lives in Seattle and writes regularly for the site Visit Thomas at

Heather Stewart grew up in Waverley, NS. She grew up with a love of learning, reading, and writing. After teaching for ten years in Thompson, MB, she returned home and now teaches at Brookhouse Elementary. Besides writing for her students, she enjoys cultural events and musical pursuits.

Deon Toban has been writing short stories and poems for the last fifteen years, as writing is one of her passions. When she’s not writing, she enjoys her other passions such as cruising, reading and interior design. She is working on her first novel.

Shawna Troke-Leukert is a storyteller and an Infinite Possibilities Trainer. Shawna shares her stories in positive thinking workshops on the island of Newfoundland. She lives in the beautiful Codroy Valley with her husband Eric and Poodle Spud.

Mary Turner received her B.A. degree in English from the University of Manitoba. She is a mother and grandmother and lives in Victoria, BC. Mary has written for the Winnipeg Free Press and the Victoria Times Colonist. She also enjoys playing the violin and writing poetry.

With a long and distinguished career as a director-cinematographer, Lloyd Walton’s films have won over 35 international, national and provincial awards. His films link history, culture and nature, as do his writings. Lloyd is also enjoying a successful career as a painter. His works can be viewed at

Beverlee Wamboldt lives in Nova Scotia. She and her husband have traveled throughout Canada and the U.S. and visited the UK and Europe. She has two adult children and five grandchildren. She enjoys summer days at her cottage with her second “family” and a large group of lively hummingbirds.

Joanne Webster is a former teacher and life-long student from Orillia, ON. She is the proud mother of two teenage boys, and the happy wife of a kind and thoughtful man. Joanne enjoys pottery, piano lessons, singing in a choir, rug hooking, reading and writing stories.

Born in Sudbury, ON, Martin Worthy is a musician, singer, songwriter and composer. He has toured extensively across Canada with various groups including alt-rock band Joe Hall and the Continental Drift, folk duo Quarrington-Worthy and most recently, roots-blues band Porkbelly Futures. He lives and works in Toronto.

A video producer/director living near Toronto, ON, Jamie Yeo received his Bachelor of Applied Arts degree in Radio and Television Arts from Ryerson Polytechnical. A pioneer in multimedia development he began his early work in interactive laser videodisc. He lives with his partner Marilyn Cameron. E-mail him at [email protected].

Lori Zenker lives in Elmira, ON — home of the World’s Largest Maple Syrup Festival. She enjoys maple syrup on her oatmeal and in coffee. She is a mom of three teenagers, who love maple syrup on everything from noodles to freshly fallen snow. E-mail her at [email protected].

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