Panelists

For announcements, you can also follow our Facebook event, and you can chat with our panelists in the Vendors’ room Discord! Make sure to check out our panelists’ excellent books in the Vendors’ Room!

Elaine Isaak/EC Ambrose

Elaine Isaak writes knowledge inspired adventure fiction including The Singer’s Legacy fantasy series, The Dark Apostle series about medieval surgery as by E. C. Ambrose, and the Bone Guard international thrillers as by E. Chris Ambrose. Her latest releases are Bone Guard Two: The Nazi Skull, and The Singer’s Crown: The Author’s Cut. Her short stories have appeared in Fireside, Warrior Women and Fantasy for the Throne, among many others, and she has edited several volumes of New Hampshire Pulp Fiction. Her April release from Guardbridge Books is The King of Next Week, a historical fantasy novella set in coastal Maine. To find out about all of her work, visit www.RocinanteBooks.com    

Christian Baines

Christian Baines is an awkward nerd turned slightly less awkward author of weird and dark fiction. His work includes the queer paranormal series The Arcadia Trust, horror novella Skin, and Puppet Boy, a finalist for the 2016 Saints and Sinners Emerging Writer Award. Born in Australia, he now travels the world whenever possible, living, writing, and shivering in Toronto, Canada on those odd occasions he can’t find his passport… or during a global pandemic. www.christianbaines.com 

Shannon Barnsley

Shannon Barnsley is a writer, poet, and folklore devotee from New Hampshire, currently living in Brooklyn. She holds a degree in Creative Writing/Mythology & Religion from Hampshire College. Since graduating, she has been found giving tours at an 18th century Shaker village museum, translating English English into American English for an independent publishing company, wandering in the woods with her ferocious yorkie beast, and tackling the epic journey that comes with having multiple chronic illnesses. Her first book, Beneath Blair Mountain, was published by 1888 in 2015. .

Dominic Bercier

Creator-Writer-Artist-Designer and Publisher of “SIGNAL Saga” at Mirror Comics Studios [where he is founder, owner and principal creator], Dominic Bercier is a Canadian, Franco-Ontarian and neurodivergent graphic novel and comic book maker, creator of two 24-hour comics, the last one being “The Ballad of Jimmy and Rose” [“La Ballade de Jimmy et Rose” en français] about an empath and a time-travelling jerk, and the PopTerra Collection [includes Ghost King and Treadwell], also at Mirror. Award-winning student at De La Salle HS in Ottawa and in the First Franco-Ontarian Games, he was backgrounds penciler on books at Dark Horse, Top Cow and Image as a student at OCAD, and has since been nominated in the Auroras, the Shusters and even in the Gene Day Award for Best Self-Published Graphic Novel by a Canadian. He is also a new member of the Canadian Comic Book Alliance. Discover the full story at www.MirrorComics.comwww.SIGNALsaga.com and www.Bercier.ca. 🙂

Jack Briglio

Jack Briglio is the writer of the Eisner-nominated fantasy adventure series Growing Up Enchanted, published by Markosia in 2010 and 2011. Previously, Jack has also worked on Scooby-Doo and Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century for DC Comics, for IDW, The Adventures of Digger & Friends, Sesame Street Comics for Sesame Street Workshop, and Scarlet, Riverdale’s Autistic Teen, for Archie Comics. You can find him at jackbriglio.com.

Rae Bruner

Rae Bruner is a transgender comic artist, 35 and currently based in Ontario. They currently produce a comedy/science fiction webcomic set in a dystopian timeline, available for free to read at recursioncomic.com! Recursion is Rae’s third webcomic venture, a comedy/science fiction story designed to capture the feeling of a 90s saturday morning adventure cartoon for a modern audience. It follows the adventures of the futuristic hero, Jade as she travels across time to thwart the plans of an evil mastermind who has conquered the past.

S.M. Carriere

S. M. Carrière

When S.M. Carrière isn’t brutally killing your favourite characters, she spends her time teaching martial arts, live streaming video games, and cuddling her cats. In other words, she spends her time teaching others to kill, streaming her digital kills, and cuddling furry murderers.

Eric Desmarais

Éric Desmarais

Éric has had an eclectic career which ranges from casino dealer to canal boat captain to radio station DJ. Since 2009, he’s worked as a layout artist and desktop publisher for the federal government. During his off time he works as a freelance layout artist for various Canadian-based authors and publishers, roasts gourmet flavoured coffee, runs several pen-and-paper role-playing games, writes, and helps run JenEric-Designs.ca (Home of the TravellingTARDIS.com). He lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his wife, daughter, and son. Visit him at www.EricDesmarais.ca.

Cait Gordon: headshot

Cait Gordon

Cait Gordon is a disability advocate who writes speculative fiction that celebrates the reality of diversity. She is the author of Life in the ’Cosm and The Stealth Lovers. Her short stories have appeared in Alice Unbound Beyond Wonderland (Ed. Colleen Anderson, Exile Editions), We Shall Be Monsters (Ed. Derek Newman-Stille, Renaissance), and Space Opera Libretti (Eds. Brian McNett and Jennifer Lee Rossman). Cait also founded The Spoonie Authors Network and joined Talia C. Johnson to co-edit Nothing Without Us, a collection of 22 stories whose authors and protagonists identify as disabled, Deaf, neurodiverse, and/or they manage mental illness. You can connect with Cait at spoonieauthorsnetwork.blog, caitgordon.com, or on Twitter (@CaitGAuthor)

Stephen Graham King

Stephen Graham King (He/Him) lives in Toronto and writes space opera novels, re-imagining the classic genre and its high tech adventurers through an unabashedly queer lens. He is also a long term survivor of metastatic synovial sarcoma and an avid black and white street photographer.

Dianna Gunn

Dianna Gunn is a freelance writer by day and a fantasy (and occasional science fiction) author by night. Her fantasy novel, Moonshadow’s Guardian, was released in November 2018. She also curates and creates business resources for indie authors, including the Business for Authors Newsletter at https://www.businessforauthors.com/newsletter    

John Haas

John Haas is a Canadian author, born and raised in Montreal before moving to Calgary where he lived for twelve wonderful years. Now he lives in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, but still misses seeing those Rocky Mountains in the distance. John has been writing for most of his life but only became serious about being published in the last decade or so. In that time he has had twenty short stories published in various excellent publications, including taking third place in the 4th quarter of Writers of the Future for 2018. He has also seen his first three novels published, The Reluctant Barbarian (released 2017), The Wayward Spider (published 2019) and The Unavoidable Quests (2020) all by Renaissance Press. His goal is to become a full time writer (rich and famous would be nice too but not the main goal). He lives with his two wonderful sons who give him lots of motivation. For more information, please see his website at: http://johnhaas.weebly.com

Elizabeth Hirst

Elizabeth Hirst

Elizabeth Hirst is an author, animator and all-around arts junkie from Hamilton, Ontario. She began writing books as a child, because she couldn’t find enough books that made rural Niagara magical. Her previous credits include They Called Her Canada: The War Diaries of Nursing Sister Bessie Beyer and contributions to the Mousehunt and Levynlight apps. On a typical weekend, you can find her at the museum, enjoying live theatre, or reading books at the gym.

Wanda John-Kehewin

Cree poet Wanda John-Kehewin studied criminology, sociology, Aboriginal studies, and creative writing while attending the Writer’s Studio writing program at Simon Fraser University. She uses writing as a therapeutic medium through which to understand and to respond to the near decimation of First Nations culture, language, and tradition. She has two poetry books published by Talonbooks, two children’s readers and is currently working on a graphic novel. She finds time to write between the lines.

Kohenet Talia C. Johnson

Kohenet Talia Johnson is a Jewish ritual and service leader, writer, poet, sensitivity editor, public speaker, workshop facilitator, educator, mentor, coach, and activist. She is a woman who is, in no particular order, an out queer autistic lesbian trans woman. Talia is Chair of the Board of Directors for Heartspark Press, a press run by and for trans women and assigned male at birth non-binary folk. She is part of the leadership team of Autistics for Autistics Ontario. She is co-editor of the Nothing Without Us anthology of own voices Disability fiction released in September 2019. Talia is the first transgender woman to be ordained a Kohenet (Hebrew priestess) through the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Institute receiving smicha in August 2019. Her full priestess title is Kohenet Talia C. Johnson, Shomeret ha Tzitzit (Guardian of the Fringes). Talia’s work as a Kohenet is directly related to her experience as a transgender woman and her academic studies. Her focus is on Judaism, queer/trans/LGBTQIA, and mental health. Her work in these areas bridge mental health, spirituality, and LGBTQIA+/queer/trans spaces, areas which are usually independent silos. She has been an activist in various ways for most of her life. Her first words were, apparently, “That’s not fair!”

Luke R. J. Maynard

Luke R. J. Maynard is a writer, musician, lapsed medievalist, and law student from London, Ontario, Canada. Best known as the author of the Travalaith Saga, he received his PhD in English from the University of Victoria in 2013, and his JD at the University of Toronto. His most recent book, “The Season of the Cerulyn,” was released in March. Luke currently lives in Toronto.

Nina Munteanu

Nina is a Canadian ecologist and novelist. Nina has written over a dozen eco-fiction, science fiction and fantasy novels. An award-winning short story writer, and essayist, Nina currently lives in Toronto where she teaches writing at the University of Toronto and George Brown College.  Her book “Water Is…” (Pixl Press)—a scientific study and personal journey as limnologist, mother, teacher and environmentalist—was picked by Margaret Atwood in the New York Timesas 2016 ‘The Year in Reading’. Nina’s most recent novel is “A Diary in the Age of Water”—about four generations of women and their relationship to water in a rapidly changing world—released in June 2020 by Inanna Publications

Stephen B. Pearl

Stephen B. Pearl is a multiple published author whose works range across the speculative fiction field. His writings often incorporate real places and focus heavily on the logical consequences of the worlds he crafts. He follows advancements in science because good science fiction is based in good science. His life long association with cats has given him insights into the species. Stephen’s Inspirations encompass H.G. Wells, J.R. Tolken, Frank Herbert, Jim Butcher, Anne McCaffrey, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, and Homer among others. He strongly believes that good fiction is based on good fact, so he can often be found researching elements of his next book. He also holds that to write one must read and that there is greatness in all forms of literature. One could say he pursues the great– then to the best of his abilities tries to distill it down and express it as his own original work. Stephen Currently resides in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada and can be reached through his website: www.stephenpearl.com

Jennifer Lee Rossman

Jennifer Lee Rossman is a gay tornado made of sharks. She lives in a group home for disabled people in Binghamton, New York, and she thinks dinosaurs are neat.

Avi Silver

Avi Silver is a queer, nonbinary author and editor of speculative fiction. They co-created The Shale Project, an award-winning indie arts collective, and are passionate about stories that wield tenderness as a tool of change. Their first novel, TWO DARK MOONS, was released in 2019, with the sequel due out in 2021. Find their short fiction in Common Bonds: An Aromantic Speculative Anthology, and the web serial Tales from a Library. They are also an Assistant Editor at Augur Magazine. 

Madona Skaff

Madona Skaff-Koren was a research technologist and now writes full time. She’s published several science-fiction and mystery short stories.

One of her two recent stories, which appear in “The Whole She-Bang 2”, a Toronto Sisters in Crime anthology, was a Finalist in the Arthur Ellis award for excellence in Canadian crime writing.

She lives in Ottawa, Canada. Her dog’s contribution to writing involves warming her feet. A Journey of a Thousand Steps is her debut novel.

Su J Sokol

Su J Sokol

SuJ  Sokol is a social rights advocate and a writer of speculative, liminal, and interstitial fiction. A former legal services lawyer from New York City, xe now makes Montréal xir home. Sokol is the author of three novels: Cycling to Asylum, which waslong-listed for the Sunburst Award for Excellence in Canadian Literature of the Fantastic and has been optioned for development into a feature-length film, Run J Run, published by Renaissance Press in 2019, and Zee, coming out in November in both French and English with Mouton noir Acadie.When xe is not writing, battling slumlords, bringing evil bureaucracies to their knees, and smashing borders, Sokol curates and participates in readings and literary events in Canada and abroad.

Jamieson Wolf

Jamieson Wolf

Jamieson has been writing since a young age when he realized he could be writing instead of paying attention in school. Since then, he has created many worlds in which to live his fantasies and live out his dreams. He is a Number One Best Selling Author (he likes to tell people that a lot) and writes in many different genres. Jamieson is also an accomplished artist. He works in mixed media, charcoal and pastels. He is also something of an amateur photographer, a poet and graphic designer. He currently lives in Ottawa, Ontario with his husband, Michael.

Nathan Caro Fréchette

Nathan Fréchette

Nathan Caro Fréchette is a queer transgender man, a sequential artist, publisher, and author. He has published over a dozen short stories, both graphic and prose, as well as five novels, three graphic novels, and two works of nonfiction. He is the author of the online comic Some Assembly Required on Tapas. He has taught creative writing over a decade, and has a degree in Film Studies and another in Sequential Art. He was the founder and director of the French Canadian literary magazine Histoires à Boire Debout, was an editor for the French Canadian graphic novel publisher Premières Lignes.


Check out their awesome panels on the program.