Renaissance is privileged to benefit from the help of our extraordinary volunteer acquisitions readers. They are the ones who go through the huge amount of great manuscripts we receive and help filter down what makes it to the acquisitions committee. We would be lost without their help!
Jade Benjamin is a Canadian writer and editor who is fiercely in love with language, words, and magical worlds. After acquiring a double undergraduate degree in English (and Environmental Sciences), a Postgraduate Certificate in Book Publishing, and interning as an Editorial Assistant at Fitzhenry and Whiteside Ltd. (Markham, Ontario) she discovered that freelancing allows her to fit work for independent author clients around her 9-5 expenses-paying job. She has a penchant for collecting interesting names and a fondness for projects that expand her knowledge of story structure and use of evocative language. When she isn’t working, writing, or editing, Jade can be found reading, keeping up with an inordinate number of podcasts, adopting furry family members, and contributing to Weeknight Writers events.
Connie Cook is a semi-retired social worker with experience in families and children. She is currently employed part-time as a library aide, and has won a number of awards in the short story genre, including 2nd prize in the Stratford Rotary Club contest and 3rd prize in the Alice Munro Festival of the Short Story. She has written a weekly column for a local newspaper, and has a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Toronto and a BA from Wilfrid Laurier University. She belongs to a local Writers Group. Currently, she is working on her first fiction novel.
She has 3 grown children and 5 grandchildren. She enjoys reading, writing, bicycling, walking, and volunteering in her local community.
Roy Duffield is a writer and translator from the working class and helps edit Anti-Heroin Chic—a journal that puts those on the outside inside. His writing, which deals heavily with social injustice, has been nominated for the Best of the Net (2023), shortlisted for the Book Edit (2022), won the Robert Allen (2021) and appeared in the likes of Into the Void, The Nashville Review, Unlikely Stories and Metatron Press’s video poetry series. Feel free to reach out on Instagram (@drinking_traveller) or Twitter (@drinktraveller).
Tea Gerbeza (she/her) is a queer disabled and neurodivergent poet, writer, editor, and multimedia artist creating in oskana kâ-asastêki, Treaty 4 territory (Regina, SK). Tea holds an MFA in Writing (University of Saskatchewan) and an MA in English & Creative Writing (University of Regina). Most recently, her scanograph, “My Father Catches Me Confronting Memory,” won an Honourable Mention in Room magazine’s 2020 Cover Art Contest, and she was a finalist for Palette Poetry’s 2021 Emerging Poet Prize. New work appears in the Literary Review of Canada, Contemporary Verse 2, and untethered magazine. Tea is a 2022 Zoeglossia Fellow. She resides in the Canadian prairies with her spouse and three corgis.
A Toronto based generator of art with words. Her/their work invokes deep thought about the human condition.
Cara has a B.A. in English and Linguistics and an Editing Skills Certificate. She loves fiction because it reminds her that change and growth are possible. That’s also why she really into houseplants.
Lisa Webster is Kanienkehaka/Lenape (Mohawk / Deleware) and Scottish settler descent. Along with being an avid and active reader, she is a poet / writer and performer. As ‘altogetherlisa’, she had her debut performance at the 2010 National Campus and Community Radio Conference to resounding success; she qualified for the 2018 Victoria Slam Team and most recently competed in the Canadian Individual Poetry Slam Championships 2021 as a ‘storm poet’ with an honourable mention for outstanding poem, ‘Little Old Lady Hands’. Her participation in the inaugural Kingston Indigenous Language Nest Kenikororo:roks Art and Storytelling workshop resulted in a collaborative video poem written in Kanien’kéha (mohawk) – and a transformation within her. She is now studying Kanien’kéha in order to write within its framework and the Haudenaushonee worldview of peace and connection to the earth. She is a regular feature with both Nanaimo’s Wordstorm and the Victoria Poetry Project. Her poetry has been published locally, in Sea and Cedar, Pocket Lint, the Nanaimo News Bulletin and on Corvus.