Executive Officers

Michelle Porter, President

Michelle Porter is a Métis writer who has called Newfoundland and Labrador home for almost ten years now. She is the incoming managing editor with The Independent. She is also teaching journalism and doing research part-time. She holds a BA in Journalism and Communications, an MA in Folklore, and a PhD in Geography. She was selected for the longlist for the 2016 and the 2017 CBC Poetry Prize. She was a winner for the 2017 Arts and Letters Award, Senior Poetry category. This year, she won funding from Arts NL to create a poetry manuscript about the mobile, overlapping, historical and contemporary meanings of Métis home.


Kelley Power, Vice President

Kelley Power is a lifelong logophile who divides her time between communications consulting and writing. Her work has won the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters competition and the 48-Hour Novel Writing Marathon (Engen Books). She is currently working on completing the manuscript of her first novel, for which she recently received a project grant from ArtsNL. 


Amanda Labonte,Treasurer

Amanda Labonté divides her time between writing and co-running a thriving business. Her young adult novel, Call of the Sea, was published in November 2015 with a sequel planned for April 2018 by Engen Books. Amanda lives in St. John’s with her husband and their two continuously growing children.


Sarah Bennett, Secretary

Sarah Bennett is a writer who lives in St. John’s. Her work appeared on the shortlist for the CBC Nonfiction Prize in 2017 and on the longlist in 2015 and 2016. In 2017, she won the Glass Buffalo Short Fiction Contest. Sarah is a member of The Naked Parade writing group and she is working on her first novel.


Terry Doyle, St. John’s/Avalon Representative 

Terry Doyle is writer from the Goulds. He is currently working on his first novel, for which he won the 2017 Percy Janes First Novel Award, and was a finalist for the 2017 NLCU Fresh Fish Award. Terry studies fiction writing at Memorial University and is a member of The Naked Parade writer’s group.


Andrew Peacock, St. John’s/Avalon Representative

Andrew Peacock worked as a veterinarian in Newfoundland from 1982 to 2010. His memoir, Creatures of the Rock, was released by Doubleday Canada in 2014, long listed for the Leacock medal and won the 2014 Newfoundland and Labrador Book Award for non-fiction. As well as writing with the Saltwater Writers’ Circle, Andrew is involved with photography, running, bicycling and the outdoors. 


Janice Godin, Western/Labrador Representative

Janice Godin lives and works on the west coast of Newfoundland as a primary / elementary school teacher. In her spare time she writes under her own name and under the pen name, JJ King. Her Newfoundland based women’s fiction / romance recently won the 2017 Contemporary Romance Award from Books & Benches and has received a lot of local attention. Her JJ King paranormal romance trilogy is a BESTSELLER.
    Janice is the Event Coordinator for the newly formed LENL, Literary Events Newfoundland and Labrador. Their first event was the highly successful Canada 150 Literary Tour NL. Ten library stops across the province over an eight week period, culminating in a finale in St. Johns. Their special guests, Joel Thomas Hynes (Govenor General’s Award for fiction!!) and Bill Rowe said they’d love to come back again. LENL is currently planning next year’s tour.


Ray Critch, Member-at-Large

The son, grandson, nephew, and brother of teachers, Ray has taught with MUN’s Philosophy Department and its Law and Society program before getting called to the bar and commencing work as a lawyer in 2016. A native of St. John’s, he lived in Edinburgh (PhD – 2010) and Vienna during his graduate studies, and returned to Newfoundland in 2011. Now working as an Associate with Goodland Buckingham where he practices civil litigation, Ray also spends his time playing Lego and Pokemon with his 6-year old son, doing his best to instill nerdy values in the next generation.


Christopher Walsh, Member-at-Large

Christopher Walsh is an author from the Southern Shore on the Avalon Peninsula of Newfoundland, Canada. After spending several years travelling and living across the country, he returned home, and in 2011 began crafting the world of Gold & Steel. As Fierce as Steel, the inaugural entry in the series, is also his first foray into the published literary world.



Philip Patey, Member-at-Large

Philip Patey spends most of his time writing when he is not tending perennial flowers and volunteering with several community and provincial organizations. He has read his poetry at the Eric’s Time venue of the March Hare, is a member of Scribblers’ Ink; a Gander-based writers’ group, and has served on the WANL Board as the Central/Burin representative for several years.



Ellen Curtis, Youth Advocate

Ellen Curtis was born and raised in St. John’s, Newfoundland. In 2008 she published her first collection of short stories with Engen Books. Since then, she has gone on to co-author the Infinity series with Matthew LeDrew, and has joined the company as partner, spearheading the From the Rock anthology series. In 2015, Ellen earned her Bachelor of Arts from Memorial University. Ellen is currently working on her fourth novel.



Denise Flint, Past President

Denise Flint is a freelance journalist living in St. Philips with her husband, a house full of animals and books, and a wonderful view of the ocean. She believes in the healing powers of good grammar and good wine. Those are the facts. Everything else is subject to change without notice.


Denise Flint