Writers for Hire

The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador encourages the recognition of the professional status of writers. As the provincial literary sector organization, WANL works to enhance and protect the rights of our writers and has identified the right to be fairly compensated for their work as a high priority for our members.

Writers must be paid for their services, including readings, manuscript evaluations, proposal writing, editing, school visits, etc (funding for some of these activities, such as school visits, may be available through sources such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and school boards).

Actual fees for services should be negotiated with the writer; this directory is intended only to provide information. We encourage you to consider hiring writers to address your writing and related needs.

Writers are listed alphabetically by last name.

Sharon Bala

St. John’s

Web site

Phone: (709) 237-0947

Email: sharon.bala@gmail.com

Available for: manuscript evaluation, editorial advice, article and essay writing

Categories: novels, short fiction, non-fiction

Biography :

Sharon Bala’s debut novel, The Boat People – the story of a refugee’s desperate bid for freedom – is forthcoming from McClelland & Stewart and Doubleday US (January 2018). The manuscript won the Percy Janes First Novel Award (May 2015) and was short-listed for the Fresh Fish Award (October 2015).

Sharon spends an ungodly number of hours writing stories and would be pleased to have a look at one of yours. Her feedback is kind but, more importantly, constructive, insightful, and thorough. And yes, she has done this many times before and will happily provide referrals.

Sharon is a member of the Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. In 2015 they released a collection of stories called Racket, published by Breakwater Books. Somewhere in her basement are two expensive pieces of paper: an MA in History from the University of Toronto and a BAH in Psychology and History from Queen’s University.

Awards: Three NL Arts & Letters Awards for short fiction (2012, 2013, 2015), Percy Janes First Novel Award (2015).

Publications: short fiction in: Grain, PRISM international, The New Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, Room, Riddle Fence, and Racket (Breakwater Books, 2015); non-fiction in: The Globe & Mail, Atlantic Books Today, and Freelance, the newsletter of the SK Writers’ Guild.

Scott Bartlett

St. john’s

Web site

Phone: (709) 697-9950

Email: scott_t_bartlett@hotmail.com

Available for: Freelance Writing Projects, Technical and Business Writing, Grant Writing, Manuscript Evaluation, Proofreading, Research, Writing and Publishing Workshops, Talks, Readings, Book Club Appearances, School Visits

Scott is available for travel.

Categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Blogging, Promotional, Grants, Sales Copy, Research, Editing

Biography: Scott Bartlett is a multi-award-winning author. His novel Royal Flush won the H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize and his novel Taking Stock won the Percy Janes First Novel Award as well as the Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award. Taking Stock was also a semi-finalist in the 2014 Best Kindle Book Awards. Scott has judged multiple writing competitions, given several workshops, and has blogged for the United Nations. He’s built a successful writing career on knowing how to laser-focus his writing – whether fiction or sales copy – so that it appeals directly to the target audience. Scott has received two grants from ArtsNL. He’s also written viral online pieces read by hundreds of thousands of people.

Selected Awards: Chapters Write to Win Short Story Competition Winner (2005), WANL Skin and Fog Haiku Competition Winner (2006), H. R. (Bill) Percy Prize Recipient (2007), Lawrence Jackson Writers’ Award Recipient (2012), United Nations Rio+20 Big Blog Off Winner (2012), Percy Janes First Novel Award Recipient (2012), Grain Magazine’s Short Story Competition 2nd Place (2013), Best Kindle Book Awards Semi-Finalist (2014), Cuffer Prize Shortlist (2014)

Selected Publications: Royal Flush (2011), Taking Stock (2013), “The Proletarian” (2015), Finished with Life but Unable to Die (2015)

Paul Butler

Lethbridge, Alberta, and Corner Book, Newfoundland

Web site

Phone: (403) 915-7685

E-mail: paul.butler@nl.rogers.com

Available for: Writing Workshop Design and Facilitation, Editing/Copy-Editing, Readings and Talks, School Visits, Manuscript Evaluation, Writing Tutorials, and Curriculum Writing.
Categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Journalism, Book Reviews, Curriculum, Educational Workbooks, Screenwriting.

Biography: Butler is the author of nine novels, the most recent of which is The Good Doctor (2014, Pennywell). His next scheduled novel, The Widow’s Fire, is an exploration of the shadow side of Jane Austen’s final novel, Persuasion. This has been accepted by Inanna Publications (York University, Toronto). Butler’s work has appeared on the judges’ lists of Canada Reads, the Newfoundland and Labrador Book Awards shortlists, and he was on the Relit Longlist for three consecutive years. Between 2003 and 2008 he won in the annual Government of Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards four times and was subsequently invited to be first literary representative and then chair on the Arts and Letters committee.

Butler has written extensively for Canada’s History over the years, writing a number of features and cover stories. His book reviews frequently appeared in the Globe and Mail. As a writing workshop leader and mentor he has worked through the Division of Lifelong learning at Memorial University (St. John’s), the English Department at Memorial, Community Education (Grenfell Campus), The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (Mentorship Program), and he was invited to present on his 2006 novel NaGeira and run workshops on time-shifts and layered narratives for the Canadian Authors’ Association in Toronto. His roster of clients includes several prize-winning novelists who continue to use his services on a regular basis.

Selected Awards: Four Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Awards, 2008, 2006, 2004, and 2003. Longlisted for the Relit Awards three years running, 2009 with 1892, 2010 with Hero, and 2011 with Cupids.

Selected Publications: The Widow’s Fire (Inanna, upcoming 2017), The Good Doctor (2014, Flanker) Cupids (Flanker, 2011), Hero (Nimbus, 2009),1892 (St. John’s, 2008), NaGeira (St John’s: Pennywell Books, 2006), Easton’s Gold (St John’s: Brazen Books, 2005), Easton (St John’s: Flanker Press, 2004),Stoker’s Shadow (St John’s: Flanker Press, 2003).

Charis Cotter

Western Bay

Web site

Phone: (709) 758-2847

E-mail: chariscotter@gmail.com

Mail: P.O. Box 291, Western Bay, NL A0A 4J0

Available For: Readings, school visits (province-wide), workshops, editing, proofreading, copy-editing, substantive editing, stylistic editing, project management, manuscript evaluation, freelance writing projects (big or small), content editing, editorial consultation.

Categories: Editing, Adult Non-Fiction, Children’s Non-Fiction, Children’s Fiction, Research, Corporate Writing, Advertising Copy, Web site Writing

Biography: Charis Cotter is a writer and editor with 20 years experience in publishing. She is a proficient editor who can take a manuscript from first draft to print-ready proofs, or do any stage in between. She writes children’s fiction and non-fiction and conducts critically acclaimed school workshops, using drama and storytelling to present her books.

Selected Awards: Finalist, Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction, 2010; Finalist, Hackmatack Children’s Choice Book Award, 2009, 2011; Finalist, Silver Birch Award, 2008; Honor title, World Storytelling Award, 2009; Honors Award, World Storytelling, 2011; Finalist, Rocky Mountain Book Award, 2009, 2010; Heritage Toronto Award of Excellence, 2005.

Selected Publications: Born to Write: The Remarkable Lives of Six Famous Authors (Annick Press, 2009); A World Full of Ghosts. Art by Marc Mongeau.(Annick Press, 2009); The Remarkable Lives of Nine Child Prodigies (Annick Press, 2008); Kids Who Rule: The Remarkable Lives of Five Child Monarchs(Annick Press, 2007); Toronto Between the Wars: Life in the City 1919-1939  (Firefly Books, 2004); The Swallow: A Ghost Story (Tundra Books, 2014), The Ghosts of Baccalieu (Baccalieu Books, 2013)

Marjorie Doyle, M.A.

St. John’s

Web site

E-mail: marjorie.m.doyle@gmail.com

Mail: P.O. Box 6242, St. John’s, NL A1C 6J9

Available For: Public Readings, School Visits, Workshops, Book Club Appearances, and Manuscript Evaluation.

Marjorie is available for travel.

Categories: Non-fiction, Essay, Travel Writing, Journalism, Columns, Op-ed Pieces.

Biography: An experienced CBC radio broadcaster and award-winning writer, Marjorie has been a columnist with The Globe and Mail and has published widely across Canada in newspapers and literary magazines. Two of her pieces have been anthologized in high school textbooks. In Winter 2009, she was Haig-Brown Writer-in-Residence on Vancouver Island. She has read widely across Canada including at Writers at Woody Point, Words on the Water (Vancouver Island), SPARKS, and the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto.

Selected Awards: Golden Sheaf Award – nomination 2012, National Magazine Award—Silver, 2005; Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition, 2009, 2007, 2003, 2002; CBC Radio Awards for Programming Excellence, 1995, 1994.

Selected Publications: A Doyle Reader: Writings from Home and Away (2013); Reels, Rock and Rosaries: Confessions of a Newfoundland Musician (2005); Newfoundlander in Exile: The Life and Times of Philip Tocque (1814-1899) (1997); A View of Her Own 1996). Essays in Untying the Apron (2013) and Slice Me Some Truth (2011). Co-writer/director of the film Regarding Our Father (2011). The Newfoundland section of Fodor’s Travel Guide to Atlantic Canada (2010).

Denise Flint

St. John’s

Phone: (709) 895-0261

E-mail: dflint@nl.rogers.com 

Available For: Writing and Editing Assignments, School Visits, Workshops, Historical Research.

Denise is available for travel.

Categories: Non-Fiction, Journalism (print and digital), Research, Feature Writing (with accompanying photography if desired), Corporate Work (news releases, brochures, etc.), Crosswords and Quizzes, Writing for Children.

Biography: A professional member of PWAC (Professional Writer’s Association of Canada), Denise has written hundreds of articles for magazines and newspapers, as well as for government and corporate clients. She is a stickler for getting it right and has never missed a deadline.

Selected Publications: The Globe & Mail, The National Post, St. John’s Telegram, History Magazine, Canadian Geographic.

Robin McGrath, Ph.D.

Goose Bay

Phone: (709) 896-7213

E-mail: robinmcgrath@gmail.com

Mail: Box 862, Station C, Goose Bay, NL A0P 1C0

Available For: Workshops, Readings, School Visits, Book Groups, Lectures, Conference Reports, Traditional Knowledge, Tourism Information, and Oral History Interviews.

Robin is willing to travel, particularly within Newfoundland, Labrador, and the Canadian Arctic.

Categories: Non-Fiction, Business and Technical Writing, Journalism, Reviews and Oral Histories (with a particular emphasis on material related to aboriginal people).

Biography: Robin has written hundreds of articles, newspaper columns, and reviews, and authored and edited 16 books. She has work published throughout the world and is a columnist with The Telegram.

Selected Awards: Henry Fuerstenberg Poetry Award; The Newfoundland and Labrador Heritage and History Award; 14 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition awards; Canada-Caribbean short list for the Commonwealth Award.

Selected Publications: Salt Fish and Schmattes: A History of the Jews of Newfoundland and Labrador from 1770 (Creative Press, 2006); Coasting Trade(Rattling Books, 2006); Covenant of Salt (Killick Press, March 2005); Donovan’s Station (Killick Press, 2002).

Gareth Mitton

Cow Head, Gros Morne


Phone: (709) 243-7279

Email: gareth@whatboxcreative.ca

Mailing address:

P.O. Box 52,
Cow Head, NL
A0K 2A0

Available for: Freelance writing; articles and features; advertorial; ghost writing; copy writing; web content writing; social media writing and curation; blogging; proofreading and editing; interviews; writing workshops; talks and presentations.

Categories: Marketing/promotional copy writing; articles; blogging; scriptwriting (TV, radio, stage); research; editing.

Gareth is available for travel


Gareth is an award-winning marketing copywriter and creative director, and has been writing professionally since 2002. Born in Rochdale, England, Gareth completed a BA (hons) in English Language Studies at the University of Central Lancashire, England in 2001 before relocating to Atlantic Canada. He spent one year as a reporter and content editor with a large-circulation newspaper, and over a decade as a writer and creative director with Atlantic Canada’s largest marketing communications company, leading campaigns for clients such as New Brunswick Tourism and Parks; Crosby’s Molasses; Mary Brown’s Chicken; the City of St. John’s; Atlantic Lottery (Pro-Line); and the Federal Department of Agriculture and Agri-foods, to name a few. A freelancer since 2014, Gareth has penned scripts for major commercial television campaigns and live stage shows, as well as writing in-depth articles for publications ranging from Marine Technology Reporter to Home and Cabin Magazine. He has written content for multiple company websites, overseen complex branding campaigns and served as a freelance blogger for a prominent interior design company. Gareth now lives in Cow Head – in the heart of Gros Morne National Park – taking advantage of his inspirational surroundings to provide writing services to a host of happy clients, while also pursuing personal fiction and non-fiction projects.

Awards: Best Sports Betting Game Advertising Campaign, 2012 World Lottery Awards (Writer and Creative Director for How Good is your Game campaign); Honourable Mention – 2011 & 2012 EDCO Marketing Awards (Writer and Creative Director – Everything Brampton Tourism Guide).

Gareth was selected to be one of eight judges nationwide for the 2012 Applied Arts Student Awards, featured in Applied Arts magazine.

Publications: Marine Technology Reporter; Home & Cabin Magazine; Old Crow Magazine; The Co-operator Magazine; The Anchor Weekly (reporter and content editor); SAM [Says] (freelance blogger for SAM Design blog).


Bernice Morgan

St. John’s

Web site

Phone: C/O Breakwater – (709) 722-6660, or Knopf Canada Publicity – (416) 957-1538

Available For: Readings, Lectures, School Visits and Book-Group Visits.

Categories: Fiction

Biography: A charter member of the Writers’ Alliance and the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild and frequent winner of the Newfoundland and Labrador’s Arts and Letters Competition, Morgan has served on numerous boards including the editorial board of Killick Press and on the board of the Newfoundland Quarterly. Her first two novels were filmed as a four-part CBC television miniseries, Random Passage.

Selected Awards: Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, Thomas H. Raddall Award for Fiction, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council Artist of the Year.

Selected Publications: Random Passage (St. John’s: Breakwater, 1992);Waiting For Time (St. John’s: Breakwater, 1994); Topography of Love (St. John’s: Breakwater, 2000); Cloud of Bone (Toronto: Knopf Canada, 2007).

Nellie P. Strowbridge


Phone: (709) 686-5018

E-mail: nellie_strowbridge@yahoo.com

Mail: Box 243, Pasadena, NL   A0L 1K0

Available For: Workshops, Readings, School Visits, and Book-Group Visits.

Categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Journalism, Monologue.

Biography: Nellie’s children’s book, Far From Home Dr. Grenfell’s Little Orphan(Flanker imprint) sold out its 2004 and 2006 printings and was short-listed for the Newfoundland and Labrador Historic and History Award in 2006.

Selected Awards: Canada’s Stamp of Approval Award; 16 Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition Awards.

Selected Publications: The Tongue of a Newfoundlander-Labradorian ( St John’s: Flanker Press, 2007); The Gift of Christmas ( St John’s: Flanker Press, 2006); Dancing on Ochre Sands ( St John’s: Jesperson Publishing, 2004).

Sara Tilley

St. John’s

Web site

E-mail: sara@saratilley.ca

Mail: 64 Quidi Vidi Road, St. John’s, NL  A1A 1C1

Available For: Workshops, Readings, School Visits, New Play Dramaturgy, Manuscript Evaluation, Book-Group Visits, and Grant Writing.

Categories: Fiction, Plays, Non-Fiction, Poetry, Grant Writing.

Biography: Sara has written or co-written ten professionally produced plays. She is the author of a novel, Skin Room, and has extensive experience as a successful grant-writer for a variety of not-for-profit initiatives.

Selected Awards: Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers, 2006; Percy Janes First Novel Award, 2004; Rhonda Payne Award, 2006.

Selected Publications: Novel: Skin Room (Toronto: Pedlar Press, 2008).

Leslie Vryenhoek

St. John’s

Web site

Phone: (709) 726-0614

E-mail: lesliv@nl.rogers.com

Available For: Editing, Manuscript Evaluation, Promotional/Corporate Writing, Feature Writing (print and audio), Strategic Communications Planning, Issues Management, Profile Writing, Reports, Readings, School Visits, Workshops, Book Club Visits

Categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Promotional, Corporate, Non-profit.

Biography: Leslie Vryenhoek is the acclaimed author of Scrabble Lessons (fiction) and Gulf (poetry) and a new novel, Ledger of the Open Hand (Breakwater Books 2015). Her fiction, poetry and memoir have been published and broadcast across Canada and internationally. For two decades, Leslie has worked as a communications specialist in advanced education, international development, emergency response, and the arts. Based in St. John’s, she is also the founding director of Piper’s Frith: Writing at Kilmory, an annual retreat.

Selected Awards: Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Award 2010, senior fiction; Winston Collins/Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem; Geist’s Fortune Cookie contest; Eden Mills Festival Literary Competition; Cahoots magazine fiction competition; Newfoundland and Labrador Arts & Letters Award, poetry; Dalton Camp Award (national essay competition); Finalist, Gerald Lampert Award for Poetry. Books I’ve edited have been shortlisted for the Impac Dublin Literary Award and an NL Book Award for non-fiction.

Selected Publications:  Ledger of the Open Hand (novel, 2015, Breakwater Books); Gulf (poetry, 2011, Oolichan Books); Scrabble Lessons (short stories, 2009, Oolichan Books); “Goodbye Girl” in Telling Truths: Storying Motherhood(Sheena Wilson and Diana Davidson, eds.).

Claire Wilkshire

St. John’s

Web site

Phone: (709) 726-0614

E-mail: editor@nf.sympatico.ca

Mail: 71 Freshwater Road, St. John’s, NL   A1C 2N4

Available For: Writing, Editing (all kinds), Workshops (writing and grammar) French or English lessons, Manuscript Evaluation, Story Editing.

Available to travel.

Categories: Fiction, Non-Fiction, Business, Technical Writing.

Biography: Claire Wilkshire has a Ph.D. in Canadian literature from the University of British Columbia and is an experienced teacher of university-level language and literature courses. She is a current member of the Editors’ Association of Canada.

Selected Publications: edited with John Metcalf: Writers Talking; short fiction published in a variety of literary magazines; numerous book reviews in journals.

Clients have included: Offshore Helicopter Safety Inquiry, Commission of Inquiry into Hormone Receptor Testing, Canada-Newfoundland Offshore Petroleum Board, Bluedrop Performance Learning, assorted federal and provincial government departments, professors and graduate students at Memorial University and other institutions, musicians, writers, and others.