Kelley Power, 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.
Ainsley Hawthorn, Vice-President
Ainsley Hawthorn, Ph.D., is an author and cultural historian based in St. John’s. Her first non-fiction book, The Other Five Senses, is supported by a grant from ArtsNL and represented by The Margret McBride Literary Agency. She is also editing an anthology called Land of Many Shores: Stories from a Diverse Newfoundland and Labrador for Breakwater Books and is a regular contributor to CBC and the Newfoundland Quarterly online.
Amanda Labonte, Lifetime Members & 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.
Ellen Curtis, Secretary
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.
Colleen Soulliere, St. John’s/Avalon Representative
Colleen Soulliere is a writer of fiction and non-fiction. Her fictional work won a Newfoundland Arts and Letters Award (2018) and the Homer F. Plante Creative Writing Award (1993), and has appeared in The Claremont Review and Pluralist. She is a lapsed food blogger (co-creator of The Moose Curry Experience ) and erstwhile ghostwriter. Colleen is a wildlife-biologist-turned-public-policy-professional experienced in governance, public engagement, strategic planning, accountability, and employee relations. She has a strong interest in facilitating the continued and improved professionalism of the literary arts community in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Colleen lives in Harbour Grace, where she is working on a collection of short stories.
Alisha Morrissey, Member at Large (2 Years)
Alisha Morrissey is an award-winning professional writer, making money from words for more than 15 years. She started out in journalism and has worked in public policy, public relations, corporate communications, and marketing, making her writing as diverse as the people she works with. She is currently the Copy Director at Rogue Penguin Creative, a youth art teacher with Sassy Tuna, and a professional artist working in St. John’s.
Rob MacDonald, Member at Large, continuing (1 Year)
Due to a cosmic clerical error, Rob was born and raised in New Jersey, but found his way home to St. John’s in 2017. Now he pursues his heart’s calling: making stuff up. A composer by degree, software developer by trade, and nerd by inclination, Rob is keen on speculative fiction, weird music, film, space, and fringe science, all at once whenever possible. His flash fiction has appeared in the Newfoundland Quarterly and in Kit Sora: The Artobiography from Engen Books. He currently sits on WANL’s Podcast Committee, and is grateful for his apprentice spot in the 2019 WANL Mentorship Program.
Carolyn R. Parsons, Central/Burin Representative
Carolyn R. Parsons is the author of the historical fiction drama The Forbidden Dreams of Betsy Elliott released in 2019 by Flanker Press. A full-time writer residing in Lewisporte, NL., she has a background in freelance journalism, having penned a regular column, a bi-weekly arts feature and general news for The Pilot and more recently wrote an arts column for The Central Voice called Art & Soul. Other Books include a poetry collection, three novels and a collection of short stories. Her 2017 novel, Charley through Canada attained bestseller status on Amazon. She manages social media for Rogers TV in GFW, runs the newly formed Central NL Writing Group and is also a founding director of Literary Events NL.
Sarah Thompson, Western/Labrador Representative
Sarah Thompson is a journalist and former radio broadcaster from Central Newfoundland, now residing on the west coast. She published her first short story in the Engen Books compilation Light/Dark and is currently working on her first novel. When she isn’t writing, Sarah can be found performing with, or directing for her local community theatre company, the Off Broadway Players.
Emily Lyver, Youth Advocate
Emily Lyver is a recent graduate of the Journalism program at the College of the North Atlantic. Her love for writing first manifested with free verse poetry, but she has since found her passion in short stories and opinion pieces – when she isn’t plagued with writer’s block, that is.
Renee Boileau, Avalon/St. John’s
Once upon a time, Renee Boileau solved engineering problems with math. Now she’s putting on a new hat to build a voice for St. John’s: she founded The Fogbank Audio Coworking Group to connect a cohort of budding podcasters, sharing skills and bootstrapping gear. Her ‘red-letter day’ is seeing the light go on for someone else as they discover they can write, tell a story, and find an audience themselves! And maybe someday soon she’ll finally have time to write that elusive sci-fi novel.
Debbie Robbins, Member at Large
Writing under the pen name, Kate Robbins, Debbie Robbins is an internationally bestselling and award-winning author of Scottish historical romance. Debbie’s credits also include playwright, filmmaker and stage director. When not penning her latest historical adventure set in the Scottish Highlands, Debbie can be found herding her teenagers or feeding her Great British Baking Show addiction.
Lauralana Dunne, Member at Large
A St. John’s native, Lauralana recently rediscovered her love of writing while on maternity leave. Since that time, she has become involved in the local writing community, and is learning the tips and tricks of anyone who will talk to her. She is currently work-shopping the manuscript for her first novel.
Michelle Porter, Past 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.