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2021-2022 Board of Directors

Executive Officers

Ainsley Hawthorn, President

Ainsley Hawthorn, Ph.D. is a non-fiction author and cultural historian based in St. John’s. She writes for CBC, blogs for Psychology Today, and edited the recently released anthology Land of Many Shores: Perspectives from a Diverse Newfoundland and Labrador.
Her background in charity leadership and grant-making informed her work as WANL’s Vice-President and Chair of its Literary Awards Committee for the past two years.
As President, she hopes to focus on continuing to improve the processes for WANL’s Awards and Mentorship programs and to make the organization more representative of and accessible to the writing and storytelling community in this province, especially writers from historically oppressed groups.


Sonja Boon, Vice President

Sonja Boon is an award-winning researcher, writer, teacher, and flutist living in St. John’s. Passionate about stories and storytelling, she is the author of What the Oceans Remember: Searching for Belonging and Home (WLU Press, 2019), a memoir that traverses five continents and spans more than two centuries. Sonja’s creative non-fiction essays appear in anthologies as well as in Geist, The Ethnic Aisle, ROOM, and Riddle Fence, among others.
In addition to her literary work, Sonja has published three scholarly books and numerous articles and book chapters on a range of topics, from eighteenth-century medical life writing to breastfeeding selfies, mixed-race belonging, and craftivism. For six years, Sonja was principal flutist and a frequent soloist with the Portland Baroque Orchestra (Oregon).
In 2020, she was awarded the Ursula Franklin Award in Gender Studies by the Royal Society of Canada.


Erica Green, Treasurer

Erica M. Green, CPA, CMA is a military child hailing (mostly) from Nova Scotia, who moved to Newfoundland in 2006. She has worked as a public practice Accountant but currently works in industry as Accounting Supervisor with the Western Group of Companies – an Automotive, Recreation and Construction group of 10+ companies in both Corner Brook and Grand Falls-Windsor.
In her spare time, Erica can be found performing with community and professional theatre groups including Theatre Newfoundland and Labrador, Hard Ticket Productions and the Off Broadway Players (OBP), for whom she has also been the Treasurer for four years. Erica is also involved in her wife’s dinner theatre company, New Found Family Drama, as performer, server, dish washer and Accountant. She lives in Corner Brook with her wife of six years and their dog, Roger.


Matthew LeDrew, Secretary

Matthew LeDrew holds a Bachelors’ Degree with Honours in English from the Memorial University of Newfoundland with a minor in Anthropology, and studied Journalism at College of the North Atlantic in Stephenville, Newfoundland.
In 2018, he was honoured to be a jury member of the NLBA awards, and in 2019 was named WANL’s Volunteer of the Year.
He is a best-selling author who has written twenty-two novels for Engen Books: the ten book Coral Beach Casefiles series, The Long Road, the five book Xander Drew series, Jacobi Street, Touch Your Nose, and, the four book Infinity series.
He lives in Chapel Arm, Newfoundland.


Directors

Bonnie Morgan, St. John’s/Avalon Representative (i)

Bonnie Morgan is a librarian, historian and feminist theologian living in Holyrood, NL. She holds Bachelor of Laws and Master of Information and Library Science degrees from Dalhousie University and a Doctorate in History from the University of New Brunswick.
First published in the Newfoundland Herald at age 12, Morgan’s most recent work, Ordinary Saints: Women, Work and Faith in Newfoundland (McGill-Queen’s, 2019) won the Canadian Historical Association’s 2020 Atlantic Clio Prize and was shortlisted for the 2020 Heritage and History Book Award by the Historic Sites Association of NL. Her writing can be found in Canadian Women Shaping Diasporic Religiosities (Wilfred Laurier, 2016) and Making this Place: Class, Gender and Family in Twentieth-Century St. John’s, Newfoundland (McGill-Queen’s, 2014). While living in Halifax, she co-authored A Sentinel on the Street: St. Matthew’s United Church, Halifax, 1749-1999 (Nimbus, 1999).
Morgan currently works as NL Collections Librarian with Newfoundland and Labrador Public Libraries.


Stacey Oakley, St. John’s/Avalon Representative (ii)

Stacey Oakley has lived on both coasts of Canada, and now calls St. John’s home along with her cat, Sophia.
She has a Bachelor of Arts, with a Major in Art History & Visual Studies and a Minor in Social Justice Studies and a Post-Grad Diploma in Cultural Resource Management from the University of Victoria as well as a Diploma in Executive Office Administration from the College of the North Atlantic, during which she completed an internship with WANL.
She has independently published two novels, Hunter’s Soul and The Necromancer, and four short stories, with sequels to both novels in the works. Her literary interests encompass both fiction and non-fiction, though her own work is primarily fantasy. She enjoys taking on new challenges, whether it’s in writing or in life.


Sheri Singleton, Central/Burin/Bonavista Representative

A graduate of Memorial University, Sheri teaches High School English. She lives with her two cats on the beautiful island of Twillingate, NL, a picturesque community of roughly 2500 people off the province’s northeast coast. Her poem The Drive appears in the English 3202 text Vistas used by grade 12 students province-wide. Her poem Sunday Morning, 9 a.m. was nominated for the 2020 Pushcart Prize.
She is currently working on her first novel.


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.


Ali House, Member at Large (i)

Ali House is a writer and editor, with a BFA from Memorial University.
Her short stories have appeared in multiple best-selling anthologies, and were collected in 2020’s The Lightbulb Forest.
Born and raised in Newfoundland, she currently lives in Nova Scotia, where she works in arts admin, dreams of travelling, and is trying to learn Danish.

 


Connie Boland, Member at Large (ii)

Connie Boland is an award-winning journalist, creative writer, and strategic communications professional. The Corner Brook resident has written for Atlantic Business Magazine, CBC Newfoundland and Labrador, Club Manager Quarterly, Downhome, Today’s Parent, and Saltscapes magazines; The Telegram and former Western Star newspapers.
Connie was twice a finalist for Atlantic Journalism Awards, magazine and newspaper categories, and received Canadian News Awards for Outstanding Editorial Achievement.
She is working on her first novel and has a wish list of Magazines to Query pinned, at eye level, on the wall next to her laptop. She is a lifelong learner, graduating with a B.Ed. in April 2019, twelve years after enrolling in Memorial University. The journalism graduate is working toward a Diploma in Creative Writing.
When not writing for fun or profit, Connie can be found hiking or snowshoeing (depending on the season), learning to run, capturing half-decent images on her iPhone, huddled in her reading cave, or hanging out with family, including a 20-year-old cat, and 12-year-old SPCA rescue dog.


James Case, Member at Large (iii)

James (Jim) Case was born and raised on Springdale Street in St. John’s, Newfoundland. He possesses a Bachelor of Environmental Design Studies (1979) from Nova Scotia Technical College and Bachelor of Architecture (1981) from the Technical University of Nova Scotia. Since his retirement after forty years of architectural practice, Jim has been writing a light-hearted but often caustic blog about the state of architecture (and politics) in Newfoundland and Labrador. These ramblings can be found here. Jim has now changed his life course and is a published author of historical fiction. Information about his writing sojourn and his debut novel can be found here.
He does most of his writing from an inspiring and inspired location in Salmon Cove where he can routinely be found walking the beach with his wife Cindy and their Wolfhounds, Belle and Tully. His novel Ananias was published in October of 2020 by Nevermore Press (Lunenburg NS). His work in progress, a follow up novel entitled Vicory, recently surpassed the halfway mark – about 50,000 words.


Jason Normore, Youth Advocate

Jason Normore has been working in community organizations in both Newfoundland and Ontario for the past years with a focus on people 30 and younger. He holds a masters in theology with the goal of pursuing a PHD.
For the past year, he has been working in film and television and is currently recording a full-length album, along with music videos. Jason recently completed his first manuscript of poems, Where the Wildflowers Grow, and is hoping to release it next year.
Jason says, “As an artist who grew up in a small town in Newfoundland, I think it’s of the utmost importance to create opportunities for youth in isolated environments to have their voices and work read, heard and seen.”


Susan Flanagan, Past President

Susan Flanagan has worked as a freelance journalist (BJ, King’s College, NS, 1991) in St. John’s and Halifax for 30 years. Her non-fiction works have appeared in Canadian Geographic, Canadian Running, National Geographic (maps), Newfoundland Quarterly, The Hockey News, Doctors’ Review, Atlantic Progress, Atlantic Business, Saltscapes and Nelson Literacy’s high school textbook, Homegrown.
Susan has two novels hitting the shelves in 2021: In May, Supermarket Baby, winner 2019 Percy Janes First Novel Award (Flanker Press) completed thanks to an ArtsNL project grant, and her first YA novel, The Degrees of Barley Lick (Running the Goat Books & Broadsides).
Susan has also worked as a columnist for The Newfoundland Herald (48 Degrees, 2002-04) and The Telegram (The Kids are Alright, 2011-15), and has worked for CBC Radio and both NTV and CBC TV in Halifax and St. John’s as reporter, producer and researcher.
She is married with five children. Visit her website here.