Over the course of 28 weeks, graduates of Humber’s Creative Writing – Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction, Poetry graduate certificate program have worked one-on-one with a professional writer-mentor to improve their book-length projects. They learned how to develop plot, character, dialogue, style and more through feedback on their own manuscripts.
Michael Kissoon grew up in Northern Ireland and studied in England, graduating with a joint honours degree in English and philosophy, followed by a master's in critical theory. During his academic journey, he was bitten by the film creation bug and began a career in filmmaking, working on a variety of film and television productions in London before taking up training in digital media production in Scotland. From there, he worked as a computer animator for a number of years with internationally renowned games production companies, before migrating into the world of professional screenwriting.
Michael took a second master's, in screenwriting, at Royal Holloway, University of London, as well the UCLA Professional Screenwriting program to augment his professional work. He has taught screenwriting at college since 2008 and is also a professional educator at the secondary school level.
He has been working on a debut speculative fiction/thriller, EVE 2.0, with Humber mentor Giles Blunt.
Caitlin Oleson grew up in Manitoba where she began her career as a writer working as a teen correspondent for The Brandon Sun and What’s Hers magazine. She then moved to Ottawa to attend Carleton University where she volunteered as a reporter for The Resin student newspaper and as a blogger for the Department of Undergraduate Recruitment. Upon completion of an Honours BA in Sociology and Communication Studies, Caitlin went on to earn a Master of Arts in Sociology from the University of Western Ontario before pursuing a career in the public service. She is now available for freelance work as a writer, researcher, and analyst.
Caitlin’s writing has appeared in OnStage Ottawa, What If? magazine, and The Logberg-Heimskringla. She is also an accomplished playwright and storyteller whose work has been featured in the GRTTWAK podcast, the Ottawa Storyteller’s Stories in 180 series, Mindful Habitat’s Canada Celebrates Folklore series, the Ottawa Fringe Festival, the Kingston Storefront Festival, the TaDa! Festival, and the Fresh Meat Festival. She is a two-time winner of the Sybil Cooke Award through the Ottawa Little Theatre’s National One-Act Playwriting Competition.
Caitlin is a friend of CANSCAIP and a long-time supporter of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. Her work-in-progress YA novel is supported by the mentorship of Tim Wynne-Jones and inspired in part by her personal experiences growing up as part of the Icelandic Diaspora and living with a chronic mood disorder. She hopes readers will find both humor and compassion in her writing.
Janice Clements is an avid reader and daydreamer and has been writing for enjoyment since she could first hold a pen.
A retired interior decorator and project manager, she received her BA (Hon.) from York University, her interior decorating and AutoCAD designer designations from Humber College, and attended the University of Toronto Continuing Education program, focusing on creative writing and screenwriting.
After a brief stint as a guest expert on Cityline with Marilyn Denis, she was published as a regular design advice columnist for the Metroland Media Group.
With two additional manuscripts underway, Janice is focused on completing her debut novel and is grateful for the steady guidance and mentorship of Camilla Gibb at the Humber School for Writers.
She currently lives with her family and her labradoodle, Daisy, outside of Barrie, Ontario.
Mirette Bahgat is an Egyptian creative writer based in Toronto. Her work has appeared in various publications, including Ibua Journal, African Risen, Ake Review, Afreada, HuffPost, and others. She was awarded The European Institute of the Mediterranean writing award and the American University Madalyn Lamont Literary Award, shortlisted for the Short Story Day Africa contest in 2016, and longlisted for the Nommo speculative fiction award in 2019. Mirette holds an MA in political science from the American University in Cairo, and an MSc in psychology from the University of East London. Besides writing, Mirette works in humanitarian assistance as a child protection specialist. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, people-watching and tarot reading.
Arjun Singh is a graduating student at Humber College in the creative writing (fiction) program. Born and raised in India, Arjun came to Canada at the age of 12. He attended Western University to earn a bachelor's degree in English literature and political science along with a certificate in writing studies. Having explored different careers ranging from government public service to research services, Arjun finally realized his passion for writing stories through a life-changing conversation with friends at a diner. Since then, he has taken workshops in creative writing and is currently working on a political drama novel, a short story collection and a screenplay. As a LGBTQ+ writer of colour, Arjun aims to write and tell stories that center queer voices and experiences. His goal as a writer is to tell compelling stories of flawed characters that people can connect with. Currently, Arjun works in media monitoring and consulting and is available for freelance writing/editing projects.
Jennifer Simpson is a writer, performing artist, internationally published songwriter, and former model. She has performed for many years, in places such as Toronto, New York, Montreal, Ottawa, London (UK), Prague, Beijing, Hong Kong, Miami, Greece, and Taiwan. She is an epilepsy ambassador, disability advocate, and the recipient of numerous awards, including the Brookfield Peter F. Bronfman Leadership Scholarship, Community-Engaged Initiative Grant, and The Good Ideas Fund at Hart House. Jennifer has created projects that directly affect and influence vulnerable and marginalized members of her community.
She holds an honours degree with high distinction from the University of Toronto (majoring in sociology and criminology, with a minor in English), and is currently completing her graduate certificate in creative writing through Humber's Faculty of Media & Creative Arts. Her academic background allows her to extract insights about many critical social issues of the day and incorporate them into her writing, delivering relevant stories with a meaningful message. With a strong focus on mental health, racial and gender issues, and the criminal justice system, Jennifer is an artist on a mission to entertain, enlighten, and inspire.
Christie Roome is a writer based on Salt Spring Island, BC. She was born in Tsuut'ina Nation territory and migrated to Coast Salish Territory to attend the University of Victoria (UVic). After completing an undergraduate degree in gender studies and a master's degree in history, she used her skills as a researcher to work in a variety of jobs from courtroom technician for the landmark Tsilhqot'in Nation v. British Columbia Aboriginal Rights and Title trial to professional fundraiser for the UVic library and archives.
Humber's creative writing program allowed Christie to work through the fifth draft of her first young adult novel, a novel based on her undergraduate honours thesis about prostitution in turn-of-the-century Victoria, BC. She has previously published short creative non-fiction articles about parenting and was a writer and editor for the multi-author blog Life as a Human. In the summer of 2021, Christie participated in Humber's Workshop in Creative Writing.
When not writing, Christie teaches theatre to kids, sits on the fiction committee for the Salt Spring Island Library, and posts Instagram book reviews for fun.
Sue Murtagh lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Her writing recently appeared in The Nashwaak Review, Grain Magazine and Carte Blanche. She won the short fiction category of the Writers' Federation of Nova Scotia's (WFNS) Atlantic Writing Competition in 2016. In 2020, she apprenticed with Alexander MacLeod through the WFNS Alistair MacLeod Mentorship Program. Danila Botha was Sue's mentor for the Humber School for Writers Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing (2021-2022).
Jennifer Moon is an emerging author focused on short fiction and modern cozy mysteries. Her work has recently appeared in the Lifespan anthologies from Pure Slush Books, as well as in trade publications.
A Fatal Convalescence is Jennifer's debut novel, and the first in the Elizabeth Primrose mystery series. Jennifer draws on her professional and personal experience to create humorous stories with rich settings and engaging, (mostly) likeable characters.
When she's not writing, Jennifer can be found running her consultancy firm, singing with local choirs, or working in the garden. She lives with her husband and son in Peterborough, Canada
Chantel Lavoie lives in Kingston, Ontario, where she is associate professor in the Department of English, Culture, and Communication at the Royal Military College of Canada. She has published two books of poetry: Where the Terror Lies (Quattro, 2012) and This is about Angels, Women, and Men (Mansfield, 2021), as well as two academic books. She has been working on a novel, titled The Boy in the Chimney, with Humber mentor Diane Schoemperlen.
Liisa Kovala is a Finnish-Canadian author and teacher. Her first book, Surviving Stutthof: My Father's Memories Behind the Death Gate (Latitude 46, 2017), was shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award and published in Finland under the title Stutthofin selviytyjä (Docendo, 2020). Her work is inspired by her Finnish heritage and the northern landscape she calls home. Sisu's Winter War (Latitude 46, 2022) is her debut novel. She lives in Sudbury, Ontario with her husband and two children.
Salma Hussain grew up in the U.A.E. and immigrated to Canada when she was thirteen years old. She has a BA (Hon.) in English Literature with a concentration in creative writing from the University of Calgary, a law degree from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Laws from McGill University. Her short stories and poems have recently been published in filling Station, Fiddlehead and the Humber Literary Review. She is a graduate of the Humber School for Writers Summer Workshop in Creative Writing (2017) and is completing the Humber graduate certificate program under Noor Naga (2021). Her debut novel for children, The Secret Diary of Mona Hasan, is about immigration, menstruation and general tween concerns. It was published in May 2022 through Penguin Random House.
Brenda Corey Dunne grew up in rural New Brunswick, climbing trees and searching for Narnia in closets, convinced she would become an actress and move to New York City. In a complete change of plans, she joined the Canadian Armed Forces, became a physiotherapy officer, and moved to Ontario, where she met her RCAF husband. Seven military moves later, while on a year-long posting to the magical British countryside with her husband and three children, she sat down and started to write her first full-length manuscript. Brenda writes like she reads—to escape—and her favourite genre is YA fantasy. She is currently living and working in Prince Edward Island with a view of the ocean, picking away at two different YA manuscripts.
She has published three novels: Treasure in the Flame (2012), Dependent (2014) and Skin (2016).
Rebecca Clyburn was born and raised in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, and lives with her family in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Rebecca has taught creative writing at The Writer's School and the International Writers Collective. She has been writing as long as she can remember and, at the formative young age of 40, decided to get serious about it.
Rebecca has always longed to write about her coal-mining hometown in a way that would balance the hardship and the sense of community. When the pandemic hit, she turned to reading romance novels for a reprieve from the uncertainty and anxiety. The genre was not only satisfying, but also one in which she could explore the rich history of her roots. She is currently working on a manuscript for a romance novel set during the 1920s in the coal mining boom of Cape Breton.
Krista L. Candela is a graduate of Queen's University. She has a diploma from St. Lawrence College in autism and behavioural science and worked in children's mental health for years. During that time, she took courses in the Queen's University creative writing program. One of her short stories was published in the Queen's University anthology Lake Effects 7 and following this, she was shortlisted in the Glimmer Train Top 25 for Short Fiction Contest. She writes fiction, poetry and journals regularly.
Currently Krista attends the Humber School for Writers, working with Alissa York on a full-length manuscript.
Andrea Cameron is a high school English teacher from Brockville, Ontario. Her work has appeared in The Fiddlehead Review, Room, and The Antigonish Review.