Virna Sheard was a Canadian poet and novelist, born in 1862. In 1884 she married Dr. Charles Sheard (1857-1929), a surgeon at Toronto’s Chief Medical Officer, and for years she devoted most of her time and energy to domestic and social duties. In the early years of motherhood, during her late twenties, Virna began to write, sending her first poem to the famous American children’s magazine, St. Nicholas. With the encouragement of the editor of the latter she became a regular contributor of poems and short stories to The Globe, Saturday Night and Mail and Empire as well as to prominent American magazines. Her first novel, Trevelyan’s Little Daughters (1898), was well received. As each of her four sons began to enroll at Upper Canada College, Virna began to write for a more mature audience. Her stories and novels demonstrate an interest in reconstructed pasts and religious themes . The first of her five volumes of poetry, The Miracle and Other Poems (1913), was dedicated to her younger brother, the victim of a tragic accident at Niagara Falls in 1912. Virna Sheard was widowed in 1929, and died in 1943, aged 81 years. Her papers were destroyed by her family after her death, apparently because they disapproved of her literary work.
Gordon Korman is a Canadian American author born in 1963 in Montreal. He wrote his first book at age fourteen and since then has written more than eighty-five middle grade and teen novels, including the New York Times bestselling series Ungifted (2012) and Supergifted (2018), Pop (2009), and Schooled (2007). He lives with his family on Long Island, New York.
*Photo: Owen Kassimir.
Camilla Grudova is a Canadian writer. She lives in Toronto and holds a degree in Art History and German from McGill University, Montreal. Her fiction has appeared in White Review and in Granta magazine. Her first collection of short stories, The Doll’s Alphabet, was published by Fitzcarraldo Editions in 2017.
Théodora Armstrong is a Canadian fiction writer and poet. Her work has appeared in numerous Canadian literary magazines such as Event, Prairie Fire, The Fiddlehead, Descant, The New Quarterly, and Contemporary Verse 2. In 2008 she won the Western Magazine Award for Fiction, and her stories have been included in both The Journey Prize Anthology 20 and Coming Attractions 10. Her first collection of short stories, Clear Skies, No Wind, 100% Visibility, was published in 2013 to great acclaim. Théodora lives in Vancouver, British Columbia with her husband and daughter. She is at work on her first novel.
Sheila Heti was born in 1976 in Toronto. She studied playwriting at the National Theatre School of Canada, then attended the University of Toronto, where she studied art history and philosophy. She is a writer, a journalist, a blogger, and a playwright. Heti is the author of seven books, including the critically acclaimed How Should a Person Be? (2012). In 2008, she created The Metaphysical Poll, a blog that collected the sleeping dreams people were having about Hillary Clinton and Barack Ohama during the Democratic primaries. The blog received hundreds of dreams and a lot of media attention. Heti is the former interviews editor at The Believer magazine, nd has been published in The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, The Paris Review, n+1, The London Review of Books, and more. Her work has been translated into a dozen languages. She lives in Toronto.