This week we interview, Gwynn Scheltema. Gwynn is a writing jack-of-all-trades: poetry; fiction, editing; memoir, and non-fiction. Retired .from many years as a “working writer” earning a living from writing newspaper columns, magazine feature articles, fiction editing for a literary journal, ghost writing non-fiction books and working as a senior writer and editor for several communications branches in the provincial government, she now lives and writes for pleasure in the village of Trent River. Retirement, however, hasn’t slowed the pace. She’s still a partner in Writescape, providing editing services, a variety of workshops and masterclasses, and retreats for writers. Through Writerscape, Gwynn also blogs regularly in The Top Drawer and 10 on the 10th.
Gwynn has also been co-host, co-producer and the sound editor for Word on the Hills for over six years. Presently she is making an effort to cut back somewhat on her many activities so that she can concentrate on her current writing projects. Please join us!
This week we interview Ted Amsden. Ted is well-known as a poet—a very public one as he served as Cobourg’s Poet Laureate, for two four year terms, until June 2019. But he has been living a secret life, as he tells us, as for the past 8 years– his focus has been on prose. Naturally we want to know more! Please join us!
This week we interview one of our own, Chris Cameron, who in the past year has become our sound editor and a third host for the show. Christopher Cameron enjoyed a successful career as a professional opera singer, retiring in 2009. After some years in IT, he began a third career, as a freelance writer and editor. His first book, a memoir of his singing years, Dr. Bartolo’s Umbrella and Other Tales from my Surprising Operatic Life, was published in 2017. In June 2017 Chris and his wife Karen moved to the banks of the Trent River in Campbellford, where Chris enjoys working as a very busy editor.
Meet Anne Marshall whose life-long ambition has been to write and publish a book which she recently did. but for many years, Anne has been involved in volunteer and community organizations while working in the tourism industry of which she has wide experience. Volunteer positions as Chair of Peterborough Kawarthas Tourism, and Board member of the United Way of Peterborough gave her opportunities to use her marketing skills in the community as well as her position as Director Sales & Marketing, Human Resources at Elmhirst’s Resort, in Keene, Ontario. The motivating force in her life has been mentoring and watching former employees and colleagues achieve success. She has pursued her love of writing, publishing her first novel, Reckless, in September 2019. Now, Anne and her partner Peter Elmhirst explore the world on their motorcycles – expanding their network and enjoying semi-retirement.
Meet Vanessa Westermann. Vanessa’s debut mystery, An Excuse for Murder, was published in 2019 by The Wild Rose Press, New York. Vanessa is a former Arthur Ellis Awards judge, and has given a talk on the evolution of women’s crime writing, at the Toronto Chapter of Sisters in Crime. Her book review column entitled “Vanessa’s Picks” was published in Sleuth of Baker Street Mystery Bookstore’s monthly newsletter, from 2012 to 2016. The column was developed into a blog, featuring crime fiction reviews and literary interviews. While living in Germany, Vanessa earned an M.A. in English Literature and went on to teach creative writing. Vanessa currently lives in the Havelock area and is working on her next novel, while drinking copious amounts of tea.
This week’s programme is a special one to celebrate the life and works of Eric Winter, Cobourg’s first Poet Laureate, who died on December 21st 2019 at the age of 96 and is greatly missed. We have asked poet, James Pickersgill, Eric’s long-time friend and colleague and two of his followers in the post of poet-laureate, Ted Amsden and Jessica Outram, to talk about Eric, the poet and the man, his contributions to poetry in the community and the cultural life of Cobourg and to read us some of his poems. Please join us.
This week we talk to J.D.Carpenter poet and crime novelist. David grew up in Toronto, earned degrees at York University and Queen’s University, taught high school English for 25 years at Leaside High School in Toronto, and ran the Special Education programme for 14 of those years. David began his writing career as a poet, publishing four books of poetry, but in 2001 he turned to writing fiction, primarily murder mysteries. The books in his first series have a gritty racing world background but his latest is set in Prince Edward County, where he and his wife Karen now live. Between them they have five children and eight grandchildren.
This week we look backwards and forwards as we enter our seventh year on the radio. Gwynn, Felicity and Chris discuss changes in the programme since Chris has joined us as our sound man. We speak briefly about our present work and read a short piece. We have invited many authors to return to the series and talk about their newly published work and are excited to follow their successful careers.We have also enjoyed meeting writers we hadn’t met before except through their writing and were delighted too to interview people who have struck out and are doing something different. And we end the show with three snippets from previous shows which we specially enjoyed in the past year, featuring David Newland, Katie Hoogendam and Tom Kerr. And we take a look into the future.
Poet and musician, Tom Gannon Hamilton recently visited Cobourg and read at the Cobourg Poetry Workshop’s Third Thursdays. Tom’s lifelong engagement with poetry dates from his childhood and he first published in Blue Buffalo (Dandelion Press, 1981). Since then his poetry has appeared in too many journals to enumerate. In 2018 he won the Big Pond Rumours Chapbook competition for a suite of poems entitled El Marillo, which chronicles the poet’s experiences in war-torn El Salvador during the 1980s. An Ontario Arts Council Poet in the Schools for three consecutive years, Hamilton has recited, read and given workshops all over Canada. He has been featured on Valentino Assenza’s CIUT radio show Howl. Tom’s books Panoptic (Aeolus House Press) and El Marillo (Big Pond Rumours) were launched on recent Canada-wide reading tours. Tom also tells us about his career as a musician.
Robin Timmerman says she never wanted to be anything but a writer. However, like most authors, she has had many types of ‘day’ jobs, including secretary, part-time journalist, mother and grandma, and for most of her working life as a painter/decorator with her husband in beautiful Prince Edward County. Robin is a long-time environmental activist (starting with a Ban the Bomb March at fourteen!) and conservationist (served three years on the conservation authority of Prince Edward County). She launched the Bee Friendly campaign in PEC, and gets a special kick out of combining her concerns for the natural world with her stories.