Jenna Kalinsky, Founding Director
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Business & Self Development | Coach | Editor
Jenna holds an MFA from Columbia University and has been a creative and academic writing instructor for over 20 years, teaching at Teachers College, NYC, University of Toronto Scarborough, Humber College, Western University, where she redesigned the Continuing Studies Creative Writing program, and privately before creating One Lit Place.
In her work as an editor, she provides developmental feedback, substantial copyediting, and proofreading for fiction, nonfiction, academic and business writing. Her fiction, nonfiction, and poetry appear in mainstream and literary magazines, including in the LA Times best-selling The Modern Jewish Girls’ Guide to Guilt (Penguin), winner of the National Jewish Book Award. Originally from Los Angeles, Jenna has lived in New York, Germany, and now makes her home in Toronto, Canada.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Krista Foss is a writer of novels, short stories, screenplays, and creative non-fiction. Her first novel, Smoke River, published by McClelland & Stewart (2014), won the Hamilton Literary Award, and was optioned for film by Westwind Productions. ELLESMERE, a mini-series pilot co-written with Sally Cooper, is currently under option by Buck Productions. Her second novel, Half Life (McClelland & Stewart) was published in spring 2021. Her short fiction has appeared in Granta and has twice been a finalist for the Journey Prize. Krista’s essay writing, which won the PRISM International Creative Non-Fiction Award (2016), has been nominated for a National Magazine Award and featured in Best Canadian Essays. She is a senior editor at Hamilton Review of Books and has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Coach | Editor (On Leave)
Christina Chiu is the winner of the James Alan McPherson Award for her novel Beauty. She is also author of Troublemaker and Other Saints, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. Troublemaker was a nominee for a BOMC Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, and winner of the Asian American Literary Award. Chiu has published in Tin House, The New Guard, Washington Square, The MacGuffin, Charlie Chan is Dead 2, Not the Only One, Washington Square, and has won literary prizes from Playboy, New Stone Circle, El Dorado Writers’ Guild, World Wide Writers.
Chiu hosts the virtual Let’s Talk Books Author Series and curates and co-hosts the Pen Parentis Literary Salon in NYC. She is a founding member of the Asian American Writers’ Workshop. Christina is also a shoe designer. She received her MFA in creative writing from Columbia University.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Coach | Editor | Instructor
Thea holds a PhD from the University of Toronto in English Literature. In addition to her non-fiction book, A Passion for Consumption: The Gothic Novel in America, she has published six novels under a pseudonym with Kensington Publishing in New York. She also has numerous newspaper, magazine and academic articles to her credit.
She has taught at the university and college levels as well as taking on a coaching role as marketing and communications branding and change management consultant for financial and IT organizations. Fluent in French and German, Thea divides her time between Toronto and Southern California. (*Special hourly rate applies).
Tilottama (Tima) Karlekar
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Academic | Screenwriting | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Tilottama (Tima) (she/her) holds a PhD in Media, Culture, and Communication from New York University and has taught media studies, film, and writing at Temple University, New York University, The New School, Drexel University, and Colorado College. Her writing on social movements, censorship, and global film and media has been published in scholarly journals including Feminist Media Studies and South Asian History and Culture, and in edited book collections such as the forthcoming Rethinking Film Festivals in Pandemic Times and after. She is currently completing a book manuscript entitled Screening Futures: Censorship, Media Power, and Film Festival Publics in India. She started her career as a journalist with CNBC Asia and has also worked as a writer and production executive for film, television, and advertising in India and in the United States.
Jessica de Bruyn
Fiction | Screenwriting | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Jessica has been studying storytelling for more than twenty years, working in theatre, film, and book publishing. She is a graduate of the Drama program at the University of Toronto Scarborough where she specialized in playwriting, the Writing program at Vancouver Film School, and the Publishing program at Toronto Metropolitan University. In addition to working independently as a developmental editor and writing coach, Jessica has also been an editor and consultant for several literary agencies. She has also served on the executive of the Toronto branch of Editors Canada and is the co-host of the podcast Pub Hub, a behind-the-scenes look into the publishing industry. Jessica specializes in genre and commercial fiction.
Non-Fiction | Academic | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Polina Kroik holds a PhD in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Irvine and an MA from Syracuse University. She has publications in scholarly journals as well as newspapers and magazines such as The New York Daily News and Lilith Magazine. In her teaching at Fordham University and Baruch College of the City University of New York, Polina helps students grow as writers though creative assignments and individual feedback. She also served as an Assistant Editor for an academic journal where she supported authors over the course of the publication process.
Polina Kroik is the author of Cultural Production and the Politics of Women’s Work (Routledge, 2019), a book of literary and film criticism that explores issues of gender inequality. She is currently at work on a memoir about her immigrant experiences.
Fiction | Screenwriting | Coach | Editor | Mentor | Instructor
Rebecca Hales is a graduate of the Canadian Film Centre’s Bell Media Prime Time TV program and holds an MFA from University of British Columbia. In 2016 she was awarded the Telefilm New Voices award at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference and was one of the Corus Entertainment Writer’s Apprentice Program participants at the Banff World Media Festival. Her credits include an episode of Travelers, the Showcase/Netflix sci-fi series from showrunner Brad Wright (Stargate franchise), working in the development room of Solstice, another Brad Wright original series, interning on the CTV drama series Saving Hope, and the Women in Film and Television Toronto Showcase award winning short film “Dissecting Gwen.” She is currently developing a political crime thriller with Rusty Halo Productions, a half-hour comedy series with creative partners in Toronto and LA, and multiple solo projects.
Non-Fiction | Instructor
Vaishali is a Registered Psychotherapist and narrative practitioner. She received her Master’s Degree in Community Counseling at the University of North Carolina in Greensboro (UNCG), and currently holds certification with The Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association. She has been counselling since 2003, and worked in the field of Employee Assistance Programming (EAP) for more than six of those years, gaining experience and a greater understanding of the importance of work-life balance, and overall wellness of individuals. In addition to individual therapy in her private practice, Vaishali runs RAW (Revealing Authentic Women) Support Circles and “good for you Ladies Night Out” events.
Non-Fiction | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Amy Ettinger is the author of Sweet Spot: An Ice Cream Binge Across America, hailed by the Wall Street Journal as “a surprisingly serious, impressively thorough treatment of ice cream’s cultural significance.” She has appeared on All Things Considered, Marketplace, Here & Now, Forum, and The California Report. She has written for The New York Times, McSweeney’s, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, New York, and Time. She teaches creative writing at Stanford University’s Continuing Studies program and holds a master’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University.
Kenneth R. Rosen
Non-Fiction | Editor | Instructor
Kenneth is a senior editor and correspondent at Newsweek based in Italy. He is a contributing writer at WIRED and the author of Troubled: The Failed Promise of America’s Behavioral Treatment Programs and Bulletproof Vest. He has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, and The Atlantic. (His articles can be viewed HERE). A two-time finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists, he is the recipient of a Calderwood Foundation Art of Nonfiction Grant, a Logan Nonfiction Fellowship, and a grant from the Fund for American Studies. He was previously a staff journalist at The New York Times. (*Special hourly rate applies)
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Sally Cooper writes novels, creative non-fiction, screenplays and short stories. Her most recent novel, WITH MY BACK TO THE WORLD (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019), was nominated for the 2021 Hamilton Literary Award and the Kerry Schooley Award. Her linked short story collection, SMELLS LIKE HEAVEN, was shortlisted for the 2018 ReLit Award. Her essays have been longlisted for the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest and the Short Works Prize and she has received fellowships from the Vermont Studio Center, the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation, and the Banff Centre. She has an MA in English Literature from the University of Guelph and is working on an essay collection and a novel.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Concetta Principe is a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry and scholarship in the humanities and some intersections with social sciences and medical humanities. She has a PhD from York University and an MA in Creative Writing from Concordia University. She has seven book publications (fiction, poetry, non-fiction and monograph), countless publications in journals such as The Malahat Review, Grain, The Matrix, Eastern Iowa Review, and has been the recipient of scholarly awards (Ontario Graduate Studies) and arts awards (Ontario Arts Council). In literary competitions, she has received the Bressani prize for poetry and was short-listed for The Malahat Review’sConstance Rooke creative non-fiction award and long-listed for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Personal Essay award. Those short-listed/long-listed essays appear in her latest publication, Stars Need Counting: Essays on Suicide (Gordon Hill Press). She has twenty-five years of experience as an editor and 10 years of experience teaching writing skills and creative writing in the academy.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Academic | Business | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Paula Lee holds a doctorate from the University of Chicago. A prolific archival researcher focusing on Early Modern European History, her work has been supported by grants and fellowships such as the National Endowment for the Humanities (US) and the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts (US). She has published dozens of peer-reviewed scholarly articles in subjects ranging from history of science, to architectural theory. Her academic books include two edited collections on the history of slaughterhouses, and one on animal-human relations; a co-edited collection focusing on circus people of color during Nazi Germany is under contract with an academic press. She is also the author of Game: A Global History for Routledge’s popular “Edible” series, as well as the memoir, Deer Hunting in Paris, named best travel memoir of 2014 by the Society of American Travel Writers. Her writing for the general public on culture and politics has appeared in The Atlantic, Salon, Slate, Dame, The Guardian, Tablet, and similar venues. Over the years, she has helped many students, faculty, and aspiring/established writers of fiction and nonfiction obtain grants, place articles, land agents, and publish their books. She is currently finishing her own historical novel.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Business | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Shasta Grant is the author of Gather Us Up and Bring Us Home (Split Lip Press, 2017) and winner of the 2015 Kenyon Review Short Fiction Contest, selected by Ann Patchett. Her stories and essays have appeared in cream city review, Epiphany, Hobart, wigleaf, and elsewhere. She was a 2020 Aspen Words Emerging Writer Fellow in Fiction, the 2016 SmokeLong Quarterly Kathy Fish Fellow, and has received residencies from Hedgebrook and The Kerouac House. She holds an MFA in Writing from Sarah Lawrence College and has taught at Ball State University and The Indiana Writers’ Center. She is currently the Coordinating Editor at SmokeLong Quarterly.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Academic | Coach | Editor
Elen Turner is a writer and editor and holds a PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities with a focus on literary studies, women’s and gender studies, and South Asian studies from the Australian National University in Canberra, and a BA in English and History from the University of Otago in Dunedin, New Zealand. As well as publishing a number of academic articles, Elen has widely published travel essays and articles. Her travel writing (focusing on Nepal and New Zealand) has appeared in The Best Women’s Travel Writing Vol. II, The London Reader, Lonely Planet, Architectural Digest, The New Zealand Herald, and elsewhere. She serves as editor of niche travel publications, helping emerging and established writers share their travel tales.
Brenda Vander Zanden
Business | Academic | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Brenda is a Mindfulness and Mindset Coach. Before becoming a coach, she received her Master’s Degree in Applied Linguistics from York University and obtained a certification in English as an Additional Language (EAL). She has been teaching Business Communications and EAL for more than 10 years. In addition to her penchant for editing and English grammar, her interest in wellness has allowed her to write articles for wellness blogs. When she’s not teaching or editing, you will either find running after her twins, practicing yoga or creating content for her social media account.
Dr. Liat Radcliffe Ross
Non-Fiction | Academic | Editor
Liat earned her PhD in international relations from the University of Oxford. For more than 15 years, Liat has been a freelance editor specializing in academic and non-profit work. She has worked in academia, print journalism, policy research and finance in the U.S., U.K. and Canada.
Karen Skeaff (Quevillon)
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Academic | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Karen earned her PhD in Philosophy from Northwestern University and holds Masters degrees in Philosophy and English from the University of Toronto and York University. She has taught business writing, academic writing, creative writing, literature and liberal studies courses at Ontario colleges and universities for the past decade. Her first novel, winner of the Hamilton Literary Award, The Parasol Flower, was published in August 2020 (Regal House Publishing) under her pen name Karen Quevillon. Karen’s short fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry has been published in venues such as Geist Magazine, Grain, In/Words, CV2, FreeFall Literary, The Fieldstone Review, and Obra/Artifact.
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Business | Academic | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Ryan holds an MFA in Creative Writing from New Mexico State University. He has been teaching university creative writing, literature, and composition for fifteen years, currently serving as a lecturer in the Writing and Critical Inquiry Program at the University at Albany, SUNY. He has also been the chair of WCI’s Essay Writing Contest, co-director of the Writing Center at Prescott College, and manager of the Visiting Writer’s Reading Series for La Sociedad Para Las Artes. His fiction, included in his short story collection, Crows, was awarded the Richard M. Ford Award and the Lt. Albert A Charait Award from the University of New Hampshire, and his scholarship on mindfulness and pedagogy is forthcoming in the journal Modern Language Studies.
Fiction | Academic | Coach
Nadia Ragbar is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s MA in Creative Writing. Her short fiction has appeared in Broken Pencil, THIS Magazine, Echolocation, and Dragnet Magazine. Her work was longlisted for the 2017 Reflex Flash Fiction Contest, and has appeared in the Unpublished City Anthology, which was shortlisted for the 2018 Toronto Book Award. She has had extensive experience as a writing tutor working with students on literary analysis and essay writing, focusing primarily on critical thinking and helping emerging writers recognize and develop their writing voice. She is currently finishing a novel manuscript about conjoined twins.
Fiction | Academic | Business | Academic | Editor | Proofreader | Formatting
Kathy has been writing, publishing and editing for years. Currently, she divides her time working as a sub-editor for a local community newspaper, editing for Pandamoon Publishing, and freelance editing books for publication and formatting them for online platforms get Amazon and Smashwords. She’s also worked as an editor for Clean Reads. As a writer, she has had several romance novels published by small e-book publishers and now preparing to self-publish her more recent romance novels. A recent poem was chosen for Sweetycat Press’s The Jewels in the Queen’s Crown, a selection of poems and prose selected by a jury from several Sweetycat Press anthologies. She’s also written and self-published two hybrid memoir/self-help books.
Past Editors & Coaches
Fiction | Non-Fiction | Poetry | Coach | Editor | Mentor
Elizabeth Ruth has published three novels: Ten Good Seconds of Silence (2001, Dundurn and Random House, Germany), Smoke (2005, Penguin Canada and Random House, Germany), and Matadora (2013, Cormorant Books), a GoodReads novella in plain language for adult literacy learners entitled Love You To Death, and an anthology, Bent On Writing: contemporary queer tales, she compiled and edited based on work presented at a reading series she founded and curated. Her work has been recognized by the Writers’ Trust of Canada Fiction Prize, The Amazon.ca Best First Novel Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and One Book, One Community Program. She holds an MA in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto, and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph. For 20 years she has taught creative writing through SCS at University of Toronto, and mentored writers through the Humber School for Writers’ Correspondence Program, Diaspora Dialogues, and various writer-in-residencies. In 2019, Elizabeth was invited to be the Berton House Writer-in-Residence, in Dawson City, Yukon.
Dr. Erin M. Bertram
Non-Fiction | Academic | Poetry | Coach | Editor
Dr. Erin’s cross-genre memoir It’s Not a Lonely World (Trembling Pillow Press, forthcoming 2020) was awarded the 2016 and 2017 Karen Dunning Creative Activity Awards, and their thirteen chapbooks include Relief Map (winner, 2016 Summer Tide Pool Prize) and Body of Water (winner, 2007 Frank O’Hara Award). A published finalist in the 2013 Diagram Hybrid Essay Contest and two-time winner of the Academy of American Poets Prize, they have 15+ years of experience as a writing tutor and college English teacher at Augustana College, Northern Illinois University, and elsewhere, and have coached individual writers and facilitated writing workshops in settings across the Midwest. Their specialties include lyric prose, research-based writing, gender & sexuality, marginal positionality, and resilience. They earned their MFA in Creative Writing with a certificate in Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies from Washington University in St. Louis, and their PhD in English/Creative Writing with a specialization in Women’s & Gender Studies from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where they were a 2017-18 Maude Hammond Fling Fellow. They have also completed continuing ed coursework in documentary studies and graduate coursework in counseling. Their current project, the cross-genre biography The Vanishing of Camille Claudel, has been a finalist for the [Pank] Book Series. They live with their wife amid field and forest in northern Illinois.
Copywriting | Marketing
Vanessa Grant communicates the ideas you don’t know how to put into words. A classically-trained journalist and former fashion and beauty editor, Vanessa has more than 10 years of experience working in online media. She helps small businesses create branded content that’s strategic, smart and shareable. Vanessa has worked for Shaw Media and The Kit and has been published in Flare, Today’s Parent, Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, Parents Canada, CBC.ca and theloop.ca, among others.
Our Creative Team
Social Media Manager | Translator (French)
Pascale has fiction featured in New Reader Magazine and The Writing Disorder, plus a film in distribution by the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre. She has just received her BAH from Queen’s University, and she is working on a budding book trilogy. She has provided design and/or social media management for One Lit Place, MagneTree Books, Money-Ready, and other private clients.
Razili is a program management and communications consultant specializing in international development programs who moonlights as a virtual community facilitator and content curator. She earned a BA in Economics and Government from Smith College and an MA in International Affairs from The George Washington University. Born and raised in northern California, Razili has lived in western Massachusetts, Washington, DC, and New Delhi, and currently resides in Toronto where she has learned to complain about the winters like a native.