The Montreal West Island Writers Group
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West Island Writers Group

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Here is the list of authors who contributed to this year's anthology Winter Magic, together with a brief biographical introduction as it appears in the book.

Sylvia Smith

A Pointe Claire resident, Sylvia grew up in a multi-ethnic community in Montreal from which she derives a good deal of her ideas for stories. This year she offers us The Fig Tree, a tale about an Italian couple who must bury their fig tree each year to protect it from the winter storms.

L. Hugh Martin

L. Hugh Martin, an artist (his work graces our cover this year) and writer living in Pierrefonds, is a retired English teacher who served as a glider pilot during World War Two. In his story Homecoming, Hugh brings us the tale of a man who meets his ex-wife on Christmas Eve and gets an unexpected present.

Anne J. Fotheringham

A resident of L’Ile Bizard, Anne J. Fotheringham is a professional writer/editor and former journalist who has non-fiction, poetry, short story and children’s publishing credits. In Red Maple’s Christmas, a tale for children and adults alike, a stubborn Red Maple, intrigued by the evergreens’ boasting about Christmas, decides to stay awake to see what it is all about.

Gayle Mason

Gayle Mason writes fantasy and horror fiction and has written creative content for two online text games. This year, in The Darkest Night, she brings us a tale of elves and magic in the land of Ygrynea on the night of the Winter Solstice.

Gilbert Goyens and Joel Scheffer

Gilbert Goyens and Joel L. Scheffer work in partnership, writing gritty adult westerns and hardboiled fiction. This year they bring us the tale of a missing menorah in The Gift and a Sherlock Holmes’ style tale in Baker Street, Irregularly.

UPDATE: Their recently-released full length novel The Chronicles of C.J. Walker: The Gunmaster is now available in stores (Chapters, Coles) or can be ordered online directly from their official website.

Joanne Giacomini

Joanne Giacomini is a professional West Island writer of short stories and poetry who is currently at work on her first novel. In The Christmas Spirit, two children get a message from beyond that changes their lives..

Elfriede Gebhard

Elfriede Gebhard is a writer who says her work and studies have been filled with numbers – simple and predictable. Her spare hours are filled with words – personal and unpredictable. Writing is more complicated than reading. In Winter, she waxes poetic about her favorite season of the year.

Ann Benattar

A resident of Pierrefonds, Ann Benattar, currently writing a fictitious memoir (featuring animal, bird, fish and human behaviour spiced with humour), is a columnist for the Ontario newspaper The Muskoka Sun, a novel writer, and former features and juvenile writer for The Chronicle. In Christmas in Bogwood Valley, a tale suitable for children but to be enjoyed by adults too, the animals learn about teamwork and the Christmas spirit while spending the holiday keeping warm and cosy in a local shed.

Inge Hoogendoorn

Inge Hoogendoorn is an artist/writer from Vaudreuil-Dorion who has exhibited with various West Island artist groups and is currently pursuing a career in art while writing poetry and short stories. This year, Inge offers us Christmas Fire, about conquering her fear of fire, and two essays – Dreams and March Winds – as well as some of her poems.

Murray Napier

Murray Napier recently retired from teaching English and Theatre at John Abbott College and has written a number of plays. He is continuing work on his novel about family relationships in a Nova Scotia/Quebec. In his story, The Skating Rink, a man reminisces about his father while he is making a skating rink for his children.