Meet the 2020 Board of Directors

board of directors headshots

Margaret Lynch (president) is a nonfiction writer whose work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post and on CBC Radio. Her book-in-progress is a memoir about her journey to become a better person after surviving an experimental bone marrow transplant. Her proposal for TRANSFORMED: When My DNA Changed, So Did I won the 2020 Penguin Random House Best Nonfiction Book Proposal Prize. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax, NS.

Christopher Moore (vice-president) is a long time member of CNFC, now on the second year of a term on the board. He is a past chair and honorary life member of the Writers’ Union of Canada and a two-time winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award, once for nonfiction, once for children’s literature. His books are almost exclusively in the field of Canadian history, but he subscribes to Betsy Warland’s dictum “creative nonfiction refers to all nonfiction and mixed-genre writing shaped by literary sensibilities, devices, and strategies.”

Ruby Remenda Swanson (treasurer) is the author of A Family Outing, a memoir about the experiences she’s had as a result of having a gay son. In June 2019 Ruby travelled to Ukraine to launch the Ukrainian translation of her book. Ruby recently retired from her position of General Manager of the University of Alberta Botanic Garden. She was recognized by the University of Alberta Office of Safe Disclosure and Human Rights for her work to promote the rights of the LGBTQ community across campus. Ruby was a long time director of PFLAG Edmonton.

S. Lesley Buxton (membership coordinator) is the author of the award-winning One Strong Girl: Surviving the unimaginable, a mother’s memoir. Her essays have appeared in Hazlitt, Today’s Parent, Still Standing, This Magazine, and in the Caitlin Press anthology Love Me True. An excerpt of One Strong Girl appeared in the March 2019 issue of Reader’s Digest. She has an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Beth Kaplan (member at large), who holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC, launched her second memoir Loose Woman: my odyssey from lost to found in September 2020. She’s the author of three previous nonfiction books: a biography, a memoir, and a guide to creative writing that’s the textbook for her courses. She has taught memoir and personal essay writing at Ryerson University for 27 years and also for 14 years at the University of Toronto, where in 2012 she was given the Excellence in Teaching award. A former actress and a fellow of the Banff Centre’s Literary Journalism program, Beth works privately as an editor and writing coach and produces So True, a curated reading series for her long-term students and herself, three times a year at the Black Swan in Toronto.

Akberet Beyene (member at large) was born in Asmara, Eritrea.As a journalist for the national Eritrean television station she researched and disseminated stories for both print and television that largely centered on sociopolitical events and human rights, as well as gender and youth issues. She holds a diploma in Mass Communications from the University of Asmara, and has participated in short term Journalism courses in Germany and the US. For more than a decade she volunteered during the Eritrean struggle for independence from Ethiopia, and has in-depth experience on how gender and power relations played out in post-independent Eritrea. As a result of the suppression of media and the accompanying arrest of journalists in Eritrea, she fled to Canada in 2011 where she has been living ever since.

Professor Darryl Whetter (member at large) was the inaugural director of the Creative Writing MA at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore (in partnership with Goldsmiths, University of London). He is the author of two poetry collections and four books of fiction, most recently the 2020 climate-crisis novel Our Sands (Penguin Random House). His essays have been published by Routledge, the National Poetry Foundation (US), Oxford University Press, Presses Sorbonne Nouvelle, The Brooklyn Rail, etc. He has been a festival author in Australia, the US, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia and Bali.

Nabila Huq (member at large) is new in the arena of creative writing. She made her debut in creative non-fiction with The Shoe Project. She writes fiction as well. As a new writer, Nabila is in search of publishers for her works. A graduate in English Literature and Cultural Studies, she wants to pursue a PhD in Creative Writing in near future and a full time career in writing is her long term goal.