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Award-winning essayist Alicia Elliott is King’s 2019 Writer in Residence

Photo: Ayelet Tsabari

When Alicia Elliott was in Toronto in the spring of 2017 for the National Magazine Awards — she won for best essay — “the amazing writer and photographer [and now King’s MFA mentor] Ayelet Tsabari had offered to take some professional headshots for me. As we were talking between shots, she suggested to me that I write a book of essays, since I’d already written so many. My husband had suggested I write a memoir before, but the usual form of memoirs – following your life from birth to where you are now and requiring a tidy ending when your life was still happening – never appealed to me. When Ayelet suggested a book of essays, though, it all made sense.”

Reeves’ ‘first-hand journey’ into the carp crisis to be published by ECW

Photo: Courtney Walker

Andrew Reeves’ path to the University of King’s College MFA in Creative Nonfiction program began with a pitch to an old high school friend. It was 2012, and Reeves was thinking about launching a freelance writing career. He knew exactly what he wanted to write about — the invasion of the Asian carp, “one of North America’s most ferociously invasive fish species,” which had been moving inexorably northward from aquaculture farms in Arkansas and was now threatening to reach the Great Lakes. His high school friend, Lauren McKeon, was then the editor of This Magazine, and she commissioned Reeves to write a feature.

Telling the stories of those who tell us how to

“If you sit in enough badly-run meetings,” says Joan Francuz, who worked in the software industry for more than 30 years, “you do start to wonder if people have always behaved like this, so the idea of going back in time has been percolating for a number of years.”

When ‘the book thing’ became the thing

Photo by Rebecca Blissett (Class of 2018)

Perhaps surprisingly, Karen Stiller (Class of 2018) didn’t come to the University of King’s College MFA in Creative Nonfiction program with a passion to write a book.

Halifax MFA Meet and Greet February 11

Just some of the books our grads have published.

Do you have a book idea? Make it a reality through our two-year, limited-residency MFA program. Our faculty and mentors — a lineup of award-winning authors and editors — offers expert instruction and guidance as students plan, research, write and pitch their projects. There are two weeks of residencies on the King’s campus each summer, plus week-long winter residences in Toronto and New York where students network with authors, literary agents, editors and publishers.  

Stephanie Griffiths: Buddhism as a financial strategy meets self-publishing

Stephanie Griffiths shelved her 2016 MFA book project — which she describes as “an investment guide for people who feel they should know more about investing but find the topic intimidating, boring, or just too complicated” — after several traditional publishers had turned it down

Do you have a nonfiction book in you?

Do you have a nonfiction book in you? Find out how to make the leap from idea to completion at this panel, featuring Jim Gifford, Editorial Director, Non-fiction, at HarperCollins Canada; Stephen Kimber, journalist and author of What Lies Across the Water: The Real Story of the Cuban Five; Dean Jobb, journalist and author of Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated a Nation; and Helena Moncrieff, author of The Fruitful City: The Enduring Power of the Urban Food Forest. Moderated by Kim Pittaway, executive director of the MFA in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King’s College in Halifax.
This is a free event, but we do ask that you register to attend, as space is limited. 
When: Saturday, November 10 from 2 pm – 3:30 pm
Where: CSI Regent Park Lounge, 3rd Floor, 585 Dundas Street East
Please RSVP to Kim Pittaway at with the subject line “Toronto Nonfiction Panel.”
This event is co-sponsored by PWAC Toronto Chapter, HarperCollins Canada and the University of King’s College.

One Strong Girl one ‘gut-wrenching, honest, heartfelt book’

Lesley Buxton was a fiction writer who’d given up on fiction. “Fiction seemed frivolous compared to what was going on in our home.” Her daughter was dying. She needed to understand what was happening, and why, and how to cope. “I visited websites and blogs that dealt with grief, hoping for answers. The answers I found were often clichéd or prescriptive.”