Publishing co-operative Fierce Ink Press and the Mount’s English Department are bringing back familiar faces on Thursday, January 30 as part of a panel discussion called Writing Fiercely: Creative Non-Fiction.
The panel will feature Finton Moon author Gerard Collins, whose acclaimed novel is currently nominated for the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Collins says he’s excited about the event: “I thrive on that sense of camaraderie between both writers and audience all gathered to discuss writing and think about things in an intriguing way.”

Collins will be joined by local author Chris Benjamin and Mount grads Ben Boudreau (BPR ’07), Alison DeLory (BPR ’98, MRR ’13), Gail Lethbridge (BPR ’85) and Crystal Vaughan (BA (Hon) ’08), all who have published stories from their adolescence as part of a special series of ebooks called Fierce Shorts. The series produces digital-only short stories that focus on the struggles and realities of growing up.

“Fiction is great for escapism but our non-fiction imprint is meant to showcase how successful adults had to deal with a wide range of issues from crushes to drug use to death of a loved one,” says Fierce Ink Press co-founder Kimberly Walsh, also a graduate of the Public Relations program. “Our goal is to help teens who are struggling with these problems find solace in the fact that they’re not alone and that there’s hope.”
Walsh says she didn’t intentionally stack her author roster with fellow Mount grads, she just happens to know many who are “really strong writers. When picking contributors, they’re top of mind.”
The Fierce Short series is just one way that Walsh and McKie are injecting creativity into the industry. Focusing on digital products and print-on-demand publishing to get their books to market, they hope to fill a gap in the East Coast publishing market: “We felt that Atlantic Canadian authors who write young adult stories with broad international appeal were underrepresented.”
Walsh says the Mount built up her confidence as a communicator. She also says professor Judith Scrimger, who taught her persuasive writing, was a key influence in finding her writing voice and achieving her goals.

“I’ve always imagined myself in some capacity in the book industry or publishing industry. I think what the Mount did was give me the tools and the focus to go out and do that.”