Bio: RUTH E. WALKER, author of the novel LIVING UNDERGROUND, is also a poet, playwright, editor, and creative writing workshop facilitator who has published in Canada, the US, and the UK. Her award-winning writing has appeared in literary publications, anthologies, and periodicals.
She is a partner in Writescape, delivering creative writing workshops and coordinating writing retreats for writers of all kinds. A popular workshop facilitator and conference presenter, Ruth has travelled Ontario from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Ottawa to work with writers at all levels. She has met with book clubs throughout Ontario as well as readers in Virginia and Michigan.
An editor with Writescape, Ruth especially enjoys supporting writers as they hone their manuscript to submission-ready status.
Ruth is an honours graduate of Trent University and recently retired as a professional writer and editor for the Ontario government. A past president and long-time member of The Writers’ Community of Durham Region, she is also: a member of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC), Canadian Authors’ Association and the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs; a founding editor and publisher of the literary journal “LICHEN Arts & Letters Preview”(1998-2007); a founder and former organizing committee member of the acclaimed Words in Whitby Reading Series; a former member of the Driftwood Theatre Group’s Board of Directors; and a long-serving volunteer on various non-profit arts initiatives. In 2007, Ruth was named one of four artists in residence at Durham Alternative Secondary School, through an Ontario Arts Council-funded pilot project.
A resident of Oshawa, Ontario, she continues to teach and to write.
Craft: Writer, Editor, Play/Screenwriter, Short Fiction Writer, Poet
Genre: Writes in a wide range of genres; most recently contemporary fiction and YA speculative fiction.
Sheila Martin’s dismal childhood is irrevocably transformed when Sigmund Maier, the family’s enigmatic German tenant, introduces her to opera, music and much more. When he reappears in her ordered and successful adult life, Sigmund asks for her help with an immigration issue. Will she now discover the truth of why he vanished years ago?
Sheila soon discovers that “truth” has no clear definition and memories are nebulous as she is drawn into the turmoil and accusations surrounding his life before and during World War II. As she struggles with her own issues and family conflicts, she is forced to finally confront the secrets she has held for over 30 years.
Moving back and forth in time, this novel explores the ambiguity of human emotion – how our natures can embody both the ideals and delights of love alongside the most base and dispassionate sensibilities.
Awards: 2015 Ontario Arts Council $20,000 Works in Progress grant for “The Last Battlewipe”
2014 Muskoka Novel Marathon, YA novel award for “The Last Battlewipe”
2013 Canadian Authors’ Association, top ten “Living Underground” for fiction prize
2011 Longlist, Montreal International Poetry Prize for “Gilt”
2011 Great Canadian Haiku Contest, Home County Folk Festival, London, ON “Haiku for Canada”
2011 Writer’s Digest, 5th place in Poetic Asides 10-line poem contest Spring Thaw 2011″
2011 WCDR Scholarship, The Writers’ Community of Durham Region writers’ grant
2010 Ontario Arts Council $1,500 Writers’ Reserve Grant
2010 Honourable Mention, Geist magazine’s Literal Literary Postcard Story competition
2008 Banff Centre/Bliss Carman Poetry award third place
2007 two entries tied for second place in The Writers’ Circle of Durham Region Short Story Contest
1996 Canadian Living magazine short story contest for “Traditions”
Memberships: The Writers’ Community of Durham Region (1996 to present)
The Writers’ Union of Canada (2012 to present)
Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs (2012 to present)
Canadian Authors’ Association (2012 to present)