Type A Media is proud to be home to creative works by some of the best emerging writers and artists from Northern Ontario and beyond. They’re the reason we do what we do, and we continue to be blown away by their talent, verve and outright excellence.

Get to know our authors and their stories here:

Isolated Together

Featuring contributions in arts, poetry and prose
from 18 diverse Northern Ontario Authors including:

Brenda Barefoot

Brenda Barefoot, owner of Bear’s Den Lodge, left the corporate world 35 years ago to go into uncharted waters to create a better life for her family. As a Bachelor of Science Registered Nurse and an experienced Healthcare Long-Term Care Administrator for the past 40 years she has taken her passion as a leader into the tourism industry along with her husband’s outfitting skills to live the dream.

Brenda enjoys the outdoors, capturing photos, fishing, storytelling, blogging and volunteering for the betterment of tourism and health in Northern Ontario. As an industry leader, she shares her love of the North through writing and teaching. As an educator, policy procedure writer; with years of marketing, she has acquired many grants for marketing tourism. Her technical writing now encompasses personal and business experiences for others to connect.

Her son is an inspiration and her world; an excellent writer, blogger, critique, photographer and a solid mentor. While Buddy, her mischievous Lab, loves his ears being scratched and greets all that visit the Bear’s Den Lodge.

Patrick Aura

A rare example of a graduate student that still knows how to smile, Patrick’s academic focus is on English-Canadian literature and how it informs perceptions of history. Over the last few years, he has expanded into writing poetry and prose to varying degrees of success. His creative work tends to be uncluttered and straightforward as it tries to capture the mundane experiences of an English major and the world around him.

His academic work is the complete opposite. After years of developing ideas and writing, the one question that he still cannot satisfactorily answer is his parents’ insistence on asking “why?” After having started a podcast about Canadian literature, the answer becomes all the more elusive. Patrick is content with the idea that he writes to explore what nobody asked to be explored.

Deborah de Bakker

Deborah de Bakker lives in Thunder Bay, where she writes and practices law (debakkerlaw.ca). She is a long-time member of Thunder Bay Writers Guild and Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop (nowwwriters.ca).

Like most people, she has been looking to various leaders for guidance during the Covid 19 crisis. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau commented that masks can prevent people from speaking or breathing “moistly” on others, his choice of words made her see the possibility for some dark humour. And if we are consulting leaders, why not go straight to the top and imagine what God would advise? In writing this piece, Deborah enjoyed playing with biblical language, using the Book of Deuteronomy as inspiration. She hopes readers will find a bit of comic relief here.

A. A. Parr

A. A. Parr is a writer, artist and entrepreneur who calls both Sault Ste. Marie and Toronto home. She holds a Specialised Honours BFA from York University in Theatre (Devised Ensemble Creation; Playwriting) with a double minor in Psychology and Cultural Studies. She is also the Founder and Managing Editor of Type A Media.

Her poetry series written for and about strangers, “I Wrote You This Poem”, is published weekly on Channillo.com, and she is the author of the poetry chapbook, “What Lasts Beyond the Burning”, forthcoming in December 2020 from Nightingale & Sparrow Press. Her creative works have been seen on stages, in galleries, and in print throughout North America over the past two decades. In her work, she seeks to explore difficult themes in an attempt to shine a necessary light into our darkest crevices.

For more information on her creative works, please visit her website here: www.aaparr.wixsite.com/ourghosts

Mandy Massé

Mandy grew up in Sault Ste Marie and is a graduate of Algoma University. While not her concentration in school, she considers herself an English Lit major at heart. She has an impressive vintage scarf collection and currently enjoys listening to early Elvis Presley, Hurray for the Riff Raff, and instrumental jazz stations. If there is one author who the literary world would be much emptier without, she would put her finger on Thomas Hardy.

Mackenzie Mooney

Mackenzie Mooney is an amateur writer and hobbyist photographer, born and raised in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. She is a recent graduate from Algoma University, where she majored in English studies. She has a particular interest in film photography and enjoys the slow and thoughtful process of shooting, developing and scanning film at home. The challenges and celebrations of living in Northern Ontario have contributed to her sense of community and understanding of herself. She aspires to focus on recognizing the importance of inclusivity in her work.

Krista McCracken

Krista McCracken (they/ them) is a queer non-binary archivist and public historian. They are an avid embroiderer, tea drinker, and writer. Krista is passionate about community spaces, access, and imagining new futures. They are one of the co-founders of the Queer Making Collective, a group which encourages queer folks to craft, make, and create together.

Krista acknowledges the forever history of the land they live and work on in Baawating (Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario). This land is the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and Métis people, specifically Garden River First Nation, Batcheawana First Nation, and the Historic Métis community of Sault Ste. Marie.

Sarah McComb

Sarah McComb is an emerging Northern Ontario author who dabbles in fiction, poetry, and occasionally non-fiction. A Humber College book publishing graduate, Sarah now works at a public library.

“Solitude” is a blackout poem which draws upon The Northern Lakes of Canada by Barlow Cumberland, blending the past and the present, digital and paper media.

Jacob Maybe

Jacob Maybe has been writing professionally since 2018, when the CBC longlisted his salute to flash floods and the family dog in the Canada Writes competition. He utterly fails to stick to a genre, having published poems, literary short stories, a picture book (“Thunderbeard”), and a paranormal mystery novel (“Masking for Trouble”) since then, all while developing a middle grade eco-fantasy series.

This story was selected for the 20th Annual Northern Ontario Writers Workshop Awards and the Oregon Writers Colony Awards. Its protagonist is a man struggling with the disconnect between his humble social standing as “the meat cutter” and his own, more grand vision of himself. When the global pandemic reaches his already-isolated corner of the world, the butcher’s journey through toxic masculinity and pride, education and privilege, addiction and ambition gains mortal consequences.

Katelyn Townsend

Katelyn Townsend is a Life Coach Practitioner who enjoys helping individuals soar to new heights in order to conquer whatever hunting grounds they are in. Her mission is to teach others how to rebuild so that they are able to reach their full potential, smash their goals, and thrive in every area of life.

Katelyn enjoys hiking, kayaking and being in the woods. Her love of Northern Ontario’s nature contributed to the formation of this poem. Throughout the pandemic many of us have felt a sense of uncertainty and anticipation of something that is yet to come. It is a season of growth, waiting, and new opportunity. Her poem highlights that journey.

For inspiration and motivation throughout your own journey you can follow Katelyn Townsend – Life Coach Practitioner on social media. Visit her website at www.katelyntownsend.weebly.com to start pursuing your passions today because your own peaceful paradise awaits.

Errol Caldwell

Errol is a retired research director, having worked in the Federal Government, Algoma University and the Sault Ste Marie Innovation Centre (RAIN- Rural Agri-Innovation Network). He has an honorary doctorate of science degree from Algoma University in recognition of his scientific and artistic contributions to the community.

Now fully retired, his current activities focus on photography and woodworking to highlight the natural beauty of the world that we live in. Restrictions during the COVID-19 Pandemic resulted in all local and out of town craft and art shows being cancelled. This gave Errol more time to take photos of the the beautiful surroundings and wildlife we have within Algoma District and northern Ontario. He felt that although he was often isolated, he never felt truly alone.

Erin Pitkethly

Erin Pitkethly grew up in Sudbury, Ontario, attended university in Guelph and Toronto and then returned to Northern Ontario. She has won awards for her essays, screenplays, poetry, and short stories. She was awarded Best Screenwriter at the Northern Ontario Music and Film Awards for her feature film script “Jay Walking”. Her fiction was included in the anthology “Outcrops”. Erin works in healthcare and is passionate about using nutrition and lifestyle to achieve better health. An outdoor enthusiast, she can often be found hiking or snowshoeing with her dog. She lives in Corbeil with her husband and two daughters.

Amy Townsend

Amy enjoys going for walks with her dog while taking photographs of nature along the way. This includes nature within our industrialized areas, of which Sunrise is a perfect example. Through the COVID pandemic and isolation things have not always been easy, but with each new sunrise comes a new day and new hope with it. To quote Victor Hugo, “Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”

And, featuring members of the RedShoes Writing Collective: 

The RedShoes Writing Collective met for 20 odd years at The Northern Woman’s Bookstore in Thunder Bay. After the bookstore closed, RedShoes continued as part of Northern Feminisms and met in various places, and since the pandemic, we meet online via video chat. At each meeting, we take turns finding writing prompts; Virtual RedShoes in a Pandemic is an example of our results.

Our title refers to taking the red shoes of women’s creativity into the virtual world where we support each other through the pandemic with feminist convictions. Our group has been so positive and helpful for each of us in putting down our words onto paper (or digital devices) and being inspired by each other’s creativity during a time of global pandemic.

Of the seven current RedShoes members, five have contributed writing for this anthology:

Samidha Kalia

Samidha Kalia is a creative writer, researcher, and an avid book reader. Her stories deal with gender, history, time, and memory. Her interests lie in analysing women’s fiction, writing reviews, re-writing the myth of women in folklore and fairy tales, along with eating good food and drinking cups of chai. Her short story “In the Caravan of Grief” was published in The Best Asian Short Stories 2019.

Find her book reviews on https://paperbacksforlife.wordpress.com

Katja Maki

Katja Maki is a published writer, photographer, and artist. Her work embodies the green wild shores of Lake Superior and the solid rock of the Canadian Shield as well as the magic of the everyday. She had written a book for children about the Finnish goddess, Ilmatar. She is currently working on a four book YA series on Finnish magic fantasy.

Sanjana Sharma

Sanjana Sharma is a writing enthusiast with a special interest in poetry. Sanjana is pursuing her bachelor’s in Computer Science at Lakehead University and is active on campus. She is a firm believer in bringing change through advocacy and storytelling. Through her poetry, Sanjana hopes to share her thoughts with the community. She reads her poems at local events, wrote for The Argus (the university paper) for two years, and works to bring food security to students.

Taina Maki Chahal

Taina Maki Chahal is a published writer, teaches writing, and organizes poetry writing workshops for Northern Feminisms. She recently published “Poetry Against ‘Oh, Canada! Racism” in Discover Society, an online European journal. Her short plays have been performed at various venues in Thunder Bay. She writes site specific poems and reads them throughout the city in public spaces. For paid work, she is a contract lecturer at Lakehead University.

Annette Pateman

Annette Pateman was born in the UK to Jamaican parents and grew up listening to Jamaican sayings and folklore; this is reflected in her poetry which centres on identity, race and relationships. She now lives in Thunder Bay, where she enjoys giving poetry readings, practising yoga, and walking in nature. Her first poetry collection, Spectrum, was published in May 2020. She is currently researching fairytales and folklore with a grant from the Ontario Arts Council.