2022 in Review

This year 11 writers were added to the Directory of Writers, bringing the total listed writers to 80:

Anne M. Barbour

Heather Bradley

Lucy E. M. Black

Hollay Ghadery

William George Hardy

R. D. Lawrence

Dale A. Leadbeater

Natalie Lougher

William “Squire” McDonnell

Ethel Cody Stoddard

Gwen Tuinman

Click on the above names to read more about these writers and their works.


This year also saw the first Kawartha Lakes Writers Festival. The event was a collaboration with Kawartha Lakes Arts Council and the Kawartha Lakes Public Library. Three writers presented free workshops for anyone to attend, and 8 writers offered their books for sale and presented their work in the Kawartha Art Gallery.

Many thanks to these organizations and writers for creating this event!

Hope to see you again next year!


Writers Festival poster, click to read more:

Heather Bradley

Cameron-area author of When We All Get Together, Bradley is a retired elementary teacher, who has also worked for the Ontario Science Centre. In 1994, she was awarded the William C. McMaster Award from Scholastic Canada for her essay about children’s literature.

When We All Get Together was the 2022 silver medal winner of the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards.

“I found out about it [awards] through one of my writer’s groups and decided to submit it with no idea it would even be accepted, never mind win an award … I would have been pleased to get an honourable mention,” said Bradley. “Getting to the podium shows me that it was a worthwhile endeavour.”



We Both Speak English But… (forthcoming)

When We All Get Together (2021)

Don’t Wait for Your Ship to Come In – Throw it a line and drag it to shore! (2006)

Anne M. Barbour

Coboconk resident and graduate of University of Windsor, Barbour is the co-author of The Flora of Kawartha Lakes.

Anne is a retired professional librarian and earned her botanical skills with the Essex County Field Naturalists, and later the Kawartha and Carden Field Naturalists. She has a long history of volunteer positions with KFN and is currently assisting Kawartha Conservation in monitoring new invasive aquatic species.


Her co-author, Dale Leadbeater, describes how the book came together:

My contributions started when we collected field data for 10 years including pressing, drying, mounting, photographing, labelling and entering data into a custom database thanks to funding from the Stewardship Council and the ROM. Over 100 volunteers from all walks of life including students from Fleming College and almost as many landowners who often provided lunch. My co-author, Anne Barbour, hosted so many mounting days and her husband, Brian, made endless gallons of soup! We could publish a cookbook with all the great meals we ate!

Then Anne and I spent countless hours combing through other published lists for CKL to update names and to determine whether they were real or errors, tracking down specimens from colleagues and those filed by historical figures such as John Macoun, the first Canadian Botanist who accompanied the Sir Sanford Fleming expedition across Canada in 1872. It was a trip not only through space but also time. Truly amazing.



The Flora of Kawartha Lakes (2022)

Dale A. Leadbeater

Retired from consulting, Leadbeater continues to volunteer for favourite projects, including the Couchiching Conservancy Land Trust as well as Harcourt Park Incorporated. A graduate of the University of Toronto, her focus has been on mitigation of climate change effects through land acquisition and management.

Along with Anne M. Barbour, she is the co-author of The Flora of the Kawarthas: An Illustrated Checklist of the Flora of the City if Kawartha Lakes, which includes reflections on historical ecology, occupation and how the current vegetation patterns were formed. The book is comprised of 14 years of research.

Any paddler will tell you that it’s not a good idea to stand up in a canoe or kayak. But that is exactly what Dale Leadbeater did when she noticed the distinctive bladders of American Bladdernut (Staphylea trifolia) growing on the bank of the Black River where she was paddling with two friends. “It couldn’t be, could it? Have to get a specimen to be sure!” She very carefully stood up in the kayak, while her friends exclaimed “Are you crazy?” Dale had to reach over her head to clip off a fruit-bearing twig. Then she had to sit down again… nearly as risky as standing up. But with the help of sturdy Red-osier Dogwoods for balance, she did not get wet. It turned out to be the only location in the entire City for this large shrub.



The Flora of Kawartha Lakes (2022)

R. D. Lawrence (1921-2003)

Ronald Douglas Lawrence (1921-2003) lived in many places and tried many things. Among his accomplishments he and his second wife, Joan, maintained a wilderness property, “The Place”, near Uphill (page 219, The Place in the Forest) in Kawartha Lakes (then Victoria County) where Lawrence studied the local wolf pack. He wrote about it in The Place in the Forest. Then they bought a 350-acre farm of mostly wilderness, “North Star Farm,” where they cared for orphaned and abandoned animals. He chronicled the humorous account of this time in the book, The Zoo That Never Was. Lawrence sold the property after Joan’s death.

Lawrence was a Canadian naturalist and wildlife author of over 30 books.

Born on a ship off the coast of Spain, Lawrence was raised in Spain and at age 14 lied about his age so he could fight in the Spanish Civil War. He served for two years until he found himself outnumbered in the Pyrenees and fled to France. He made his way back home just in time for the arrival of WWII. He enlisted with the British and went to war again. He participated in D-Day at Normandy where he was seriously injured.

After the war, Lawrence he enrolled at Cambridge University where he studied biology for three years but did not complete his degree. He returned to Spain where he worked as a journalist and novelist.

He moved to Canada in 1954 and became a reporter for the Toronto Star. He also worked for the Winnipeg Press and Toronto Telegram. Among his reporting duties, he went to Africa as a foreign correspondent.

Lawrence and his third wife bought property in Haliburton. Lawrence helped establish the Haliburton Forest Wolf Centre.

He died in Haliburton in 2003.

Books set in Kawartha Lakes:

The Place in the Forest (1967)

The Zoo That Never Was (1981)


Wildlife in Canada (1966)

The Place in the Forest (1967)

Where the Water Lilies Grow (1968)

The Poison Makers (1969)

Cry Wild (1970)

Maple Syrup (1971)

Wildlife in North America: Mammals (1974)

Wildlife in North America: Birds (1974)

Paddy (1977)

Discover Ste. Marie (1978)

The North Runner (1979)

Secret Go the Wolves (1980)

The Study of Life: A Naturalist’s View (1980)

The Zoo That Never Was (1981)

Voyage of the Stella (1982)

The Ghost Walker (1983)

Canada’s National Parks (1983)

The Shark (1985)

In Praise of Wolves (1986)

Trans-Canada Country, 1986

The Natural History of Canada (1988)

For the Love of Mike (Pour L’Amour de Mike) (1989)

Wolves (1990)

The White Puma (1990)

Trail of the Wolf (1993)

The Green Trees Beyond (1994) – memoir

A Shriek in the Forest Night (1996)

Owls, the Silent Fliers (1997)

William George Hardy(1895-1979)

W. G. Hardy was a writer, professor and hockey administrator. Born and raised on a farm called “The Elms” near Lindsay, Ontario, to parents George and Annie, Hardy was one of seven children. His sister, Winnifred Hardy, served as a nursing sister for WWI. Official records put his place of birth as Peniel, Ontario, but all that remains of the community once located at the intersection of Peniel Road and Kawartha Lakes County Road 46 is a church.

South of this intersection, Hardy attended school where he used to daydream while completing school by age 10. “They let me go at my own pace.” He was writing epic poetry by age 12. For the next few years, he worked the farm and taught himself Greek. He already knew Latin.

Hardy attended Victoria College at the University of Toronto, first attempting a mathematics degree, but then switching to the Classics so he could obtain a scholarship. He paid for his degree in scholarships, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1917.

While at university, Hardy served the Canadian Officers’ Training Corps. In April 1917, Hardy tried to enlist for WWI, signing up for the 109th Battalion in Lindsay, but was rejected for medical reasons. He returned to serve the University of Toronto’s Officers Company, but was discharged due to his heart condition. He never saw active service.

While working towards his Masters in Arts at the University of Toronto, Hardy married Llewella May Sonley and managed a publication called The Rebel.

After obtaining his Masters in 1920, Hardy took a position as a lecturer at the University of Alberta, and by 1922 he earned a Doctorate of Philosophy from the University of Chicago and a professorship at the University of Alberta. From 1938 to 1964, Hardy served at head of the Department of Classics. He gave talks about the Classics on CBC Radio. In 1979, the CBC published unedited transcripts of this radio programs in the book, CBC television programs on W.G. Hardy and Hazel McCuaig (1979.) Additionally, Hardy criticized fascism and the modern education system. His articles about the Alberta education system were collected and published in the booklet, Education in Alberta (1954.)

After relocating to Alberta, Hardy began coaching the Alberta Golden Bears hockey team. He served as president of the Alberta Amateur Hockey Association and was appointed to the Alberta branch of the Amateur Athletic Union of Canada. Hardy put forth a motion to have the 1936 Summer Olympics taken away from Berlin due to Germany banning Jewish athletes. Hockey in Western Canada flourished with Hardy’s involvement, but was not without problems:

Hardy publicized the CAHA ambitions and published the article “Should We Revise Our Amateur Laws?” in Maclean’s on November 1, 1936. He argued for updating the definition of amateur, when it was commonly accepted to bend the rules in hockey. He felt that the AAU of C was hypocritical for classifying cricket, soccer, and tennis as pastime sports where athletes may compete with or against professionals and still be called amateurs. He sought for these inconsistencies with respect to professionals and amateurs should be “ironed out and a common-sense view be taken of the situation”. He further stated that the old definition of amateur came “from the days when only gentlemen with independent means were supposed to engage in sport”; and that in the era of the Great Depression, it was justified that a hockey player be allowed legitimate employment in sport and be compensated for work lost while away at playoffs or representing his country at international events.[39]

The amateur issue achieved significant press coverage by November 1936. Canadian journalist Scott Young wrote that public perception was against the AAU of C definition, and that Canadians were in favour of amateurs being compensated for travel, which was perceived as a reason for Canada not winning the gold medal in ice hockey at the 1936 Winter Olympics.[42] 


(Scott Young was also a writer in Kawartha Lakes.)

Hardy’s legacy in hockey lives on in the Dr. W. G. Hardy Trophy established 1951 and the Hardy Cup established in 1968.

While it may seem strange for a scholar of the Classics to be so involved in ice hockey and writing novels, Hardy didn’t think so. “That was the Greek way of doing things. I didn’t want to become a straight academic. I was too interested in people.”

Hardy wrote his first novel, A Son of Eli, during a two-week period in 1929 when his wife was away from home. McLean’s published the book as a serial. Hardy said, “I write very fast. I never pretended to be a genius, but I have a talent for writing. I know my stuff.” Hardy went on to publish a dozen more books, some fiction and others non-fiction, countless short stories, as well as curate two anthologies.

Hardy was president of the Alberta branch of the Canadian Authors Association in 1972 and president of the national organization at least three times. He gave workshops and was a judge for writing contests, including the 1963 contest for new lyrics for the Maple Leaf Forever.

Hardy said his writing was a hobby, but that writing was hard work. He believed, “Some write for money, some for fame and recognition and some because they have a passion to express themselves. Amateur writers need the passion most.” He did not think writers should be too ‘arty.’ He believed in writing to market while also finding a compromise between what writers want to write and what the public wants to read. “After all,” he said, “the function of words is to put across ideas— and so why not market them’.”

“I believe that everyone has a novel inside them, formed through their own experiences and observations,” Dr. Hardy said tliis was his third reason for believing writers in Alberta could produce novels.

Dr. Hardy, who was president of the 1972 convention of the Canadian Authors Association, said he believes there are many advantages to writing a novel rather than a short story.

He said novels can use more characters, more places and a less – rigid structure, than short stories. Dr. Hardy said “besides these points, writing a novel is more fun.”

How do people go about starting to write a novel? Dr. Hardy said a good way for most to begin is to base the novel on n topic with which they are familiar.

He said to begin any of the three main types of novels — historical, contemporary life, novelists should follow a few basic steps.

To start with they should analyze what special knowledge they have going for them which could be helpful as background for their writing. Then books should be read to see how’ other authors have handled that type of novel.

The next basic step is for the writer to decide if he wants to write in the first or third person. Dr. Hardy said he prefers first person because by use of first person many points of view and many different characters can be presented.

The other suggestions Dr. Hardy gave were to draw up a resume — to help decide what the novel will say; to choose characters carefully and to decide on an approach — realistic or romantic.

He said one of the last things a writer does before actually writing the novel is a story line. By use cf the story line the information that doesn’t fit the general theme is discarded.

Dr. Hardy said when the novelist has had a book published he has completed “an achievement equivalent to any in the world.”



A Son of Eli (1929)

Father Abraham (1935)

Turn Back the River (1938)

All the Trumpets Sounded (1942)

The Unfulfilled (1952)

The City of Libertines (1957)

From Sea Unto Sea: Canada — 1850 to 1910 (1959)

The Greek and Roman World (1962)

Our Heritage from the Past (1964)

Journey into the past (1965)

Origins and Ordeals of the Western World: Lessons from Our Heritage in History (1968)

The Scarlet Mantel (1978)

The Bloodied Toga (1979, posthumous)


Alberta Golden Jubilee Anthology (1955)

Alberta: A Natural History (1967)