Kawartha Lakes Stories, volume 3: Autumn

The third volume of Kawartha Lakes Stories takes readers through the season of rot and ruin. It’s a season of change, when nature lets go, a season of abundance, when nature blankets her secrets in bold colours.

An all new anthology of stories set in Kawartha Lakes during the most colourful season. This anthology takes readers on a journey of unexpected and innovative views of the city of Kawartha Lakes using a mix of genres, ranging from sweet romance and contemporary fairy tale to soft horror and edgy humour. With settings including Bobcaygeon, Burnt River, Sturgeon Lake, and various locations between, Kawartha Lakes Stories are at once startling and familiar, as local writers explore some of our everyday places through a variety of voices and styles.


  • Shannon Bain
  • Jean Booker
  • Cassandra Dove
  • Cathy Hamill-Hill
  • Nina Munteanu
  • Ann Rocchi
  • Mil Sepic
  • Karen Sproxton
  • Lily Stroud
  • Stephen J. Thompson
  • Sara C. Walker
  • Joy Wilson



Kent Bookstore


The Advocate Podcast: Stories from Kawartha Lakes, episode 45

Kawartha Lakes This Week: “Kawartha Lakes and area authors share their views of time and place”

Kawartha Lakes Stories, volume 2: Winter

This second volume of Kawartha Lakes Stories takes readers on a journey through the darkest of seasons. A mix of genres– including historical, memoir, comedy, poetry and more– reveals Kawartha Lakes as its never been seen before.

– Shannon Peters Bain
– Vivienne Barker
– Russ Bentley
– Jean Booker
– Stefan Ellery
– Cathy Hamill-Hill
– Connie Neil
– Brenda O’Keefe
– Ann Rocchi
– Lori Rowsell
– Tiffany Short
– Karen Sproxton
– Janet Stobie
– Sara C. Walker



Kent Bookstore – Lindsay

The Book Lady – Fenelon Falls

GRR8 Finds – Fenelon Falls



Call for Submissions: Kawartha Lakes Stories anthology volume 2

Call for SubmissionsKawartha Lakes is home to a lot of talented writers.

This anthology aims showcase writing talent across genres. Often, genre literature is able to tell stories and present issues that might not otherwise be told. It is hoped that fictional stories from genres such as science fiction, fantasy, horror, action-adventure, romance, and mystery will help form and inform the culture of Kawartha Lakes. Using Kawartha Lakes as a setting will also give opportunity to engage a wider audience with this beautiful city.

Story setting must be within Kawartha Lakes. Stories should be works of fiction of about 3000 words. Shorter works will be accepted. Longer works will be considered (up to a maximum of 7000 words, but query before sending.) Stories must fit the theme: winter in Kawartha Lakes. Send stories about getting snowed in, Christmas mishaps, solstice romance, Festival of Lights murder mystery, etc.

Poetry will be considered.

Writers do not have to reside in Kawartha Lakes.

I am purchasing non-exclusive, first print anthology rights in English. Payment for stories is $25 CAD on acceptance, plus contributor copy. (Selected stories will be edited, and writers will be expected to adhere to all deadlines.) Payment for poetry is $10 CAD on acceptance, plus contributor copy.

When submitting, indicate if the work is original and unpublished. Reprints are welcome, but query first and tell me where and when the story was published.

Excerpts from longer works will not be considered at this time. I want stories with beginnings, middles and endings, and characters I want to spend time with.

Open to ALL genres. Fiction preferred. Non-fiction will be considered, if it meets these guidelines.

Submissions will be open until spaces filled.

To submit, send a brief cover letter in the body of the email with your submission attached as a Word document (.doc only) in standard manuscript format (12-point Times New Roman. See here for explanation of standard manuscript format.) Your cover letter should be short and include relevant experience and publishing credits, if you have them. (See here for examples of cover letters.)

Send submissions to: kawarthaauthors@gmail.com

Here are some examples of what I’m looking for, but the possibilities are endless:

  • a ghost story set in the Academy Theatre or the old Lindsay jail
  • a fairy encounter along the Omemee Hogsback/Esker
  • a werewolf story set in the woods near Bobcaygeon
  • an alien attack in Kirkfield
  • a feud between cottagers where the cottagers are witches
  • a murder mystery set at a local bed & breakfast

I want characters with agency and stories with conflict.

For more examples, check out Kawartha Lakes Stories, volume 1.

Please send any questions to kawarthaauthors@gmail.com


“Are these stories for children or for adults?”
At this time, I am not looking for children’s stories. If these stories were movies, then I’m looking for 14A. (Teen writers are invited to submit!) Perhaps in the future I’ll do an anthology of children’s stories.

“What does “non-exclusive rights” mean?”
Non-exclusive rights means you retain all rights to your work. Sometimes when a short story is purchased by a magazine, for example, they retain the rights, which means you cannot publish that story anywhere else. If you decide in the future you want to put together a collection of your short stories or submit your story to another anthology or sell your rights to a foreign market, I believe you should be able to do that so I’m asking for non-exclusive rights.

“Will I get paid royalties?”
At this time, royalties will not be paid. Payment is a one-time only $25 for short story or $10 for poetry, plus contributor copy. All proceeds from the anthology will go towards funding future anthologies and paying writers professional rates.

Interview with Tiffany Short, Kawartha Lakes Stories contributor

unnamed-4What is your story about?
My story, Rough Justice, is the account of an elderly man trying to balance the scales and concern for his grown daughter’s well-being.

What inspired you to write this story?
When writing the story, I knew I wanted to write about a conflict that dealt with socio-economic issues. I also wanted to look at how pervasive technology has become in today’s society.

How long have you lived in Kawartha Lakes? What attracted you to the area?
I have lived here my entire life, with temporary moves out of the area for school/work. Having most of my family living in Kawartha Lakes and the surrounding area, this is my home.

What do you like about living in Kawartha Lakes? What do you wish you could tell non-residents about Kawartha Lakes?
Kawartha Lakes is home to many artists, who work in a variety of art forms (theatre, photography, paint, jewellery, pottery, writing, etc.). Perhaps by visiting, you will find inspiration as well.

What else do you write? Where can readers find more of your writing?
I belong to the Circle of Writers group at the Kawartha Lakes Library. I am working with my CSARN mentor, Sylvia McNicoll, on a novel. Additionally, I have recently joined CANSCAIP – The Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Performers. I have a few projects on the go; however, “Rough Justice” is the only one that is publicly available at this time.

Interview with Lori Rowsell, Kawartha Lakes Stories contributor

lori phone oilWhat is your story about?
This story is loosely based on the illness that spread through the town of Lindsay, then Purdy’s Mills, back in the early 1800s.     It was a devastating illness for the town, wiping out nearly a third of its population and was most likely a malaria-type, insect related disease.

What inspired you to write this story?
Although the town was still in small in population when the ague struck, tragedy like that scars a community and it’s likely that a few ghosts were left behind. It was my aim to breathe some life into that tragedy while showcasing the beautiful cemeteries in Lindsay, in particular the St. Mary’s cemetery. As soon as you pull into the driveway there’s this single-lane winding road; the house, then the long lane flanked by perfectly aligned trees. It’s really quite pretty and peaceful.

How long have you lived in Kawartha Lakes? What attracted you to the area?
I’m an import, by way of Peterborough where I’ve lived most of my adult life. When we had a younger family and needed the space, Omemee was far enough outside Peterborough where we could actually afford a house with a yard so we took the plunge and moved. We’ve been here over eight years now and we love it.

What do you like about living in Kawartha Lakes? What do you wish you could tell non-residents about Kawartha Lakes?
I love that there’s something for everyone. Whether it’s sports and athletics or cottaging, gardening, writing, theatre or music. I wish there was more of the latter few, but then maybe this anthology project will give us an opportunity to do something about it. 😀

What else do you write? Where can readers find more of your writing?
There always seems to be a dark element to the stories I write, but I’m a sucker for a happy ending. Not that everything I write is roses and puppies, but if it makes sense and I can even leave my readers with a hint of happy, then I’ll try to do that. With this story, for example – I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say this: At least they’re together, in the end.

Interview with Cathy Hamill-Hill, Kawartha Lakes Stories contributor

01010093What is your story about?
My story is about an old lady’s choice to stay on her family’s farm in the City of Kawartha Lakes with the help of a friend that nobody else understands.

What inspired you to write this story?
My story was inspired by what I saw with my grandfather and father, and how committed they were to leave the generational farm to the next generation. My second character is based on my experiences while being alongside a close friend in the deaf community.

What do you like about living in Kawartha Lakes? What do you wish you could tell non-residents about Kawartha Lakes?
Kawartha Lakes is the only place I know where one can buy a rooster at the Woodville salesbarn on Saturday morning and in the afternoon can go to the Ross Memorial Hospital in Lindsay and get a CT scan done in one of the province’s best fracture clinics.

Kawartha Lakes has free wifi in the public libraries which is breaking technology however, it is common to see an Amish family driving in a black buggy being pulled by a horse– and everybody lives in harmony.

Kawartha Lakes welcomes the cottage community with tons of activities and goods specifically for those needs for the urban population however, the country population have full services here too.

Few places keep the balance between urban and rural so equal as does the Kawartha Lakes.

What else do you write? Where can readers find more of your writing?
I’ve been a freelance journalist for many years. I did ten years as a municipal political reporter at a local newspaper and a few years at different publications covering community events. Four years ago, I became an agricultural photographer/reporter for the monthly newspaper “Voice of the Farmer,” which evolved into two years ago as a contributing editor position starting the popular column “Between the Chores” which is a funny look on our misadventures here on our little hobby farm on page 4. To read more, go to http://www.durhamregion.com, go to print editions, to community publications.

Interview with Stefan Ellery, Kawartha Lakes Stories contributor

portrait_0005What is your story about?
My story is about a cello player who is let go from an orchestra in Toronto. He heads up to the Kawarthas to find out where he and his music belong. While he is in the town of Lindsay he hears the sound of a flute playing which draws him to explore its source.
What inspired you to write this story?
I am a daydreamer and I often place myself in another world when I am walking. This idea occurred during a sunny day while I walked up Victoria Street. The day felt unreal and enchanting and I had music running through my head at the time. The story was drawn out of the senses I was using at the time.
How long have you lived in Kawartha Lakes? What attracted you to the area?
I came to Lindsay because of work. It was 2003 and SARS had it. I worked in a hotel and business came to a halt. Fear of loosing my job prompted me to look for work in the public sector. The job I found happened to be in Lindsay.
What do you like about living in Kawartha Lakes? What do you wish you could tell non-residents about Kawartha Lakes?
I enjoy the fact that there are lakes and rivers near by. It fulfilled my desire to kayak which was difficult to do when I lived in Toronto.  Explore, there are many places to walk, fish and boat and sometimes the best spots are hidden. If you come up here make sure to bring your rod.
What else do you write? Where can readers find more of your writing?
I am a multi-genre author and I have written two YA paranormal novels, 3 short horrors and a children’s book. I am currently editing a Sci-Fi that I hope to have out this year.  You can find a list of some of my works on www.stefanellery.com and you can also find my works on Amazon, Kobo, iBooks and Barnes & Noble. My work is available in electronic format and print.

Interview with Vivienne Barker, Kawartha Lakes Stories contributor

Vivienne BarkerWhat is your story about?
A couple from London, England who have lost the magic in their marriage, accept the offer of a free holiday in Toronto. Things don’t go to plan with their hosts and they relocate to a grand cottage in the Kawartha’s.  The experience of city dwellers left to their own devices in cottage country might have been a challenge, but a visit from a strange man, claiming to be a Shaman brings renewed hope for their marriage.
What inspired you to write this story?
That has to remain a secret.
How long have you lived in Kawartha Lakes? What attracted you to the area?
5 years (3 full time, 2 as weekenders) Even though I lived in Ontario cities for over 35 years, I never felt at home and hated the hustle and bustle. Kawartha Lakes is accessible without having to travel the 400 highway!
What do you like about living in Kawartha Lakes? What do you wish you could tell non-residents about Kawartha Lakes?
Here people look you in the eye, smile and say hello, how are you, great/awful weather. The lakes are lovely and even if you can’t live right by a lake, they are always visible, especially in Bobcaygeon. Although Bobcaygeon is sleepy in the winter, its great to see the town come alive with visitors in summer.
What else do you write? Where can readers find more of your writing?
I have completed an historical fiction, somewhat based on the unusual life of my ancestors from 1905-1945. It is in the process of being published by Black Opal Publishers and I HOPE it will be available this autumn.  I have completed a story about Pigeon Lake and the Osprey that nest there every year (anyone want to publish it???) and I often scribble story lines that I hope will lead somewhere eventually.
Photo from Vivienne Barker’s website: www.vivsbooks.com

Interview with Altaire Gural, Kawartha Lakes Stories contributor

What is your story about?
“Unreasonable” is both a ghost story and a social comment, exploring which fears truly drive us, and what we learn from them.

What inspired you to write this story?
Very loosely based on an event that happened in my house years before I lived in it, “Unreasonable” came about as an entry in the New York City Midnight Short Story Challenge (an international contest that saw over 2100 entrants).  My submission qualified as a semi finalist and moved on to the second round of 300 competitors.
What else do you write? Where can readers find more of your writing?
I am a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and am currently expanding one of my plays, Forgotten, into a YA novel.