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Gail Nyoka

Gail Nyoka

Photo: Raymond Edwards

Gail Nyoka is a storyteller, author and award-winning playwright. 

She travelled solo to Egypt as part of the research for her new YA novel, Star’s Reflection, in which secrets from 4000 years ago in ancient Egypt, are revealed to two present-day students.

Her previous novel, Mella and the N’anga: An African Tale, was shortlisted for awards in both Canada and the US. 

Gail’s storytelling encompasses both traditional and original works. 

See the trailer for Star’s Reflection:

Gail blogs regularly about storytellers and storytelling at



Mella and the N’anga: An African Tale. Editor, Rhea Tregabov; Toronto ON. Sumach Press, 2005
Mella Mella. In the anthology Prepare to Embark: Six Theatrical Voyages for Young Audiences, Editors Shirley Barrie and Emil Sher. Playwrights Canada Press, 2002
Star's Reflection. Pegasus , 2016


Finalist, Governor General’s Award, Children’s Literature for Mella and the N'Anga: An African Tale, 2005
Shortlisted for the Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award for Mella and the N'Anga: An African Tale, 2006
Honourable Mention, (Juvenile, Young Adult Fiction) IBBY Book Awards for Mella and the N'Anga: An African Tale, 2006
Honour Book, TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award for Mella and the N'Anga: An African Tale
Chalmers Canadian Play Award: Theatre for Young Audiences, 2006
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

For Grades 4-7. Readings from my novel and play. Discussion on the difference between writing a play and writing a novel. Discussion of how I came to write the story and a tie-in with a short, basic history of the African continent.
Q & A period.

Storytelling based on stories from Africa, ancient Egypt, Celtic legend and Canadian history. 

History of ancient Egypt and how it is represented in my novel Star's Reflection. (Grades 6 -8)

Presentation Length:
Stage plays, creative writing, storytelling
4 - 7
Audience Size:
Workshop Description:

For Grades 8-12. This workshop encourages students to rethink the stories in their lives and their family history, to think new thoughts, and to write about them powerfully.
During the workshop, students are given examples from existing books that illustrate how different authors have deconstructed and reconstructed their lives through words. Following the examples, the students write short scenes of their own. The students are asked to use various words in new and unusual ways.
Finally, students use the previous exercises to put together a story taken from an event either in their own life, or from their family history.
2) CREATE A PLAY. Over three, 1-hour sessions, students create a script for, and perform a play.

3) STORYTELLING WORKSHOP.  Storytelling in the classroom increases fluency in students and increases confidence in expression of ideas and concepts.  One or two, 2-hour sessions.

Equity Initiative

As part of the Union’s Equity Implementation Plan, we are committed to increasing awareness of authors who are Black, Indigenous, racialized, LGBTQI2S, or living with a disability. This author identifies as:

  • Black, Indigenous, and/or racialized