Member Profile

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Monica Graham

Photo: Martin Graham 2018

Monica Graham is a Nova Scotia-based freelance journalist, columnist, and the author of nine books of non-fiction. The most recent, Pictou Academy 1816-2016 (Pictou Academy Educational Foundation), and In the Spirit: Reflections on Everyday Grace (Nimbus), were published in 2015.  Monica served as 2008 Writer in Residence at Berton House in Dawson City, and as the 2011-12  writer-in-residence at Pictou Antigonish Regional Library.

She is currently has two projects underway: a novel with no deadline in sight, and a non-fiction account of dealing with parental aging, due out on 2020.  

Her work as a journalist has appeared regularly in newspapers and magazines across Atlantic Canada, and her short stories have appeared in a number of anthologies. 

She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the Writers Federation of Nova Scotia, Pictou Historical Photograph Society, and the Nova Scotia Writers in the Schools program (when she gets students of all ages pumped about reading, writing and storytelling).

In her spare time, Monica co-manages a woodlot; helps organize the Read by the Sea literary festival in River John, NS., and enjoys singing, photography, murder mysteries, and outdoor activities like swimming, skiing, hiking and kayaking.

Phone number:
902-759-8770 (mobile)


The Great Maritime Detective: The Exploits and Adventures of the Notorious Peachie Carroll. Nimbus, 2009
The Historic Town of Pictou. Nimbus, 2004
Bluenose. Nimbus, 2010
Historic Towns of New Glasgow, Stellarton, Trenton and Westville. Nimbus, 2012
Fire Spook - The Mysterious Nova Scotia Haunting. Nimbus, 2013
Pictou Academy: 1816-1916. Pictou Academy Educational Foundation, 2015
In the Spirit: Reflections on Everyday Grace. Nimbus, 2015


Atlantic Community Newspaper Association, general interest column for The Pictou Advocate, 1995
Canadian Community Newspapers Association Nanton News Trophy for centennial history of The Pictou Advocate, 1994
Canadian Community Newspapers Association, best Christmas story. for The Pictou Advocate, 1991
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :


Presentation Description

Monica speaks to groups of all ages and abilities about story-telling, memoir-writing, researching and writing history, tools of the trade, defeating writer's block, journalism, and the writer's life (taxes, health, etc). She also offers one-on-one mentoring sessions. Methods and session length depend on the ages and abilities of the participants, but presentations include a short lecture, followed by discussion, questions and answers and, if time, sharing ideas and issues.

Workshop Description:

Monica prefers a "learn to do by doing" approach, using games, images, toys, and hands-on exercises to encourage writing and story-telling, and to persuade participants to clarify their ideas and opinions and then write them down. Workshops and seminars cover the five Ws, the distinction between fiction and non-fiction, and how to "cheat" by using tools like a Thesaurus and a dictionary. She encourages chat and laughter, and tries to draw out the quiet people as well as the more gregarious participants.

Northern OAC WITS:
GST applicable