Member Profile

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Phil Halton

Photo: Sarah Sims 2018

I am a bit of a study in contrasts.

I’m an outgoing introvert. I’ve worked for humanitarian agencies and the Army. I like tattoos and tailored suits. I work on vintage motorcycles and write poetry. I’ve dined with royalty and eaten free food given out by monks. I have an omnivorous intellect and a quick wit, and so find myself “out there” trying new things on a regular basis.

I began my working life as an officer in the Canadian Army, but then travelled way, way off the beaten path to seek adventure around the world. Over the past two decades, I’ve lived, worked or travelled in over seventy countries across five continents. I’ve been lucky to have seen many parts of the world that few travelers visit, including a number of war zones and other dangerous places. I have an enduring love of Afghanistan and its peoples, fostered by my time living there.

I was educated at the Royal Military College of Canada, obtaining both an Honours degree in Military and Strategic Studies and a Master’s of Defense Studies. I recently also completed a Graduate Certificate in Creative Writing from Humber College.

I split my writing efforts between prose (primarily novels, some short stories) and screenwriting (primarily features, also television).

My first novel, "This Shall Be a House of Peace" was published by Dundurn Press in January, 2019, and received a starred review from ALA Booklist. It is a fictional retelling of the origins of the Taliban movement in Afghanistan. I signed a new publishing contract with Dundurn to produce an as of yet untitled non-fiction book on Afghanistan, to be published in August, 2020.

I’m blessed to currently live in Toronto, Canada.

E-mail: c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

This Shall Be a House of Peace. Dundurn Press, 2019
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Description

Although able to tailor my presentation to any school's needs, my focus is typically on narrative structure - why some stories are satisfying while others are not, and the tips and tricks that writers can use to take a simple idea and create an enjoyable story of any length.

Presentation Length:
60 mins
Genre:
Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Grades:
9-12
Audience size:
10-30
Workshop Description:

Although able to tailor my workshop to any school's needs, my focus is typically to present the idea of narrative structure in an interactive way, and to work together as a group to develop an idea into a fully fleshed out story outline. This is meant to demonstrate how story structures support creativity, and to give the opportunity for students to ask practical questions while we build a story together. This also means that students do not have to bring any written work to class to "workshop."

Northern OAC WITS:
No
One session:
$$300
Two sessions:
$$300
Three sessions:
$$400
Four sessions:
$$400
One session:
$$150
Two sessions:
$$150
Three sessions:
$$200
Four sessions:
$$200
GST:
GST applicable