“Stories have been part of my life forever. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t read, and I hardly remember a time when I didn’t write.”

Born in Winnipeg, Merilyn grew up in Brazil, where she acquired a taste for the fabulous. She is the author of twenty books, including the creative nonfiction classic, The Convict Lover, a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and inspiration for Judith Thompson’s play, Hothouse; the autobiographical story collection, The Lion in the Room Next Door; a bestselling novel, The Holding; a travel memoir, Breakfast at the Exit Café co-written with Wayne Grady; a collection of personal essays, A New Leaf; and Gutenberg’s Fingerprint: Paper, Pixels & the Lasting Impression of Books.

Woman, Watching, is Merilyn’s most recent work. It is an innovative memoir/biography of Louise de Kiriline Lawrence, a self-trained ornithologist and one of Canada’s greatest naturalists and nature writers. Margaret Atwood calls the book a “lyrical, passionate, and deeply researched portrait.”

Merilyn was the founding artistic director of Kingston WritersFest; she retired from the festival in 2014. With her husband, author Wayne Grady, she divides her time between Kingston and Mexico.

Merilyn is sponsored by Author Patrons, Justin Connidis and Julia McArthur.


Appearing in:

19. To Whom the Wilderness Spoke: Louise de Kiriline Lawrence


Website: www.merilynsimonds.com

Book: https://merilynsimonds.com/books.html#woman-watching


Past Festival Appearances

2019: 13. Two Authors, Two Women, Two Flights: Fiction, 25. Robertson Davies Dinner
2018: The Isle of Woman: Fiction and PoetryCelebrate the Literary: Breakfast with Peter Carey
2017: 21. Writing the First Page, 00. Project Bookmark Unveiling36. Paper, Pen, and Pixels: Memoir
2016: 1. Loving the Bad Boy: A Story of Prison Romance, 24. The Gard and the River: Meditations on Landscape
2015:  46. Identity and Belonging
2014 – 2013 – 2011 – 2010