Aara Macauley (Artistic Director)
B.A.H, M.A. Queen’s University
Aara has been involved with Kingston WritersFest in various capacities​ since 2011​ – from a patron, to archivist to box office coordinator​. In 2014, she​ joined the staff in an administrative role​, becoming Operations Manager in 2017, and, in December 2020, Artistic Director​. For four years she owned and operated a boutique selling primarily local, Canadian, and independently created art, clothing, and jewelry. Aara has been involved in the fundraising, event planning, and promotion committees for various local cabaret, film, and arts festivals. She is a proud member of the LGBTQIA2S+ community and served as Chairperson on the Reelout Arts Project Board of Directors​ for 8 years. She currently sits on the City of Kingston Arts Advisory Committee, the Art in Public Places Working Group, chairs the Poet Laureate Working Group, and was a founding member of the steering committee for the Canadian Association of Literary Festivals.​ Aara’s goal is to champion greater access to and awareness of our community’s diversity through the arts.

Jennifer Stefanopoulos (Operations Manager)

Jennifer has a B.A.H in English Literature from Concordia University and an M.B.A. from the University of Toronto. She is passionate about the literary industry and has over 5 years’ professional experience in operations and customer success for not-for-profits. She has volunteered for multiple organizations in the past, including TIFF & Word on the Street since 2015. An avid reader in her free time, she also enjoys travelling and has lived in Colombia and the UK.

Knowles, Tricia

Tricia Knowles (Director of Marketing)

As an arts promoter and cultural curator, Tricia has a passion for creative placemaking and for crafting interactive, immersive events which inspire residents to be part of the change they want to see in their community. She holds a certificate in Cultural Planning and Development from UBC and a diploma in Radio and Television Arts (Broadcast Journalism) from NSCC.

Tricia has more than 20 years of experience in media, marketing, and promotions working with Radio and Television and on several festivals such as Skeleton Park Arts Festival, Kick & Push Theatre Festival, and Wavelength Music’s Summer and Winter festivals in Toronto. She is currently the Marketing & Communications Manager for PuSh International Performing Arts Festival in Vancouver in addition to her role as Marketing Director with Kingston WritersFest.

Madeline Disera( Production Manager)

Madeline Disera is a theatre creator and arts administrator from Tiny, Ontario. She graduated from Queen’s University with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in drama & music and will soon obtain a certificate in Arts Administration and Cultural Management from Humber College. Recently, Madeline was the Assistant Producer for Bad New Days’ production of Italian Mime Suicide and the Production Manager for the first-ever Simcoe County Theatre Festival. Production Management is Madeline’s passion and she is thrilled to be working with WritersFest this year.

Darby Huk (Administrative Assistant)

Darby is an artist and writer from Mississauga, Ontario. She obtained her MA from Queen’s University, where she studied video games and the effects of  being part of a narrative. Currently based out of Kingston, her paintings have been featured in local exhibitions and she has multiple creative writing projects in the works. Darby continues to advocate for more time to play, more time for hobbies, and more kindness at all times.

Linnea Uunila (Marketing Assistant)

Linnea is pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queen’s University and expects to graduate in 2024. She is joining the Kingston WritersFest team for the summer of 2022 as the Marketing Assistant. Linnea is passionate about marketing and has previously worked in marketing positions for two other non-profit organizations. She recently moved to Kingston from Squamish, BC, and enjoys walking along Lake Ontario’s waterfront.

Y.S. (Ying) Lee

Ying Lee (Education Manager)

Ying was born in Singapore, raised in Vancouver and Toronto, and lived for a spell in England. She is an award-winning author of young adult fiction. Ying earned a Ph.D. in Victorian literature and culture from Queen’s University.


Our Community Liasons

 Oscar Malan (Festival Bookseller)

Oscar is the owner of Kingston, Ontario’s celebrated independent bookstore, Novel Idea. He was granted Honourary Membership in the League of Canadian Poets in 2012.


Kimberly Sutherland Mills (Library Liaison)

Kimberly is the Manager of Programming and Outreach at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library.  A graduate of the Master of Library of Information Science program at Western University, Kimberly has more than 20 years of program and special event experience, and has served as a juror for both the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award and the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction.  This is her second year as liaison with Kingston WritersFest.