My interest in writing started in elementary school when I got hooked on a creative writing course that was offered. After high school, I enrolled in the journalism program at Western University in London, Ontario. I had already sold some freelance articles before graduating and landed a job as a reporter at The London Free Press. During my years there, I wrote a wide range of news and feature stories on city politics, profiles, business and entertainment. That eclectic mix of stories continues with the freelancing I do today. I also worked as a communications officer at Queen’s Park in Toronto for several years picking up skills and experience in media relations and writing speeches for a variety of cabinet ministers.
I’m known in some circles as one half of Canada’s Trivia Guys and have co-authored 10 books with Ottawa writer Randy Ray including the bestsellers The Great Canadian Trivia Book and I Know That Name!: The People Behind Canada’s Best-Known Brand Names From Elizabeth Arden to Walter Zeller. I am also a contributing author to two books: Prose to Go: Tales from a Private List and Shakin’ All Over: The Rock ‘N’ Roll Years in Canada. See my Author page for more details and how to order books.
I’ve sold more than 2,000 articles to some 80 publications in Canada and the U.S. My work has appeared in such publications as Toronto Life, Canadian Living, Golf Digest, The Saturday Evening Post, The Globe and Mail, London CityLife Magazine, The Financial Times, The London Free Press, Stitches, Western Alumni Gazette and The Cleveland Plain-Dealer. As a columnist, my work has appeared in several publications including The Toronto Star, The Calgary Herald, The Toronto Sun, Boomer Life, and Chill magazine. You can read some of my work on the Services & Samples page.
I’ve also written for a variety of business clients including the Ministry of Government Services, Ontario Cabinet Office, Credit Union Central of Ontario, St. Willibrord Community (now Libro) Credit Union, and Union Gas.
I’ve been a member The Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) for 30 years and sat on the organization’s national Board of Directors for two years and the local executive here in London for more than 15 years. I’m also a long-time member of The Writers’ Union of Canada.
Among my writing-related awards are the International Association of Business Communicators Award of Excellence, 2002, International Association of Business Communicators Award of Merit, 1998 and 1999, The Norman Kucharsky Award (arts writing – honourable mention) and the City of London Writing Contest For Professional Writers, 1998. Awards for volunteer service include the PWAC Lawrence Jackson Memorial Award of Achievement in 2008, which is given to a member who has shown outstanding volunteer commitment to the association at the national level, and the PWAC Regional Volunteer Award.
I spend most of my year as a lecturer at Western University. I enjoy working with the students, teaching them the tools of the writing/journalism world, watching them learn how to craft stories and on occasion, seeing their work published. Dozens of them are working in journalism today at such places as The Globe and Mail, CTV, CBC, The National Post and Elle magazine. I’ve been a lecturer in the Writing Studies program at Western since 2002 as well as in the Journalism program since 2008. A course I developed and continue to teach, LOL-Humour Writing, was named in Maclean’s Student Guide 2015 as one of “coolest electives” at Western. I received the Dean’s Award of Excellence from the Faculty of Media and Information Studies in 2013 and was nominated for the award in 2011 and 2012. I’ve been given the University Students Council Teaching Awards of Excellence seven time since 2004. I’ve also taught at Western’s Continuing Studies Program since 1991.
Other Cool Stuff
● I play guitar and clarinet and am learning the banjo.
● I play in the New Horizons concert band, and we have performed in Europe bi-annually since 2005.
● I’m an avid world traveller who has hitchhiked in Australia and New Zealand, been on safari in Kenya, sampled caviar and vodka in Russia, and hiked in Iceland, France, Italy and Great Britain.
● I enjoy golf and gardening in the summer and curling and volleyball in the winter.
● My wife Catherine and I go to many movies and concerts year round. We live in London, Ontario with our dog Gracie.