Our Columnists

Our Expert Writers

Opal Writers Magazine boasts some pretty great writers! Some of our Expert Writers are published authors, and they all have great credentials.


Mandy Eve-Barnett is a multi-genre author writing children’s, YA, and adult books. Her passion for writing emerged later in life and she is making up for lost time. With nine books published since 2011, she indulges her Muse in creative fiction as well as freelance writing. Mandy regularly blogs at www.mandyevebarnett.com and is a writing community advocate. As Secretary of her local writer’s group and the Alberta Authors Cooperative, as well as past-president of the Arts & Culture Council, she lives her creative life to the fullest. She hosts the monthly writer sharing meetings and creates writing prompts for the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County. Mandy also presents various writing topics at conferences and seminars. Originally from England, Mandy now resides in Alberta, Canada. You can find Mandy across social media and her books through all the online purchasing sites and her publisher, Dream Write Publishing.



Sheila S. Hudson is an award winning writer of cozy mysteries. Her current series is Crimes from the Crypt. Others include Silent Partners, The Thursday Club, and Ministry Can Be Murder. She is co-president of Southeastern Writers Association and Vice President of Sisters in Crime (Monroe). Sheila has been writing and teaching writing workshops for more than 25 years. She and her husband have 2 daughters, one son, seven grandsons, and one cranky chiweenie.




Cappy Hall Rearick is a syndicated humor columnist, novelist and popular public speaker. She is an award winning short story writer and author of the column, SIMPLY SOUTHERN. She has written sixteen published novels and collections of short stories and one collaborated cookbook. She is past president of the Southeastern Writers Association.   Cappy lives in Saluda, North Carolina with her husband and a spoiled rotten cat named Igor.



The characters in my quirky little short stories and Novelettes are all developed from aspects of myself and my imaginary friend. In real life, this mundane world with tunnel vision reality I have endeavoured to live it out in many ways. I have been a sailor and soldier, a farmer, a hobo, musician, mountaineer, hunter-gatherer, fisherman, author, editor, teacher and student, to mention only a fraction of my experience. It has been a beautiful life and I hope for more decades to learn and experience a great deal more.

I hope your life has been equal to or more than mine.


is a writer, poet and philosopher from Melbourne, Australia. He says: “Writing for me is a spiritual activity of the highest degree. Writing gives me the conduit to a world that is unreachable by any other means, a world that is populated by Eternal Truths, Ineffable Questions and Infinite Beauty. It is my hope that these stories of mine will allow the reader to also catch a glimpse of this universe.”

You can follow him on Facebook


Susan Calder grew up in Montreal and moved to Calgary in 1996. She is the author of four novels: A Deadly Fall, 2nd edition (BWL, 2019), Ten Days in Summer (BWL, 2017) and Winter’s Rage (BWL, 2021) books 1, 2 & 3 of the Paula Savard mystery series set in Calgary, and a standalone literary/suspense To Catch a Fox (BWL, 2019).

She has taught writing courses and workshops at the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, served on the board of Calgary’s annual When Words Collide Festival for Readers and Writers, and participated in numerous panels, presentations and literary readings. In her non-writing time, Susan enjoys traveling and hiking.

Website: www.susancalder.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/susan.calder


Jonathan is an author, award-winning journalist and broadcaster based in Alberta. 
After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste — with everything in between. His work has appeared in The Sun, Daily Mail, Scotsman, STV and The Scots Magazine as well as numerous international newspapers and websites.

He’s also a regular reviewer on the BBC.

His latest novel – The Bingo Hall Detectives – sees a mother and son-in-law duo catch a pensioner killer in a quiet town. 

How to find Jonathon

https://twitter.com/JDWhitelaw13 and https://www.instagram.com/jdwhitelaw13

Wendy L. Hawkin

W. L. Hawkin is an award-winning West Coast author. Her Hollystone Mysteries series features a coven of West Coast witches who solve murders using ritual magic and a little help from the gods. The books—To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, and To Kill a King—follow Estrada, a flawed magician and coven high priest as he endeavors to save his family and friends while sorting through his own personal issues. Her latest release, Lure: Jesse & Hawk is small-town romantic suspense set on a Chippewa Reservation in the American Midwest.

Hawkin graduated from Trent University with a BA in Indigenous Studies. She then went on to study English literature at SFU in BC and teach high school. When life became too stressful for this Introvert, she took a year off to work as a lighthouse keeper on the Northwest Pacific Coast. Those experiences are the inspiration for her next book. She found her voice publishing poetry and Native Rights articles in Canadian news magazines and is now author/publisher at Blue Haven Press.

Wendy is a regular reviewer for the Ottawa Review of Books. A member of the Federation of BC Writers and the Writers Union of Canada, she actively engages with readers and writers at conferences, and is represented by Creative Edge Publicity.

A seeker and mystic, Wendy is fascinated by language, archaeology, and myth. As an intuitive writer, Wendy captures on the page what she sees (visual scenes) and hears (conversations) and allows her muses to guide her through the creative process. She needs to feel the energy of the land, so although she’s an Introvert, in each book her characters go on a journey where she’s traveled herself. If you don’t find her at Blue Haven Press, she’s out walking the forests and beaches of Vancouver Island with her beautiful yellow dog.


Professor Emerita of English, Women’s Studies, and Jewish Studies, SUNY-Nassau Community College. Author The Fix: A Father’s Secrets, A Daughter’s Search, Silver Winner Benjamin Franklin IBPA Award, Best New Voice in Fiction (2018), co-editor with Milton Teichman Truth and Lamentation: Stories and Poems on the Holocaust, nominated for the National Jewish Book Award (1994), and author or editor of fiction and books on: women writers, literature of the Holocaust, women in academia, and family dynamics. Founder Creative Outlets: Finding Your Voice Through Arts at Cape Cod Museum of Art

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