Passionate and Published: SCS Learner Lands Book Deal


“I’ve always wanted to explore writing, and continuing education has allowed me to develop this passion.” - Amanda Peters, SCS learner

For Amanda Peters, 2022 has been a big year; between earning her fourth master’s degree, and landing not one but two publishing deals, she’s been busy. “I just completed my MFA in Creative Writing at the Institute for American Indian Arts, and will be publishing my novel next year with Harper Collins. I’ll also be publishing a collection of short stories in the future,” shares Amanda. “I really love learning, and I’ve always been curious. I work full time for the First Nations Financial Management Board, which I really enjoy. But I’ve always wanted to explore writing, and continuing education has allowed me to develop this passion.”

Amanda has done more than develop her passion for writing. Her first published novel, The Berry Pickers, will be available in bookstores in April 2023, which will be followed by her collection of short stories, titled Waiting for the Long Night Moon. “I came to the Creative Writing program at the School of Continuing Studies in 2012, with the plan of only taking one course. But I got hooked, and worked towards my full certificate, which I completed in 2016. At SCS I worked on a lot of short stories, one of which slowly morphed into the first chapter of The Berry Pickers,” says Amanda, who studied online from her home in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. “I was so impressed by the calibre of instructors. I attended many SCS workshops, and was starstruck by the authors who spoke. My instructor and mentor, Alissa York, encouraged me to explore my creativity, connect with these established authors, and keep going. Another instructor and author who inspires me, Christy Ann Conlin, is from the Annapolis Valley. That local connection made me feel like I too could be a published author.”

The Berry Pickers is inspired by her father’s experiences picking berries in his youth. “I am mixed-race, of Mi’kmaq and settler descent. In the 60s, my Mi’kmaq father would go down to Maine and pick berries. He would always tell me stories, and one day we went on a road trip to the berry fields. His stories inspired me. Once we were home everything seemed to come together, and I wrote a novel outline in one day,” recalls Amanda. “The Berry Pickers is a fictional story about a brother and sister who are spending their summer in Maine picking berries, when the sister goes missing. It follows their lives as they diverge. I’ve dedicated this novel to my dad.”

Amanda’s momentum isn’t slowing down. She recently won an Indigenous Voices Award, is working on another novel, and aims to come full circle and teach at SCS. “I want to share my passion for creative writing with others,” says Amanda. “I’d say to anyone curious about the program that it takes courage to stick to a story, but it’s worth it. Just jump in.”

Related Programs

Start your lifelong learning journey

Sign up with us to receive the latest news about our courses and programs, speaker series, course bundles and more.