AMANDA WEST LEWIS has combined careers as a writer, theatre director, calligrapher, book artist and instructor. She has spent her career working in the arts and in arts education.
Amanda is the author of 7 books for young people. Her new novel, The Pact, sets friendship, poverty and family amidst the culture of indoctrination and propaganda in Nazi Germany. Her previous novel, September 17: A Novel, is a fictionalized account of the sinking of the S.S. City of Benares during the Second World War. September 17 was nominated for the Silver Birch Award, the Red Cedar Award, and the Violet Downey IODE Award. Both novels are published by Red Deer Press.
Other books include Writing, A Fact and Fun Book; Lettering; Making Memory Books; The Jumbo Book of Paper Crafts; and Rosie Backstage (co-written with Tim Wynne-Jones).
Amanda has an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts, where she also did a specialized Picture Book Intensive.
In her theatre career, Amanda has focused on work with young people, directing and teaching extensively. She is the founder of the Ottawa Children's Theatre, where she offers a range of drama education programs for children aged 3 - 16. She has founded theatre programs for disadvantaged youth and children with autism spectrum disorder. She received a certificate in Theatre for Young Audiences with Complex Difficulties from Rose Bruford College, UK. She has a BFA in Theatre Performance from York University.
As a professional calligrapher and book artist, Amanda has exhibited her artwork in numerous group and solo shows. She has been an active member of the Riverguild Fine Crafts, the Perth Autumn Studio Tour, The Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild, and the Calligraphy Society of Ottawa. She studied with Alf Ebson, Hermann Zapf, Mark Van Stone, Nancy Culmone, Thomas Igmire and many others.
Amanda has taught workshops and classes for all ages in writing, drama, dance and calligraphy in numerous schools and universities throughout Ontario.
A member of the Writers Guild of Canada, Canscaipe, SCBWI, and The Great Canadian Theatre Company's Playwright's Network. Amanda lives with her husband, writer Tim Wynne-Jones, outside of Perth Ontario. They have 3 grown children who are a constant source of joy and inspiration.