I have a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Arts degree in French literature from the University of Toronto.  Have published fiction and non-fiction, and have recently written a full-length novel, which earned me a scholarship in its early days.


I started writing for theatre primarily because my sister is an actor, and a very talented one. My plays have been performed in readings, on stage, and on radio in Canada and France.


I have worked as a freelance copy editor and translator in various capacities for over thirty years. I work from French to English. My area of expertise is the arts. For more information please see the translation page in this website, or contact me directly.

Visual arts

My formal training is academic: art history. I have read extensively on the subject and I have lived with visual artists and their works my entire life. Naturally, this includes hundreds of gallery and museum visits!


I studied dance, and continue to do so. My primary training is in classical ballet which I studied at the Conservatory and other studios internationally. I completed several Royal Academy of Dance standardized exams in ballet and character dance. Later on, I worked as a dance journalist. Other dance styles I have studied are: contemporary, jazz, tango, flamenco, Scottish dance, Baroque and others… I am familiar with the basics of Benesh Notation, and music theory, having studied piano and flute.

Formal education

Master of Arts

Graduated with Distinction. Master of Arts in French Literature. University of Toronto, St-George Campus. Dissertation: The use of physical features and gestures in Flaubert’s Madame Bovary. MA thesis: Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar.

Bachelor of Arts

Graduated with Distinction. French Language and Literature. Unofficial minors: Translation; Philosophy; Art History; Spanish.

Intermediate Level Ballet/Character Dance III

Completed the full range of Royal Academy of Dance examinations up to the second from final level including pointe: Intermediate (age 15). Character Dance level III.

Copy Editing for Books (year-long course)

Publishing Industry, Ryerson University. Rosemary Shipton, one of Canada’s best known editors, taught this course. Her recommendation led to a contract with the Ministry of Culture, Cultural Industries section, headed by one of the early-days founders of Canada’s House of Anansi Press, Jim Polk. Writer, editor and publisher, and later, industry consultant, he shared his vast and colourful knowledge of the publishing industry.

professional experience

This is a selective list. To receive my full CV please contact me.

Freelance Translator

Translator from French to English. Since 1995, I have worked as a freelance translator in some capacity.  Currently, the majority of my work-week is devoted to freelance translation contracts. In France, my ‘status’ is ‘travailleur indépendent’. However, while I was a student in Canada or in France, or when I had a different job contract, I often continued to translate on an occasional or part-time basis.

Ontario Arts Council

Arts consultant. Liasion between the Franco-ontarian arts community and the provincial governement. OAC.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

English language teacher. Diplomats and support staff. Small groups and private lessons. Language and training department. Paris. Ten years.

Cultural Industries Consultant

Responsible for confirming eligibility of publications by first time authors. Publishing Industry. Ministry of Culture, Toronto.

Playwright in Residence

Blyth Festival Theatre in Ontario, Canada. Awarded an Ontario Arts Council theatre department grant. Peer review jury.

French Consulate in Toronto

Toronto Consulate. Bilingual staff member, hired locally. Revision of English-language documents. Chancellery. Two years.

French foreign institutions

In Toronto I worked at the Alliance Française & Poste d’expansion economique (French commerce and business office) as a bilingual support staff member.

performances, journalism, workshops…

Humber School for Writers

Worked with mentor Bruce Jay Friedman, novelist, playwright and Oscar nominated screenwriter (IMDb) to develop a novel-in-progress. Comedy. Initial title: The Greek Dog. The story of friendship, love, saving a dog, and a habit of tossing wine corks behind furniture. Mr Friedman recommended the piece for further consideration at the writer’s school. The novel is now in its final stages of development, and I am seeking representation. Genres: contemporary, fiction, fantasy, comedy.

Dance writer

For about seven years I wrote articles and reviews of performances: NOW magazine (Toronto), DanceInsider (New York), and the National Post (Canada) Companies reviewed include: The National Ballet of Canada, Toronto Dance Theatre, and many others including those at Toronto International Dance Festival, Montpellier Danse (Festival). I was very familiar with the dance scene in Toronto, and Canada, but I have since left this type of writing aside because i live in Paris. NB: some articles and archives are now password protected.

CBC Radio

Blyth Festival Theatre 30th Anniversary Event. The Train, a one-act comedy I wrote, recorded live on stage at the Blyth Festival Theatre in Huron County and broadcast nationally on two CBC arts programmes. I was especially proud of this play and event. It was the second play I wrote, and it went to stage and national radio within the year. Directed by Eric Coates. Sound effects/foley by Anton Szabo.  Cast: Denis O’Connor, Louise Gauthier, Paul Essiembre, Molly Jane Atkinson, Gil Garratt. – With very special thanks to Dave Carley.

Workshops - David French

It was my honour and pleasure to learn from David French. One of Canada’s most beloved and enduring award-winning playwrights. New Ideas Festival curated Staged Reading series; Playwriting Workshop, by invitation, at Premier Artists Talent Agency (with Glenda MacFarlane); as well as many memorable performances, events and conversations.


‘Pitch’, my one-act play “written about not writing about writing”. Performed at FEATS 2007 The Hague by actor Elena Kaufman, with the German theatre company The Hamburg Players. An audience member posted her performance on YouTube. Here it is: Pitch, read by Elena Kaufman.

Pitch (Radio)

by Shena Wilson | Performed by actor Shelly de Vito (short exerpt) on Shallow Mystery Theatre, anglophone radio in Paris

“A play is like a shark. It has to keep moving, or it dies…” – David French

So, um, what do you think...?

As a colleague or peer, jury member, writer or friend, I have been called upon to express my opinion about pieces of art and performances of all sorts.

And, while the stage is not my natural habitat, I have found myself there as an actor, dancer, choreographer, rehearsal director, and dance captain on various occasions.

I am happiest off stage: watching, reading, listening to, or discussing almost any possible type of artistic expression. I feel even cosier still just doing my own writing. But not all the time.

shameless name dropping...

Over the years I’ve rubbed elbows with many authors, dancers, actors, and visual artists.

For six minutes, five hours, or for the past four decades… I would like to thank you for your kindness, and for being such an inspiration!

Alice Munro. Margaret Atwood. Michael Ondaajte. David French. Carol Sheilds. Jim Polk. Ellen Seligman. Bruce J. Friedman, Mavis Gallant. Robert Houle. Shelagh Rogers. Eleanor Wachtel. Jhumpa Lahiri. Michael Crabb. Alistair MacLeod. Alison Strayer. Denis Hirson. Nancy Huston. Adrienne Wilson. Angie Brooksby. Martine Lamy. Kevin Pugh. Johanna Bergfeldt. Valerie Lemercier. Christophe Desmurger. Mathieu Sapin….


“Tell us about what you do best…”


Clear English

“I didn’t understand it until I read your version.”

Natural dialogue

“I can really hear them.”/ “Such well-drawn characters.”

Atmosphere and plot

“Your details surprise me. They take me there.”

honours & awards

This is a selective list. For more information, please contact me.

Translator for Prof H.

I was honoured to be asked to work with one of my undergraduate teachers to translate a linguistics dissertation into English. Funding provided though the University of Toronto French department. In retrospect, I see that this rather large project – that was difficult for me at the time – was one reason why I became increasingly interested in translation.


I was very proud to be chosen as the recipient of the $500 Ben Lebovitch scholarship, awarded on literary merit. Humber School for Writers summer programme; 500 participating writers. The piece evaluated at Humber is now part of the novel I am submitting for agent consideration in 2018.

Prix de l'Ambassadeur de Suisse au Canada

One of my undergraduate professors submitted my name and transcripts for this award. I was surprised to be given a beautiful book, signed by the Swiss ambassador at the time: ‘In recognition of your achievements in the study of the French language.’