M.E. Pilkey (Peggy) was born in British Columbia and lived in Ontario before moving with her parents and siblings to Japan when she was eight years old. After a year in Kobe, she settled in Tokushima City on Shikoku Island with her parents and sister, leaving her two older brothers behind in boarding school at Canadian Academy. One advantage of following the Ontario curriculum at home were the hours she was able to spend playing with the neighbourhood children after school every day, which made becoming fluent in Japanese seem effortless. After her family’s year of furlough in Kingston, Ontario, Peggy returned to Canadian Academy in Kobe for high school, where she studied alongside students representing twenty-four nationalities. This international experience shaped her worldview and stoked her desire for travel and service, both of which were realized in a two-year teaching contract with the Canadian University Services Overseas. Peggy taught English Literature and Language at the secondary school level in both Guyana and Jamaica. After she and her family had made their home in Halifax, Nova Scotia, her interest in other cultures continued to be enriched by long-lasting friendships formed over two decades, during which time she was a “host parent” to fifty-five international students representing eleven different countries.
She credits the Writers’ Federation of Nova Scotia (WFNS) for having nurtured her interest in writing soon after her arrival in the province. She placed in several of the organization’s annual Atlantic Writing Competitions that prior to 2017, had been open to participation from writers living in Canada’s four easternmost provinces. In addition, she has been long-listed by both the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, illustrators and Performers (CANSCAIP) and The Writers’ Union of Canada-sponsored Writing for Children Competitions. While working full-time at Saint Mary’s University library for twenty years, she enjoyed being surrounded by books and friends—always the best of combinations! Gardening, observing backyard wildlife, and amateur photography are some of her other deeply held interests. She is currently a member of the WFNS as well as an associate member of CANSCAIP.