photo of Peggy Dymond Leavey











photo of Peggy Dymond Leavey

Peggy, wearing her Laura Secord costume.


Peggy with Ontario Speaker of the House Dave Levac at the Speaker’s Book Awards, 2013.


Q. Are the characters in your books based on real people, or do you just make them up?

A. With the exception of the biographies of Canadian women that I’ve written, none of my characters are based on people I know.  They all came out of my imagination.  By the time I am finished a book, however, I really do “know” them.  I live with them in my head for a long time. I know the things they like, the things that drive them crazy, how they feel about the other people in their families, even what they like to eat.  That's the only way a writer can make their characters “real” to their readers.

Q.  How can I become a writer?

A. Read, read, read. And write, write, write. You should read the type of stories you'd like to write. But mostly, I believe you become a writer by writing.  You need to know how to spell, of course, and how to write a proper sentence.  But, in the end, after the grammar lessons, you have to get down to putting the words on the page. Look for opportunities to practise your writing.  Check any magazines for young people at the library to see if they publish children's writing.  Once in a while you may even discover a writing competition that you could enter. (That's how I started.)  Write letters to the editor of the local paper.  Perhaps the editor is looking for someone to start a column of school news.  Small newspapers are great for this sort of thing. Does your school or youth organization have a newsletter, online or otherwise?  Maybe you could write a short article for it.  Always ask the editor first what sort of material he/she is looking for.   And don’t give up.  Believe in yourself, and keep writing. You can do it!


Margaret Louise (Peggy) Dymond was born in Toronto, Ontario, the second in a family of five children.  Shortly after her birth, her father joined the Canadian military, and as a result of his frequent postings over the years, the children were raised in numerous towns and cities in Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba. The longest posting was in Winnipeg for four years.

Peggy has enjoyed writing all her life. Her earliest pieces appeared regularly on the back page of "Canadian Girl" in the 1950s - a Sunday School paper published by the United Church. It was in Trenton, Ontario that Peggy was finally able to put down roots. She and her husband Wayne have raised three children and are the proud grandparents of eight.

As well as being the bookkeeper for her husband's business, Peggy worked for nearly 17 years as a part time librarian for the County of Prince Edward Public Library. After her children were all in school, Peggy started writing freelance for the newspaper in Trenton.  She has also had published poems, stories and articles for both adults and children and has helped research and write three books of local history.  Her own book of non-fiction, "The Movie Years," the story of Trenton's early film industry was published by Mika Publishing in 1989. 



Short Stories, Poems, etc.

  • “Up, Up and Away.” Toronto: The United Church Observer. October, 2006.
  • “Grandpa’s War.” Toronto: The United Church Observer. November, 2005.
  • “Just Like Me”. Owen Sound: Buzz, April, 1987
  • "Wilbur Wilson’s Woolly Winter’.Owen Sound: Buzz, Nov. 1986
  • "Only a Stable" (short play). Toronto: Dept. of Stewardship Services, United Church of Canada, Dec. 1985
  • “A House for Tina”. U.S.A.: The Friend, April 1982
  • “Marcy McEwan Has Red Hair”. U.S.A.: The Friend, Nov. 1978
  • “Night Canoe” (poem). U.S.A.: Guide Magazine, March 1978



  • Hill Spirits. Cobourg: Blue Denim Press, 2012
  • Hill Spirits II. Cobourg: Blue Denim Press, 2015
  • Hill Spirits III. Cobourg: Blue Denim Press, 2017



photo of Peggy Dymond Leavey in conference parade

Parade of Silver Birch Award nominees. Included at front right, author Wilma Alexander.

Awards & Honours

  • 2013. Speaker's Book Award Finalist for Laura Secord, Heroine of the War of 1812. An annual award presented by the Speaker of the Ontario Legislature.
  • 2011. Starred selection for Growing Up Ivy in Canadian Children’s Book Centre's “Best Books for Kids & Teens 2011”.
  • 2007. Nominated for Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award for The Path through the Trees.
  • 2007. Nominated for Silver Birch Award for The Path through the Trees.
  • 2005. Awarded Honourable Mention by Associated Church Press (North America), children’s page department, for “Grandpa’s War”, United Church Observer, November, 2005.
  • 2004. Awarded Honour Book Award (Silver Birch fiction finalist) for The Deep End Gang.
  • 2004. Nominated for Silver Birch Award for The Deep End Gang.
  • 2004. Nominated for Arthur Ellis Crime Writers’ Award (juvenile fiction) for The Deep End Gang.
  • 2004. Nominated for Tiny Torgi Award –CNIB award for audio-tape version of Sky Lake Summer.
  • 2000. Nominated for Canadian Library Association’s Book of the Year for Children Award for Sky Lake Summer.
  • 2000. Nominated for Silver Birch Award for Sky Lake Summer.
  • 2000. Nominated for Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award for Sky Lake Summer.
  • Five novels selected as Our Choice by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre.

A Family Portrait

Peggy with family members at the launch of Molly Branch.