Edward Willett has been a professional writer and editor for more than 35 years. After obtaining a B.A. in Journalism (Magna Cum Laude) from Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, he returned to his home town of Weyburn, Saskatchewan, as a reporter, photographer, columnist and (for good measure) editorial cartoonist for the weekly Weyburn Review. Four years later, he became news editor, overseeing a staff of three reporters, assigning stories, editing all copy, and covering city council and major events as well. During his tenure as editor, the Weyburn Review won the coveted Triple Crown of the annual Canadian Community Newspapers Association competition, taking Best Front Page, Best Editorial Page and Best Overall in its circulation category.
From Weyburn, Willett moved to Regina as communications officer for the fledgling Saskatchewan Science Centre, researching and writing copy for exhibits as well as composing advertising copy, press releases, radio and video scripts and more. In 1993 he left the Science Centre to become a full-time freelance writer and editor. Since then he has authored more than 50 books of fiction and non-fiction, written innumerable magazine and newspaper articles, and on a contract basis has headed up the advertorial division of the Regina Leader Post, served as a public affairs officer for the City of Regina, and edited several issues of Fine Lifestyles Regina, Fine Lifestyles Saskatoon, Fine Homes Regina and Fine Weddings Regina magazines. He is a freelance editor for FriesenPress, for whom he has edited multiple books, ranging from memoirs to fantasy epics.
In addition, Willett has taught courses in writing through the University of Regina’s Centre for Continuing Education and the Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience. In 2011-2012 he served as writer in residence at the Regina Public Library, and in 2019-2020 as writer in residence at the Saskatoon Public Library, working with dozens of individuals on their writing projects, which ranged from poetry to non-fiction to fantasy novels and children’s books. He has also guest-edited the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s publications Grain, Windscript, and Spring and served multiple times as one of the mentors for the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild’s mentorship program.
In 2018, Willett founded his own publishing company, Shadowpaw Press, which has published reprints, original novels, and anthologies, the latter featuring internationally bestselling and award-winning authors who were guests on Willett’s Aurora Award-winning podcast, The Worldshapers, where he talks to other science fiction and fantasy authors about their creative process.
In addition to writing, Willett is a professional actor and singer who has appeared in numerous plays, operas and musicals around the provinces and hosted a long-running community television program, Net.talk, for Access Communications. He has also emceed various events.
Willett is a past president of Crocus 80 Theatre in Weyburn and Regina Lyric Musical Theatre, and has also served on the board of directors of The Golden Apple Theatre, the Canadian Chamber Choir, the Regina Philharmonic Chorus and Do It With Class Young People’s Theatre.