Maika-Evelyn Branch is an author, illustrator, and literacy advocate based in Moncton, New Brunswick.
She is the author of two books, Calagarmii Cliffs (2014) and Sisters of Serenah (2016), was a columnist for sustainable magazine Off-Grid East Coast (2015-2018), and is currently the youngest author to date in the NB Writers in the Schools Program (WiSP) among other accomplishments.
In 2014, Maika went on a class field trip to the Bay of Fundy’s Hopewell rocks.
Inspired by the stunning environment and looming caves, she wrote a brief adventure story about two girls on their own field trip, with a magical twist. Originally a summer project, the story was picked up by Redemption House Publishing and became the first edition of Calagarmii Cliffs – the Hidden World. She was Eleven when the book was released.
The launch was a resounding success. The first edition has since sold out of 1,000 copies.
In 2020 a second edition of Cliffs was released, bringing the fantastical story to life in a new way through illustrations by Maika herself.
Sisters of Serenah soon followed. A standalone YA Fantasy, the book continues Maika’s common themes of friendship and the natural world. It was self-published in 2016 with cover illustrations by Freeda Leblanc.
The story, partially inspired by Maika’s love of the New Brunswick woodlands and nature, follows two magical sisters as they meet a stranger from another world and are forced to move far away from their home.
Early in 2016, Maika was accepted in the Writers in the Schools Program (WiSP). The program is funded by the anglophone sector of the New Brunswick Department of Education, and allows NB storytellers to connect with schools across the province. To date Maika has presented at over 20 schools, speaking to thousands of students, inspiring teachers, other young writers, and even their parents.
Below you can see Maika’s other public accomplishments, a presentation at a Wellness & Women event in Moncton in front of 700 people, and her speech at the New Brunswick oratory competition, high school division (where she received 2nd place).