Ella Manuel was born in 1911 and grew up in Lewisporte, Newfoundland, where her father was a well known merchant and hotelier.
She completed her formal education in the US, graduating from Boston University in the midst of the Depression. She became a social worker in England in the 1930s, married there, and moved to the US just before the outbreak of World War II. At the time of confederation, Ella returned to Newfoundland, where she worked to establish herself as a writer and a freelance broadcaster.
She began her long career with social commentaries and stories for children, which she read for the local radio station in Corner Brook. The royalties from the sale of this book support the Ella Manuel Trust, set up in her memory after she died in 1985. The Trust helps young women graduating from high schools in the province to further their education, so that they too can work towards some of the things Ella so passionately believed in: a more peaceful and healthy world, a greater opportunity and a larger role in society for women, and a better future for Newfoundland and Labrador.