Although Michael Winter was born in England, he grew up and still spends his summers in Newfoundland, and the province serves as a backdrop for his five novels, one nonfiction book and three collections of short stories. Winter has served on the Scotiabank Giller Prize jury and been longlisted and shortlisted for the prize. Winter won the CBC Short Story Prize in 2004. Like the main character in Minister Without Portfolio, he restored an old house in an outport village. Michael Winter's novel Minister Without Portfolio was defended by Adam Copeland on Canada Reads 2016.