Our Instructors

Instructors at the Alexandra Centre have a wide variety of teaching and writing experience, with backgrounds as creative writing instructors, editors, and writers of fiction, poetry, non-fiction, and other genres.

A-E | F-J | K-O | P-T | U-Z


Rona Altrows writes fiction, personal essays, plays, articles on writing, and cross-genre pieces. She is also a long-time editor and an anthologist.. Rona is the author of two short story collections, A Run on Hose and Key in Lock. With Naomi K. Lewis she co-edited the anthology Shy, and with Julie Sedivy she co-edited a second anthology, Waiting. Her latest fictional work, At This Juncture, is a book of letters. She has taught and mentored for AWCS before and has served as its Writer in Residence.

Since January 2000, Wakefield Brewster has been known as one of Canada’s most popular and prolific Performance Poets.

He is a BlackMan born and raised in Toronto to parents hailing from the island of Beautiful Barbados and has resided in Calgary since 2006. He has spoken across Canada, in the U.S. and makes countless appearances on a regular basis in a variety of ways, for a myriad of reasons throughout each and every single year.

One of Wakefield’s greatest and most reputable claims to fame is that you will consistently find him performing Poetry in places where you wouldn’t expect Poetry to be heard. Besides the classrooms, Featured Readings, Workshops and Lectures, you will find him at Retired Teachers Conventions, Mentoring Struggling Young Men in their youth, Pharmaceutical Conventions and Political Fundraisers.

Ali Bryan is an award-winning novelist and creative nonfiction writer based in Calgary, Canada. Her first novel Roost (Freehand, 2013) won the Alberta Literary Awards Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and was the official selection of One Book Nova Scotia 2014. Her second novel, The Figgs, was released in May 2018 and was short-listed for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. She twice long-listed for the CBC Canada Writes Creative Non-Fiction prize for her essays “Asshole Homemaker” and “Mints After The Meal.” “Mints After The Meal” was also shortlisted for the Alberta Literary Awards Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award in 2015. “Let’s Talk” was nominated for the same prize in 2016. She is a Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Arts Awards 2018 Emerging Artist recipient. Her short story The Big Man in Cargo Shorts was short-listed for the 2020 Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Fiction. Her debut YA novel, The Hill, will be released in the fall of 2020 from Dottir Press. www.alibryan.com

Marty Chan writes books for kids, plays for adults, and tweets for fun. He’s penned over 15 books for kids and over 30 plays for adults. His latest book, Haunted Hospital, is a Junior Library Guild winner. He works and lives in Edmonton with his wife Michelle and their cat Buddy. For more about Marty, visit martychan.com.

M. Jane Colette writes tragedy for people who like to laugh, comedy for the melancholy, and erotica for men and women who like their fantasies real. She believes rules and hearts were made to be broken; ditto the constraints of genres.

She’s the author of the erotic romance Tell Me, the erotic tragedy (with a happy ending) Consequences (of Defensive Adultery), and the steamy rom-coms (that’s a genre) Cherry Pie Cure and Text Me, Cupid: a (slightly filthy) love story for 21st century adults in four episodes (coming December 2018), as well as the non-fiction collection of essays Rough Draft Confessions: Not a Guide To Writing and Selling Erotica and Romance But Full of Inside Insight Anyway. // mjanecolette.com.

Kim Firmston warps young minds in her Reality is Optional Creative Kids’ Programming, atWordsWorth Writing Camp and through the ACS Dramantics Theatre Camp. Her short story, “Life Before War”, was short listed in the 2008 CBC Literary Award and published in FreeFall Magazine. Her children’s plays (many of which were co-written with children) have been produced across North America and as far away as the UK and Egypt. Kim is dedicated to sharing writing with children of all ages including those not able to write yet and promoting youth who wish to make it their career.

Susan Forest writes SF, fantasy and horror, and is an award-winning fiction editor for Laksa Media. Her novel, Bursts of Fire, will be out in 2019, followed by Flights of Marigolds. She has published over 25 short stories, contributes to When Words Collide, and has appeared at many international writing conventions. Susan loves travel and has been known to dictate novels from the back of her husband’s motorcycle.

Laurie Anne Fuhr is a writer and songwriter. Her poetry collection ‘night flying’ was published in 2018 by Frontenac House, and her work has been featured in numerous anthologies and publications. From 2008-2011 she was managing editor of filling Station Magazine. A member of the League of Canadian Poets and Poetry In Voice, she has been an instructor with AWCS for over five years, teaching classes such as Free Verse Revival, Womens’ Verse Revival, Espresso Poetry, Famous Poets, and her ongoing Sunday drop-in prompts session, Poetry Cafe. Poets’ Roundtable is a recent addition — sign up via the Events Calendar!

Lori Hahnel is the author of the novels Love Minus Zero and After You’ve Gone as well as a story collection, Nothing Sacred, which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. A new collection of short fiction, Vermin: Stories, is forthcoming from Enfield & Wizenty in Fall 2020. Lori’s work has been published widely in journals in North America, Australia and the U.K.; her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post.

Vivian Hansen is poet and creative nonfiction writer. She teaches creative writing with the University of Calgary, Mount Royal University and the Alexandra Writers Centre. She has two chapbooks: Never Call It Bird – the Melodies of AIDS, and Angel Alley – the Victims of Jack the Ripper. Her first full length book Leylines of My Flesh came out in 2002. A Bitter Mood of Clouds (2013) chronicles the life and times of Arne Petersen, a transgender Dane who received sex reassignment in Denmark in 1953. A Tincture of Sunlight is forthcoming with Frontenac in 2017.

Sarah L. Johnson is a writer, teacher, collaborator, and publisher of strange fiction. She’s the author of the sci-fi/fantasy novel Infractus (Coffin Hop Press) and two short story collections, Suicide Stitch (EMP Publishing) and Wall of Fire (The Seventh Terrace). Her short stories have been finalists for the Bram Stoker, Shirley Jackson, and Alberta Magazine Publishers Award. You can find her in Calgary where she drinks when she’s happy, smokes when she’s not, runs like a maniac, and mucks about the internet at the-seventh-terrace.com

Jani Krulc‘s first collection of short fiction, The Jesus Year, was published in 2013. She has an MA in English and Creative Writing from Concordia University and a BA (Hons) in English from the University of Calgary. Jani’s fiction is forthcoming in a collaboration with the Alberta Printmakers Society. She is at work on her second book, a collection of interconnected stories that explore toxic masculinity and immigrant mythology. Jani has been practicing Ashtanga yoga since 2009. Her yoga practice informs her writing practice, and vice versa. Jani has written about yoga and writing for the Ottawa Poetry Newsletter.

Lee Kvern specializes in literary short stories and novels. Her short stories in 7 Ways To Sunday have garnered the national CBC Literary Award, Western Magazine Award, Hazel Hilles Memorial Short Fiction Prize, and the Howard ‘O’ Hagan Award. Novels: Afterall selected for Canada Reads (Regional), and also nominated for Alberta Books Awards, The Matter of Sylvie nominated for Alberta Book Awards and the Ottawa Relit Award. Lush Triumphant finalist 2018.  Nominated for Best of the Net 2018. Her work has been produced for CBC Radio, published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines.

Karen Lee is the author of two books, Consulting into the Future, and The Full Catastrophe, a memoir of her two marriages, widowhood, and healing after trauma. She publishes non-fiction on the psychology of management, consulting, historical pieces, and dealing with abuse. She developed the course “Writing Memoir When Your Story is Difficult” by focusing on the courage it takes to deal with difficult writing topics, self-care, writing skills and the journey of change we all go through in our lifetimes. She creates a safe environment so writing students can open up at their own pace in order to dig deep and write their truth.

You probably remember Jason Long as Cowboy #3 from the 1982 Silver Springs Elementary School Production of Round Up On The Moon. Jason has been writing for film and theatre in Canada for close to twenty years now. He’s written three feature films alongside frequent collaborator, Robert Cuffley, Turning Paige, Walk All Over Me, and Chokeslam, which was part of the Canadian Film Centre’s Comedy Exchange Program in 2015 and premiered in the fall of 2016. Chokeslam received 4 Rosie Awards, including best screenplay. His latest feature length screenplay, Ice Blue, premiered at the 2017 Calgary International Film Festival. In addition to story editing on many Alberta based film and television projects, Jason is the screenwriting instructor in the film and video department at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology. He is also an actor, having played various creeps and weirdos on shows/films such as Wyonna Earp and Young Drunk Punk.

Josephine LoRe is an award-winning poet and writer. Her work has been published in a number of reviews and anthologies in Canada, the US, England, Japan, India, and China, including The Prairie Journal, Haiku Canada, GUSTS Tanka, FreeFall, the (m)Othering Anthology, The War Memory Project and YYC PoP, Portraits of People.  She has featured at many Calgary poetry readings and has published two collections of poetry and photography, ‘Unity’ and Calgary Herald Bestseller ‘The Cowichan Series’.  She is a member of The League of Canadian Poets.

She has an MA in Comparative Literature from l’Université de Rouen in France and a BA in Modern Languages and Literature from the University of Toronto. https://www.josephinelorepoet.com/

Colin Martin has published six poetry chapbooks and numerous poems, stories, and articles in various North American journals. He has a PhD in Canadian Literature from the University of Calgary, and teaches literature and academic writing for several Calgary-area universities. The founding Editor of NōD Magazine, and a former President of Filling Station Magazine, he currently serves on the Board for the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society.

Sharon McLeay has authored three memoirs and has been published widely in both the public and business press. A former news magazine editor and business communicator, she is the recipient of one international and two national IABC awards. She writes creative non-fiction and poetry and has taught English, public relations, journal writing and creativity courses at the University of Calgary, Mount Royal College and AWCS. She enjoys showing others how to begin/enhance writing and boost creativity through the use of journal writing and connecting with ‘The Muse’.

Anne Metikosh is the author of four published novels as well as numerous articles and short stories in a variety of genres, including mystery, historical fiction, and creative non-fiction. For the past several years, she has been teaching novel-related courses at AWCS and doing manuscript critiques for the Writers’ Guild.  When she isn’t helping other writers beat their prose into shape, she’s working on some projects of her own.

Brett Morrison is currently in the midst of pursuing a concurrent degree in both Education and History at the University of Calgary. Brett encourages creativity and passion in learning, and emphasizes the necessity of expressing oneself in their work. Brett is a self-described concert aficionado, history buff, and writer. He has travelled across the globe several time, fuelled by his dedication and love for music and history. In his spare time, Brett plays guitar, continues writing his novel, collects vinyl (and CDs) and volunteers with Reality is Optional Kids’ Writing Club.

Rosemary Nixon is a pre-eminent short story writer, novelist, free-lance editor, and creative writing teacher presently working on her fifth book. Her books have been a Nunatak Fiction imprint, winner of the Howard O’Hagan Award, shortlisted for the Georges Bugnet Award, nominated for the Frank O’Conner International Short Story Collection Award, and the North American Forewords IndieFab Award and long-listed for the ReLit Award. Rosemary has her MFA in Creative Writing from UBC. She has served as writer-in-residence at universities and libraries across Canada and judged numerous literary competitions. She is an editor at Freehand Books.

Jade O’Riley teaches many poetry forms and styles and developed an editing method entitled Poet’s Toolbox to help poets gain writing confidence. Since 2007 Jade has taught poetry in several venues including City of Edmonton, Poetry Festival and Stroll of Poets; she’s published fifteen poetry chapbooks featuring the poets from her classes.

Olyn Ozbick‘s fiction has been shortlisted for a CBC Short Story Prize, and published in anthologies, audio and online in the US, Canada, and the UK. A former journalist, magazine editor and publisher, she is the recipient of 5 International Association of Business Communicators Awards, an International Graphis Design Annual Award, and 3 Hygeia Awards. Her nonfiction is widely published. She teaches fiction and non-fiction writing at The Alexandra Writers Centre and has taught Journalism at Mount Royal University. She loves the outdoors, and is an adventurer and traveler.

Carolyn Pogue is the author of 14 books for adults, teens and children, some nominated for The WO Mitchell Book Prize, recommended by the Children’s Book Centre, and aired on CBC.

Carolyn has recently leapt to Youtube with family tales under The Story Tree and continues to enjoy facilitating workshops, such as Raising the Dead, Writing for Reconciliation and Other Voices for youth and adults. Carolyn’s folk art continues to mix with words to keep life interesting and challenging.  Carolyn Pogue Youtube and www.carolynpogue.ca

S.R. Ringuette – AKA Sebastien Ringuette – is a British/French-Canadian crossbreed that successfully reached maturity in the harsh (although friendly) climate of Western Canada. His mission has always been to create entertaining content in some form or another, and began publishing his cartooning work online in 2007. He is the creator of multiple web comics: Exploding Wumpus, The Aversion Bureau, Gamer Roommates, and IT HAS PICTURES. In recent years, Sebastien has directed his primary creative focus towards novel writing and teaching. He believes free time is a luxury afforded only to the sane.

Wilma G. Rubens is a poet and creative nonfiction writer. She authored a poetry book Entangled Enchantments and has published articles in magazines in Australia and Canada. She has completed her memoir Circling The Edge. She is a creative facilitator. She teaches Conflict Resolution for the Workplace and Life Writing with the Calgary Board of Education, AWCS and Canmore Learning. She inspires people to write, to claim their unique life story and wisdom. She loves to work with diverse learners and intergenerational groups as they share their stories and insights.

Madelaine Shaw-Wong is co-author of Cradling the Past, a Biography of Margaret Shaw, which was taken into Glenbow Museum’s permanent collections in Calgary. She won Freefall Magazine’s Chapbook contest for her short story “Flee the Rising Sun”. She also published short stories in The Copperfield Review, Dark Gothic Resurrected, Toska Magazine, Mused, the Shy Anthology and others. A former school teacher, Madelaine is a passionate about writing and has two novels currently in the works.

Leanne Shirtliffe is the author of the memoir, Don’t Lick the Minivan and five picture books, including The Change Your Name Store, I Love Sharks Too, and Saving Thunder the Great: the True Story of a Gerbil’s Rescue from the Fort McMurray Wildfire. When she’s not trying to put words in some semblance of order, Leanne can be found teaching high school or handing out with her family in the suburbs of Calgary. She used to travel.

Laura Swart enjoys writing literary fiction, essays, drama, and poetry. She has taught writing classes to adult learners for over thirty years, encouraging students to find and raise their writing voices. Laura is director of I-AM ESL, a virtual language school that uses story and song to teach the intricacies of English to refugees. Her degrees and research in education, philosophy, and theology have shaped her thinking, her teaching, and her writing.

Suzy Vadori is a Book Coach, Editor and Speaker. She is also the Calgary Bestselling Author of The Fountain, and The West Woods, Books 1 and 2 of The Fountain Series, published by Evil Alter Ego Press. This fantastical Young Adult Series has received two Aurora Nominations for Best Young Adult Novel, as well as Five Stars from both Readers’ Favorite and San Francisco Review of Books.

Suzy lives in Calgary, Canada with her husband and three children and is an involved member in the writing community. Currently, she is the Program Manager, Young Adult/Children’s Programming for When Words Collide (WWC), a literary festival held in Calgary each August. Suzy is also the founder of WriteIt! creative writing programs in schools, building young writers, and an instructor at Alexandra Writers Centre Society (AWCS) in Calgary.

Robin van Eck grew up in British Columbia and moved to Calgary in 2000. Fiction is her world. Her work has appeared in FreeFall Magazine, Freshwater Pearls Anthology (Recliner Books, 2011), Prairie Journal, Crack the Spine, Maudlin House, Alberta Views and most recently, Lamplight and the Waiting Anthology. Her first novel, Rough, will be released in November 2020 from Stonehouse Publishing.  For more information: www.robinzvaneck.com

P.J. Vernon is “a name to watch in the thriller genre” (Booklist). Library Journal and Book Riot compare his critically-acclaimed Gothic debut When You Find Me to Gillian Flynn’s Sharp Objects. Vernon’s next thriller, Bath Haus, pitched as “Gone Girl with gays and Grindr” is forthcoming from Doubleday US (Penguin Random House, 2021). Vernon is represented by Aevitas Creative Management (literary) and United Talent Agency (film). He and his husband live in Canada.

Meghan Victoria writes in a variety of genres and her short fiction has been published by the Antigonish Review, Coffin Hop Press, and Morning Rain Publishing. Meghan has spent two years as part of the Banff Centre Residency Program and is finalizing edits for her first novel.

Raised in Florida, Steph Wong Ken is currently based in Calgary. Her work has appeared in Ninth LetterJoylandPithead Chapel, Moss, and other publications, and she has an MFA in fiction from Portland State University.