Gail Bowen is a prolific author, playwright and teacher. Her best known works are the Joanne Kilbourn series of mystery novels, all of which are set in Saskatchewan. These books have received national and international acclaim for their realistic, continually evolving heroine and examinations of contemporary social issues ranging from child prostitution to feminism, racism and domestic abuse. Six books in the series have been successfully adapted for an international television audience. Among her numerous writing awards are a lifetime achievement award from the Crime Writers of Canada and the Distinguished Canadian Award from the University of Regina and the Lifelong Learning Centre. Readers’ Digest has called her Canada’s best mystery novelist. She is also a playwright, specializing in children’s literature, and has adapted a number of classic works such as Peter Pan and Beauty and the Beast for the stage and radio. In 2018, she was awarded the Saskatchewan Order of Merit and the Grand Master Award of Crime Writers of Canada.
Ms. Bowen has spent her professional life helping new writers develop their craft and unique voices. She has been a writer‐in‐residence at libraries in Regina, Calgary and Toronto, and has presented courses at numerous writers’ festivals and retreats across Canada. In addition, she taught literature in the English Department of the First Nations University of Canada for 22 years, serving six years as department head.
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, was released March 2021 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.
Alison Clarke is a #1 bestselling author on Amazon, a poet, and a fantasy author who has a Master’s degree in Children’s Literature from Hollins University. She is also a creative writing and visual arts instructor and experiences life as a spoken word artist, performing at festivals in Edmonton, like Black Arts Matter.
Alison is the author of Phillis: A Poetry Collection, published by the University of Calgary Press in October 2020. She is also the author of The Sisterhood, a young adult fantasy novel about Oppie, a sorceress’ daughter, and her best friend, Aurie, who is a dragon, and their journey to save the universe. The Sisterhood is Book One of The Sisterhood Series, for which Alison won the award 2016 Writer of The Year by Diversity magazine. The second book in the series is Racine and the third is Circle which was released on November 27, 2018.
Travelling to festivals around the world has captivated Alison, who describes travelling as magical and mystical. She has been involved with conventions in London, England, meeting authors from around the world who write in various genres such as fantasy or science fiction. Alison has done readings and book signings. She has held writing workshops at global conventions and festivals including at the Edge Lit 8 in Derby, England. She enjoys meeting people and talking about the magic of Story. Alison believes that storytelling can change the world.
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!
Rayanne Haines is an award winning and best selling author. Her writing has appeared in magazines, journals and anthologies both in Canada and Internationally. She is the host of the literary podcast Crow Reads, the Vice President for the League of Canadian Poets, and Past Executive Director of the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Rayanne is a 2019 Edmonton Artist Trust Fund Award recipient and past writer in residence with Audreys Books. She is a member of the teaching faculty with Grant Macewan University. Her poetry and prose have been shortlisted for the Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta Award and the John Whyte Memorial Essay Alberta Literary Award. The author of three poetry collections, and four genre-fiction books, her most recent book, Tell the Birds your Body is Not a Gun, focuses on mental health and intergenerational trauma.
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 curly hair gladiator, creative writing instructor, literary events wrangler, and queer fictioneer. Her stories have appeared in Vastarien, Room Magazine, Plenitude, On Spec, Shock Totem, Crossed Genres, Year’s Best Hardcore Horror Vol. 2 (Red Room Press), and the Bram Stoker Award nominated Dark Visions 1(Grey Matter Press) and Twisted Book of Shadows (Haverhill Press). She’s the author of Suicide Stitch: Eleven Tales (EMP Publishing) the blasphemous apocalyptic thriller, Infractus (Coffin Hop Press), and co-author of Wall of Fire (The Seventh Terrace).
Samantha Jones (she/her) is a Calgary-based poet of mixed white settler and Black Canadian heritage. She is a literary magazine enthusiast with poetry published in Blanket Sea, CV2, Grain, New Forum, Room, Watch Your Head, and elsewhere. Her words appear in the mental health chapbook anthology You are a Flower Growing off the Side of a Cliff (The League of Canadian Poets), March 2020: A COVID-19 Anthology (The /tɛmz/ Review and 845 Press), and Tap, Press, Read (Loft on EIGHTH). Samantha is an alumna of the Banff Centre Spring Writers Retreat and the Iceland Writers Retreat. Find her on Twitter: @jones_yyc.
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.
Judah Leblang is a Boston-based writer, teacher, and storyteller. He has performed his one-man show, “It’s Now or Never. My Life in the Late Middle Ages” at community centres and Fringe Festivals in the US and Canada, including Calgary (Best of Fringe, 2019). He is the author of two memoirs, Finding My Place (Lake Effect Press, 2012) and Echoes of Jerry (Red Giant Books, 2019). His essays and commentaries have been broadcast on public radio stations throughout the US, and on several Canadian stations. He teaches creative nonfiction at Grubstreet writing centre in Boston.
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. More information at www.karenelee-author.com
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.
Susie Moloney has been writing horror for decades. She’s the bestselling novelist of five books of the supernatural, Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell, The Dwelling, The Thirteen, and Things Withered. In 2015 she crossed the floor to write for the screen and is the screenwriter of the award-winning short films, The Suburbanight, and Romi. Her first full-length feature, Bright Hill Road, made its debut in 2020 at the Calgary International Film Festival to acclaim. Romi is loosely based on the short film, and will be her second feature. She’s currently writing her sixth novel, also in the horror genre.
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.
Heather Osborne writes science fiction, fantasy, and romance. She earned her doctorate of creative writing from the University of Calgary, and she is associate editor of the International Review of Science Fiction. Her first novel, Songbroken, is forthcoming from Forest Path Books (2022).
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
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.
Robin van Eck has been writing for as long as she can remember. Her fiction and creative nonfiction has appeared in FreeFall Magazine, Freshwater Pearls Anthology (Recliner Books, 2011), Prairie Journal, Crack the Spine, Minerva Rising, Woven Tales Press, Maudlin House, Alberta Views, Lamplight, Waiting: An Anthology of Essays (U of A Press, 2018), Very Much Alive: Stories of Resilience (The Selkie UK, 2021), Forbidden Fruit (The Seventh Terrace, 2021) and other online and print magazines and anthologies in Canada and internationally. Her first novel, Rough, was released November 2020 from Stonehouse Publishing. She is currently at work on her second novel. 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” unleashed on the world in June 2021 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 Letter, Joyland, Pithead Chapel, Moss, and other publications, and she has an MFA in fiction from Portland State University.