Robin van Eck Executive Director
Robin joined AWCS as a member and student in 2003. She served on the board of directors for several years, first as President (2004-2006), then as registrar and events coordinator (2006-2008). After a brief hiatus to attend to other life stuff and focus on her writing, Robin came back in 2009 as the AWCS office administrator which soon turned into program director and as the organization grew and more staff joined the team, executive director. Robin has published numerous short stories and creative nonfiction pieces in literary magazines (print and online) across Canada and internationally. Her first novel, Rough, was released in November 2020 from Alberta-based Stonehouse Publishing. She is currently at work on her second book.
Kim Firmston Program Director Youth Education and Tutoring
Kim is leader and co-creator of the AWCS Youth Programs. She is a published writer of YA novels, short stories, and articles and has plays produced worldwide. She is a writing mentor and instructor for the AWCS, the Writers’ Guild of Alberta, and the Alexandra Centre Society’s DramAntics Theatre camp. Kim specializes in collaboration projects with people of all ages. Kim joined AWCS as a member back in 2003/04 and served on the board of directors as Treasurer for a term until she departed to create a youth program like no other.
Heidi Klaassen Program Director Adult Education
Heidi joined the AWCS team in July 2019. She holds a BA in Sociology and a Certificate in Creative Writing from the University of Calgary. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Living Hyphen Magazine’s second issue, Across Generations, the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society’s Wonder/Shift: 40th Anniversary Anthology, The Selkie’s Very Much Alive anthology, Literary Heist, Alberta Views Magazine and The Sprawl. Her personal essay, Been Caught Stealing: Life Inside The Lorraine was a finalist for the 2021 Digital Publishing Awards. She enjoys posting about books and the writing life on her Instagram platform, @hyde_in_plain_sight. Heidi is currently pursuing her Professional Editing Standards Certificate through Queen’s University.
Precious de Leon Office Administrator
Precious joined the AWCS team in November of 2020 in the middle of the pandemic. She is a poet and speculative fiction writer, who explores culture, identity, our sense of place and relationship with the world around us in her work. Her foray into writing started in Journalism, covering business, media, and marketing in the Middle East. Her creative writing journey was sparked in 2019, when Precious was selected for the Borderlines Writers Circle Calgary, an AWCS and Writer’s Guild of Alberta immigrant mentorship program. She now oversees the reboot of this program, called Own Voices Alberta, focusing on emerging writers who belong to the global majority. Precious is also a member of the Editorial Collective for New Forum magazine at Loft 112.