Own Voices Alberta is a program for writers within the Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC) community, who live in Alberta and are at the beginning of their literary journey. The program runs for four months and is fully subsidized, making it cost-free for successful applicants.

Program period: March – July 2021

Application deadline: February 26, 2021 – 11:59 MST

About Own Voices Alberta

In partnership with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta (WGA) and with the support from the Calgary Foundation, the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society (AWCS) designed Own Voices Alberta to yield new literary works, explore the BIPOC experience, and initiate dialogue that celebrates our diversity and contributes to a deeper understanding of one another. The program offers mentorship, workshops, discussions, networking, public reading opportunities, industry events, and more.

Own Voices Alberta runs from March to July 2021 and is set entirely online, unless otherwise specified for events and activities.

The program reflects AWCS’s advocacy of writing as a form of expression through meaningful engagement of emerging writers within the local BIPOC community. Our hope is to create opportunities for underserved writers, empowering them by supporting their self-determined journey to becoming established members of the literary community.

Mentorship is a significant part of the program. Participants are carefully matched with well-established members of the literary community who can address their specific creative and technical writing goals. 


Apply Now!

Applications are confidential and selected candidates will be notified by email.

Submission deadline: February 26, 2021 at 11:59pm MST. 

(More details on becoming a mentor below.)

If you cannot access the online forms, please download and fill in the appropriate editable .pdf forms below. Send it to info@alexandrawriters along with the requested attachments, indicated within the forms. Use the subject: OWN VOICES 2021.

Successful applicants can expect:

  • collaborative peers who challenge you and help you grow

  • to develop your skills and relevant competencies

  • a space to explore and reinforce your literary identity

  • to expand your network within Alberta’s creative community

Program History

Own Voices Alberta was launched in Calgary in 2019, following its successful run by WGA in Edmonton. It was launched as Borderlines Writers Circle Calgary. The program’s new name is inspired by the Own Voices movement. Coined by writer Corinne Duyvis, #OwnVoices started as a movement that encourages authors from marginalized or underrepresented groups to write from and/or about their own perspectives and experiences. Participants from Calgary’s inaugural year are closely involved in developing this year’s program.

Candidate Criteria

Shortlisted candidates are required to meet the following criteria:

  1. The candidate must be a part of the BIPOC community and has not yet established a substantial presence in Canada’s mainstream literary scene.
  2. The candidate must be a resident of Alberta.
  3. The candidate must have a working knowledge of English.
  4. The candidate must be a Canadian citizen, refugee or landed immigrant.
  5. The candidate must be available to attend events and activities with reasonable regularity for the duration of the program.
  6. The candidate must provide writing samples. Please note that published works are not required.
  7. The candidate must have a clear intention of exploring and establishing a future in writing.  

Mentorship Opportunity

Interested in nurturing upcoming writers? We are looking for established members of the literary community to become mentors for the Own Voices Alberta 2021.

We are looking for individuals who are familiar with aspects of craft and are actively involved in local writing communities.

Mentorship and fellowship are central to Own Voices Alberta. Each mentor is paired with one participant and tasked to address their specific creative and technical writing goals. A successful working relationship would cover current or future projects and exploring a path to developing an established writing identity.

Contact us

Email us at info@alexandrawriters.org for inquiries.

Mentor Criteria

Our mentors must meet the following criteria:

  1. The mentor must be an established member of Canada’s literary scene.
  2. The mentor must be available for the duration of the program and can attend events and activities with reasonable regularity.
  3. Experience in mentorship is an advantage, but not required.
  4. The mentors must live in Alberta.

Total time commitment: 20 hours (including one-on-one meetings, ongoing guidance, and attendance in at least two events (March and July)

Wages will be disclosed upon receiving application.

Contract duration: March – July 2021.

Application deadline: February 26, 2021 – 11:59 MST