- Youth Program
- AWCS In The Classroom
- AWCS In The Classroom - Meet our Teachers
AWCS In The Classroom - Meet our Teachers
MEET OUR TEACHERS
Erin Emily Ann Vance is the author of the novel Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers (Stonehouse Publishing 2019), and the poetry collection A History of Touch (Guernica Editions 2022), as well as six chapbooks of poetry. According to Niamh Burns, Erin Vance is a master of weaving folklore and history into poetry and she walks perfectly the line between unnerving and achingly beautiful. This book has everything one could want from a macabre feminist collection: visceral longing, righteous anger, haunting soliloquy, and searing truth. Erin Is not only a talented teacher but and inspiring author. Her fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in magazines and journals all over the world. Erin's podcast, Femmes Macabres, which she started with her close friend and twin flame, Stephanie Meloche in early 2020, as a passion project is a folklore, history, and pop-culture tour covering oddities, mysteries, and the macabre. Erin is available for author visits through the AWCS. You can discover more on Erin's website https://erinvance.ca/
- Masters Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary
- Masters Degree in Irish Folklore and Ethnology at University College Dublin.
- Attended the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry summer course at Queen's University Belfast in 2018 and 2020
- A fellow of Summer Literary Seminars in Nairobi in December 2018.
- Attended the Writers Guild of Alberta Banff Centre Residency in February 2019
- Worked with author Kimmy Beach as part of the 2019 WGA Mentorship Program.
- Recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize in 2017 (nominated by Aritha van Herk)
- Finalist for the 2018 Alberta Magazine Awards for my short story “All the Pretty Bones.”
Em Williamson is a writer, artist, educator, and indie game developer (Burning Palms: A Lesbian Experience. Twine browser game, 2021), who has been teaching poetry classes for youth for over seven years. Em believes that many youth have a genuine interest in art and writing and can be incredibly engaged in the classroom -- as long as they're taught in a way that engages them. As an educator, Em is constantly looking for creative ways to teach youth that will both allow them to succeed in school, and help them discover a lifelong love for reading, writing, and language. Em is available for poet visits through the AWCS.
- BA English degree, summa cum laude - made the Dean's List all 4 semesters for academic excellence
- MA English degree (in progress) - creative writing focus
- Graduate Scholarships Program (CGS) Master's Competition in 2022 (research grant)
- Winner of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada
- Recipient of the following scholarships: Jason Lang Scholarship for academic achievement, Dr. Allan P. Markin Scholarship for academic achievement, Alberta Graduate Excellence Scholarship, and Florence Katherine Harington academic.
- Williamson, Em. “Staked: Carmilla, Unspeakable Desires, and Lesbian Invisibility.” The Attic: The St. Mary's University Journal of Undergraduate Papers, vol. 7, no. 1, 2021.
- Williamson, John, and Em Williamson. Review of Unloved: Huronia’s Forgotten Children, directed by Barri Cohen. Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, vol. 12, no. 4, forthcoming.
- Invited spoken word poetry performances at The Ink Spot YYC Poetry Collective Slam Finals (2016), Woolf's Voices (2017), Raw Voices YYC (2017), South Country Fair Spoken Word Poetry Showcase (2017), High River The Venue Spoken Word Poetry Showcase (2019), & The Alcove Live Artist Showcase (2021).
- Conference presenter at the 2016 Alberta GSA conference
Kim Firmston is a published YA author, internationally produced playwright, editor, D&D enthusiast, and producer/writer/director of documentaries. Not only did Kim co-develop the AWCS Youth Program over ten years ago, but she is now the AWCS Program Director for Youth Education. Although she has spent a lifetime navigating neurodiversity and learning disabilities, Kim has turned these flaws into assets and translated her struggles into lessons and techniques designed to reach even the most writing-adverse youth. Kim has been an instructor for over three decades and still has the energy of a platoon of kindergarteners. Kim is available for author visits through the AWCS. See her website here: www.kimfirmston.com
- Adaptation in the Impoverished City (Documentary) Screened at the Bright Future Independent Film Festival in Gothenburg, Semi-Finalist in the Calgary Independent Film Festival, Finalist in the Vancouver Independent Film Festival
- Best Books for Kids & Teens -- Canadian Children's Book Centre 2012 (Starred Selection), 2013, & 2016
- Stupid (Novel) Shortlisted - Stellar Award - Red Cedar Young Reader's Choice Awards 2016
- Stupid - translated into French under the title Olivier
- One of the Year's Best - Resource Links - 2012 & 2013
- Life Before War (short story) Short Listed in the 2008 CBC Literary Award, short story category. Nominated for the Writers Guild of Alberta Howard O'Hagen Award, the Journey Prize, and The National Magazine Awards.
- Founder and Instructor for Alexandra Centre Society's Youth Theatre Camp in conjunction with the Calgary Fringe Festival, 2011-now
- Writing Instructor for the Writers' Guild of Alberta's youth Writing Residency - WordsWorth 2009-current
- Calgary Public Library - Lit Con - co-organizer and instructor, 2022 & 2023
- Calgary Public Library - Reality Is Optional writing pods
- Beakerhead/Ramsay Robots Organizer and Writing Lead
- TD Book Week Tour - Visiting Author for Labrador
- YMCA Teen Newcomer Writing Workshop Instructor