Katie Bickell (literary fiction, commercial/upmarket, magical realism – novel/short stories, memoir)

Katie Bickell is author of Always Brave, Sometimes Kind, a novel told in short stories. She is the recipient of the 2020 Georges Bugnet Fiction Award, the 2017 Writers Guild of Alberta’s Emerging Writer Award, the 2015 Alberta View Fiction Prize, the 2014 Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, and the 2011 Voices of Motherhood Essay Contest. Katie lives in Sherwood Park, Alberta, with her husband and daughters.

Susan Forest (speculative fiction – science fiction/fantasy)

Susan Forest is the author of Aurora Award-winning Bursts of Fire (2019), as well as over 25 internationally-published short stories. She edits an award-winning anthology series for Laksa Media Groups, was Editor Guest of Honour at Keycon in 2021, and has been invited to co-edit Life Beyond Us, coming out from the European Astrobiology Institute. The second novel of her Addicted to Heaven series, Flights of Marigold (Publisher’s Lunch Selection), is nominated for an Aurora this year, and confronts issues of addictions in an epic fantasy world of intrigue and betrayal.

Sarah L. Johnson (speculative fiction – horror, science fiction, fantasy, dystopian, literary, commercial, upmarket – short stories/novels, creative nonfiction – essays/memoir)

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). 

Ellen Kartz (poetry, creative nonfiction – essays/memoir)

Born and raised in Edmonton, Ellen Kartz lived in Calgary for four years while completing her Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Calgary. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, where she focused on creative nonfiction and poetry. She also holds a professional writing certificate from Mount Royal University. As an active writer and freelance editor throughout her career, Ellen worked with and for the Edmonton Poetry Festival for many years as a volunteer coordinator, event planner, founding member, and board member. For the past six years, she has worked as the Communications and Partnerships Coordinator for the Writers’ Guild of Alberta – where she is the assistant editor for WestWord Magazine – and the administrative assistant for the Edmonton Stroll of Poets. In 2018, she self-produced a one-person stage show and poetry/nonfiction chapbook, both titled The Tenderness of Stone about a trek she made in 2016 through Nepal’s Khumbu Valley to Mount Everest Base Camp. Most recently, Ellen founded a small poetry chapbook press and launched a quartet of chapbooks by emerging queer Edmonton authors.

Jan Markley (picture books, middle grade, young adult – all genres, memoir)

Jan Markley is an author living in Calgary, Alberta. A former journalist, she holds a Master of Arts degree in Anthropology. Jan has authored two humourous middle-grade novels: Dead Frog on the Porch (Gumboot Books 2009) – shortlisted for the Golden Eagle Children’s Choice Book Award (2011/12) and Dead Bird through the Cat Door (Gumboot Books 2010) – shortlisted for the inaugural John Spray Mystery Award (2011). When not picking cat hair off her sweater, Jan can be found in her Sasquatch writing cave with a mug of chai tea working on her current works-in-progress including a contemporary young adult manuscript and a humourous workplace memoir entitled Too Jaded to be Bitter: The Memoir of a Burnt-Out Bureaucrat.

Peter Midgley (poetry, literary, commercial, upmarket fiction – short stories/novel, creative nonfiction – essays/memoir)

Thirty years working as a freelance editor, festival director, acquisitions editor, managing editor, university lecturer, clerk of court, bartender, janitor and door-to-door salesman (and some other unmentionable jobs), has given Peter Midgley enough material for twelve books for children and adults, and plenty of experience vetting manuscripts. His latest book, let us not think of them as barbarians (NeWest Press, 2019) was shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. You can find out more about him and his approach to writing and editing at www.midgley.ca.

Jason Pearce (literary, commercial, upmarket, horror, humour – short stories/novel)

Jason Pearce is a Toronto-based fiction writer who first joined the Alexandra Writer’s Centre Society in 2003. Jason’s short stories have appeared in various literary journals and anthologies, including Grain and Knucklehead Noir (Coffin Hop Press, 2019). He has also published articles on writing and literature, including two entries in The Robert Frost Encyclopedia (Greenwood Publishing Group, 2001). Jason holds an M.A. in English Literature and has taught undergraduate poetry, prose and drama.