Looking for someone to guide you through your manuscript and help it reach the next level? We have compiled a list of current writers willing to work with you. Get one-on-one support for a pre-determined length of time and take your story to the next level. Please note, each mentor has their own rates, and the mentorship takes place outside the purview of the AWCS. For a shorter, one-time mentorship conversation with an experienced professional, please consider our Mentor in the Loop program.

Theanna Bischoff

Genre: Literary Fiction; Upmarket / Commercial Fiction; YA Fiction; Creative Non-Fiction

Rate: negotiable; to be determined based on 10 pg. writing sample (typically $3 per page); discounts for full manuscripts / larger samples of work

Length of Mentorship: Negotiable

Primary Communication Method: Skype, Facetime, Email

Contact: theanna.bischoff@gmail.com

Theanna Bischoff is a novelist, creative writing instructor, freelance editor, and psychologist from Calgary, Alberta. Her first novel, Cleavage, was shortlisted for both the 2009 Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book (Canada/the Caribbean), and the 2009 Re-Lit Awards. Her second novel, Swallow, was shortlisted for the 2012 W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize. Theanna holds a Concentration in Creative Writing from the University of Calgary (2006) and a PhD in Developmental / Educational Psychology (2013). Her publication credits also include an excerpt, Pear, which won third prize in the Freefall Magazine Contest (2013) and scholarly publications on the subject of creative writing and perspective taking.


Lori Hahnel

Genre: Fiction, long and short; literary / mainstream / commercial

Rate: $50.00 flat hourly rate, minimum two hours. Maximum of 15 hours per month.

Length of Mentorship: Up to 4 months (negotiable)

Primary Communication Method: Email, with regular in-person meetings to be determined by both parties.

Contact: lori@lorihahnel.ca

Website: www.lorihahnel.ca

Lori Hahnel is the author of two novels, Love Minus Zero (Oberon, 2008) and After You’ve Gone (Thistledown, 2014), as well as a story collection, Nothing Sacred (Thistledown, 2009), which shortlisted for an Alberta Literary Award. Her work has been nominated for the Journey Prize three times and published in over forty journals in North America, Australia and the U.K.; her credits include CBC Radio, The Fiddlehead, Joyland and The Saturday Evening Post.  Lori teaches creative writing at Mount Royal University and the Alexandra Writers’ Centre.

Rosemary Nixon

Genre: Fiction, Poetry, Creative Nonfiction

Rate: $750/month for up to 60 pages (6 months or longer)

What You Would Get

  • Fine edits twice in the manuscript, paying attention to the level of syntax, diction, form emulating content, complexity of character, setting as more than adornment to story, narrative tension, how to defamiliarize, resonating endings. Intense line edits of the whole piece.
  • A details intensive critique/overview, consisting usually of two or three single-spaced pages, organizing and defining the major problems and where the writer might go from here to move the manuscript to the next level.
  • 1-2 hour meetings to discuss and ask questions, be given more detailed information where necessary. In person, Skype or phone.

Contact: rosemary.a.nixon@gmail.com

Website: www.rosemarynixon.com


Rosemary Nixon is a pre-eminent short story writer, novelist, and free-lance editor. Her collection, Mostly Country, a Nunatak Fiction imprint: Especially Selected Works of Outstanding Fiction by New Western Writers, was shortlisted for the Howard O’Hagan Award.  The Cock’s Egg won the Howard O’Hagan. Her novel, Kalila was long listed for the ReLit Award and shortlisted for the George Bugnet Award.  Her latest, Are You Ready To Be Lucky? was nominated for two international awards: the Frank O’Conner International Short Fiction Collection award, and the Forewards Indie Fab Award.

Rosemary has an Education degree from the University of Calgary and a Masters of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing from UBC. She has won Grain Magazine’s Postcard Competition, has been awarded a six-week Fellowship to write at Scotland’s Hawthornden Castle. She was invited as Canadian Guest Writer to Portugal’s two-week DISQUIET International Literary Festival. She has taught creative writing for over twenty-five years, including at the University of Calgary and Chinook Learning Services, Writing With Style at the Banff Center, Sage Hill Writing Experience in Saskatchewan, Writing Away on the Island of Samos, Greece. She teaches numerous advanced private classes every year as well.

Rosemary has brought her program Writing as Real Writers to over twenty schools in Calgary. She has judged numerous literary competitions, including the Grant MacEwan Award, the Brenda Strathern Award, the Howard O’Hagan Award, the CBC Literary Competition, and the Writers Union of Canada Short Fiction Competition.

Rosemary has served as the University of Calgary’s Writer-in-Residence for the Markin-Flanagan Distinguished Writers Programme, and as the University of Windsor’s Writer-in-Residence in Ontario. She has also done writer-in-residencies for the Canadian Authors Association, for Banff Centre for the Arts, for the Saskatoon Public Library, and most recently for Memorial Park Library in Calgary. Rosemary also does numerous mentorships.

She serves as an editor for Freehand Books.

Jill Robinson

Genre: Short Fiction, Creative Nonfiction (especially essays)

Rate: Flat rate: $40/hour (2 months, $1250, 4 months $2500, etc.)

What You Would Get

  • 2 – 90 minute meetings a month (Banff, Calgary, Canmore, Bragg Creek)
  • Submit up to 50 pages twice a month

Primary Communication Method: Email

Contact: j.jill.robinson@gmail.com

I have been a mentor to individual writers in Alberta and Saskatchewan 11 times. One of these times was through the AWCS, and I believe the AWCS writer I worked with would be happy to provide a reference, as would others, upon request. I am interested in helping a writer make her/his piece of writing the best that it can be, and I have many “tools in my toolkit” to offer help and suggestions, because of my past wide personal experiences (both good and bad) as a writer, and my education (M.F.A. in fiction). I have published 4 collections of short stories, and have written two novels and published one. (I’m currently working on a new collection of stories.) My creative nonfiction has been shortlisted for Western & National Magazine Awards, and has won Event’s creative nonfiction contest twice. My work often hovers between fiction and creative nonfiction—i.e. nonfiction that employs techniques associated with fiction. My approach: I am honest and direct, keen and enthusiastic. I might suggest reading that could help the writer and the work; I am happy to discuss publishing options; I am happy to answer most writing questions, and if I don’t know something I have many resources to turn to. I am interested in supporting the writer’s vision for the work, and to listening to the writer’s questions and concerns, fears and hopes.

Robin van Eck

Genre: Fiction (all genres)

Rate: $500/month flat rate

Length of Mentorship: 1 – 6 months

What You Would Get

  • 2 – 90 minute meetings a month (Skype or in-person depending on location)
  • Submit up to 50 pages twice a month and receive full feedback on areas that are working and areas that need development.

Primary Communication Method: Email

Contact: rzvaneck@gmail.com

Website: www.robinzvaneck.com

Robin’s short fiction and creative nonfiction has appeared in numerous anthologies and magazines in Canada and the US. She placed 2nd in a short story contest hosted by Okotoks Culture and was a finalist for the AMPA Showcase Award for Fiction. She is the Program Director for the Alexandra Writers Centre Society where she also teaches creative writing.

Philip Vernon

Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Thriller (commercial, upmarket, literary) – Adult. Long and short fiction.


1. Manuscript critique and workshopping: negotiable (based on five-page writing sample); typically, $50 – $75 per 10,000 words. Includes query package critique (2).

2. Query package critique and workshopping: $50. Package includes query letter, synopsis, and pitches. Free with manuscript critique (1).

*These also include mentoring in the use of online strategies for securing agent representation such as Query Tracker and pitching manuscripts on Twitter.

Length of Mentorship: Negotiable.

Primary Communication Method: Email. Phone calls as needed. Prefer at least one in-person meeting (Calgary area).

Contact: philipvernon.author@gmail.com

Philip is an agented Calgary-based author of adult upmarket suspense. His debut novel WHEN YOU FIND ME is scheduled for release Fall 2018 from Crooked Lane Books of NYC. He is represented by The McDermid Agency in Toronto. Philip holds a PhD in immunology and published over a dozen studies in leading medical journals before turning his hand to publishing fiction. He is an insatiable reader of suspense and domestic noir. His writing — and love for all things unsettling — is influenced by the works of Gillian Flynn, S.J. Watson, and the late A.S.A. Harrison. Apart from spinning tales of dark secrets or terror in suburbia, Philip is an active member of the Imaginative Fiction Writers Association.

References available upon request.