Patti Edgar teaches in Mount Royal University’s journalism department. She has worked as multimedia writer and editor at CBC Calgary, as well as a reporter at several newspapers. Her students have won awards for projects created in her classroom, including the Canadian Association of Journalists Student Award of Excellence.

Emily Firmston is the co-creator of the AWCS Youth Programs, a novelist, artist, produced playwright, and published poet. She is currently in post-secondary after graduating high school with honors. She runs Reality Is Woefully Obligatory (RIWO) for 16-25-year-olds, is a resident DM, and occasionally a guest instructor for the Novelmancers novel-writing club.

Kim Firmston is the AWCS Youth Program Director 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.

Iris Hildebrandt is a University of Calgary graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English. She is a self-taught writer of critical essays and took several creative writing classes as part of her post-secondary education. She is also an experienced DM of many groups, including writing her own campaigns.

Anne Hodgson inspires children and youth with her passion for writing, reading, and history. She recently retired from teaching with the Calgary Board of Education after 39 years. Her experience spans all grades, as well as E.L.L., and diverse learning needs. Anne combines creativity and project-based learning with the acquisition of specific skills and knowledge. She enjoys inspiring and developing confidence in students as writers. Anne is a writer, storyteller, and playwright.

Nigel Murphy is an artist, writer, researcher, and visiting lecturer. Nigel has contributed articles and research for multiple publications (including Philosophy Now and The Atlantic), lectured at Mount Royal University, and has served as an artist in residence at River Valley School. Nigel believes every learner’s journey is different and understanding the student is the first step.

Sebastien Ringuette has been publishing cartooning work online since 2007. He is the creator of multiple web comics: Exploding Wumpus, The Aversion Bureau, Gamer Roommates, and It Has Pictures. He has been an instructor/mentor for the AWCS and the WGA’s WordsWorth Youth Writing Residency. In recent years, he has directed his creative focus towards novel writing and teaching, and is currently now part of Barrel Marketing. 

Erin Vance is a writer and academic. She specializes in English, Creative Writing, History, and Folklore. She has published a bestselling novel and her first collection of poetry is forthcoming from Guernica Editions. She holds a BA (Honours) and an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Calgary. She is currently completing an MA in Irish Folklore and Ethnology from University College Dublin. Erin has studied poetry at the Seamus Heaney Centre at Queen’s University Belfast. She is the co-host of a history, folklore, and true crime podcast, Femmes Macabres.

Em Williamson is a poet, prose-et and a lover of all forms of weirdness in the arts. She was the winner of Best Individual Poet at the 2015 Can You Hear Me Now? Youth Poetry Slam and has had features since then at such events as Raw and Voices, Woolf’s Voices Say Word. She is currently in the 4th year of a Bachelor of Arts in English at St. Mary’s University, and has a cumulative GPA of 3.97, having made the Dean’s list all semesters thus far.