Youth Achievements


Youth members of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre have won awards, writing contests, and have worked to support the writing community. This pages celebrates their accomplishments, and we wish them the best in their future projects! If you know a youth member of AWCS who deserves to be mentioned here, please contact our Youth Program Director, Kim Firmston, at



Youth Achievements

  • 2018
    • The Rogue Poets Slam team won Spirit of the Slam for the second year in a row at the Can You Hear Me Now Provincial School Poetry Slam competition. Way to go, team – you are all so friendly and supportive!
    • The Rogue Poets, Emily Firmston, Eli Smart, and Lina Kat all performed at the Single Onion Youth poetry night. What brave and talented kids!
  • 2017
    • Emily Firmston – finalist for the 2017 Youth of Distinction Arts and Culture Award
    • Alexis Kelly – Won the 2017 Chasing Optimism Essay Contest worth $2500 for coming in first in her district. She also won the University of Lethbridge’s 50th Anniversary Golden Jubilee in the Arts and Science department. This is worth $10 000 over four years.
    • Jamie Page – Won first place in her school’s art contest.
  • 2016
    • Alexis Kelly – Published her first chapbook of poetry.
    • Em Williamson – Finalist for the 2016 Youth of Distinction Arts and Culture Award
  • 2015
    • Em Williamson – Won best individual poet at the Can You Hear me Now? 2015 poetry slam and her poetry team, St. Anne Sr High School, won first place. (This led her to start her own team – the Rogue Poets).
    • Emily Firmston – First place prize in the national youth poetry contest by Pandora Poetry Collective.
  • 2014
    • Emily Firmston – Published in Frontenac House’s publication The Calgary Project – a City Map in Verse and Visual, 2014.
  • 2013
    • Alexis Kelly won a poetry contest and was subsequently published in the poetry anthology, 2013.
  • 2012
    • Emily Firmston – Runner up for Out in Schools film contest, 2012



Community Involvement


The youth of the AWCS have been involved and volunteered with the arts community since our inception. Some of the things we have been involved with are:

  • 2017
    • The Rogue Poets competed in the Can You Hear Me Now? Provincial School Poetry Slam. Watch some of the Rogue Poets’ stage work on RIO TV.
    • Every year between 2015-2017, we attended the all ages open mic and poetry slam hosted by Can You Hear Me Now?
    • We created Reality is Optional Kids’ Writing Club pods at the Crowfoot and Central Calgary Public Library branches.
  • 2016
    • Our Program Director, Kim Firmston, was interviewed on CJSW about writing and RIO. Listen to the interview here.
    • We contributed to the #YYCKidsFest30 story. Check out the video here: Rocket House and the Calgary International Children’s Festival on their 30th anniversary tweeted story.
    • We contributed to the 2016 Art in the Hood Art Show and Sale
    • We took part in the Ramsay Time Travelers’ Parade during the 2016 Beakerhead, via Ramsay Robots.
    • We produced the 2016 Calgary Young Writers’ Conference Reality Is Optional Game Show. The Calgary Young Writers’ conference chair, Lisa Ly, said: “On behalf of the Calgary Young Writer’s Committee, thank you for being a part of our conference this year. You really got the students excited about literacy! I know that the game show will be the highlight for most of the students. We appreciate your time and your generous donation of your services to our conference.”
  • 2015
    • Calgary Reads put together a super fun event at the beginning of May called Reading Town. There were a bunch of live action events and other virtual ones. One of the things was the Reading Town tweets. One of our stories was tweeted out for each of the seven days. The stories were reprinted in our E-Zine the following month. Read them here
  • 2014
    • We ran a session at the 2014 Calgary Public Library Youth Writing Conference.
    • We participated in the 2014 Beakerhead via Ramsay Robots and created the Ramsay Robot Uprising.
  • 2012
    • We Should Get to Know Each Other #100. We shot commercials with kids and went around the building as roving explorers.
    • We attended an open mic for Youth Week hosted by A Place Called WordsWorth.