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2012 Mentorship Program Participants

Participants of the 2012 Mentorship Program:

Pierrette Requier/Kathy Fisher:

Mentor – Pierrette Requier is a bilingual Alberta writer.  Her book of prose poems details from the edge of the village (Frontenac House, Calgary, Quartet 2009) was nominated for four awards and short-listed for the Edmonton Book Prize.  Her most recent publication Storm/orage (from The Works, 2010, a collaboration) has appeared with Ian Sheldon’s paintings in Storm Chaser Canadian Prairie Skyscapes (August2011).  She has been published in a number of anthologies, websites and magazines.

Pierrette serves as literary representative on the board of RAFA, an Alberta organization supporting French artists.  She participates in the French writing and performance group 4 voix/4voies and has been featured on Radio Canada.

Pierrette hosts monthly Wind Eye Writing Seminars.  She has facilitated writing workshops across Alberta with writers from 6 to 86 years old and has been invited to do presentations and readings for a number of organizations and institutions including, among others, the Canadian Authors Association and the University of Alberta. (St. Jerome’s Day:  A Celebration of Translation)

Pierrette enjoys collaborating with artists from other disciplines and aspires to join others in performances across Canada, as well as to spend time in Jersey and France immersed in her ancestors’ stories and culture. She is presently working on a series of monologues.

Apprentice Kathy Fisher – No biography available


J. Jill Robinson/Janice McCrum:

Mentor – J.Jill Robinson is the author of four collections of stories, the most recent of which is Residual Desire. Her work, which has appeared in many Canadian literary journals, has won the Prism International fiction contest, Event’s creative nonfiction contest (twice), two Western Magazine Awards, two Saskatchewan Book Awards, and the Howard O Hagan Prize for short fiction. Born in Langley B.C., Jill became a writer while living in Calgary (1979 – 1993), before moving to Saskatoon (1993 – 2009). She returned to Alberta in 2009, and now lives in Banff. She has served as a writer-in-residence at the Saskatoon Public Library, Red Deer College, the Alexandra Writing Centre, the inaugural Virtual Ink!, Southern Alberta Libraries video-link program, and currently as one of two writers in residence for the CAA (Alberta branch).  She has led many weekend and daylong writing workshops throughout Saskatchewan. She was the Editor of Grain magazine from 1995 – 1999, and a teacher of English Literature, Composition, and Creative Writing at the University of Calgary; University of Saskatchewan; St. Peter’s College; SUNTEP; and First Nations University of Canada. For more information: Jill Robinson

Apprentice – Janice McCrum writes poetry and creative nonfiction. She has studied writing through the University of Alberta Extension Department, Grant MacEwan University (Minerva Studies), The Banff Centre (“Writing With Style” with Myrna Kostash), and with Natalie Goldberg at “Bending With the Light,” a writing and yoga workshop in Taos, New Mexico. Janice’s work has appeared in We Live in a Postcard: Banff Family Histories,” in Creatures All and in More of Our Canada.  She loves to cycle –“Take away my bicycle and you take away my soul,”– and to travel. She is currently working on an extended creative nonfiction piece set largely in the Galapagos Islands.


Betty Jane Hegerat/Ali Bryan:

Mentor – Betty Jane Hegerat is the author of two novels, a collection of short stories and a recent book, The Boy, which crosses genres to braid fiction, memoir, and investigative journalism and tie them together with metafiction. A social worker in an earlier life, she has spent the past fifteen year honing the craft of fiction, and in 2008 completed an MFA Creative Writing through UBC’s low residency program. Delivery, the novel that was her UBC thesis, was shortlisted for the Georges Bugnet fiction award in the Alberta Book Awards in 2010.  Her short stories have been widely published in Canadian literary magazines and broadcast on CBC’s Alberta Anthology.

In 2004, Betty Jane shared the position of writer-in-residence at the Alexandra Writers Centre with Catherine Moss.  For the past six years she has taught Introductory Creative Writing for Continuing Education at the U of Calgary, and various workshops for the Alexandra Writers.  In 2009 she was the Writer in Residence for the Calgary Public Library at Memorial Park Library, and in the summers of 2010 and 2011 taught a fiction workshop at the Fernie Writers Conference. She has a firm belief in “community” and mentorship as essential to a healthy arts culture. For more information:

Apprentice – Ali Bryan: No biography available


Conni Massing/Maria Smythe:

Mentor – Conni Massing works in a variety of genres including theatre, film, radio, and television, and has just published her first book, Roadtripping: On the Move with the Buffalo Gals. She wrote several episodes of Mentors, a locally produced television series, and has worked as a story editor on The Beat, North of 60, The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, Taking it Off, and Family Restaurant. Recent stage credits include her commissioned adaptation of W.O. Mitchell’s Jake and the Kid, premiered by Theatre Calgary in September, 2009, and Ooga-Booga, a play for young audiences. Conni’s hit comedy The Myth of Summer (premiered by Alberta Theatre Projects), and the award-winning Homesick (premiered by Workshop West Theatre), were recently published by Playwrights Canada Press.

Conni was the 2009 writer-in-residence at the Edmonton Public Library; she’s also been playwright-in-residence at Theatre Network, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, and the National Theatre School of Canada. She teaches playwriting and screenwriting for a variety of institutions and organizations, including the University of Alberta, FAVA, the Alberta Playwrights Network, and Red Deer College. Her writing has been recognized by AMPIA, the Academy of Cinema and Television, the Betty Mitchell Awards, and the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards. Conni is Vice-President of the Playwrights Guild of Canada and sits on the national board for the Public Lending Rights Commission.

Apprentice – Maria Smythe: No biography available


Kath MacLean/Monika Igali:

Mentor – Since the publication of her award-winning first book, For a Cappuccino on Bloor, Kath MacLean’s poetry, nonfiction and creative nonfiction have been generating critical acclaim in the United States, and in Europe. A professor of English and creative writing much of the time, MacLean was writer-in-residence for the Canadian Author’s Association (2009/2010) and was the only prairie poet to compete this spring at Toronto’s Battle of the Bard at Harbourfront.

Recent works include: Seed Bone & Hammer, a CD of performance poetry with Lane Arndt (2009), There Was A Young Man (2009/10), a videopoem with Oops Design, Kat Among the Tigers (U of A Press 2011), poetry based on the journals and correspondence of modernist Katherine Mansfield, and Doo-Da-Doo-Da, a poetryvideo from Kat based on Mansfield’s experience during the 1915 bombing of France. She is currently working on a long awaited collection of essays, a longer creative nonfiction manuscript, a new book of poetry & videopoem.

Apprentice – Monika Igali: No biography available

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