In January 2015, the Writers’ Guild began support and coordination of the 2014/2015 Mentorship Program. This program has been offered every year since 2012 with the generous support of The Canada Council. This year saw five apprentices from various parts of the province paired with mentors; the goal of the program has been to see each emerging writer work with an established writer for guidance, collaboration, and encouragement while creating new work or improving a writing project already in process. The benefits are not just for the apprentices, however; this four-month partnership also allows mentors to hone their editorial and teaching skills, in the context of a collaborative, collegial relationship. We heartily thanks the participants in this program, which ran for four months, culminating in a celebration and public reading of the apprentices’ work on May 9.
Caterina Edwards / Angela McIntyre
Caterina Edwards’ latest novel, The Sicilian Wife, will be published in the spring of 2014. Her last book, Finding Rosa: A Mother With Alzheimer’s/ A Daughter’s Search for the Past , won the Writers Guild of Alberta 2009 Award for Nonfiction, the Bressani 2010 prize for writing about emigration and was shortlisted for the City of Edmonton Book Prize. She has also published a novel, The Lion’s Mouth, a book of novellas, Whiter Shade of Pale/Becoming Emma, a play, Homeground, and a collection of stories, The Island of the Nightingales, that won the Writers Guild of Alberta 2001 Award for Short Fiction. Another drama The Great Antonio was chosen to represent Canada in an international radio competition. Caterina became interested in nonfiction when she co-edited two books of life writing by women:Eating Apples: Knowing Women’s Lives and Wrestling With the Angel. Caterina recently won The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Award for an article on illegal immigrants in Italy.
Angela McIntyre is a freelancer writer from Calgary. She supports her writing habit by working with literary festivals, conferences and cheap labourer jobs. She has written for Avenue Magazine, Fly Fusion, Field & Stream,FFWD, and Canoe Travel. She is currently working on a novel set in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, set in the 1920’s.
Kim McCullough / Judith Clark
Kim McCullough is a writer and teacher from Calgary, AB. Her novel Clearwater (Coteau) was released in 2013 and is a 2014 High Plains Award winner. Kim is the 2014 recipient of the WGA Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award for her essay, “Night/light,” which was recently published in Grain. Kim completed her MFA at the University of British Columbia and is a mentor for UBC’s Booming Ground Program. Kim has facilitated various writing workshops, including the Sage Hill Teen Writing Experience.
Judith Clark is a writer residing in Calgary. Her previous writing credits include two plays, American Woman, performed in Sage Theatre’s IGNITE! Festival (2006), and Code Burgundy, commissioned by the Petro-Canada Stage One New One-Act Play Development Series (2007), with workshop and public readings. Judith is currently writing a young adult novel.
Myrna Kostash / Savithri Machiraju
Myrna Kostash is a fulltime writer, author of the classic All of Baba’s Children, and of the award-winningBloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe, The Frog Lake Reader, and Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium. Besides writing for diverse magazines, Kostash has written radio drama and television documentary. Her essays, articles, and creative nonfiction have been widely anthologized. She has been a frequent lecturer at home and abroad and instructor of creative writing as well as writer-in-residence in Canada and the US. She is a recipient of the WGA’s Golden Pen Award and the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award for a Life of Writing.
Savithri Machiraju was born in India and grew up in India, the United States, and Canada. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta and went on to graduate studies in the U.S., where she remained to pursue her profession as a physicist. She recently re-immigrated to Edmonton where she is pursuing her writing and film making projects.
Savithri’s interest in writing started in childhood and she has published extensively in her first language of Telugu (a language of India) including many short stories, a novel, a collection of poetry, and essays on literary criticism, focusing in particular on Telugu literature from the North American diaspora. She is now focusing on her writing in English. She was a member of the first Borderlines Writers Circle, a joint program by various Edmonton arts organizations to encourage immigrant writers. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, FAVA, Yegfilms and the Edmonton Filmmakers Group.
In films, she has written and directed two short films and a documentary, and is completing a second documentary on the Telugu community of Edmonton. She has also recently completed the screenplays for two short films and one feature film, for which she is currently exploring funding opportunities.
J. Jill Robinson / Shannon Bennett
J. Jill Robinson is the author of one novel, More In Anger (Thomas Allen 2012), and four collections of short stories. Her fiction and creative nonfiction have been anthologized, and have appeared in many literary journals. Her awards include two Western Magazine Awards, two Saskatchewan Book Awards, two prizes for creative non-fiction from Eventmagazine, the PRISM international fiction contest and the Howard O’Hagan award for short fiction. She holds an M.F.A. in creative writing from the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Calgary.
Shannon Bennett moved to Calgary to teach and instead found herself working in the oil and gas industry (as one so often does). Now she spends her spare time writing in coffee shops and plotting her eventual escape to the backwoods of Sweden. Her work has most recently been seen in Litro and The Red Line.
Marcello Di Cintio / Wendy Flemons
Marcello Di Cintio is the author of three books of travelogue including Walls: Travels Along the Barricades. Wallswon the 2013 Shaugnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, and was nominated for the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction, and the B.C. National Award for Non-Fiction. Di Cintio also wrote an ebook about Palestinian literary culture titled Song of the Caged Bird: Words as Resistance in Palestinethat he plans to expand into a full-length ‘real’ book. Di Cintio’s magazine writing can be found in publications such asThe Walrus, Canadian Geographic, The International New York Times, Condé Nast Traveller and Afar. He is a former writer-in-residence with the Calgary Distinguished Writers Program and the Palestine Writing Workshop, and will be a featured instructor at the 2015 Iceland Writers Workshop.
Wendy Flemons is a writer. Until recently, she has been merely a collector of personal journals and creative writing notebooks. She has taken writing classes at (then) Mount Royal College, Alexandra Writer’s Centre, and the University of Calgary, as well as on-line workshops, and in-person retreats. She worked in health care for many years, but the vocation that informs her writing the most is motherhood. Presently, she is writing personal essays, and memoir. She is doing her final project at the U of C, which will complete her Certificate in Creative Writing.