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2016 Mentorship Program

In January, the Writers’ Guild 2016 Mentorship Program will begin. This program, coordinated and supported by our office, has been offered every year since 2012 with the generous support of The Canada Council. This year will see 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 congratulate the participants in this program, which will run for four months, culminating in a celebration and public reading of the apprentices’ work in Edmonton on May 7.

2016 Mentors/Apprentices

Sue Sinclair / Kim Mannix

Sue Sinclair, Mentor

Sue Sinclair
is the author of four books of poetry, all of which have either won or been nominated for national and regional awards including the Gerald Lampert Award, the Pat Lowther Award, the Acorn-Plantos People’s Poetry Prize and the Atlantic Poetry Prize. The Drunken Lovely Bird won the American Independent Publisher’s Poetry Prize, and Mortal Arguments was a Globe and Mail “Top 100” book. A fifth collection, Heaven’s Thieves, will appear in 2016. Sue recently acquired a PhD in philosophy; she now teaches poetry and works as an editor for Brick Books.



Kim Mannix photo
Kim Mannix, Apprentice

Kim Mannix
is a journalist by training, with a poet’s heart. Her writing has appeared in 40 Below: Volume 2, subTerrain and Poetry Is Dead. After living in six Canadian cities, she’s found Sherwood Park to be a surprisingly comfortable place to craft words. When she’s not reading or writing, you can find her enjoying life with her husband and two precocious daughters, chasing her naughty cats off counters, or watching entirely too much TV.




Kimmy Beach / Bruce Cinnamon

Kimmy Beach photo
Kimmy Beach, Mentor

Kimmy Beach‘s fifth book, The Last Temptation of Bond (UAP, 2013) was longlisted for the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award, was chosen as one of the year’s top five books of poetry at Quill&Quire, and was featured on CBC Radio One’s The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers. Kimmy has facilitated workshops and retreats in Saskatchewan, Alberta, and on Crete. She has served as mentor and Writer-in-Residence for the WGA, the SWG, Sage Hill Writing Experience and the Canadian Literature Centre at the University of Alberta. Kimmy is the 2016 Coach-in-Residence for the Canadian Authors’ Association, and she provides mentorship and support to emerging writers at


Bruce Cinnamon photo
Bruce Cinnamon, Apprentice

Bruce Cinnamon is an Edmonton-based writer whose work has appeared in Work of ArtsGlass Buffalo, Alberta Views, and An Array of Life anthology. A fervent admirer of Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, and Haruki Murakami, Bruce’s secret dream is to one day to be inducted into the club of writers who should’ve won the Nobel Prize for Literature but never did. He’s currently working on an alternate history novel about Edmonton’s springtime traditions. When he’s not writing, Bruce can be found eating ice cream and watching Netflix like everyone else.


Lee Kvern / Shannon Cleary

Lee Kvern photo
Lee Kvern, Mentor

Lee Kvern
is the award-winning author of short stories and novels. Her short stories in 7 Ways To Sunday have garnered the national CBC Literary Award, Western Magazine Award, Hazel Hilles Memorial Short Fiction Prize, and the Howard O’ Hagan Award.  Afterall selected for Canada Reads (Regional), and also nominated for Alberta Books Awards. The Matter of Sylvie nominated for Alberta Book Awards and the Ottawa Relit Award. Her work has been produced for CBC Radio, published in Event, Descant, Air Canada enRoute. subTerrain. Lee Kvern is the 2015 Author-in-Residence for the Calgary Public Library. Online:, and


Shannon Cleary photo
Shannon Cleary, Apprentice

Shannon Cleary
is a writer with beginnings in journalism. Her professional work has been published in newspapers, magazine, radio and online. She worked for several years in international education at the post-secondary level before recently returning to writing full time. Originally from Nova Scotia, Shannon and now lives in Calgary, AB with her husband and three daughters. Shannon is working on a collection of fiction, featuring themes from the rural East Coast.



Cathy Ostlere / Susan Carpenter

Cathy Ostlere photo
Cathy Ostlere, Mentor

Cathy Ostlere is the author of three books: Lost: A Memoir, 2008; Karma, a YA novel-in-verse, 2011; and Lost, a drama, 2012. Awards for her writing include the 2009 Edna Staebler Creative Non-fiction Award, finalist; a 2012 Alberta Literary Award; the 2012 W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, finalist; and a co-finalist for the 2012 Governor General’s Literary Award for Drama. She teaches creative writing to teens and is Past President of the Creative Nonfiction Collective (CNFC) Society. Cathy is completing a new novel set in Ukraine.




Susan Carpenter photo
Susan Carpenter, Apprentice

Originally from Midland, Ontario, Susan Carpenter holds an Honours English Degree from the University of Western Ontario, has enjoyed two mentorships through the Humber School for Writers, and will complete The Short Story Intensive with Sarah Selecky this December. Her fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The Calgary Herald, WestWord Magazine, Freshwater Pearls Anthology, and The Prairie Journal. Susan’s short fiction has been nominated for the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, and came first-runner-up in the Little Bird Contest. She works as an Associate Investment Advisor in Calgary, and co-parents a blended family of five boys and a chocolate lab with her husband, Richard.




Myrl Coulter / Katherine Koller

Myrl Coulter photo
Myrl Coulter, Mentor


Myrl Coulter is an Edmonton-based writer of fiction and nonfiction. She is the author of two published books, most recently A Year of Days (UAP, 2015). Her first, The House With the Broken Two: A Birthmother Remembers (Anvil Press, 2011), won the 2010 First Book Competition sponsored by the Writers Studio (Simon Fraser University) and the 2011 Canadian Authors Association Exporting Alberta award. Her work has been published in Geist, Avenue Magazine, and several anthologies. Myrl taught English and Writing at the University of Alberta, before becoming a full-time writer.



Katherine Koller photo
Katherine Koller, Apprentice


Besides fiction, Katherine Koller writes for stage, radio and film. Four of her plays are collected in Voices of the Land: The Seed Savers and Other Plays. Last Chance Leduc, winner of Alberta Playwriting Competition and finalist in the Herman Voaden National Playwriting Competition, premiered at Grande Prairie Regional College. Excerpts from Art Lessons, a novel-in-stories, have been published in Room, Alberta Views, National Voices and Polonia Anthology. A finalist in the Alberta Views Short Story Competition and the inaugural J.W. Bilsland Award for fiction, Katherine is working on a new collection of stories, The Lost Art of Second Chances.

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