The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is proud to announce the participants for the 2022 Horizons Writers Circle, its mentored writing program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour (BIPOC), ESL, and underrepresented writers living in Edmonton.
This October, fourteen Alberta writers will begin their participation in the WGA’s Horizons Writers Circle. The program will run between the months of October 2022 and March 2023, under the coordination of publisher and writer Luciana Erregue-Sacchi. Writers from diverse backgrounds in the early stages of their career will be mentored by experienced writers in the city in a series of workshops, panels and one-on-one mentorship. The program aims to introduce these new writers to the wider Edmonton community, make new contacts in the industry, and help them thrive in their writing careers.
This year’s participants are:
- Kathleen Crowe will work with Naomi McIlwraith
- Juhua (Manna) Liu will work with Tracey Anderson
- Ting (Maria Antonieta) Pimentel-Elger will work with Pierrette Requier
- Devika Short will work with Medgine Mathurin
- K’alii Luuyaltkw will work with Tololwa Mollel
- Catalina Morales Velez will work with Lorna Schultz Nicholson
- Giselle General will work with Wendy McGrath
Congratulations and good wishes to all the participants!
For inquiries, contact Horizons Writers Circle coordinator, Luciana Erregue-Sacchi at [email protected].
2022 Horizons Writers Circle Participants
My name is Kathleen Crowe and I am a member of Piapot First Nation located in Treaty Four. Currently, I reside on ᐊᒥᐢᑿᒌᐚᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Amiskwacîwâskahikan) on Treaty Six territory otherwise known as Edmonton, AB. I respectfully acknowledge that we are all Treaty people. I am a mother to three, and three fur babies. I hold a BA from the University of Alberta in Sociology with a Minor in Native Studies. I love hiking, yoga, writing and I also have enjoyed volunteering with Hope Mission serving Edmonton’s most vulnerable population. I am honoured to be selected to participate in the Horizons Writers Circle and I look forward to this new journey.
A writer, a teacher, a canoe paddler, a trail walker, and a deep street talker extraordinaire, Naomi McIlwraith is a Métis poet who reads and writes and listens and talks to figure things out. Moreover, Naomi writes to honour her ancestors both Indigenous and European, her Mom and Dad and the rest of her family. She also writes and talks to make peace in a dangerous world. You will find “Peacemaker” on Naomi’s resume. Her favourite words are “imagine” and “tawâw.”
Juhua (Manna) Liu was an immigrant who came from China in 2003. She was a librarian in China and helped the Chinese community to establish Edmonton Chinatown Library. She loves writing and consistently focuses on her short story about the first generation of Chinese immigrants in Canada and published them in Chinese. She established the Edmonton Chinese Writing Club in 2009. Also, she has published her children’s series of stories in Chinese and English. She started to learn English in 2015 and graduated in Settlement Studies at NorQuest College in 2022. She wanted to share her stories with people for understanding how life is in Canada for Chinese immigrants. So, her dream is to write her story in English in the future.
Tracey Anderson loves how words work and play together, so she has built her career around that passion. She is a writer and editor, and she also helps others improve their writing through training courses and one-on-one coaching. Tracey previously taught English as a second language in China, Macedonia, Morocco, and the United Arab Emirates. She believes in building vibrant local writing and editing communities. In her down time, Tracey enjoys dog cuddles, the outdoors, and fine food and wine.
Ting Pimentel-Elger is a settler and an immigrant from the Philippine islands; she came here almost two decades ago when racism and diversity was not often discussed yet. She may have encountered roadblocks and micro aggression but she was equally welcomed and embraced by kind souls in Canada; she continues to discover herself and pay attention to the magic and beauty that surround us through forest bathing, writing, and painting from recycled materials. She continues to be an interpreter both in her mother tongue and in Sign Language. Ting is also a registered & trauma informed yoga teacher and was recently honoured by the Yoga Alliance for “Teaching For Equity” grant. She is also a board member of Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre who was key in bringing The Shoe Project stories to Edmonton, Alberta.
Pierrette Requier is a bilingual writer, a poet, a playwright, a translator, a workshop designer and facilitator, and a mentor. She has enjoyed her term as Edmonton’s 6th poet laureate. Her interest is in working at bridging languages. Pierrette loves the sonority of all languages. As an arts advocate she has been thrilled to initiate and to be invited to participate in multidisciplinary and multilingual collaborations. Her dream has been to network and to collaborate with artists from all across Canada.
Devika Short is passionate about the written word. She has been writing short stories and poetry for many years. Devika is a past volunteer of the Edmonton Poetry Festival and her poems have been published locally. Originally from Trinidad, Devika previously lived in Toronto, where she worked in customer service and in the banking industry. After moving to Edmonton, she worked as a library technician in several libraries and then as a personal fitness trainer in the fitness industry. Devika continues to live in Edmonton with her husband Doug and in close proximity to her children and grandchildren.
Award-winning Haitian-born spoken word artist and patient advocate, Medgine Mathurin is a person for whom the love of language and the alchemy of words is second nature. Her multi-lingual upbringing (French, Creole, English) not only prompted her to begin experimenting with the potential and magic of language but naturally compelled her into a deep love of poetry. Over the years, Medgine became a Lupus, CIDP, Polymyositis, and Raynaud’s warrior, all of which fuels her desire to merge storytelling and her power of language into patient advocacy especially for those living with chronic illness. Her work has been featured in CBC, Radio-Canada, Global TV, SkirtsAfire Festival and the Edmonton Poetry Festival. Medgine currently serves as a Patient Advisor and working on her first collection of poetry.
K’alii Luuyaltkw is a storyteller and a truth seeker from the Nisga’a Nation. Her family is from the house of Ni’isjoohl (the spirit people) who were originally known for their many gifted halayt or medicine people. In accordance with this ancestral lineage, K’alii uses their poetry and short stories as a form of medicine both to create healing for herself, as well as to conscientiously influence the web of interconnectedness that unites all of life. Her goal for the Horizons Writers Circle mentorship is to continue to develop her poetry and short stories in preparation for publication as an anthology.
Tololwa Mollel is an author of internationally published books for the young and the young at heart: 18 in English, and 5 in Swahili, the national language of his native country of Tanzania in East Africa. Among his books are the Governor-General’s award-winning The Orphan Boy; Writers’ Guild of Alberta children’s books award winners My Rows and Piles of Coins and Big Boy; and From Lands of the Night. Grazing Back Home is his latest children’s book that resulted from his collaboration with musician Garth Prince and painter and illustrator Jason Blower, a multimedia creation with audio narration by Obianuju Mollel. Some of Tololwa’s books and stories have been translated into Asian, European, and African languages.
Besides his children’s books, Tololwa has published nonfiction work and short stories for adults, and has written several plays, and stories for his solo performances. He has also written stories for performances by others. One such story was The Twins and the Monsters, which he wrote for the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and which the ESO has performed, with narration and music, numerous times over the years. The story was also performed by orchestras across Canada and in the U.S. Tololwa loves to spread his passion for story, performance and writing through story workshops, performances and presentations in Alberta schools and communities, and beyond.
Creative Non-fiction and Self-mastery emerging writer.
Catalina Morales Velez is a communicator passionate about cultures, higher consciousness, art, travelling, and helping others. She is working on a memoir, a graphic novel and her blog.
Lorna Schultz Nicholson has published forty-nine books with her fiftieth coming out in the spring of 2023. Her published works include children’s picture books, middle grade fiction, YA fiction, and non-fiction sports books. Her books have been nominated for many literary and readers choice awards, and in 2022 she won the R. Ross Annett Award with the Writers’ Guild of Alberta in the children’s literature category. A lively presenter, Lorna visits schools across Canada and speaks at conferences. She loves instilling her love of reading and writing to anyone who will listen. She lives in Edmonton with her husband and dog she rescued from Mexico. The dog’s name is Poncho.
Giselle General is a Filipino-Canadian artist who has called Edmonton her home since 2008. She’s passionate about the idea of bringing purpose: whether it is finding meaning and inspiration in tragic experiences, outlining resources that can help others based on personal observations, or bringing beauty using items that would have been thrown away. Her artistic expression ranges from creative nonfiction such as essays, anthologies, articles and blogs, as well as mixed media art with a focus on upcycling.
Wendy McGrath is a Métis writer/artist based in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) on Treaty 6 Territory. She is the author of four novels and two poetry collections. Her most recent novel, Broke City (the final book in her Santa Rosa Trilogy—which also includes North East and Santa Rosa) is a prairie gothic novel that chronicles the struggles of a working-class family and is told through the eyes of a child-narrator. Her writing and artistic practice embraces multiple genres. Her most recent spoken word project, BEFORE WE KNEW (2019) is her second collaboration with producer/musician Sascha Liebrand. (Her first spoken word/music project with Liebrand was as part of the group Quarto & Sound. BOX is an adaptation of her eponymous long poem. “MOVEMENT 1” from this album was nominated for a 2018 City of Edmonton Music Award in the Jazz Recording of the Year category.) McGrath is also a printmaker and creates artist’s books.