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2024 WordsWorth Instructors & Courses

Registration is open!

  • Early Bird rate: $590 until April 30, 2024
  • Regular rate: $630 starting May 1, 2024

Week 1 (ages 11 – 14): July 14th – 19th, 2024  
Week 2 (ages 15 – 19): July 21st – 26th, 2024

Location: Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP), Red Deer, AB

T-shirt: $25
Anthology: $12

WordsWorth is a week-long sleepover creative writing residency for young writers who believe in the power of words. Writers will be completely immersed in the creative and diverse world of writing. Guided by established and respected artist-instructors, writers will experience writing through fiction, nonfiction, poetry, spoken word, music, and more. But the experiences don’t begin and end with the classes; WordsWorth is a place where young writers come together to celebrate writing through friendship, campfires, concerts, open mic sessions, hikes, haiku, and semi-competitive games outside of class.

2024 Instructors & Classes

Click the tabs to meet this year’s WordsWorth instructors!

More Instructor & Class info coming soon!




The Exciting World of Self-Publishing – Week 1

This workshop equips young writers with a wealth of knowledge on how to independently publish their work and get it into the hands of readers around the world. Sophie Torro takes her years of experience self-publishing and breaks it down in an easy-to-understand format while making lessons interactive and fun. She will also share what she learned from a former Disney Executive about how authors can potentially turn their stories into a movie, TV show, video game, and more.


Calgarian author SOPHIE TORRO has been writing since the age of eleven and published her first novel at fifteen. Since then, she has published twelve novels for middle-grade readers, with many more in production. She also wrote five travel articles for TraveLife Magazine that were all featured as ‘Editor’s Choice’. Sophie frequently visits schools across the country to motivate and empower students. When she isn’t writing, you can find her studying graphic design at the University of Calgary, drawing, crocheting, and hoarding houseplants.

Introduction to Action Theatre and Improvised movement! – Week 1
Action Theater is an improvisational physical theater training and performance method created by Ruth Zaporah. Action Theater addresses and expands the vocabularies of expression including: movement, vocalization, and speech.  
This workshop will start everyday with an instructor-led improvisational warm up where participants can engage with the tasks and imagery at their own pace and intensity. After our bodies feel warm we will do a quick vocal warm up and then dive into some Action Theatre practices. These workshops will include improvised partner work and solo explorations based on tasks and imagery. There is never any contact in Action Theatre, only relating to each other. This practice includes a large amount of voice work, sounding and movement- all improvised. Acting from a sense of play, students are encouraged to venture into transpersonal realms, accessing intelligence more encompassing and boundless than their personal experience. 
Please only join this class if you like to laugh, are curious and you take yourself very seriously and not seriously at all. You will look and feel quite silly at times… that is the fun of it.


© Marc J Chalifoux Photography © Marc J Chalifoux Photography
AINSLEY HILLYARD is an Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton)-based artist of settler descent. She is a choreographer, performer and educator who works in contemporary dance and theatre. Her work is immersed in the curiosities and connections between these two forms. As an independent artist, Ainsley has worked with many theatre companies and received numerous Sterling nominations and awards for her performances and choreographies. Select choreography credits include; The Sound of Music (Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre/Citadel Theatre) Deafy by Chris Dodd (Citadel Theatre), Almost a Full Moon (Citadel Theatre), Movement Director for Jane Eyre adapted by Erin Shields (Citadel Theatre), Mr. Burns: A post electric play, (You are Here theatre and Blarney Productions), Cardiac Shadow, (Northern Light Theatre/Good Women Dance Collective) and assistant choreographer for Hadestown and Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Citadel Theatre). Be sure to check out Ainsley’s upcoming choreography as part of Frozen the Musical at the Citadel Theatre next season.

Course description coming soon!


MIRANDA KROGSTAD is a spoken word poet and educator who uses her words to empower students of all ages and walks of life.  Teaching life skills including self-confidence, self-expression, and community-building, she has performed workshops in over a dozen cities around the province.

Outside of the formal educational setting, Krogstad is an advocate for positivity and love in the spoken word community and beyond, performing on subject matter from mental health awareness to gender equality.  Krogstad was a member of the 2016 national wild card team, a two-time Canada Council for the Arts grant recipient, a Calgary Arts Development Grant Recipient, and a participant in the Banff Centre International Spoken Word Program.  She has since founded the organization YYSpeak to promote and support Calgarian spoken word poets and events.

Course description coming soon!


When he’s not whirling around his kitchen or babbling in broken Gaelic at the neighborhood cats, JOHNNY MACRAE composes and performs spoken word about everything from umbrella-based class warfare, to loving family with dementia, to West Edmonton Mall. He’s been a featured performer at poetry series and arts festivals across Turtle Island, both solo, and with collaborative acts such as 2 Dope Boys in a Cadillac, Travelin’ Word Circus and The Dambassadors. In 2013, he was named Poet of Honour for the Victoria Spoken Word Festival, and in 2017, received the Zaccheus Jackson Nyce Memorial Award.

Places, Spaces, and Settings – Week 1 & 2

This course creatively connects us (and our characters) to the question of “where are you, right now?”. We will be investigating, admiring, and getting curious about the close up places we inhabit, and the far away places we imagine. From the grit of Gotham City to the beauty of your own backyard, location informs so much about our creative worlds, so we will be building tools for how to bring setting to life within your writing. Good for writers of all styles and experience levels, this course will include daily writing, reflecting, going for walks, and examining physical worlds from different viewpoints. 


LOUISE CASEMORE is an artist advocate, prairie nuisance, and two-time Sterling Award winning playwright. Based in Alberta on Treaty 6 and 7 Territory, she is the recipient of the ATP/Enbridge Playwright’s Award, shortlisted nominee for the John Palmer Award from the Playwright’s Guild of Canada, and an Artist Consultant focused on HR mechanisms in performing arts organizations. Original plays include OCDFunctionalGEMINI, and Undressed, which premiered at Alberta Theatre Projects in 2022. Louise remains active by way of dramaturgy, teaching, and research; and in 2021 she released the long-range national study on new play development, “Surveying The Landscape” (commissioned by Alberta Playwright’s Network). Her current curiosity is focused on theatre criticism and the processes and responsibilities related to immersive theatre. She recently completed an MFA in Theatre Practice from the University of Alberta, and is developing a multitude of plays that keep her up at night.

The Writer’s Voice – Week 2

Writing is a solitary art. Surprise, you are called on to read your expressive output out loud! Maybe you just want to feel more comfortable around other humans? Maybe you like acting? If so, this is the class for you! This fun and empowering class is about discovering and embodying your full vocal and creative potential. Our goal is open, honest, powerful, joyful communication. Please wear comfortable, loose, stretchy clothing and have water, pencil and paper handy. Participants are invited (completely optional) to bring a favourite speech, monologue, song or poem with which to work. Let’s GO!


DAVID WILSON (BMus, Mmus) is a Singer, Conductor, Voice Teacher, Yoga Guru and Breath Therapist. He is recognized across Canada as a leading authority on the use of Yoga, Functional Vocal Work and Breath Therapy to aid healthy vocal production. He offers workshops to singers, public speakers, teachers, actors and spoken word poets on vocal power, creative freedom, confidence, anxiety relief, and public speaking. He has self-published six outstanding eBooks and Videos, including “The Embodied Voice”. David is also a Sessional Instructor for the Theatre Arts BFA program at MacEwan University. 

Shakespeare Soliloquies – Week 2

Students will study some of the Bard’s best soliloquies in an effort to approach them with a more meaningful understanding. After establishing concepts such as iambic pentameter, character development, and narrative arch, students will begin the process of writing their very own soliloquy. The class promises to be everything Shakespeare was: imaginative, iconoclastic, and above all fun intellectually rigorous. 


RICHARD KELLY KEMICK is an award-winning poet, journalist, and fiction writer. His debut collection of short stories, Hello, Horse, will be published August 2024 by Biblioasis.
He is also the author of I Am Herod (available on audiobook), the poetry collection Caribou Run, and the stage play Amor De Cosmos: A Delusional Musical. Richard’s limited series podcast, Natural Life, is an intimate and unexpectedly honest documentary on his cousin, who is serving a life sentence without parole in Michigan. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. 

Course description coming soon!


Born and raised on Treaty 1 territory (Winnipeg), and currently residing in Amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton), LINDSEY WALKER (she/her) is an award-winning singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, composer, and theatre performer. Lindsey’s music has been described as “achingly sincere”, and “cinematic”. As a theatre creator, Lindsey wrote the score and lyrics for ren & the wake, an original semi-immersive musical that she created with Catch the Keys Productions, as well as creating the music and lyrics for the one-man political musical Amor de Cosmos with Richard Kemick. She is currently working on her latest EP, Something Real, which will be out Spring 2024. Follow all her exploits on social media here: @lindseywalkermusic

2024 Creative Team & Staff

Click the tabs to meet this year’s Creative Team & Staff! 

More Creative Team & Staff info coming soon!


COLIN MATTY has been with the Writer’s Guild of Alberta since 2012, becoming the Director of Drink the Wild Air and WordsWorth in 2015. He is the author of three plays, two sketch comedies, and thousands of poems. Colin has tread the boards of festivals and competitions from Victoria to Montreal and is an accomplished creator, performer and educator in the fields of theatre, poetry, and improvisation. His work has a strong focus on playful discovery and aims to foster the joy that comes with engaging the creative powers that lie latent within us all.

SADIE MACGILLIVRAY loves soaking in all of the sounds and sights that nature has to offer (and sneakily photographing it). They also spend time coming up with new project ideas, watching anime, playing as many puzzle/strategy games as they can get their hands on, and working on the multitude of projects they have scattered around their house. Sadie has a Professional Communication degree from MacEwan University and is thinking about going back for a teaching degree. Even though there technically isn’t enough time in each day to do everything they want to do, they are going to try to fit it all in anyway! Stay awesome and weird <3

HENRY GREYSON is a storytelling animator based out of Kelowna, BC. He’s been working in the 3D animation game for the past 6 years creating animations for a wide variety of studios and productions. He’s worked in his free time developing his own stories and skills, and can’t wait to share them with you at WordsWorth 2024 DRAGONSONG!!! 

KAJA PEDERSEN is a writer, crafter, and wanderer, coming to a forest-dwelling near you. She is originally from Calgary, and grew up on the traditional lands of the peoples of Treaty 7, which include the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Tsuut’ina First Nation, and the Stoney Nakoda. She is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Victoria and studies History and Creative Writing, with special interests in 19th and 20th Century queer history, personal journalism, and fiction. Kaja is always looking for friends to meet, tunes to hum, games to play, crafts to make, and toadstools big enough to sit on.

JESS TOLLESTRUP grew up rural in the prairies of Treaty 7, running with hordes of barn cats and cutting their teeth on campfire jams. After many years as a travelling bard, Jess got a university degree in social sciences and settled down in Edmonton, Alberta to hone their craft as a music instructor.

Bio coming soon!

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