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5th Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write – Deadline: Dec. 17

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Nhung Tran-Davies are happy to announce the launch of the 5th Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write!

Author Jeananne Kirwin is back again this year to share the vision of effecting positive changes in our community through stories.

Because of the generosity of our sponsors, we will award three scholarships this year: 1st place $3000, 2nd place $2000, 3rd place $1000.

We are so happy to welcome back Tlicho Dene author Richard Van Camp and introduce Jacqueline Guest as this year’s judges!

Deadline: December 17

Submission Guidelines:

If you are an emerging First Nations, Métis or Inuit writer and mother living in Alberta and are interested in applying for the Kemosa Scholarship, please send the following to [email protected]

1.  A sample of your writing (no more than 15 pages) — either prose, poetry, nonfiction, fiction and/or illustrated literature, e.g. graphic novel, comic, etc.
2.  A cover letter describing why the scholarship is important for you.
3.  Previous entrants may resubmit, as long as you have not won a scholarship within 24 months.    
4. The deadline for scholarship submission is December 17, 2021.  Winners will be announced in early 2022.

2021 Winners

Winners for the last year’s Kemosa Scholarship included:

  • First Place ($3000):  Sierra Roberts 
  • Second Place ($2000): Teresa Jane Wouters 
  • Third Place($1000): Holly Gerlach
  •  Honourable Mention:  Melissa Caillou


This Year’s Judges

RICHARD VAN CAMP is a proud member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT, Canada from Fort Smith, NWT. He is a graduate of the En’owkin International School of Writing, the University of Victoria’s Creative Writing BFA Program, and the Master’s Degree in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

He is an internationally renowned storyteller and best-selling author. His novel, The Lesser Blessed, is now a movie with First Generation Films and premiered in September of 2012 at the Toronto International Film Festival. He is the author of four collections of short stories, Angel Wing Splash Pattern, The Moon of Letting Go, Godless but Loyal to Heaven and Night Moves, as well as two children’s books with Cree artist, George Littlechild: A Man Called Raven and What’s the Most Beautiful Thing You Know About Horses?

JACQUELINE GUEST is an international award-winning author with twenty professionally published novels.  She has presented across Canada, the United States and in Africa to audiences of all ages including the American Library Association, the American Indian Library Association, University of Calgary, Manitoba Association of Teachers of English, Alberta Association of Library Technicians, MASC Conference Ottawa, University of Victoria, Cultural Diversity Institute, North Central Teachers Association, Saskatoon Reading Council Teachers Conference, the Edmonton Young Offenders Centre, plus hundreds of schools, libraries and conferences. 

In addition to her in-depth knowledge on writing novels, Jacqueline has over twenty-five years of experience presenting in classrooms, libraries and at conferences.  She has been the Creator-in-Residence for CANSCAIP plus Writer in Residence for the Marigold Library System, the International Spanish Academy, St. Clare School, St Rose of Lima School, and Glenmeadows Spanish School in Calgary.  She has mentored many writers offering advice and direction in their chosen career.  Her novels have been nominated for or won numerous awards in Canada and the United States, including the AILA Middle School Award, Moonbeam Award, Red Maple, Silver Birch, Red Cedar, Golden Eagle, CCBC Our Choice, and more.  Her curriculum-based school presentations, which tie in with her novels, have even reluctant students reading.  

Jacqueline is the proud recipient of the Indspire Award for the Arts. In 2017, Jacqueline was awarded the Order of Canada for her work in the literary arts.

History of the Kemosa Scholarship

The Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write was launched in 2017 by Nhung Tran-Davies to help aspiring writers focus on their creativity and find time to write, and to help give voice to Indigenous mothers who write. The Kemosa Scholarship awards 3-5 prizes annually.

Nhung Tran-Davies:

As a Vietnamese immigrant to Canada, I am fascinated by the stories of this land and its people. In 2017, after speaking with renowned author Richard Van Camp and learning more about the struggles of Indigenous women, I was moved to found the Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write.

As a writer and mother of three young children, I know how difficult it is to find time to write. Financial constraints can make this time even more difficult.  Fortunately, I also work as a physician and therefore, I felt that I, in some way, could help my fellow aspiring writers focus on her creativity, to help give voice  to Indigenous mothers who write.

In its first year, my intention was to award $1000 scholarship to an emerging Indigenous writer, but because of the high calibre of the submissions, I, in the end, awarded scholarship funds to four emerging writers.



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