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CONTROVERSY @ NOON: Ageism in the Industry

Wednesday, April 24
12 – 1 PM MDT, Online

Does bias exist in the literary world where age is concerned? Writing is hard enough in the first place, do writers also have to worry about the continued relationship with their publisher, agent, readers, and other writers in the industry as they get older? If so, in what ways? Additionally, are writers in certain genres prone to be more successful if they fall under a particular age group? Less successful? Our panelists will examine these questions and other age-related industry issues during our April Controversy @ Noon Panel.

Please pre-register for the panel here.

About The Panelists

Norma Dunning – Moderator

Norma Dunning (PhD) is a Padlei Inuk writer, professor and grandmother. Dr Dunning has published in poetry, prose, fiction and nonfiction.

Kinauvit? (what’s your name?) a work of nonfiction shortlisted for the Shaughnessy Cohen prize for political writing in 2023 and Tainna (the unseen ones) received the Governor General’s Award in literary fiction in 2021. Annie Muktuk and Other Stories (2017) received the Danuta Gleed in 2018, as well as several other literary awards. Her books have been translated into French, Greek and Amharic. Aput! (snow), a children’s book, will be released in the fall of 2024. 

Dunning lives in Regina where she teaches at the First Nations University of Canada.


Rona Altrows – Panelist

Rona Altrows is a fiction writer, essayist, editor, and playwright. She believes literature plays a critical role in the fight for social justice. Her books of short fiction are A Run on Hose, Key in Lock, and At This Juncture, and her work has appeared in Queen’s Quarterly, The Prairie Journal, and many other magazines and e-zines in Canada and the US. She has edited or co-edited three anthologies, including You Look Good for Your Age, an exploration of women, aging, and ageism.  Honours she has received include the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize,  the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award, and two Independent Book Publishers awards.

Website, Bluesky

Sharon Butala – Panelist

Butala is the author of 22 books of both fiction and nonfiction and for nearly fifty years, at 83, has been writing and publishing with both major publishers and smaller companies. She has been agented since the eighties and has appeared at many festivals in Canada and the USA and made presentations in, besides Canada, the USA, Mexico, Ireland and the Czech Republic. Her many awards and prizes include the Marian Engel Award, the W.O. Mitchell/City of Calgary Award and the Glengarry Book Prize Award. She was recently shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her memoir, The Perfection of the Morning, was on the Canadian bestseller list for a year.


Tololwa Mollel – Panelist

Edmonton-based Tololwa M. Mollel writes books, plays, and stories for performance for all ages in English and Kiswahili, the national language of Tanzania where he was born. He has published 24 books for the young in both languages. Some of the books are translated into various African, Asian, and European languages. Tololwa also performs stories, solo or with other performers or artists. He has been spreading his passion for story, performance and writing to the young and old through story workshops, performances and presentations in Alberta schools and communities.


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