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Controversy @ Noon: Genre and Style Bias

Wednesday, July 24
12 – 1 PM MDT, Online

Are certain styles of writing considered more important than others? It’s not uncommon for some genres and styles to be taken seriously and for others to be taken less seriously. Are there legitimate points to be made in favour of one genre or style over another, or is there really no accounting for personal taste? Is a writer’s internal bias shaped by their own preferences and experience, or is the writing community encouraged to value particular types of writing over others? If so, why? How does accessibility affect whose stories are being heard, published, and distributed in which genre? How does this impact emerging writers? Seasoned writers? Readers? What can we collectively do to improve inclusivity in the various genres and styles in which we write? Join our panelists as they discuss these ideas and more this July.

Panel includes: Conor Kerr, Farah Heron, Julie Sedivy, Marty Chan (Moderator)

Please pre-register for the panel here.

About The Panelists

Marty Chan – Moderator

Marty Chan writes books for kids, theatre for adults, and social media posts for fun. The 2024 recipient of the WGA’s Golden Pen Award, Marty has written dramas, comedies, fantasy, and suspense. He works and lives in Edmonton with his wife Michelle and their two cats, Minnie and Hugo. For more information about Marty, visit


X: @Marty_Chan

Blue Sky:

Threads: @martychanwriter

Facebook: @MartyChanAuthor

Instagram: @martychanwriter

Farah Heron,- Panelist

Farah Heron is a critically acclaimed romance author for adults and teens. Her books have been named as best books of the year by CBC books, USA Today, and NPR, and have been praised in Entertainment Weekly, Buzzfeed, and Teen Vogue. She writes contemporary romances and romantic comedies full of huge South Asian families, delectable food, and most importantly, brown people falling stupidly in love. Her adult books include ACCIDENTALLY ENGAGED, JANA GOES WILD, and JUST PLAYING HOUSE, and her young adult books include TAHIRA IN BLOOM and HOW TO WIN A BREAKUP. Farah lives in Toronto with her family.


Instagram: @farahheronauthor

X: @FarahHeron

Facebook: @FarahHeronAuthor

Julie Sedivy – Panelist

Julie Sedivy is a writer and linguist whose love of language extends to many literary genres and whose work often intertwines aesthetic and scientific perspectives. Her publications include three books of nonfiction, a forthcoming children’s picture book (co-authored with Souad Shehab), a non-boring textbook on the psychology of language, and an edited volume of personal essays (co-edited with Rona Altrows). Her book Memory Speaks was shortlisted for the W.O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize and the Eggleston Award for Nonfiction. She has published dozens of essays and articles in outlets such as Nautilus, The Literary Review of Canada, Scientific American, Discover, Politico, as well as in various anthologies. She occasionally writes and performs poetry as well. She is preparing to launch her scientific memoir, Linguaphile: A Life of Language Love, in October 2024.

Conor Kerr – Panelist

Conor Kerr is a Métis/Ukrainian writer living in Edmonton. He is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. His Ukrainian family are settlers in Treaty 4 and 6 territories in Saskatchewan. He grew up in Saskatoon, Edmonton, and other prairie towns and cities. In 2022 he was named one of CBC’s Writers to Watch. He is the author of the poetry collections An Explosion of Feathers and Old Gods, which was shortlisted for the 2023 Governor General’s Award and named one of the Best Poetry Books of 2023, as well as the novel Avenue of Champions, which was shortlisted for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, longlisted for the 2022 Giller Prize and won the 2022 ReLIT award. He recently published his second novel Prairie Edge.


Instagram: @Millcreekcowboy

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