In January 2019, twelve Alberta writers will begin their participation in the WGA’s annual mentorship program. 2019 marks the eighth year for the program, which pairs emerging writers with established Alberta authors to develop the emerging writer’s literary work, and also to provide support and encouragement. This program has seen many of its participants grow and succeed as published authors.
This year’s participants are:
- Jeremy Bibaud will work with mentor Myrl Coulter
- Kim Mannix will work with mentor Susie Moloney
- Erin Vance will work with mentor Kimmy Beach
- Ethan Collister will work with mentor Richard Kemick
- Kate Rittner Werkman will work with mentor Rosemary Nixon
- Angela Waldie will work with mentor Betty Jane Hegerat
The mentorship program runs for four months. A celebration of this program, complete with the emerging writers reading from their work, will be held in early May.
Congratulations and all good wishes to all the participants!
Myrl Coulter is an award-winning author of three published books: an adoption memoir, The House with the Broken Two (Anvil Press 2011); a hope-seeking collection of personal essays inspired by the eulogy she wrote for her mother’s funeral, A Year of Days (U of Alberta Press 2015); and The Left-Handed Dinner Party and Other Stories (U of Alberta Press 2017), a series of connected short (and shortish) fiction about absence, ghosts, and family secrets. Myrl’s next book is a novel about six generations of mothers and daughters and a vintage deck of Tarot cards. She lives in Edmonton.
Kim Mannix is a fiction writer and poet from Sherwood Park. Her writing has previously appeared in publications such as subTerrain, poetry is dead, The Rusty Toque and CV2. Her background in journalism and lifelong love of dark literature means she spends much of her time pondering the nature of horror, both real and imagined.
Susie Moloney is author of four novels, Bastion Falls, A Dry Spell, The Dwelling, and The Thirteen, and one collection of fiction, Things Withered. Published in multiple countries and languages, Moloney is known for strong characterization. She is an award-winning humourist and the winner of the Michael Van Rooy Award for her novel The Thirteen. Recently, The Dwelling was optioned by an American producer, and the short story, “The Windemere,” was optioned by a Canadian television producer as a limited series. Moloney lives and works in Edmonton, Alberta, with her husband the playwright Vern Thiessen and their blind dog, Scrappy.
Erin Emily Ann Vance’s poetry and fiction has been nominated for the Best of the Net Anthology and the Alberta Magazine Awards. She was a 2017 recipient of the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Young Artist Prize and a 2018 recipient of the LK Carol Honey Scholarship for creative writing. She is an Alumni of the Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry Summer School at Queen’s University Belfast. Erin’s debut novel, Advice for Taxidermists and Amateur Beekeepers will be published by Stonehouse Publishing in 2019. Her second poetry chapbook, The Sorceress Who Left too Soon will be released by Coven Editions in 2019.
Kimmy Beach’s sixth book, Nuala: A Fable, was shortlisted for the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. Her second, Alarum Within: theatre poems was adapted as a stage play by both Red Deer College and The University of Toronto. Kimmy has served as mentor and Writer in Residence for The Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, The Writers’ Guild of Alberta, The Parkland Regional Library, The University of Alberta, and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild. The coolest reading she’s ever done was onstage at the Cavern Club in Liverpool. She lives in Red Deer.
Ethan Collister is a writer and musician from Calgary, Alberta. He recently completed a graduate certificate in creative writing through Humber College and is working on his first novel in the genre of literary fiction. Ethan holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of British Columbia and a master’s certificate in songwriting from Berklee’s online school of music.
Richard Kelly Kemick is an award-winning Canadian poet, journalist, and fiction writer. He is the author of Caribou Run, a collection of poetry which was selected by CBC as one of the season’s Must Reads. Having published widely in all three genres, his work has been included in anthologies in Canada and the United Kingdom. Richard is the recipient of multiple prizes including two National Magazine Awards. He is from Calgary.
Kate Rittner-Werkman is a local writer with a background in Journalism and Arts & Cultural management. Creating dialogue through both narrative and film, she has extensively researched her estranged father’s role in the Second World War German side by investigating his visual archive to explore his journey as a child and young man through National Socialism and the Second World War. Kate was born in Hamburg, Germany. She immigrated as a young child to Canada settling in Alberta during the 1960s. A short essay about her immigration story can be found in the newly released anthology Looking Back, Moving Forward. In addition, she has written for a variety of newspapers and cultural organizations and is working on her first book based on finding her father. And all that went with it. Kate currently lives in Edmonton with her husband and two children.
Rosemary Nixon is a pre-eminent short story writer, novelist, free-lance editor, and passionate creative writing teacher. Her collection, Mostly Country, a Nunatak Fiction imprint, was shortlisted for the Howard O’Hagan Award. Her second collection, The Cock’s Egg won the Howard O’Hagan. Her novel, Kalila was longlisted for the ReLit and shortlisted for the George Bugnet Award. Are You Ready To Be Lucky? was nominated for The Frank O’Conner International Award, and The North American Forewords IndieFab Book of the Year. Rosemary has served as writer-in-residence at universities and libraries across Canada. She is an editor for Freehand Books.
Angela Waldie is a teacher, editor, poet, and nonfiction writer. Originally from Creston, BC, she now lives in Calgary, where she teaches courses on literature and the environment at Mount Royal University. Her poetry has been published in The Antigonish Review, The Goose, and FreeFall, as well as in The Calgary Project: The City Map in Verse and Visual. She has recently begun writing creative nonfiction, which will be her focus while participating in the WGA Mentorship Program.
Betty Jane Hegerat has written short fiction, novels, YA fiction, personal essay, creative non-fiction and dipped her toes into poetry long enough to know that she was meant to be a reader of poetry rather than a poet.
Her books include: Running Toward Home (Newest Press 2006); A Crack in the Wall (Oolichan Books 2008); Delivery (Oolichan Books 2009); The Boy (Oolichan Books 2011), and Odd One Out (Oolichan Books 2016).
Betty Jane teaches creative writing classes and workshops, was the WIR for the Calgary Public Library and a mentor in the WGA’s inaugural mentorship program in 2012.
Betty Jane’s books have been shortlisted for the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Award, the WGA Wilfred Eggleston Award, the High Plains Book Award, and the WGA Georges Bugnet Award. She was the recipient of the WGA Golden Pen Award in 2015.
Since she retired from social work twenty years ago, Betty Jane has been writing about the extraordinary in “ordinary” lives and delving into the secrets and lies of family in all its messy configurations.
Thank you to our donors and funders!
We acknowledge the generous financial support of donors to this program: