In January 2020, twelve Alberta writers will begin their participation in the WGA’s annual mentorship program. 2020 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:
- Gunnilla Nilsson will work with mentor Jacqueline Guest in middle-grade fiction
- Lisa Mulrooney will work with mentor Dymphny Dronyk in poetry
- Brandon Wint will work with mentor Erina Harris in poetry
- Danica Klewchuk will work with mentor Michael Hingston in fiction
- Audrey Jamieson will work with mentor Margaret Macpherson in dystopian science fiction
- Krissi Stocks with work with mentor Ted Bishop in creative nonfiction
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!
2020 Mentorship Program Participants
Click the tabs to learn more about this year’s mentorship participants!
Gunnilla Nilsson is an emerging author of creative fiction. She has a life-long love of writing songs, poems and stories, and last summer had her first short story published; “The Flying Squirrel,” (Itty Bitty Writing Space, Brick and Caile, 2019). Gunnilla has a master’s degree in forest economics. She was a professional forester for many years but her love of horses pulled her career a different direction and now she is a farrier. She lives near Athabasca where she enjoys trail riding with her remarkable horse Cricket.
Jacqueline Guest is a Métis writer who lives in a log cabin nestled in the pinewoods of the Rocky Mountain foothills of Alberta. Her award winning books are unique in that many of the main characters come from different ethnic backgrounds including First Nations, Inuit or Métis. Her well-drawn characters face issues common to every child such as bullying, blended families and physical challenges and are strong role models for today’s youth. Jacqueline’s historical novels for young readers’ present Canada ’s vibrant past as an exciting read every child will enjoy. Her young adult mysteries address teenage problems in a sensitive way while still providing a great page-turner.
Lisa Mulrooney is the first Poet Laureate of Stony Plain (2019-21). She has a Bachelor’s degree in English Language and Literature (Honors) and a Master’s degree in Education (Post-Secondary Leadership & Educational Improvement), both from the University of Alberta. Lisa has worked as a High School English Teacher and as a Post-Secondary Administrator. She is passionate about language (especially poetry) and education. Lisa is the Co-Founder and President of Parkland Poets’ Society and also serves as the Secretary on the board of Edmonton’s Stroll of Poets Society.
Dymphny Dronyk is a mediator and is also a bestselling poet, editor, translator, and a story doula. She is passionate about the magic of story and has woven words for money and for love for more than 30 years. She has facilitated unique writing and conflict resolution workshops across Canada. Her volume of poetry, Contrary Infatuations, was short-listed for the Pat Lowther Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. She is co-publisher and co-editor at House of Blue Skies, whose bestselling anthologies include 2014’s The Calgary Project – A City Map in Verse and Visual. Dymphny has served on the boards of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the League of Canadian Poets, and the Creative Nonfiction Collective.
Brandon Wint is an Edmonton-based poet, educator and spoken word artist. For Brandon, the writing and performance of poetry are tools for investigating and embodying his spectrum of beliefs about the world, and the nuances of the human spirit. In this way, Brandon’s political viewpoints are subtly and poignantly expressed in a manner that consistently foregrounds the possibilities of love, unity, resilience and understanding that exist between humans. Brandon is a two-time national poetry slam champion, the author of Love, Our Master (In/Words Magazine and Press, 2014) and the albums The Long Walk Home (2016) and Infinite Mercies (2018). His first book, Divine Animal, is forthcoming from Write Bloody North in winter 2019.
Erina Harris lives and writes in Edmonton. Her first poetry manuscript, The Stag Head Spoke was short-listed for the Canadian Authors’ Association Poetry Award (2015). She is a graduate and Fellow of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and completed a PhD in Creative Writing at the University of Calgary. Her hybrid works engage traditional and experimental poetics and have been published internationally. She is a sessional instructor at the University of Alberta and is at work editing her second manuscript, Persephone’s Abecedarium: An Alphabet Play (An Ecopoetical Adaptation of the Homeric ‘Hymn to Demeter’). For more info, please visit: www.erinaharris.com
Danica Klewchuk is a writer living in Edmonton. She is a graduate of Grant MacEwan University’s Communications in Professional Writing program. She writes the blog oneangrywaitress.com. In 2017, she was shortlisted in Event’s Let Down Your Hair Speculative Fiction Contest. Her work has been published in the anthology What I Couldn’t Tell My Mother, as well as The Gateway Review and Event.
Michael Hingston is an author and publisher in Edmonton, Alberta. He is the author of the books Let’s Go Exploring and The Dilettantes, and his writing has appeared in Wired, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Washington Post. He is also the co-publisher of Hingston & Olsen, the outfit responsible for the Short Story Advent Calendar and other literary experiments.
Audrey Jamieson is a fourth year English Honours student studying at Mount Royal University in Calgary. She has worked as an assistant editor for New Forum Magazine and Understorey Magazine. Her publications can be found in Asterism: an undergraduate literary journal and three of her poems were featured in the temporary art installation called A Thousand Stories In A Thousand Sentences.
Audrey’s passion for literature mostly dwells in science fiction and fantasy realism. Her latest creative project is a dystopian novel about the division of society through gender roles and capitalism. Audrey believes that great fiction literature forms when the lines between narrative and reality are inseparably intertwined.
Margaret Macpherson is a writer and teacher living in Edmonton. She has published four books of nonfiction, two novels and a collection of short stories as well as award winning essays, poetry and memoir. She competes regularly in Edmonton Story Slam and in 2019 won the coveted Story Slam-Off title.
Krissi Stocks is a researcher and writer living in Edmonton. She grew up on a flower farm outside the city. In university she obtained an English degree from Concordia University of Edmonton where she conducted a supervised study about the value of inspirational media. Her short story “Most of the Art I’ve Made in my Life I’ve Lied About” was published in the Quill Magazine in 2017. In the third grade her teacher published her short story about a squirrel and she has been chasing that high ever since. She will be focusing on creative nonfiction while participating in the mentorship program.
Ted Bishop is the author of The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder, and Our Relationship with the Written Word,as well as Riding with Rilke: Reflections on Motorcycles and Books, both nominated for the Governor General’s award and winners of the Eggleston prize in nonfiction. His shorter nonfiction has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Geist, Enroute, Alberta Views, Avenue, and Cycle Canada, as well as in the collections What I Meant to Say: The Private Lives of Men, Edmonton on Location: River City Chronicles, and Word Carving: The Craft of Literary Journalism.
Thank you to our donors and funders!
We acknowledge the generous financial support of donors to this program: