Main

Menu

WGA Blog: Meet the 2017 Mentorship Program Participants

Have you ever been curious about the WGA’s Mentorship Program? Here’s a chance to find out a bit more from this year’s participants!

 

Jacqueline Kwan is a short fiction writer from Calgary who has been reading and studying the craft of writing for many years. Her first story “In the Skin of Grapes” was published in a student literary journal at the University of Alberta where she also studied business, English, and creative writing. She has written numerous short stories, poems, plays, and essays over the years, and continues to develop her voice as a young writer through workshops, courses, and self-study.

1) Do you have a memory of a moment or a turning point in your life when you decided that you wanted to be a writer?

I have two moments. One in university when I first discovered I wanted to be a writer. And another in the past couple of years when I left my job in another field to come back to writing. I used to work as an accountant, but I’ve always been a writer at heart.
2) How has the mentorship program changed or improved your approach to writing?
It’s helped me realize that I can write on a deadline and helped in overcoming the fear of showing my unfinished work to another person. It’s easy to be overprotective of early works in progress.
3) What’s next for you?
I’m really just starting out in writing, after having worked in a different field for several years, so there’s a lot out there for me learn and work on. A number of literary magazines in the US and Canada have expressed interest in seeing more of my work so I’ve got a lot of stories to finish up and send out.
 Jacqueline worked with J. Jill Robinson on fiction.

 

Marco Melfi is an Edmonton poet originally from Hamilton. He has poems published in The Prairie Journal, FreeFall Magazine, the Edmonton Poetry Festival’s Poetry Route and 40 Below: Volume 2. His chapbook, In between trains, was published in 2014 and recipient of the Sharon Drummond Chapbook award.

1) Do you have a memory of a moment or a turning point in your life when you decided that you wanted to be a writer?

I have a few key memories and moments that remind me of why I like to write but being a writer takes a whole level of work and dedication I’m still learning about — but up for the challenge!

2) How has the mentorship program changed or improved your approach to writing?

Definitely! I’ve noticed improvements to the poems themselves but also improvements to how I write them — whether it’s a better awareness of form’s possibilities, with a better ear and eye for the reader’s experience or how to better leverage those fresh and fun word combinations.

3) What’s next for you?

More reading, more writing, more editing! I’m encouraged by what I learned and what I accomplished during the mentorship and working with Vivian Hansen. I have a stronger manuscript than when I started and better individual poems inside it!. 

Marco worked with Vivian Hansen on poetry.

 

Sherryl Melnyk has a Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees in English Literature. Her Interdisciplinary doctorate combined playwriting with social science research. She has been an instructor at postsecondary institutions for the last 13 years. She currently teaches courses through the School of Creative & Performing Arts at the University of Calgary. Her plays have won awards and been produced across Canada. She has presented at conferences nationally and internationally. She is currently working on a creative nonfiction memoir.

1) Do you have a memory of a moment or a turning point in your life when you decided that you wanted to be a writer?

In grade 3 I sold four poems for a dollar to a family friend who was a writer.  I thought, “Wow! Writing is an easy way to make money!”  I’ve been writing ever since but I haven’t made much more money than that first big windfall. 

2) How has the mentorship program changed or improved your approach to writing?

I’ve learned to focus on the interconnection between words in a single sentence. 

3) What’s next for you?

I’m continuing to work on creative nonfiction.

 Sherryl worked with Julie Sedivy on creative nonfiction.

 

2017 MENTORSHIP CELEBRATION: EMERGING ALBERTA VOICES

Saturday, May 6, 2017
7:30 pm

Tiramisu Restaurant
10750 – 124 St.

Join us for a celebration of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta mentorship program. For the past six years, emerging writers in our province have been selected to work with mentors in a four-month partnership that is both supportive and challenging for all participants. Join us on May 6 as the mentors will introduce the writers with whom they have been paired, and the emerging writers will read from their work!

As well, Claire Kelly from NeWest Press will join us to speak about seeing your work transition from manuscript to book. Claire brings both personal and professional knowledge to this topic, having seen her own book of poetry published earlier this year. Admission is free and drinks will be available for purchase.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply