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Winners of the 2nd Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write

For Immediate Release:

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Nhung Tran-Davies are pleased to announce the winners of the 2nd Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write.

First established in 2017 by Dr. Nhung Tran-Davies in partnership with Tlicho Dene author Richard Van Camp, the Kemosa Scholarship offers an opportunity for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers to obtain resources to help them complete the work on their writing – whether that be a novel, a collection of stories, poems, or whatever form their writing might take.

This year, there were many amazing entries for the Kemosa Scholarship, and it was a challenge for the judges to choose the winners from among them. After much thought and careful deliberation, here are this year’s recipients along with some words from jury member Richard Van Camp:

          First Place ($3000):  Falon Christine
          “Incredible. WOW! So riveting. She is free!! This story will help so many
          readers. I’m humbled by the strength it took to write and share this.
          Mahsi cho.”

 
          Second Place ($1500): Amber D. Boyd
          “This writer is destined for greatness!”
 
          Third Place ($1000): Shelley Wiart
          “Completely compelling. Great poetry and prose. This writer is fearless!”
 
          Honourable Mention ($300): Angela Hall
          “Works of devotion and so sensual and loving. This writer is destined for greatness.”

          Honourable Mention ($300): Kali Stewart
          “Bravo! Further proof that writing is soul medicine. A voice to cherish. Bravo!”

We would like to thank Jeananne Kirwin, the Rotary Club of Spruce Grove and Laurel Deedrick-Mayne for their generous support in helping to give voice to Indigenous mothers and for sharing the vision of effecting positive changes through stories.

We would also like to thank Tlicho Dene author Richard Van Camp and Dr. Jenny Kay Dupuis, a proud member of the Nipissing First Nation, for being this year’s judges.

Last but not least, we wish to thank everyone who submitted their writing to this year’s Kemosa Scholarship. Thank you for sharing your beautiful words and stories, and we hope that all of you will continue to write and to give voice to the stories and poems that you have to tell.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact us at [email protected].

 

Meet the Winners!

Falon Christine – First Place

Falon is a mother of three children, ages 11, 9, and 4, and lives in Redwater, Alberta. Her children inspire her ambition to follow her writerly dreams. Falon loves everything magical, focusing on middle grade, young adult, and adult speculative fiction. She also writes literary short stories and creative nonfiction. Her unpublished young adult novel Shadow of the Moon was a finalist in the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers 2017 Writing for Children Competition. Recently, Falon enrolled in the University of Calgary’s online Creative Writing Certificate program. She is honoured to receive the 2nd Annual Kemosa Scholarship.

 

Amber D. Boyd – Second Place

When not working at her day job, this Métis writer can usually be found tapping the keys of her sticker-covered laptop, crafting her latest bewitching tale. Amber’s short stories, Life’s Nectar and Forevermore, can be found in the Amazon number one best-selling anthology, Above and Beneath. Her winning Kemosa scholarship submission, “Howling at the Moon,” has also been published both as stand-alone short story and within the anthology, Undeath by Chocolate. She blames her degree in psychology for her evil, twisted plot lines that torment readers into binge reading her tales long into the wee hours in the morning.

Surviving off coffee and little sleep, Amber lives in Cochrane, Alberta with her husband, two kids, and infamous dust bunny. She claims the more she writes, the less housework gets done, and the bigger the bunny gets. Our best guess is that she and her family are doomed to be taken over by the dust ball—because she isn’t putting the keyboard down anytime soon.

 

Shelley Wiart – Third Place

Shelley Wiart is Métis and a member of the North Slave Métis Alliance, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She is currently enrolled full-time at Athabasca University in her fourth year of a four-year B.A degree – Concentration: Sociology, Minor: Women & Gender Studies. She is the co-founder of an Indigenous focused holistic health program, Women Warriors (www.womenwarriors.club). For the past three years, alongside her co-founder Dr. Sonja Wicklum, MD (Department of Family Medicine, University of Calgary) they have created a free 8 – 12-week program that includes physical fitness classes, nutrition education and a sharing circle aimed at improving Indigenous women’s health outcomes. She is also the proud mother of three girls ages 9, 7, and 6.

 

Angela Hall – Honourable Mention

Angela Hall, Aski ka na kwa ha mo wa tam (She Who Sings With The Earth) is a member of the Métis Nation of Alberta. Angela discovered her gifts of poetry and art later in life. Inspired by the empowerment she experienced through writing & painting, Angela began graduate studies in Art Therapy. Through poetry and art Angela healed many of her childhood wounds of growing up in foster care. Today she is an amazing mother of two teenage boys, a published poet, commissioned artist and certified teacher who specializes in First Nations, Métis and Inuit Education.

 

Kali Stewart – Honourable Mention

K’alii is a Nisga’a organizer, poet and ecology student from the Nass Valley in BC. Her name comes from the Nisga’a phrase k’alii luuyaltkw which means “to return upriver”. For K’alii the significance of her name reminds her of the importance of returning to culture. She has come to know culture as a source of healing, strength, and guidance. K’alii’s poetry often turns a critical eye upon the injustices of the world. Her personal motivation for this comes from fighting a custody battle to get her 3-year-old son back. The spirit of hope and determination she has learned from this process are channeled into her poems which she frequently delivers as open calls to action. 

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