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Winners of the 4th Annual Kemosa Scholarship for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Mothers Who Write

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta and Nhung Tran-Davies are pleased to announce the winners of the 4th 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:

  • First Place ($3000):  Sierra Roberts 
  • Second Place ($2000): Teresa Jane Wouters 
  • Third Place($1000): Holly Gerlach
  •  Honourable Mention:  Melissa Caillou

We would also like to thank Tlicho Dene author Richard Van Camp and Jacqueline Guest, an Alberta Métis writer who lives in a log cabin nestled in the pinewoods of the Rocky Mountain foothills.

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 the Writers’ Guild of Alberta at [email protected].

Meet the Winners

Sierra Roberts – First Place

Sierra Roberts is from amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) Treaty 6 territory and is Kanienʼkehá꞉ka (Mohawk) and nehiyâw/Métis. She is currently a student in Child and Youth Care and is hoping that once graduated from the Diploma she will work with Indigenous youth. Pre-COVID was spent in cultural events, taking some time with the land to gain some inspiration and spending lots of time with family and friends. As for writing, Sierra has always been invested in her poetry writing for years, often writing to heal and to share some stories she has learned from elders and from her own personal life.

Teresa Jane Wouters – Second Place

An Albertan gal with a mixed ancestry of Cree, Blackfoot, Scottish, and French (and a splash of German and English), Teresa Wouters spends her time as a teacher, author, musician, actress, and entrepreneur (even though she can never spell that word without spellcheck). A former UBC graduate with an MFA in Creative Writing, she has over a dozen essays, poems, flash fiction, and short stories published in places like Prairie Fire, Bricks Books, The Waggle, and CBC radio.

As well, she is an award-winning playwright and writes for television. Teresa encourages writers to get involved with the writers’ community through the WGA, writers’ groups, writers’ events and conferences. She is a lazy blog writer with three blogs: Chi LivingTeresa Wouters: A Writers’ Journey, and The Perfect Bitch. Under construction are her two author websites. One will be as a children’s writer with the author name Mz. Wowzers. Teresa invites you to connect with her, under both author names, via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

Holly Gerlach – Third Place

Holly Gerlach is a Canadian-based writer, Certified Fitness Trainer, Inspirational Speaker, and rare illness survivor. She is also the face behind Holly After GBS, a social media platform she uses to connect with other illness survivors around the world. She is currently at-work on her memoir about turning her medical horror into a crusade of helping others. It’s Holly’s passion to raise awareness of the rare and devastation condition called GBS that forever changed her life. Her story of overcoming paralysis inspires us not only to overcome any obstacle we face, but to also push ourselves for MORE.


Melissa Caillou – Honourable Mention

Melissa Calliou, from the Sucker Creek F.N, Treaty 8 Territory is an emerging filmmaker/writer/artist who resides in Edmonton (Amiskwaciwasikahn), AB. She acknowledges the land that her ancestors lived on and acknowledges her ancestral background from the Papaschase Band, Treaty 6 Territory.

Her passion is to write and create stories that Indigenous/ Non- Indigenous people can help educate and better understand the World view of a First Nations person. Stories that are yet to be told and shared amongst all human Life.

She loves her language, she encourages youth to learn the Nehiyowak way of Life, to understand their true self.

Our Gratitude

Thank you to each of the following for your generous donations to this year’s Kemosa Scholarship: 

  • Jeananne Kathol Kirwin
  • Carol Holmes
  • Shari Narine
  • Philip Vernon
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