WordsWorth Presents: Circuit Tree

From the creative minds that brought you WordsWorth and Drink the Wild Air, we are proud to present Circuit Tree, an online creative writing residency program for youth.

Immerse yourself in a community of creatives as you learn from professional authors and playwrights in a week-long series of workshops. And that’s only the beginning – world building, song writing, Dungeons & Dragons, campfire, bedtime stories, and more digital adventures await you at Circuit Tree!

Registration is now closed.

Dear Friends of WordsWorth,

Many happy returns and a warm Springtime greeting to you and yours! Your friendly neighborhood Camp Director here to let you know that registration for our online summer program, Circuit Tree, is now open! From July 11 – 16, we’ll come together to learn, create, share and play with some of the brightest minds in Alberta. It seems the fates have deigned that for one more summer yet we’ll gather through the power of technology rather than in person, and we’ve got some great stuff cooking.

This year we’re offering two programs, one for younger writers aged 11-14 and one for our older 15 – 19 year old writers. The best part about having them happen at the same time means we’ll have the chance for some truly epic camp-wide events. Between workshops with professional authors and artists, unlimited hangouts with radical friends, performance opportunities, story telling, games and more, Circuit Tree 2.0 promises to be an event like no other. Tell your friends and sign up quick, because space is limited!

It’s been a wild year in a lot of ways, and we’ve all got stories to tell. Join the fun at Circuit Tree this July to connect with old friends, make new ones, and see what dreams may come when people get together to make something magical. Instructors will be announced soon so check our website often, and follow us at our new Instagram account @wordsworth_wga to stay apprised of all the sweet, sweet deets headed your way. I wish you all the best for these lengthening days and blooming nights of Spring, and I’ll to see YOU this July at Circuit Tree 2.0!

Good Health and Good Spirits


3-5 pm: Orientation! Learn about the platforms we’ll be using and meet some of the campers and instructors you’ll be creating with.

5-6 pm: Opening Night Activity

9:15 am – Announcements and Morning Warmup
9:30 – 11:00 am – First Class
11:15 – 12:45 pm – Second Class
12:45 – 1:45 pm – Lunch Time Hangout on Discord
1:45 – 3:15 pm – Third Class
3:15 pm  – Pod Meeting with Creative Team
6:30 pm – Staff talent show, Spotlight Cafe Open Mic, Movie night, Games, and more!

9:45 am – Announcements and Morning Warmup
10:00 am – Digital LARPQuest Begins
12:45 -1:30 pm – Lunch
1:45 pm – Final Activities and Closing Ceremonies

Instructors & Creative Team

More instructors are being announced soon, so check back often for more details!

Kim Firmston is a real-life cyborg – though one without any cool powers. When not writing or cursing obvious villain mistakes, Kim is the Youth Program Director at the Alexandra Writers’ Center Society, runs Reality Is Optional Kids’ Writing Club, and Novelmancer Novel Writing Club, as well as running D&D Campaigns. Kim has had six books published (with Stupid translated into French). To see them, visit Kim’s websites at www.kimfirmston.com and to learn more about the programs Kim runs visit www.realityisoptional.com 

Sue-Shane Tsomondo is a writer, book curator and the creator of Sue’s Stokvel, a Calgary-based literary arts platform. Sue’s Stokvel highlights the work of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) writers. Sue-Shane’s poetry deals with issues of diasporan guilt, blackness, womanhood and intergenerational trauma. She has previously performed for Woolfs’ Voices and Single Onion. In 2020, Sue-Shane appeared on the cover of the Calgary Journal. Sue-Shane has also been featured in Avenue Magazine, The Calgarian podcastIn Rehearsal podcast and the Artful Conversations podcast.

Social Media:
Sue’s Stokvel Instagram: @suestokvel
Personal Instagram: @whoissueshane
Facebook: Sue’s Stokvel
Website: suestokvel.com

Marc Herman Lynch (he/him) is the author of Arborescent (Arsenal Pulp Press 2020), a literary horror novel that has been described as humming “with unsettling energy” (Alberta Views) and leaving you “questioning reality” (Maisonneuve). He is the President of the experimental literary magazine filling Station, has organized and curated flywheel Reading Series, and was part of the Creative Team at Wordsworth for 5 years. He was one of the readers for the 2021 CBC Short Story Contest. Currently, he is pursuing his PhD in English at the University of Calgary, in Moh’kins’tsis.

Since January 1999, Wakefield Brewster has been known as one of Canada’s most popular and prolific Performance Poets. He is a BlackMan born and raised in Toronto, by parents hailing from the island of Beautiful Barbados and has resided in Calgary since 2006. He has spoken across Canada, several States, and makes countless appearances on a regular basis in a variety of ways, for a myriad of reasons throughout each and every single year.

Facebook, Facebook Fan Page, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, radio, online, in pictures, in video, in print, Wakefield Brewster is accessible and everywhere.

In a point-and-shoot fashion, he is also currently wearing these hats:

•Spoken Word Artist
•3-Time Calgary Poetry Slam Champion & Team Captain; 2006, 2008, 2009
•Calgary Poet Laureate Shortlist/Finalist 2012, 2020
•Reading Series Founder of Poésie à la Pâtisserie & Pitbull Poetry Reading Series
•Resident Poet & Spoken Word Artist of The Grand Theatre
•Poetry Coach/Mentor
•Classical Pianist
•Registered Massage Therapist
•1st Dan, Black Belt, World Tae Kwon Do Federation
•Advocate for The Humanities, Addictions & Recovery, Healing Arts, and Mental Wellness

Most recently, he has been appointed the very first Resident Poet & Spoken Word Artist of The Grand Theatre House in Calgary, Alberta. He finds that underneath these many, many hats and the many, many hoodies he wears, resides a wonderful life. He would like to Thank You all sincerely for being a part of it.

David Wilson (BMus, Mmus) is a Singer, Conductor, Voice Teacher, Senior Yoga Instructor/Teacher Trainer and Breath Therapist. He is recognized across Canada as a leading authority on the use of Yoga, Functional Vocal Work and Breath Therapy to aid healthy singing and speaking techniques. He offers workshops to singers, actors, teachers and professionals on vocal power, emotional and creative freedom, anxiety and asthma relief and public speaking. David currently holds positions with Edmonton Musical Theatre, the University of Alberta, Brott Opera Summer Academy and the Theatre Arts program at MacEwan University. David has published four eBooks: “Full-Body Vocal Health”, “Breathing for Health & Longevity”, “Pranayama – The Breath of Yoga”, and “GiGong – The Gates to Flow”. www.the-wilson-method.com, @thewilsonmethod #the_wilson_method

Marin Perlette’s art practice is multifaceted and a little dubious at times, but when pressed for an answer to the question “what do you do” she usually manages to boil it down to “I make cartoons.” Since graduating from AUArts in 2020, Marin has spent most of her time freelancing as an illustrator and designer, and developing personal projects. When she’s not working on storyboards or character designs, Marin does her best to keep her other hobbies alive by writing poetry, making music, and giving long-winded lectures on various inscrutable topics to her friends and family.  

Website: marinperlette.com

Henry Greyson is an animator and writer currently making cartoons at a studio in Kelowna, BC. He loves finding new ways to tell stories, and creating wild characters and worlds! Come join us, won’t you?

Sadie MacGillivray has been a part of the WordsWorth community since 2012 and has loved every minute of it! She is always trying something new, whether that be a new creative project or a new recipe, and is constantly looking for a new anime to watch. Sadie’s latest writing project has been rewriting some of her old poetry from her WordsWorth camper days. She has always loved writing poetry and immersing herself in a new book, whether to escape the craziness of life or to help trudge through it. Sadie is looking forward to her third year as a Creative Team member and hopes that this online adventure will be as amazing as WordsWorth of years past!

Liam Coady: How does Liam feel about joining the Circuit Tree Creative Team? The same way he feels about a room full of puppies… overjoyed! He is a writer, performer, actor and educator living on Treaty 7 territory. Currently, he is working on a few voice over projects as well as writing his grandmother’s memoir. He’s here to provide help, fun and twirly moustache for this year’s Circuit Tree. Can’t wait to meet you!

Colin Matty (Camp Director) is a playwright, poet, performer, and enthusiast of wordplay in all its forms. He first began his journey with WordsWorth and the Writers’ Guild in 2011, and has since come to appreciate the incredible passion and power of the community of young writers it brings together. While not scheming ways to make the experiences at camp even more magical, Colin runs his best ideas through a typewriter and gives them to strangers on the street. This is his sixth year as camp Director, and he hopes this year’s Circuit Tree will be the freshest yet! (Photo Credit: Cory Johnn Photography)


More course information coming soon, so check back often for details!

Beyond the Chosen One – Developing Characters for Genre Fiction: The best part of making a story is creating the characters. In this class you will not only dress your characters up using environment, ethnicity, race, lore, etc. but, using your chosen brand of genre fiction, nuance them to show off their personality, backstory, and status. Learn how to avoid Mary Sues, overly tragic characters, and elevate the Chosen One trope well by creating well-rounded main characters. Create engaging antagonists, villains, and monsters. Make your world a diverse place without falling into harmful stereotypes. Explore and mirror real-world issues using your genre’s characters. Then finally delve into your characters’ past to discover their voice, movement, and distinct dialogue as well as creating genre-specific slang that makes sense and isn’t cringeworthy. When you are done you will have a cast worthy of your plot.

Reimagining the past: What role does literature play in building our collective memory? In this workshop, we will be exploring how to write about the past, responsibly. Leaning on works like, Edwidge Danticat’s The Farming of Bones, and Chimamanda Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun, Sue-Shane will share her experience as both a researcher and a writer to equip attendees with the tools needed to write compelling stories that rely almost entirely on the memories of others.

Writing the Macabre: Exploring the Horrific in our Everyday World: This class will focus on horror-writing techniques, particularly the development of tension, scene, and imagery. However, any person taking this class will develop fundamental skills that are useful above and beyond the genre of horror, particularly as it concerns tone. The class will look at haunted spaces, ghosts and ghouls (from both Western and Eastern traditions), and the body. Emerging from this class, you will learn to recognize the ways in which horror writers exploit our deep-seated fears to create narratives that leave us with the heebeegeebees.

From Pen to Performance: In an atypical Page2StageProductions fashion and form, Wakefield Brewster is here to assist you in writing your Poetry beyond passionately – to performing it in kind and cathartically. There is something to be said for the places that we attempt to excavate into deeply, but not deeply enough. We tend to stop at the first firm resistance of concealed clay. There is something to be said for a performance that feels like the introduction of a song- just waiting to drop – and never really does. There is something to be said for studying with someone who has over 2 decades in the game, and has found the greatest gift from Poetry being the opportunities to teach it. Through the endless ebbs and tides of interactions between all in the room, only pertinent, prominent and productive Q&A outcomes exist, giving the students exactly what they feel they need to become the Poets that they are currently growing into. 

The Writer’s Voice: Writing can be an internal and solitary practice… especially these days. And, communication is everything: Would you like to read your writing out loud in a strong, confident, powerful voice? Would you like to work on your oration skills? How about your acting skills? If so, then let’s empower your on-stage presence, agency, and confidence. Now is your chance to unleash the expressive leviathan within you. Please wear comfortable, loose, stretchy clothing and have some water handy. Participants are invited (completely optional) to bring a favourite speech, monologue, song or poem with which to work. Let’s find an even brighter, bigger, bolder you. EXPRESSIAMUS!

Sequential Art: Telling Stories with Pictures – In this drawing class, we’ll take a look at how comics, cartoons, and other forms of sequential art turn writing into visual storytelling. We’ll explore how our favourite pieces of art and media convey a narrative without having to write it in the margins: How can a comic’s panel layout communicate action? What makes a cartoon funny? How do we use framing to convey emotion? Once we answer all those questions (and take a peek at the history behind it all), we’ll use our newly developed visual language to make sequential art of our own. Come prepared to write a little, talk a little, and draw a lot!


Registrations are final and non-refundable. Courses, instructors and supervisors may be subject to change. We require a minimum number of registrants to have the camp happen so make sure you register by June 21!  A full refund will be made in the event the camp is cancelled.

Bursary Funding

We know that these days money can be tight; for those in financial need, bursaries may be available to help cover some of the registration fee to attend Circuit Tree. Please email us at [email protected] if you would like to apply for a bursary.

Some of Our Amazing Sponsors

City of Calgary Logo
Alberta Foundation for the Arts
Canadian Council for the Arts
Calgary Arts Development
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