These are some of the talented writers who will be guiding you through our programs. I’ve personally invited these people to be teachers because they know how to teach the craft of writing with patience and encouragement — this kind of support creates creative breakthroughs.

In the Story Course Intensive, our teachers are here to keep you on track, push gently when needed, read your assignments, facilitate thoughtful discussions, and support you throughout the program as you learn. They’ve also been through the same lessons themselves, which means that they know what it’s like to be an Intensive student. They’ve been there!


Candice May’s short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry and flash prose have appeared in Ploughshares, PRISM International, SmokeLong Quarterly, The Masters Review, Best Small Fictions, and elsewhere. She was awarded 2nd prize in the 2022 Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, and her work has been nominated three times for ‘Best of the Net’. Candice divides her time between the ocean and mountains of British Columbia, and she also enjoys songwriting and recording music. 

Find her at: candicemay.ca.

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Christina-Cha-1.jpgChristina Cha writes short fiction and creative nonfiction. Her work has been published in The Coachella Review and shortlisted for the 46th New Millennium Writing Award for Nonfiction. She is currently working on a collection of linked essays. A California native, Christina lives and works in San Francisco as an editor and writing mentor, and has been teaching in Sarah Selecky’s Writing School since 2013. 

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Daphne Gordon

Daphne-GordonDaphne Gordon is a Toronto-based writer, editor and writing coach. She got her start as a journalist working at daily newspapers, but now works independently as a freelance writer, editor and instructor. Recent credits have included Liisbeth and Toronto Star. Daphne wrote and self-published a novella called Walking With Walser in 2015, and is currently working on a new novel.

Find her at daphnegordon.com.

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Darrel.Mcleod5.jpgDarrel J. McLeod is the author of the memoirs Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity and Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age, winner of the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, and finalist for the RBC Charles Taylor Prize, BC Book Prize and Victoria Butler Book Prize. Darrel has also had short stories published in Numero Cinq and The Malahat Review. In 2018, Darrel participated in the Banff Writers’ Studio to advance his first novel which is now well underway. He is Cree from Treaty 8 territory in Alberta.

Find out more about him.

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Erin-Robinsong.jpgErin Robinsong is a writer and interdisciplinary artist. Her work has been widely published in journals and anthologies, and her debut collection of poetry, Rag Cosmology won the 2017 A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry. Recent performance work with choreographers Andréa de Keijzer and Hanna Sybille Müller includes Polymorphic Microbe Bodies, Facing away from that which is coming, and This ritual is not an accident. Erin has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, works an editor and writing coach, and has taught in Sarah Selecky’s Writing School since 2014. Originally from Cortes Island, Erin lives in Montréal.

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Fiona Raye Clarke

Fiona-Raye-ClarkeFiona Raye Clarke is a Trinidadian-Canadian writer and community engaged artist. Her writing has appeared in Broken Pencil Magazine, The Puritan Town Crier, and alt.theatre, her plays produced by the InspiraTO Festival and rock.paper.sistahz festival, and her co-created short film won the 2017 CineFAM Short Film Challenge and screened in Toronto and San Francisco. She is currently embarking on her biggest project yet, a co-created animated kids series supported by CBC/Radio-Canada and the Canada Council for the Arts Creation Accelerator. She is working on a novel in stories.

Find her at fionarayeclarke.com.

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Hajera Khaja

Hajera-KhajaHajera Khaja’s fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Joyland, The Humber Literary Review, Pulp Literature, and elsewhere. She was longlisted for the 2019 Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Hajera lives in Mississauga, Ontario, and is currently working on a short story collection.

Learn more about her at hajerakhaja.com.

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Heidi Reimer

Heidi is a novelist, essayist, and writing coach based in Prescott, Ontario. Her debut novel, The Mother Act, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House in 2024, and her short stories and essays have been featured in Chatelaine, The New Quarterly, Little Fiction, Literary Mama, and the anthologies Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers, The M Word: Conversations About Motherhood, and Outcrops: Northeastern Ontario Short Stories. She has tried to write or longed to write or resisted writing or feared writing or, finally, actually has written for 36 years.

Check out the programs she offers through the Sarah Selecky Writing School.

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Hilary Fair 1.jpgHilary is a writer and psychotherapist, with previous lives working in publishing and pottery. She completed graduate work in English Literature, then in Spiritual Care and Psychotherapy; in between, she worked for major Canadian magazine, The Walrus; sat on the editorial committee for Descant Magazine; and attended the Haliburton School of the Arts to study ceramics—a craft she had admired all her life. On the other side of these various and perhaps random seeming trainings, she can see a through line—a drive to sustain creative vitality, flexibility, and freedom in order to keep her working life fresh and her stamina strong. Hilary has written for the The Stratford Festival’s Fanfares magazine, The Walrus blog, and Open Book: Toronto; as a graduate student, she co-authored a paper that won the Woman’s Caucus Award at Western University. She is currently working on revisions to a short story collection, and daydreaming about articles on neuroscience and learning to write poems well.

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jamilah malika abu-bakare

jamilah malika abu-bakare headshot4jamilah malika abu-bakare is a writer and artist. She completed an MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2019 and previously studied with d'bi young anitafrika, Lillian Allen, Faith Adiele and Emily Pohl-Weary. Her writing most recently appeared in Active Cultures Digest, CBC Arts and Canadian Art Magazine. Her art has played or shown from Sweden to LA, and widely across Canada, including Contemporary Field Gallery (Vancouver,) Circuit Gallery (Toronto), and Artscape (Peterborough). Visit auralalterities.com to experience her curatorial debut.

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JenManuel.jpgJen’s debut novel, The Heaviness of Things That Float, won the 2017 Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction and was optioned for a television series. Jen has published short stories in PRISM internationalRoom Magazine, and The Fiddlehead. She’s been a Western Magazine Award Finalist for Fiction and in 2016 she was named a CBC Writer to Watch. She’s also published two children’s novels, Dressed to Play (2019), and Head to Head (2020). 

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Joy Ding

Joy DingJoy Ding is a queer Chinese-American writer and artist living in Philadelphia. She earned her masters in creative writing from UC Davis, where she also studied acting. She is an alum of Kearny Street Workshop’s Interdisciplinary Writing Lab and her work was recently published in IWL’s chapbook, Into the Country of Our Kitchen. Her work explores complicated mother-daughter relationships, sacrifice, monstrosity, wonder, and hope. She is currently writing a YA fantasy novel about fae and immigration.

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Kathy Martens

Kathy Martens is a writer of memoir, creative non-fiction, and short stories. She is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Los Angeles, and the Sarah Selecky Writing School Story Course and Story Course Intensive. Her recently published memoir Born Again, Again: That time I fell down a rabbit hole and spent twenty-two years as a Bible thumping, tongue speaking, Gospel preaching Born Again Christian. And then I woke up was a #1 New Release on Amazon and a finalist in both the 2021 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and the 15th Annual National Indie Excellence Awards. Kathy lives where the mountains soar to meet the blue in the Far Northern Hinterlands of California where she spends her time hanging out with her bff (aka hubby of 38 years), creating with curiosity and courage, being routinely gobsmacked by the beauty of nature, and imagining a kinder, more just world.

Some of her other bloggy musings can be found at her website: kathymartens.com.

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Kristin-OffilerKristin Offiler completed her MFA in Creative Writing at Lesley University in 2011, and went on to work as a freelance writer and then in communications for a top internet company.  She's currently working on her second novel. Her short fiction has appeared in the Waccamaw Journal and The Bookends Review, and is also featured in the Bookends Review Best of 2020 print anthology. She’s a founding member of a long-running online writing group and is passionate about the magic created in The Story Course Intensive.

You can find her at kristinoffiler.com.

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Lana Pesch

lanaLana’s debut story collection, Moving Parts, was published in 2015 and shortlisted for the 2016 ReLit Awards. She has written and produced plays for stage, radio and film and her writing has appeared in Little Bird Stories: Volumes I and II and Taddle Creek, and ELLE Canada. She was longlisted for the 2014 CBC Short Story Prize and won the Random House of Canada Creative Writing Award at the University of Toronto in 2012. Lana was born in Saskatchewan, studied in Montreal, and is an alumnus of the Banff Wired Writing Studio. She lives in Toronto and is a freelance video producer, director, and story editor.

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Lindsey-SmithLindsey Smith is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. Her work has been included in an anthology from Invisible Publishing, published in ENTROPY, and is forthcoming in The Forge Literary Magazine. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son and is currently working on a novel. 

Find her at lindseynsmith.com.

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Michelle Flythe

Michelle FlytheMichelle Flythe is a writer and freelance editor. Her short fiction has appeared in The Masters Review. She is currently preparing to publish her first story collection. Michelle has worked as an editor of fiction and nonfiction for Algonquin, Little A, Hachette, and Penguin Random House. She has also completed writing workshops with Cinelle Barnes, Kali Fajardo-Anstine, Lisa Ko, Hannah Tinti, Helen Phillips, and Molly Wizenberg. She graduated from the Sarah Selecky Writing School Story Course Intensive in May 2022 and is still basking in the glow.

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Nancy Sulaiman (Teaching Assistant)

Nancy Hui Sulaiman is a Chinese-Canadian writer in LaSalle, Ontario. She writes short stories, CNF and is working on a novel. She was shortlisted for the 2022 CBC Short Story Prize and was a runner-up in the 2020 Little Bird Contest. 

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Nicole Baute

Nicole Baute’s short stories have appeared in Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly, The Southern Humanities Review, Wigleaf and elsewhere, and in 2018 she won the Pinch Literary Prize for Fiction. She has an MFA in creative writing as well as a master’s degree in journalism, and has taught writing in university settings, online, and around her living room coffee table. Nicole grew up on a farm in Canada, where reading too many books led to a serious case of wanderlust. She’s lived in Ghana, India and Hong Kong, and now resides in Washington, DC, with her family.

You can find Nicole at nicolebaute.com.

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Rena Willis

Rena Willis is a writer and an educator. Her short fiction has appeared in ‘New Flash Fiction Review’ and ‘The Ekphrastic Review’. She is currently working on a Flash Fiction collection. She loves new ideas and encourages different perspectives. She is the Founder and Director of an International K-12 school in Costa Rica, where her passion for writing and her love for learning intersect. She strives to make a positive difference in her community and the world. She believes we succeed together.

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Reshmy Kurian

Reshmy currently lives in Mumbai, India with her husband and two cats. She has lived many lives, worlds and jobs across continents. Exhibition Designer. Digital Marketer. Graphic designer. Information Architect. Researcher. Production designer. Interior Designer. Food writer. Baker. Caterer. Teacher. It’s all been different. But in writing — in learning, channelling, seeking, she found it’s all been the same. She’s always been telling stories.

Her writing has been published by leading publications in India including NDTV Foods, Indian Express and India Food Network. She is a Founder-Partner at The Artist Collective, India and works as Head of Content and Screenwriter for the company. She is currently writing the story for an episodic show called She and I. 

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Seyward-Goodhand.jpgSeyward Goodhand is a finalist for the McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and a National Magazine Award. She is a PhD candidate in English from the University of Toronto and her stories have appeared in Found Press, Riddle Fence, SubTerrain, Cosmonauts Avenue, PRISM InternationalGrain, and Dragnet. Originally from the country and suburbs of Southern Ontario, she now lives in Winnipeg. Her first collection of stories, Even That Wildest Hope, will come out with Invisible Publishing in October, 2019.

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SiduraLudwig.jpgSidura Ludwig is a novelist and short story writer. Her collection of short fiction, You Are Not What We Expected, is published in Canada and the US by House of Anansi Press. Her novel, Holding My Breath was published by Key Porter Books (Canada), Shaye Areheart Books (US) and Tindal Street Fiction (UK) in 2007. She was a finalist for the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award as well as a runner-up in the Little Bird Short Story Contest judged by Edi Esuygan. She is currently an MFA candidate in the Writing for Children and Young Adults program at the Vermont College of Fine Arts. Sidura lives in Thornhill with her husband and three children.

You can find her at siduraludwig.com.

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Sonal_1.jpgSonal Champsee’s short fiction and essays have been published in anthologies and magazines such as The New Quarterly, Ricepaper, and Today’s Parent. Her novel-in-progress, Everyone Can’t Be Wrong, was shortlisted for the 2022 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction. She writes the advice column Writer Therapy on Substack, has had a play produced in Seattle, and is currently the lead instructor for the Sarah Selecky’s Writing School. Sonal lives in Toronto and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC.

Sonal offers her Revision Course through the Sarah Selecky Writing School.

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Sonia Ruyts is a former pastry chef and yarn shop owner who has returned to her first love: writing. She writes creative nonfiction and essays, as well as short and long fiction. Sonia explores themes of identity, loss, and transformation in her writing and is currently at work on her first novel. You can find her creative nonfiction in VIDA, The Maine Review, peculiar, and elsewhere. Sonia lives with her wife and two children—and their ever-expanding collection of pets—in the Pacific Northwest.

You can find her at soniaruyts.com.

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Suzannah Windsor

Suzannah-WindsorSuzannah Windsor’s writing has been published in GeistPrairie FireThe Writer MagazineSou’westerGristSaw PalmBest of the Sand Hill ReviewNot Somewhere Else but Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place (Sundress Publications), and others. She is the managing editor of Compose, a literary journal that publishes work by both established and emerging writers of fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry. Suzannah is working on a novel and a collection of short stories, with funding from the Ontario Arts Council. She is a dual citizen of Canada and Australia and currently lives in Northwestern Ontario with her husband and four children.

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Tammy Evans

Tammy Evans writes, walks, inspires, and teaches. She is the conjurer of everyday magic with her concise stories. Her fiction has been published in Gone Lawn, Cabinets of Heed, Spelk, Five on the Fifth, Clover and White, Fiction Berlin Kitchen, and Elephants Never.

You can often find her on Instagram at @inspiretammyb.

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Tara Bragg

Tara-BraggWhen she is not revelling in the joy of first drafts, or trying to avoid second ones, Tara works as a Pediatric Speech Language Pathologist and spends time with her family of two small people, one big one, and one medium-sized dog in Toronto.

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