Teachers

These are some of the talented writers who will be guiding you through every lesson in the Story 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.

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.

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

Candice May lives on a gulf island in British Columbia, Canada. Her short fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in Pleiades, December, The Porter House Review, Necessary Fiction, and elsewhere. In 2020 she was a finalist for the SmokeLong Quarterly Award for Flash Fiction and was nominated for Sundress Publications’ ‘Best of the Net’. She is currently writing a collection of short stories.

Find her at: candicemay.ca.

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CHRISTINA CHA

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 MCLEOD

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

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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HILARY FAIR

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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JEN MANUEL

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

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 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 OFFILER

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 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 SMITH

Lindsey-SmithLindsey Smith is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. Her fiction has been published in Little Bird Stories Volume VI and her non-fiction in ENTROPY. She lives in Houston, Texas with her husband and son.

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 Intensive in May 2022 and is still basking in the glow.

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Nicole Baute

Nicole-BauteNicole’s writing has appeared in Joylandthe Feathertale Review, and in several newspapers including the Toronto Star, where she used to be a reporter. She’s the co-creator and editor of a collection of women’s writing called EAT IT, and works as a writing coach and editor. Nicole grew up on a farm in Canada and currently lives in Delhi, India, where there’s no shortage of things to write about.

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SEYWARD GOODHAND

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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SIDURA LUDWIG

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 CHAMPSEE

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. She was a finalist for the Writer’s Union of Canada’s 2017 Emerging Writers Short Prose contest, and has had a play produced in Seattle. She served on the PRISM International Editorial Board for five years, and has been a creative writing instructor for Sarah Selecky’s Writing School since its inception. Sonal lives in Toronto and holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC.

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SONIA RUYTS

SoniaRuyts

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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SUSAN CARPENTER

Susan-Carpenter.jpgWith an Honours English BA from Western University and The Humber School for Writers’ Certificate in Creative Writing, Susan has short stories published in Canadian literary magazines (Humber Literary Review, Prairie Journal nominated her for Howard O’Hagan and Journey Prize competitions), anthologies (Fresh Pearls, Little Birds, TapPressRead), and chap books (Loft 112, Eden Mills Fringe). She came runner up in The Writers Union of Canada short prose contest and won the Fringe contest to read at Eden Mills Writers Festival. Susan’s short script that she acted in and filmed last summer (thanks to an AFA grant) is in post-production (compliments of a Canada Council grant) to screen at film festivals in 2023. Her YA novel Theia was a top 5% of 700 entrants finalist in Screencraft’s Cinematic Book Contest. Susan teaches her own memoir course through Sarah Selecky’s Writing School, in addition to the Story Intensive. By day Susan works in Calgary as an associate investment advisor and by night co-parents a blended family of five boys in various stages of launching.  They recently adopted a two-year-old Golden Mountain Dog, so Rebel Rose is their new teenager. In her spare time, Susan is a contest reader for Prism Magazine, and is currently editing her domestic thriller and a Pandemic love story.

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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 BREITWEISER

Tammy_BreitweiserTammy L. Breitweiser 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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