YouthWrite Peak Experience 2017 was enormous fun!

Enjoy instructor Marcus Fung and Wally Diefenthaler's reflections 

on a beautiful week at Bragg Creek.


PLEASE NOTE - Registration for Peak Experience 2017 will open in the spring!




Y:  The sound of Y is spelled Why ?  Why do things sound the same, and are spelled differently?  Why, as in the power of a question.
 The power of a question to stir within you the just, right, inspiration to create.  To create from that place, of the secret, and silent layers, the beautiful layers of yourself where sorrow, pain and joy, can meet sweet wonder, hilariousness, and the magic of life.

So the question is, why do I love YOUTHWRITE ?


O: As in capital "O"verwhelming; applause is deserved here.  Applause for the whispers to take courage, to share freely and honestly. Share the inkling that began in mystery, somewhere within yourself, having only come to life if it weren't for you.

Can you hear the silent roar of your sacred imagination. Can you imagine the sound of unity, minds, connected to hearts, connected to hands. Celebrating the courage, the opportunity to offer freedom, expression.


U: U will make friends for life. There are no strangers at YouthWrite. From the first moment you will sense an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Judgments are cast aside, be yourself, be your true self. Read your secret poem aloud at Inklings, an everyday opportunity to share and celebrate your writing.  Applaud the accomplishments of others as they congratulate you on yours.  Writing brings us together; sharing bonds us.


T: is for twenty years, later, YOUTHWRITE is still young, well and alive, and just starting to grow hair in the underarms.   Old enough yes, for a living tradition to be deeply present, rooted and strong. I saw joyous keepers, upholders and improvisers of tradition.  I found guardians watching, embodiment, of play. Playing, the important work of advocating youth voices.  Who will rise up to carry these traditions after we are gone?


H: High on the mountaintop. This place is a wonderland. My heart is light and my mind is engaged. This is rarified air, a brushstroke on an unordinary canvas, unordered in an ordered world. Time to explore, with the help of instructors, who slow down the world so we can create, sing and dance to the rhythm of the drummers.


W: Write! Write! Write! This is why you have come. Jot, scribble, scrawl, compose, note, record, ink and/or inscribe…all of this and more. This is the time for your words, you will write and write more. Each day you have sacred writing time to record your thoughts, impressions and experiences of the day. Time to reflect, to muse to create.


R: is for recluse and reserved.  Honouring the room for the richness of your right to remain silent.  Resting in stillness.  Yet, rejoicing the many rays of light, gently thawing this frozenness of fearfulness.  R is for making room for myself, where taking a little risk means reinventing reasons to be excited, resounding, resplendent, and resilient. 


I: It’s about you, more importantly it’s about us. Come along and enjoy the “Beeg” show, an evening extravaganza organized by Gail and the Supers, who make magic on the stage and invite you to join in the fun. Put on your hat, make the fashion statement that you have always wanted to make, dress up and be merry…there are prizes too! Gather round the fire, share the joy of making music, join the parade, listen to our voices, we are one for this week.


T: There is magic in this world. Step out of the normal and make your way down to the Elbow River. Keep your eyes open and you may witness the first blush of wildflowers. Breath deeply. Do you feel it…the magic of the mountains. Take it in, embed the moment in your memory. It is yours, do with it what you will.


E: Engage your heart and relish the moment.  Your heart is at home here, unhindered and open. 


by Marcus Fung and Wally Diefenthaler


for ages 11-14, please see our River Valley Experience 2016


for our adult program, please see JustWrite 2016


 Never been to Kamp Kiwanis? Visit this page for the address and a link to Google Maps.


Cost: $625 


(Price includes: tuition, supplies, meals, snacks, accommodation, and entertainment.)


How to Come to Camp: Four Important Steps


PLEASE NOTE - Registration for Peak Experience 2017 will open in the spring!

1. Apply and Pay by clicking here. If you wish to do so the old-fashioned way (paper, pens, Canada Post), download the mail-in form here. For more information on payment options, click here.

2.  When we have received your application form and payment, you will be provided a link to our Campfax registration page. If you already have that link from a previous camp registration, please don't forget to complete the previous steps before proceeding. If you've registered using our Campfax system in the past, please verify and update all your information. 


3. Upload your documents directly to Campfax - your letter of reference, writing sample and answers to the YouthWrite Questions.  Details about these may be found on your paper mail-in form or for the YouthWrite Questions click here.
4. Come to camp!  We'll provide details of what you'll need in our official handbook - downloadable from Campfax in June.

Please Note: Your spot at camp cannot be secured until we have received the following:

1. Application form & payment
2. Registration information (online medical forms, parent approval, essential contacts, etc.)

3. Letter of reference, writing sample, answers to the YouthWrite Questions


Once the Coordinator has reviewed and accepted your complete application, you will receive official notification of acceptance. 

Payment Info

Our goal is to make applying, registering, and paying for camp as easy as possible. We're happy to offer three forms of payment.

Please make out all cheques toYouthWrite Society Canada and forward to the following address:
YouthWrite Society Canada
10629 - 127 St.
Edmonton, AB
T5N 1W2

After applying here, you can follow the links to our online payment system (PayPal)

Please note that you will be charged a small service fee to cover the costs of PayPal's service charges. 

Thank you for your understanding.
Email Money Transfer
Please send all e-transfers to:



YouthWrite is extremely proud to present our instructors for YouthWrite Peak Experience 2016!

Timothy Anderson

Wally Diefenthaler

Jacqueline Guest

Bob Jahrig

Conni Massing

Brendan McLeod

Mary Pinkoski

Pam Rocker

Steven Ross Smith

Loren Spector

Barry Thorson

Thomas Trofimuk

Spyder Yardley-Jones



YouthWrite Peak Experience:

Our Fabulous Instructors and Courses 




Timothy Anderson believes you can write anything. To prove it, he's written operas, screenplays, novels, articles, poetry, short fiction and non-fiction, choral works, plays, eggplants, marsupials, and six gizmos. He's won a reality TV series based on the 3-Day Novel contest, been a soloist at Carnegie Hall, sung Phantom of the Opera in Toronto, Singapore and Hong Kong, told jokes in Dollywood, and teaches Communication Studies at MacEwan University.


Walk on the Wild Side - Small subversions help us let off steam or change the world. Turn your truths into fictions, fables, micro-fictions and plant them for everyone to see or no-one to see. Change a life by writing a fortune cookie message or change a culture with a sky-written manifesto: think big and write small.     

Rachel Ann is a fun loving full-time yoga teacher in Calgary. She is recognized with Yoga Alliance as an RYT-500and has traveled far and wide to deepen her understanding of yoga. She has done over 800 hours of training and continues to explore the mechanics of yoga. Prior to yoga, Rachel Ann was overworked, needed more then the corporate world had to offer and wanted to LAUGH more. Now, she has a passion to share her love for yoga through lively dynamic sequencing and by creating an experience which allows the student to

 take the teachings presented in class off the mat and incorporate them into their daily life.  Rachel loves to laugh until it hurts and lets loose on the dance floor. She dances like no one is watching and some of the best advice she ever got was to just 'be herself'. She's silly, outgoing and free in all aspects of her life.

Creative Writing through Mindful Movement - Are you able to STOP your monkey mind from jumping from one place to another? How about being in STILLNESS for more then one moment? Come practice Mindful Yoga with meditation, play, and laughter that will inspire you to write from your heart! Each class will have allotted time to write your experience, reflections and any inspiration or story ideas that your received during the practice.   




Wally Diefenthaler loves his ‘76 VW Westphalia (see photo, right) almost as much as he loves teaching. A long time social studies teacher he has been around long enough to remember the ‘60s, revile the ‘90s and embrace the present. He has done neat stuff and has been recognized by receiving the Governor General’s Award for excellence in Teaching Canadian History, the Alberta Premier’s Award of Excellence, the ATA Social Studies Council Award of Excellence and is a founding member of Canadian Council for Geographic Education. Most importantly he loves learning, teaching, thinking, and living the dream.

Who must I be/come to be the person I hope I am?  How we are says a lot about who we are! Thinking thoughtfully about the things that matter to us as visitors to this beautiful sphere means considering the legacies of our journeys. Let’s spend some time together thinking, talking, sharing and writing about who we must be/come to be the people who we hope we are so that we can imagine the possibilities of be-ing. 


Marcus Fung is a cosmic detective, and a student of the Great Mystery, enrolled in the school, that is living on Planet Earth.  He travels around the city visiting different communities, meeting and playing with all sorts of different people to rediscover again and again, what we all have in common with each other.  Marcus has discovered that we all share a longing to belong to something.  With the freedom to be creative, connected to a  deep need to express ourselves, what is possible?  He believes that by using the simple, universal language of RHYTHM, and a little bit of guidance, amazing things are made possible.

The First Language of Making Music Before there was spoken language, communicating in thought, meaning and ideas, there was the rhythm of the heartbeat, the call of the birds, the rustle of the leaves and the song of flowing water.  There was the colour of sound, the taste of tones, and the enchantment of melody. This class is for you whether you love to make music, or are terrified of making music.  Music, rhythm and language are interconnected.  Join us as we take a guided tour using our bodies, our voices, different drums, shakers, bells, blocks, gongs and flutes, and over the week develop a new vocabulary.  It is a journey of joy and discovery of a language that we all once knew.

Jacqueline Guest began writing professionally in Grade 5 when she was paid twenty-five cents by her brother to write his Language Arts essay.  She now has 19 novels with topics ranging from comic book superheroes and mysterious meteorites to violent video games and the bad boys who play them. As a traveling author, she has two words to describe her adventures: buckle up!  While on the job as a writer, she has stood on an iceberg, flown a kite in a hurricane, dodged killer African hornets and a pride of hungry lions!  Jacqueline lives in a log cabin in the high foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Alberta where she and her computer are working on a new novel for young Canadian readers to enjoy.

Writing Now and Into the Future! - Discover how to make your writing warp to a higher dimension. Secrets on how the pros put it together correctly with tips and tools for writing now and far into your future.  For those who have writing ready to be submitted to a worthy publisher, learn how to put together the Perfect Pitch Package!

WARNING: Time Capsules are involved…  




Bob Jahrig is an Edmontonian whose songwriting reveals his love of language, melody and a search for beauty in the human spirit and the natural world.  His debut CD, Tree Tops, was released in 2002.  Bob released his second CD, Colour of the Moon, in the fall of 2008.  In addition to performing at folk venues across Alberta, Bob has taught songwriting to youths for over fifteen years as an instructor with YouthWrite and as an artist in residence at public schools. 


Write To Sing - In this course, we explore the meaning and magic that happens when words on a page take flight on a melody.  In a supportive and nurturing environment, students will work in small groups exploring the process of crafting their words into meaningful songs.  While knowledge of music and ability to play an instrument is always helpful, the primary focus is on the writing process and how words can be wrapped around a melody.  

Conni Massing is an award-winning writer working in theatre, film and television. Recent stage credits include Night Shift (part of Workshop West Theatre’s anthology This is Yeg), her hit rom-com The Invention of Romance and Oh! Christmas Tree (Lunchbox Theatre), currently in development as a feature film. Conni’s writing has been recognized by AMPIA, the Academy of Cinema and Television, the Betty Mitchell Awards, The Writers Guild of Alberta and the Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Awards. A recipient of a Queen’s Jubilee Medal (for contributions to the arts), she was also honoured as one of 100 people who have made a contribution to Alberta theatre in the last one hundred years.


Real! Live! Drama! Do you see drama all around you in the way people talk to one another–or in the silences when they don’t?  If you have a burning desire to develop dramatic characters and write a blueprint for actors, directors and designers, this course is for you. Get a taste of the basic skills required to write a play in this fun and active approach to creating theatrical stories.




Suzette Mayr is the author of four novels, including her most recent book Monoceros, which won the ReLit and the City of Calgary W. O. Mitchell Awards, and was nominated for the 2011 Giller Prize, the Ferro-Grumley
Award for LGBT Fiction, and Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction. She teaches creative writing at the University of Calgary, and lives in a 1950s bungalow with her wife, two cats, one dog, and many, many spiders.

Suck Your Sentences' Blood! - In this class we will work on invigorating your writing at the level of the sentence: dragging away those dead metaphors, saying boo to those boring adverbs, and reconnecting with techniques that will bring our language back from the crypt. Words are the building blocks of story.
By working at the level of the word and approaching prose writing with poetic intention rather than as a pre-packaged set of grammatical units
that can be taken for granted, your language and your story will cease to be predictable or generic. The poet Ezra Pound once said, Make it new. In my class we will defamiliarize language and – by extension – the way we
record experience, and in turn create original, energetic fiction. Learn how to make your words scream their lungs out in the best way possible.




Brendan McLeod is a Toronto based writer and musician. He's the author of one novel, a one woman play, and two monologues, the most recent of which is his award winning piece on consciousness, Brain. His music group The Fugitives have been nominated for multiple Canadian Folk Music and Western Canadian Music Awards and have toured to ten countries. He is a former Canadian SLAM poetry champion and World SLAM runner-up. He has taught spoken word at Langara College, and is an active youth educator with a variety of organizations. He was the Poet of Honor at the 2012 Canadian Festival of Spoken Word and 2015 Victoria Spoken Word Festival.


Labyrinth of Words - This class will tackle all matters spoken word. Interested in SLAM poetry? Storytelling? One person shows?  It's got you covered.  The goal will be to concoct, write, and perform our very own spoken word pieces. We’ll endeavour to examine our lives -- and the lives of families and friends and strangers -- answer questions on what a story/poem is and how best to tell it, and realize that we all have something important and/or interesting to say. Oh. This class will also be fun. There will be lots of introspection! Comedy! Fire (metaphorically)! There will be lots of making sense of the universe! Man. So much to do! Better get started. 




Mary Pinkoski, 5th Poet Laureate of the City of Edmonton (2013-2015), is an internationally recognized, published spoken word artist. She has performed on stages across North America and at the 2015 Winter Lights Festival in Reykjavik, Iceland. She is the 2011 Canadian National Spoken Word Champion and a winner of the 2008 CBC National Poetry Face-off. In 2015, Mary was recognized as an Edmonton Top 40 Under 40 and also awarded a University of Alberta Alumni Horizon Award for her poetry work. When she is not performing, Mary facilitates workshops for writers of all ages.


You Do Not Live In This World Alone - As poets, we are inspired by the other art that exists around us. We inform our own poems and poetic voices from a variety of influences. In this class, we will explore and honour the art that shapes our poetry. We will experiment to see how other art forms shift and challenge and shape our poetic voice. Come to this class prepared and open to explore, dabble and be innovative with your own poetic voice.




Pam Rocker is an award-winning playwright, atypical activist, and designer, who has worked in media and communications for over 10 years. She was recently nominated as one of Canada's top 30 activists by THIS Magazine, and has always been passionate about the intersections of comedy and social change. From crafting social media brands and websites to writing sketches, speeches, and songs, she seeks authentic engagement inside of our ever-changing digital culture and challenges prejudice in non-prescript ways. Pam has trained in writing in Canada and Los Angeles, is proudly American and Canadian and is a founding member of Canada’s only queer, feminist, comedy ukulele band.

Social Skillz: Writing and Storytelling Online - The Internet is full of infinite possibilities - no editors or publishers required! We can be our own boss, write our own rules, and find our own voice. But what do you want to say - really? What stories - whether 140 characters or 140 pages, do you want to tell? How do you want to create change? Navigating the complex and often overwhelming world of social media, where everything clamours for our attention, is not for the faint of heart. In this fun and highly interactive class, learn about crafting your own blog or website, being social media savvy, and how to reach the audience you want so you can share your voice with the world!



Steven Ross Smith is a poet, fiction, and non-fiction writer living in Banff. He has been publishing since the 1970s, and was a member of the legendary sound poetry group Owen Sound. He has published thirteen books. Fluttertongue 3: disarray won 2005’s Saskatchewan Book of the Year Award. BookThug published Smith’s poetry collection, Emanations: Fluttertongue 6 in 2015. He has led many workshops for adult and teen writers.


Tongue Text Takeoff - We’ll write, then write some more. We’ll talk about language – its meanings, its muscle, its sounds. We’ll analyze the tools then get writing. We’ll explore and write various forms: poetry, story, autobiography. We’ll read aloud to ourselves and each other. We’ll perform. We’ll work hard and have fun.  Our tongues will tingle and our pages will sizzle. We’ll make words fly.




Loren Spector is a Calgary artist whose work has been shown internationally.   She is also an art teacher, renovator of an old and sort-of-falling-apart house, reckless skier, and mom to two energetic children who keep her on her toes.  She looks forward to her time at YouthWrite as a highlight of the summer, because of the creative young people she gets to work with there.


Identity Express - Bring your favorite words to this session, and we will bring them to life in a visual art context. In this studio class, participants will examine their own self-identity while creating a Found Object Poem-Sculpture, a Rancid-Ransom Note and a Text-in-Context Painting that gets up close and personal.  This is where visual art meets writing, as your words inspire images.  Bring painting clothes, a head full of ideas, a sketchbook or journal, and a photo or two of yourself. Oh ya, and bring that fearless imagination, too.




Barry Thorson is thrilled to be back teaching the perennial “Eye Say” course this summer. He brings over 20 years in professional theatre, film and television as an actor, director, writer, and instructor. In addition to directing for Theatre Calgary, MRU and Shakespeare in the Park, he has flown thousands of audience members across billions of light years as manager of the Planetarium at TELUS Spark. In February, Barry was hired as the first Executive Director for the Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers, and will steer that organization into its next phase of supporting local filmmakers. He is currently writing the screenplay for an upcoming giant screen documentary slated for release in 2017 (very cool subject... ask him what it's about). The one thread connecting his varied and eclectic career has been a strong sense of story; regardless of what role he’s in, storytelling is always at his core and never far from the surface. He looks forward to seeing you all this summer! Hello, YouthWrite!


Eye Say! - Improvise your way to creating compelling characters that will inspire and sustain you on your YouthWrite journey. Delve into a world of collective creation, and experience the power of improvisation to propel the written word. Act on impulse and write on a whim!



Thomas Trofimuk is an Edmonton writer who does not come lightly to the blank page. He has three books out in the world (The 52nd Poem, Doubting Yourself to the Bone, and Waiting for Columbus) and has just completed a fourth. He’s a long-time teacher at YouthWrite, and a world famous, spasmodic dancer who trained with the Bolshoi Ballet Company.  


Not just a fairy-tale moment - a little course on “imagine this” - The second you sit down to write a story, you are engaged with magic. Because time takes no time in a story, you are performing magic. Magic realism is defined as what happens when a highly detailed, realistic setting is invaded by something too strange to believe. This course will explore the importance of the magical in our writing. It will focus on the qualities of curiosity and lightness and how the magical can make our stories extraordinary. Magic, mystery, a flirtation with the unconscious – these qualities cross all boundaries of genre. This course will center on an exploration of examples of magic realism – or magical writing, and exercises focused on developing magic in our own writing.




Spyder Yardley-Jones bears the mark of a spider on his forehead and is an internationally recognized visual artist.  Illustrator of the graphic novel, Jamie’s Got a Gun, and the picture book, In the Graveyard, Spyder also spins his web as an assistant art preparator, installing shows at the Art Gallery of Alberta.  He teaches the art of cartooning and illustration in elementary, junior and senior high schools in an artist in residency program sponsored by the Edmonton St. David’s Welsh Society.


Meet your Mask - A way to ward off beasties from the dark or a celebration of ecological divinities. Draw.  Sculpt. Paint.  Then wear the mask you've created from cardboard, VHS tape, tinfoil and other found mediums. Create and write your own fantastical character.





The Amazing Peak Super Supers

Marla Albiston has been involved with YouthWrite for over ten years now, and she is absolutely thrilled to return as a Supervisor this summer for the 20th anniversary year, as well to continue as Coordinator of JustWrite for the second year in a row! She completed her Bachelor of Education degree at the University of Alberta (where she was first introduced to the lovely, Gail Sobat), and over the last few years she has had the wonderful opportunity to couple her love for education with her passion for dance, working frequently with the Dance departments at Victoria School of the Arts, Vimy Ridge Academy, Queen Elizabeth High School, and currently, Eastglen High School.  Marla also teaches advanced Jazz dance for Orchesis at the U of A, works as a freelance dance teacher and choreographer, dances with the contemporary company, ViVA, and trains in aerial circus with Firefly Theatre and Circus. Most importantly, she is beyond excited for all of the writing, learning, creating, sharing, and playing that will be taking place at these two fabulous camps!


Elena Belyea is a queer-identified playwright, performer, producer, and poet. She has been creating and performing new work across Canada and the US for the past ten years. She is one of the co-founders of the Common Ground Arts' Society's Edmonton Found Festival, a site-specific multidisciplinary arts event which takes place in non-traditional venues. She loves rapping, knitting, Sailor Moon, playing the ukulele, and of course, Youthwrite’s fearless leader, Gail. 





Anna Cooley is a director, producer, writer and all around movie maker. She is the co-founder Erratic Pictures, a production company with a focus on short documentaries for a cause. Her first feature film A Sauropod Abroad will start its world tour in the fall of 2016. In the small amount of time Anna does not spend making movies, she watches them, travels the world, cooks fancy tasty things, snuggles her dog Lola, wonders at the universe and goes to YouthWrite, where she clearly adores Gail the most.




Charlotte "Charlotta Love" Cranston, a former YouthWriter, is thrilled to be back at camp for her fourth summer as a super. In June 2015, she was named Edmonton’s first-ever Youth Poet Laureate. In addition to being a poet, she is a workshop facilitator, an occasional princess, and a two-time member of the Edmonton Slam Team, which competes nationally at the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. Her work has been published in The 40 Below Project Volume II, The Glass Buffalo, The Gateway Magazine, and several online publications. She loves the smell of lilacs and the sound of distant lawnmowers. She assumes her glorious leader Gail gave her a nickname to establish Charlotta as the favourite super.  





Stephen Fong is a trumpet player, singer and music educator in Edmonton, Alberta.  He has over a decade of experience working with youth and coordinating summer programs in the province, where he loves meeting and working with students of all ages.  This is Stephen’s first summer with YouthWrite and he is thrilled to have the opportunity and enthralled to work with the glorious Gail!




Morgan Moffatt is extremely excited to be returning for her fourth year at YouthWrite. Having discovered the joy of fine arts while attending high school, Morgan pursued a Bachelor of Education (minoring in fine arts) at the University of Alberta. After graduation she began her teaching career at the same school that Gail was working at! Therefore, she loves Gail the most out of any other super. Morgan is currently calling Vancouver home, enjoying life as a substitute teacher and newlywed. When she isn't teaching and molding the minds of tomorrow, Morgan loves spending her time outdoors bird watching and exploring the beauty of British Columbia.



Caleb Nelson's journey as a classical tenor began while singing with the University of Alberta Madrigal Singers under the direction of Dr. Leonard Ratzlaff. In addition to singing with Pro Coro Canada for the last 12 years, Caleb often joins Luminous Voices (director Timothy Shantz, Calgary) and Chronos Vocal Ensemble (director Jordan Van Biert, Edmonton). In 2010 Caleb began working as a recording engineer for Wolf Willow Studios, while continuing to be a professional soloist and coach for local community choirs. This work lead Caleb to establish Silver Studios, his home-based business for recording/producing and teaching private voice students. Caleb has used his love of a cappella pop music to co-found the ETown Vocal Music Society, where he co-directs both youth and adult ensembles. He’s delighted to be back with YouthWrite once again, and to be working with the lovely and talented Gail Sidonie Sobat, whom he loves.


Peter Takach is a writer and teacher whose works have surfaced in some of the nation’s finest magazines, literary festivals, and recycling bins. Banished from his hometown for crimes against humanities, he currently wanders the hay fields of northern Alberta with Rex, his trusty guitar. A proud alumnus of YouthWrite and the Spoken Word Youth Choir, Peter is thrilled to once again be working with the beautiful and talented Gail.







Noel Taylor is very excited to be back as a Super yet again, for what is going to be an awesome YouthWrite! This marks Noel's eighth summer as a YouthWrite Super! Noel teaches high school drama and runs the theatre program at WP Wagner, currently. Noel is a founding member and performer with Hey Ladies at the Roxy Theatre in Edmonton Alberta. Noel originally met Gail at a hardware store (it is a great story) and also had the pleasure of being taught by Gail at the U of A when he completed his Bachelor's of Education in drama and social studies. Noel knew then and knows now that he is fact Gail's favourite super. 




Joe Vanderhelm - This summer marks Joe Vanderhelm’s decade of being a super super at YouthWrite. Joe teaches high school science and theatre after having graduated from the U of A with his Bachelor's of Education in General Science and Drama. Joe met Gail in university when she was his professor, it was the best class ever because she was the best teacher ever (and he is thrilled to be her favourite Super again this summer!). Joe Vanderhelm won the 2015 Alberta Excellence in Teaching award and is also the Associate Artistic Director - Youth of Edmonton's Rapid Fire Theatre. He has taught and improvised around the world including Germany, the Reunion Island (off the coast of Madagascar), Atlanta, New York and all across Canada. He is the producer of the WildFire Festival: a three-week improv festival for teens from all across Alberta.






Gail Sidonie Sobat  is a multi-award-winning teacher and author, with eleven books for children, teens and adults, and a number of educational and academic articles. She is the YouthWrite creator/ coordinator, an international presenter, an instructor in the professional writing program at MacEwan University, a member of the Writers’ Union of Canada Curriculum Task Force Committee and was writer in residence with the Metro Edmonton Federation of Libraries (2015). She has moved thirty-two times in her life from Badlands to Siksika Nation Reserve to hideous suburbs to Istanbul to the Sunshine Coast to her writer’s garret in a century-old temperamental house. She adores all of her Supers equally, and loves YouthWrite madly!