We love nothing better than to brag about YouthWrite alumni!

So this is our testimonial and shout out section, all in celebration of who you are and who you are becoming.  Show us your YouthWrite roots!  If you've not already shared your info, and you are 20 years of age or older, please contact us HERE!


Erica Lind

Occupation:  Advancement Officer/TD Insurance Meloche Monnex Fellow 2010-2011, University of Lethbridge. This fellowship is only awarded to 3 people in Canada each year.

Years attended YouthWrite1998-2004
(+ Decadent
YouthWrite Alumni Weekend 2005)
My experience at
YouthWrite was life-changing. The opportunity to be mentored by professional writers and to connect with other young writers gave me the support and inspiration I needed to continue writing. The fun, creative, and open-minded environment allowed me to grow tremendously - both as a writer and as a person.

Lyndsie Bourgon

Years Attended: 2000, 2001, 2002
My Experience: WithoutYouthWrite I wouldn't be who I am today.
YouthWrite gave me the confidence to keep writing and to improve, and because of that I continued on to journalism school. Words and writing are both my job and my passion, and YouthWrite made that possible through guidance, humour and the friends I met there. I can't thank them enough!



Marion Kilgour

Years Attended: 2000-2002
My Experience: One of the most welcoming atmospheres I've ever encountered, where it wasn't strange to be wandering around with a notebook and pen. I don't do much creative writing any more, but the skills I learned serve me well as an engineer.



Allison "Bob" McPhail


Years Attended: 8
My Experience: I could write a short book on all that
YouthWrite means to me. When I first started coming to the camp, I was a mess, but that one week opened my eyes to the possibility of something better, and helped me to reach for that. I can honestly say that YouthWrite changed my life, for the better. I used to tell people that it was the best week of my year, every year. The sense of community, the chance to spend a week with people like yourself, and be accepted for who you are, is the most precious part of the experience. It also has incredible instructors and staff, and will definitely help you grow your artistic talents. It's a total blast, and the coordinator, Gail, is always striving to make it even better. As if you could improve on something already so utterly amazing! If I ever become rich, somehow, one of the first things I would do is to ensure that YouthWrite can continue to run indefinitely. I owe so much to everyone involved: campers, instructors, and supervisors. I want to help other youth get the chance to share in the wonder.

Josef Methot

I'm writing from far away, but as a former YouthWriter for most of my years growing up, I just wanted to let everyone who is carrying th torch of this camp know how much of a difference it can make for people and how much comfort, hope, joy and confiance-en-soi my memories of camp and writing can still give me in the difficult parts of life.  It is a real pleasure for me to see that the spirit of writing is very much alive at the Bennett Centre!  Long live YouthWrite!



Candace Graue

Years Attended: 4
My Experience:
YouthWrite is the best thing that ever happened to me! I met many of my lifelong friends there, I grew as an artist as well as a person, and I simply had a blast! The camp is great for so many reasons. There classes are always fun and interesting, with instructors who really care about you and your work and want to help you improve. You can develop your skills in familiar areas, as well as try your hand in new ones! No matter what kind of artist you are, YouthWrite has a class for you! But really, it's the people that make it worth coming back. The instructors, the camp counselors, and your fellow camp-goers, are all amazingly supportive, friendly, and open-minded. For just one week a year, I got to see the world the way it should be; a world where people not only accept you for who you are, but they love you for it. Everyone gets along; they're respectful, and you truly gain an immense amount of self-confidence. I have never met any YouthWriter who did not believe that the camp changed their lives. I'd also like to point out that I live in the U.S. I went to this camp despite being in a different country, as will my children if this wonderful camp still exists when they're old enough.



Nemo Magnan

Years Attended: 3
Your Experience: I didn't start
YouthWrite as young as a lot of other camp goers. However, the two summers (and one winter) I went were easily one of the best parts of my life. With ten minutes of being dropped off, I'd felt like I'd been at the camp forever. I just fit into the energy of the place like a perfectly constructed puzzle piece. The other YouthWriter alumni that I spent my camp days with were some of the most wonderful people on this planet. They're just shining beacons of hope for this world and society. If I hadn't gone to YouthWrite, I probably wouldn't be where I am to day. To say this camp literally save my life is not an exaggeration, nor am I using literally, figuratively. It is because of my time atYouthWrite that I became acquainted with Slam Poetry and the possibility of going to study Creative Writing in University. It's also because of YouthWrite that I have the pleasure of knowing half my friends and my terrific love interest. This camp is where magic happens. So go have your first hug blob. Share in the love. And find where you belong. Happy Writing and Best Wishes! 


Julia Rees

Years Attended: 6

My Experience: It was phenomenal! Six summers full of laughs, friends, hugging, and we all grew into ourselves. I have made lifelong friends at YouthWrite, and it helped me grow into myself as a writer, and as a person--it even helped me get my first articles published! Everyone was supportive and caring to each other; the no-bullying rule really helped people come out of their shells and friendships blossomed. I've learned not to be ashamed of myself, and not only to stand up for myself, but to be respectful and kind to others, even if I sometimes might not agree with them. So much to say in one testimonial. I guess the bottom line was--one of the best experiences I've ever had, I wouldn't trade it for anything. Thanks!



Teresa Looy

Years Attended: 2007-2009 plus Winter weekends 2008-2012
My Experience:
YouthWrite has been a safe place for me, the first place where I could be truly myself among my peers. I have gained and strengthened lifelong friendships at YouthWrite, gained confidence in performing, and grown a lot in my art. I have also had opportunities to try things that I never would have thought of: spoken word, songwriting, African drumming, body performance, playwriting, and more. Most of all though, YouthWrite has blessed me with a community of friends throughout the province, country, and world. Wherever I go, I know that my fellow YouthWriters will welcome me - and vice versa.


Jodi Butler

Years Attended: 3
My Experience: YouthWrite, for me, was a completely unique and life changing experience. It was the first time that I really felt like I belonged with a group of people, and Gail created such a welcoming, judgement-free atmosphere that I was free to be myself without worrying about what other people thought of me. I grew so much as a person in those few years, and I met some of my best friends there. The opportunity to spend a week creating - whether it be with a pen, your body, or your voice - Gail, the supervisors and the instructors support and encourage you in ways that are so rare outside the camp. I have found lifelong friends and mentors from this camp, and grew so much creatively and as a person during my time at YouthWrite that, as cliche as it sounds, I really wouldn't be where I am today without the camp.

More info to come...

Further details forthcoming.