Our awesome speakers from the January/February 2023 workshops!

Doretta Lau started watching horror movies at age nine and sketch comedy at eleven, which was probably why she ended up completing an MFA in Writing at Columbia University.

The Atlantic named her short story collection, How Does a Single Blade of Grass Thank the Sun?, as a best book of 2014. The title story, about a group of kids determined to pull off a heist, was shortlisted for the 2013 Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. Her forthcoming novel We Are Underlings is about a dysfunctional workplace struggling to open a theme park that celebrates death. Visit dorettalau.com.

Molly Cross-Blanchard (she/her) is a white and Métis writer born on treaty 3, raised on treaty 6, and currently living on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is the former publisher of Room magazine, and currently teaches creative writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic, where she is also the Indigenous Writer-in-Residence. Her first collection of poetry is Exhibitionist (Coach House, 2021).

Kyla Pascal is the co-editor and co-creator of Hungry Zine.

Kyla is an Afro-Indigenous (Dominican/Métis) woman born and raised in Amiskwaciwâskahikan / ᐊᒥᐢᑲᐧᒋᐋᐧᐢᑲᐦᐃᑲᐣ (Edmonton). Over the years Kyla has worked with a number of non-profit organizations focusing on anti-oppression, advocacy, and community-building. Her experiences and interests are centred around Indigenous solidarity, sustainability, community health, and food justice. The goal of her work is to build more resilient, just, and healthier communities.

Kathryn Gwun-Yeen 君妍 Lennon is the co-editor and co-creator of Hungry Zine.

Kathryn was born and raised in Edmonton/Amiskwacîwâskahikan. Her maternal grandparents were once small-scale farmers and subsistence market vendors in Hong Kong, and her paternal ancestors left Ireland long ago during the famine. The acts of growing, cooking and sharing food and food knowledge mean many things to her; they are a way of honouring those who have come before, imagining just and sustainable futures, and cultivating relationships to people and place. 

Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw aunty with English-Irish ancestry and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory in Northern Alberta. She is an interdisciplinary artist and award-winning writer whose debut novel, Bad Cree, will be released in January 2023 with HarperCollins in Canada and Doubleday in the US.

Chimedum Ohaegbu (CHIM-ay-doom aw-HAY-boo, she/her) lives in Vancouver on the territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. She’s an editorial assistant at McClelland & Stewart, as well as Uncanny magazine’s previous managing and poetry editor and a two-time Hugo Award winner. She loves insect facts but not insects, birds and magpies especially, and orchestral videogame music. Her work can be found in Strange Horizons, Arc Poetry magazine, Contemporary Verse 2, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, and the Year’s Best Dark Fantasy & Horror, Vol.3, among others.

Leanne Dunic (she/her) is a biracial, bisexual woman who has spent her life navigating liminal spaces, inspiring her to produce trans-media projects such as To Love the Coming End (Book*hug/Chin Music Press 2017) and The Gift (Book*hug 2019). Her most recent book is a lyric memoir with music entitled One and Half of You (Talonbooks 2021).

She is the fiction editor at Tahoma Literary Review, a mentor at SFU’s The Writer’s Studio, and the leader of the band The Deep Cove. Leanne lives on the unceded and occupied traditional territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) First Nations. www.leannedunic.com

Megan Lau is a Vancouver-based communications and marketing strategist with expertise in community engagement, content marketing, and developing organizational equity. She has dedicated much of her career to the arts and culture sector, connecting artists with the tools they need to do their best work.

Her work at STORYHIVE as the Senior Manager of Communications, Engagement & Equity facilitated new ways of connecting with and supporting artists from under-served and under-represented communities in BC and Alberta.

Megan has led numerous arts- and social-justice-focused organizations and projects. In 2016, she co-founded The Future Is You and Me, a community-based mentorship program for young women of colour in the arts. She also has worked with and advised the City of Vancouver’s Cultural Services department since 2017.