Meet Our Mentors


Katherine GovierKATHERINE GOVIER is the author of 10 novels as well as 3 collections of short stories. She has won The Toronto Book Award and the Marian Engel Award. Her novel, CREATION, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Katherine has been President of PEN Canada and serves as a vice-president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. Her latest novel is The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel. She founded and directs The Shoe Project.


Barb HowardBARB HOWARD’s most recent book is the short story collection Western Taxidermy. She has also published three novels, including one for young adults, and co-edited an anthology of creative nonfiction. Barb has won the Howard O'Hagan Award for Short Story, the Exporting Alberta Award, and various short story contests in magazines. She is a former lawyer, a past author-in-residence for the Calgary Public Library, and an established facilitator of online and onsite creative writing workshops.

Marina EndicottMARINA ENDICOTT worked in theatre as an actor, director and playwright before turning to fiction. Her novels have been nominated for the Governor General’s Award and the Giller Prize (three times), and her second, Good to a Fault, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize. Marina teaches creative writing at the Banff Centre, the University of Toronto and the University of Alberta. 




Sheree FitchSHEREE FITCH is an author, poet, storyteller, playwright and literacy educator. Her award-winning children's books are now being enjoyed by a second generation of Canadian children. For the past twenty-five years, she has worked as a mentor and mid-wife to the stories of others in both urban centres and more isolated areas – most notably the Himalayas in Bhutan and the tundra in Nunavut. She has a B.A.and M.A. in English Literature and is the recipient of three honorary doctorates for her work in social justice and her contribution to Canadian literature. In July 2017, she opened a seasonal book shoppe in rural Nova Scotia. 



Alissa YorkALISSA YORK’s internationally acclaimed novels include Mercy, Effigy (short-listed for the Scotiabank Giller Prize), Fauna and, most recently, The Naturalist. Stories from her short fiction collection, Any Given Power, won the Journey Prize and the Bronwen Wallace Award; her essays and articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Globe and Mail, Brick magazine and elsewhere. York has been teaching and mentoring writers for a decade. She has lived all over Canada and now makes her home in Toronto. 




Leah CherniakLEAH CHERNIAK is a Resident Artist at The Soulpepper Theatre Company, where she is the Associate Director of The  Academy, a two year training residency for theatre artists.  She co-founded Theatre Columbus (now Common Boots Theatre) and was Co-Artistic Director with Martha Ross for 25 years,  directing and collaborating in more than 30 original plays.  Leah teaches clown at Ryerson Theatre and Directing at The University of Toronto, and coaches Shoe Project members in drama and voice.



MARY VINGOE, OC, performance coach and director, is a playwright and theatre director. Her play Refuge was a shortlisted nominee for the Governor General's Award for English-language drama at the 2016 GG Awards. From Dartmouth, She studied theatre at Dalhousie and the U of Toronto's Graduate Centre for Study of Drama. She was a founder of Toronto's Nightwood Theatre in 1979, and later co-founded Ship's Company Theatre in Parrsboro and Eastern Front Theatre in Halifax. She has directed or produced plays such as Wendy Lill's The Glace Bay Miner's Museum, George Boyd's Consecrated Ground, and George Elliott Clarke's Whylah Falls and Beatrice Chancy. Her plays include The Company Store, Herring Gull's Egg, Holy Ghosters, Hooligans and Living Curiosities: A Story of Anna Swan.



Nan Hughes Poole NAN HUGHES POOLE, mezzo-soprano, has a BA in English Literature from Harvard University, a MM in Performance from Boston University and attended the Juilliard Opera Center in New York, on full scholarship. Nan has toured and recorded throughout Europe, the United States, Ukraine and Brazil, and is a member of the close harmony vocal trio, Times Three. She enjoys teaching voice and public speaking, at the Banff Centre and in her private studio.

Momoye SugimanMOMOYE SUGIMAN is a veteran ESL teacher who has helped countless newcomers nurture their creativity. She is also the substantive editor of a collection of oral herstories: Jin Guo:Voices of Chinese Canadian Women (1992), and other projects. She holds a BA in English Literature and an MA in Immigration and Settlement Studies.