Jennifer Manuel's literary novel, The Heaviness of Things That Float, won the 2017 Ethel Wilson Prize for Fiction and has been optioned for a television series. She published her first children's novel, Dressed to Play, in 2019. She has also published several short stories and was a Western Magazine Finalist. CBC named her a Writer to Watch. She has mentored writers from around the world and her online course, Reimagine the Page, has helped hundreds of writers to make deep revisions.
Darrel J. McLeod is Cree from Treaty 8 First Nation of Alberta. He is the author of the memoir Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age (Douglas & McIntyre), 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. The sequel to Mamaskatch, entitled Peyakow, is in the final editing phase and will be released in the fall of 2020.
Darrel is a fluent speaker of French and Spanish and is studying Cree. He holds degrees in French literature and education from the University of British Columbia, and has advanced training in dispute resolution. Much of Darrel’s career was devoted to education at the elementary, secondary and post-secondary levels. He has done curriculum design, instruction, and delivered numerous workshops on many topics.
Darrel’s full-time writing career began in 2013 with a course entitled Memoir of Inquiry at SFU. Since then he has taken numerous workshops and courses with established writers like Betsy Warland, Shaena Lambert, Caroline Adderson and Sarah Selecky. He has developed a highly praised and sought after workshop for the Federation of BC Writers. Darrel has been a presenter and panelist at many literary festivals including The Victoria Festival of Authors, The Sunshine Coast Literary Festival, The Ottawa Literary Festival, Blue Metropolis in Montreal, Vancouver Word on the Street, The Toronto Writer’s Festival, The Bangkok Book Festival, and the Georgetown Literary Festival in Malaysia.
In the spring of 2018 Darrel was accepted into the Banff Writing Studio to advance his first work of fiction. He lives, writes, sings and plays jazz guitar in Sooke, BC, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.