Writer in Residence: Fall 2012

The Writer in Residence Program connects authors with schools and communities throughout British Columbia.

Fall 2012 Writer in Residence: Janet Wilson
Tahayghen Elementary, Haida Gwaii, BC

Award-winning author and illustrator Janet Wilson mentored Grade 6 & 7 students at Tahayghen Elementary School in Masset, Haida Gwaii.

Janet taught writing and illustrating workshops, focusing on the power of the written word. Principal, Bernadette Ouellette welcomed Janet’s visit.

“We are very excited to have Janet Wilson come and visit us. Our students are very talented and enthusiastic about writing. Unfortunately, we live so far from the mainland that having visitors is expensive and limits our experiences. We are grateful to have opportunities for our students to learn and explore.”

Wilson was thrilled at the prospect of her visit to Haida Gwaii.

“This is my first experience of a West Coast First Nation community, my goal was to meet the students and inspire them with true stories of young activists. Hopefully I’ll light a few sparks.”

The students were inspired by Janet’s book Shannen and the Dream for a School, which tells the true story of young activist Shannen Koostachin and her fight for a safe school with culturally based education on the Attawapiskat First Nation Reserve. Janet helped guide the students to write their own call to action about issues that are important to them.

During her residency on Haida Gwaii, Janet also spoke to elementary students in Port Clements and held a reading at a local coffee shop.

The Writer in Residence program is generously sponsored by Amazon.ca and supported by Pacific Coastal Airlines and the Michael R. Shaw Foundation. Amazon.ca is committed to fostering the creation, discussion and publication of new authors and new books.

“Amazon.ca is honoured to be able to work with the Vancouver Writers Fest in support of nurturing and developing the next generation of great writers.”

Jon Fine
Director of Author and Publisher Relations at Amazon.ca