Writers' Trust of Canada selects 3 emerging Canadian writers for mentorship program
Selected writers include Shō Yamagushiku, Megan Elizabeth Morrison and Raksha Vasudevan
Canadian writers Shō Yamagushiku, Megan Elizabeth Morrison and Raksha Vasudevan have each been selected for the 2022 Writers' Trust of Canada mentorship program.
The program supports developing artists working in the categories of fiction, poetry and literary nonfiction.
The mentees will each receive $2,500 to help finance time to write during the five-month remote project.
The selected mentees are each paired with established literary practitioners, who will guide the recipients through one-on-one instruction with the goal of improving their literary craft and bringing their manuscripts closer to publication.
Shō Yamagushiku is the mentorship recipient for the literary poetry category, as selected by poetry mentor Kaie Kellough.
Yamagushiku is a Victoria-based writer, researcher and spoken word poet who has been published in The Capilano Review, Yellow Medicine Review, Okinawan Journal of Island Studies, Fire from the Heart: Winners of the Muriel's Journey Poetry Prize and Nikkei Images. His poetry is grounded in a diasporic Japanese islander consciousness.
Shō Yamagushiku's manuscript, shima, is an impressive collection with language that is by turns accessible and evasive, lucid and obscure.- Kaie Kellough
"Shō Yamagushiku's manuscript, shima, is an impressive collection with language that is by turns accessible and evasive, lucid and obscure," said Kellough. "His poems ride the sweep of the Okinawan diaspora, carrying a narrative that is personal, familial and historical."
Megan Elizabeth Morrison, a writer based in Pender Island, B.C., has been selected in the fiction category by fiction mentor Monia Mazigh.
Morrison is a children's book author whose short stories have appeared in FRONT Magazine. She has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts and has worked as a bookseller, opera singer and medical speech-language pathologist.
"Megan Elizabeth Morrison's manuscript, The Sleep, stands out as original and intriguing, weaving and interconnecting mystery with adventures and suspense," said fiction mentor Mazigh.
Mazigh is an Ontario author and academic. Her novels include Miroirs et mirages, which was nominated for a Trillium Book Award and an Ottawa Book Award, Farida, which won the 2021 Ottawa Book Award, and Hope Has Two Daughters.
Megan Elizabeth Morrison's manuscript, The Sleep, stands out as original and intriguing.- Monia Mazigh
Calgary writer Raksha Vasudevan is the mentorship recipient for the literary nonfiction category, as selected by mentor Harley Rustad.
Vasudevan's writing and reporting focuses on colonialism, race and climate change. Her essays have appeared in publications including The Threepenny Review, Guernica, The Washington Post, The Believer and The Offing. She has reported for The New York Times, VICE, The Los Angeles Times, Outside and GEN Magazine. Vasudevan has received fellowships and grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Martha's Vineyard Institute of Creative Writing and the African Writers Trust.
"Raksha Vasudevan's manuscript, Crossing into Whiteness, is rich with potential to be a modern classic memoir," said Rustad. "Her deeply reflective and extraordinary writing perspective feels current, crucial and original. I'm so excited to read more."
Rustad is a Toronto-based journalist, author and features editor for The Walrus. His books include Big Lonely Doug, which was a 2018 finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, and Lost in the Valley of Death.
Raksha Vasudevan's manuscript, Crossing into Whiteness, is rich with potential to be a modern classic memoir.- Harley Rustad
Writers' Trust executive director Charlie Foran said, "The value of an established literary artist sharing their knowledge with an aspiring author is immense. To forge a genuine connection, especially as we come out of pandemic isolation, provides real opportunities for a career to be changed for the better. It's an essential step in supporting Canada's future literary talent."
The Writers' Trust Mentorship program is sponsored by RBC Emerging Artists, which supports organizations that provide the best opportunity for artists to advance in their career paths. Writers of any age who have published creative work in a literary magazine or anthology but are unpublished in book form were eligible to apply for the program.
The Writers' Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through programs including awards, fellowship and mentorship opportunities. It was founded in 1976 by Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, Margaret Laurence and David Young.