Nafiza Azad is a self-identified island girl. She has hurricanes in her blood and dreams of a time she can exist solely on mangoes and pineapple. Born in Lautoka, Fiji, she currently resides in BC, Canada where she reads too many books, watches too many Kdramas and writes stories about girls taking over the world. Her debut YA fantasy, THE CANDLE AND THE FLAME, was released by Scholastic in 2019.
Meghan Bell's writing has appeared in over a dozen literary magazines and publications across Canada, including Joyland, Grain, The Puritan, The New Quarterly, Carousel, Prairie Fire, and the anthology Tesseracts 21. Meghan has worked in marketing and as a grant writer for multiple arts organizations in the Lower Mainland, including the Vancouver International Film Festival, Just For Laughs NorthWest, and BrandLive (Skookum Festival, Honda Celebration of Light). She has two degrees from the University of Victoria, and is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her first collection of short stories will be published by Book*hug in 2021. meghanbell.com / @meghanlbell. Photo credit: Erin Flegg.
Serena Lukas Bhandar is a Punjabi/Welsh/Irish transfemme writer, water witch, and workshop facilitator living as a settler on Lekwungen and WSANEC lands. Her Pushcart Prize-nominated writing has appeared in Nameless Woman: An Anthology of Fiction by Trans Women of Color and Turn This World Inside Out: The Emergence of Nurturance Culture, among other places. She currently splits her time between providing inclusive sexuality education to middle-schoolers, supporting survivors of sexualized violence with the Anti-Violence Project, and mentoring trans, two-spirit, and non-binary youth through the Trans Tipping Point project.
Selina Boan is a moniyâw/nehiyaw poet living on the traditional, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She has been published widley and her work was included in The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2018. She works as a poetry editor for Rahila’s Ghost Press.
Lue Boileau is a storyteller with roots in Portland Jamaica. Most recently, their short story "I Swallow Creatures Whole" won runner up for the Grouse Grind Contest for Short Forms and is forthcoming in PRISM Magazine. Lue is currently completing their first full length collection of afrofuturism, A Whistling Woman.
Monica is from the Philippines and moved to Canada in 2008. After graduating from the University of Santo Tomas in Manila with a BFA, she worked in animation, publishing, training and graphic design. She has a business providing graphic and web design services to non-profit groups and small businesses. She is an avid runner and dabbles in photography. Check out her portfolio at monicadesigns.ca.
Cassandra is currently a Strategist at FCB/SIX in Toronto. She has an Honors Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language from Western University, where she also recently completed her Master’s of Media, Journalism and Communications. Her work has appeared in eMpower Magazine, The Feminine Collective, Synaeresis, The Impressment Gang and Beautiful Losers Magazine. She also edited and sold her own literary imprint for women and non-binary folks during her undergraduate degree.
Molly Cross-Blanchard is a Métis poet living on Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish land. She is an MFA candidate at UBC, Poetry Editor at PRISM international, and author of the chapbook "I Don't Want to Tell You" with Rahila's Ghost Press. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Room, The Puritan, Contemporary Verse 2, Canthius, The Malahat Review, the ndn country anthology, Poetry is Dead, and others.
Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros is a queer, inner-city Nêhiyaw and Afro-Brazilian Cafuzo. Born and raised in diaspora as a guest on the unceded Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam territories, she is currently finishing her BA at Simon Fraser University and working as a Youth Counsellor. Karmella also assists the Indigenous Brilliance reading series, a collaborative series between Room Magazine and Massy Books, celebrating Indigenous women/2SQ storytellers. Her own artistry is multidisciplinary, grounded in honoring and witnessing the beauty of her environment and communities. Karmella’s most recent work was featured in VINES Art Festival 2019. You can find her on Instagram @kc.bdb
Emily Dundas Oke is an emerging artist and curator. A 2018 graduate of Philosophy and Visual Art (BA) from Thompson Rivers University, she has been the recipient of numerous awards and is an alumni of the TRU Indigenous Knowledge Makers program. Emily has exhibited nationally and internationally and has been an artist in residence at Nida Art Colony (Lithuania), Ideas Block (Lithuania) and the Kamloops Printmakers Society (Canada). She is currently the organizer and co-curator of the Indigenous Brilliance reading and performance series and holds a FPCC funded Indigenous Curatorial Assistant position at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver.
Candace Fertile has a PhD in English literature from the University of Alberta. She teaches English at Camosun College in Victoria, B.C. and writes book reviews for several Canadian publications. She joined the collective in 2004.
Stacy Gardner is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada and Playwrights Guild of Canada, recipient of Columbia's Scholastic Press Association Award in NYC for non-fiction, and a Toronto Arts Council Grant for Playwriting to support her staged production of Worms for Sale at Toronto's longest running feminist theatre: Alumnae Theatre. Stacy has published poems with Room, Black Moss Press, and Discord & Din; essays for WANL’sWORD, and creative non-fiction for Gailey Road. Stacy’s play, After the Sirens, premiered at the St. John’s Short Play Festival in September 2018, and she is currently producing and curating a youth-engaged play for the same festival in September 2019; and slowly but surely working on a full-length play Not My Circus, Not My Monkey - an exploration into trauma and attachment of children in foster care. A background in social work and journalism, Stacy’s life and work has always revolved around ‘story’ she currently holds the position of Local Immigration Partnership Coordinator in St. John’s, NL, where she lives with her young son, and facilitates creating writing workshops in her house. http://www.stacygardner.ca/
Leah Golob is a Toronto-based journalist, content specialist, copywriter, and editor. She’s the book reviews editor at Room and has been lead editor for several issues. Her writing has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Georgia Straight, Vancouver Observer, and other publications. She has an MA in English literature. Connect with her on Twitter @LeahGolob or visit LeahGolob.com.
Joy Gyamfi is a black, queer writer and photographer from Ghana. She is most likely to be found on Tinder dates at the Art Gallery. Her work has appeared in The Garden Statuary, SAD Mag, and The Capilano Review. You can find out more at roughclub.ca.
Michelle Ha is a second-generation Chinese Canadian whose main interest lies in writing. Although she enjoys staring at a blank page every now and then, she also has other interests that include photography, calligraphy, and art. She is currently studying English with a minor in Professional Journalism and Publishing at the University of Victoria, and interning at The Malahat Review and Room.
Kendra Heinz is a Montreal-based reader, writer, editor, and former lawyer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carleton University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Calgary. Kendra is an editor at a children’s book publisher and spends much of her free time working one-on-one with emerging writers to edit and evaluate short stories and manuscripts. In addition to her role at Room, Kendra is a member of Editors Canada, a volunteer with The Malahat Review, and reading a new book or graphic novel every few days.
A.M. Higgins is a queer writer living on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. She is an MFA Candidate atthe University of British Columbia.
Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw aunty and a member of Sucker Creek First Nation in Treaty 8 territory of Northern Alberta. She is the managing editor of Room magazine and a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading series, a collaborative series between Room and Massy Books celebrating Indigenous women/2SQ storytellers. She has been published in Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass Buffalo, CV2, SAD Magazine, Red Rising Magazine, The Rusty Toque, Poetry is Dead, and Bad Nudes, among others. Her short story, "The Bull of the Cromdale" was nominated for a 2019 National Magazine Award in fiction and her debut poetry chapbook, How Not to Spill, is out now with Rahila's Ghost Press.
Tamara Jong is a Montreal-born mixed-race writer of Chinese and European ancestry. Her work has appeared in Ricepaper, Room, Carte Blanche, The New Quarterly, Invisible Publishing and Body & Soul; Stories for Skeptics and Seekers. She is a graduate of The Writer's Studio (Simon Fraser University). You can find her on Twitter @bokchoygurl.
Micah Killjoy was born and raised on coastal Salish land. They are a writer and BFA student at the University of British Columbia. They enjoy urban exploration, daydreaming about destruction and solarpunk aesthetics.
Chelene Knight is the author of the poetry collection Braided Skin and the memoir Dear Current Occupant, winner of the 2018 Vancouver Book Award. Her essays have appeared in multiple Canadian and American literary journals, plus the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star. Her work is anthologized in Making Room, Love Me True, Sustenance, The Summer Book, and Black Writers Matter. The Toronto Star called Knight, “one of the storytellers we need most right now.” In addition to her work as a writer, Knight was the previous managing editor at Room (2016- June 2019), and programming director for the Growing Room Festival (2018, 2019), and now CEO of #LearnWritingEssentials and Breathing Space Creative. Knight is currently working on Junie, a novel set in Vancouver’s Hogan’s Alley, forthcoming in 2020. She was selected as a 2019 Writers' Trust Rising Star by David Chariandy. cheleneknight.com @LWEstudio
Photo credit: Katherine Holland.
Hope Lauterbach is a Zambian-born Canadian poet and writer. She is passionate about the diversification of speculative fiction and is currently writing her first novel.
Mica is an MFA student at UBC and contributor to Room ("Tiny Parts," Issue 39.2). Her thesis project is a combination of comedic personal essays and original music, which is being developed into a podcast series. She is also the host of "Fainting Couch Feminists," a new podcast with Room. She is originally from Vernon, B.C. but is currently based in Vancouver.
Annick MacAskill’s poems have appeared in journals and anthologies across Canada and abroad, including Room, Plenitude, Prism, Canadian Notes & Queries, Arc, The Fiddlehead, Best Canadian Poetry, and The Stinging Fly. Her debut collection, No Meeting Without Body (Gaspereau Press, 2018), was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award and shortlisted for the Atlantic Book Awards’ J.M. Abraham Poetry Award. Her second collection is due to be published by Gaspereau in the spring of 2020. She currently lives and writes in Kjipuktuk (Halifax) on the traditional and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq.
Katherine is studying English Cultural Studies and Critical Theory at McGill University. Concurrently with her studies, she sits on The McGill Tribune’s Board of Directors and is the content coordinator for the student-run, Montreal-wide, 2020 Fokus Film Festival. Last summer, Katherine worked at Boat Rocker Media, a Toronto-based film and TV production company. She loves to collect rare and vintage books, work on watching her lengthy list of must-see films, and listen to live music with friends. Most importantly, she is thrilled to be working with Room’s Editorial Collective!
Mridula Morgan has an MA in Education and has worked in the area of social services within the Lower Mainland for over thirty years. She identifies as an immigrant woman of colour and is committed to social justice through an anti-oppression lens. She is a wanna-be writer with a personal blog and is currently working on a family memoir.
Rose Morris has been a member of Room's editorial collective since 2013. She holds a Masters degree in literature from the University of Victoria. In addition to her role at Room, Rose is a content writer for a marketing agency, a volunteer for The Malahat Review, and occasionally a poet.
Navneet Nagra is a writer, reader and knitter. Currently she is working on two books of poetry and will be featured in Lemon Hound's New Vancouver Poets Folio. You can follow her @stelladalle and penpencilpoison.weebly.com.
Cara Nelissen is a queer writer currently living on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh peoples (Vancouver, BC). She’s the author of the chapbook "Pray For Us Girls" (Rahila’s Ghost Press, 2019) and her work has been published in Plenitude, CV2, Vallum, untethered, and Grain.
Oubah Osman is a Somali-Canadian writer and creative from Scarborough, Toronto. She has been published or is forthcoming in 20.35 Africa: An Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, CV2, Room Magazine, The Puritan, and Unpublished City Volume 2, among others. She is a recent graduate from the University of Guelph MFA program.
Angelica Poversky (they/them) is a spoken word poet, an interdisciplinary artist, community organizer and media activist residing on the stolen and unsurrendered lands of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-Waututh), and Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish) peoples.
After completing a Master of Journalism at UBC, Yvonne Robertson worked as a journalist and editor in Vancouver, writing and editing long-form feature pieces as well as short news stories. She’s since switched gears slightly, returning to Toronto and taking a position as a public affairs officer at a non-profit. An avid reader, passionate about arts and culture, arts activism, and social justice, Yvonne looks to find ways to expose and subvert systemic injustices, particularly through writing and artistic expression. She also love dancing and cats.
Rebecca Russell is a freelance editor, teacher, and arts administrator. She has held various positions in publishing, ESL education, and film and theatre and, apart from a year spent abroad, has lived in Toronto for the past several years. She holds a BA in English and women & gender studies from the University of Toronto.
Geffen Semach lives in London, England, where she works a Literary Agent's Assistant to Clare Alexander at Aitken Alexander. Geffen has also worked at Profile Books and in foreign rights at Andrew Nurnberg Associates in London. She has also been an online editor for Momentum magazine, a creative copywriter at the marketing agency Y5 Creative, as well as held an editorial assistant position with The Nabokov Online Journal. Geffen has a Bachelors from Dalhousie and completed the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University in 2018.
Jane Shi is a queer Chinese settler living on the unceded, traditional, and ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. Her writing can be found in Poetry Is Dead, LooseLeaf Magazine, Canthius, and PRISM International, among others. She wants to live in a world where love is not a limited resource, land is not mined, hearts are not filched, and bodies are not violated. You can find her online at @pipagaopoetry.
jaye is a libra sun, sagittarius rising, scorpio moon. jaye is a displaced indigenous person living, creating & occupying on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), səl̓ilwətaɁɬ (Tsleil-waututh), and sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) First Nations territories. they are a co-organizer of the Indigenous Brilliance reading series, a collaborative series between Room Magazine and Massy Books celebrating Indigenous women/2SQ storytellers. you can find them and their hot takes on twitter at @jayesimpson94.
Arielle Spence is a literary arts enthusiast who grew up in Coldstream, B.C. (unceded Syilx Territory). After receiving a BA from UBC in 2015, they have spent the last 4 years working for arts and education non-profits, most recently Pain BC. They were the founding Festival Director for Growing Room in 2017, and were honoured to edit Issue 42.1 of Room, "Magic."
Sylvia Symons grew up in northern B.C. and currently lives with her family in Vancouver, where she teaches ESL at a community college. Her work appears in lit-mags and anthologies including EVENT, Geist, Best Canadian Poetry 2016, Room, CV2, and Prairie Fire. Walking up or down a non-moving escalator requires all her focus and courage.
Rachel Thompson is a poet and memoirist, former Managing Editor at Room, and current editorial collective member. She is a settler-Canadian, born on Treaty 1 territory and raised on Treaty 2 territory in Manitoba. She has also lived on the traditional territories of the Kanien’kehá:ka, and the Anishinabeg peoples in Montreal, Quebec, and on the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh lands in Vancouver, B.C. She teaches writing courses at rachelthompson.co. Find her on Twitter: @rachelthompson and Instagram: @rachelthompsonauthor.
Délani Valin is a Cree-Métis writer living on Snuneymuxw traditional territory. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from Vancouver Island University. Her poetry has been awarded The Malahat Review’s Long Poem Prize, subTerrain’s Lush Triumphant Award, and was nominated for a National Magazine Award in 2018. She has read for Room’s Indigenous Brilliance series, and her work has also appeared in Exile Editions’ Those Who Make Us, Adbusters, and Soliloquies Anthology, among others.
Yilin Wang is a writer, poet, editor, and Chinese-to-English translator who has lived in China, the U.S., Scotland, and Canada. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Clarkesworld, The Malahat Review, Grain, carte blanche, Contemporary Verse 2, Arc Poetry Magazine, LooseLeaf Magazine, Matador Network, The Tyee, The Toronto Star, Business Insider, and the anthology Best of Abyss & Apex Vol.2. Her work has been shortlisted for The University of East Anglia’s David T.K Wong Fellowship, a finalist for the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction, and longlisted for the Peter Hinchcliffe Short Fiction Award. Yilin is a Creative Writing MFA candidate at UBC and has served as an assistant editor for Room issues 40.4 (Let's Make Contact) and 42.1 (Magic). Find her online at www.yilinwang.com and on Twitter @yilinwriter
Isabella Wang is a young, emerging Chinese-Canadian writer from Vancouver, B.C. Her poetry is published in Room Magazine, The /tEmz/ Review, Train Journal, and Looseleaf Magazine. Her essays are published in carte blanche, Invisible Blog, and The New Quarterly. At 18, she is a two-time finalist and the youngest writer shortlisted for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. She is studying English at SFU, co-ordinating the Dead Poets Reading series, volunteering as the youth advocate for the Federation of BC Writers, working with Books on the Radio, and interning at Room.
Kayi Wong graduated from UBC in 2014 with a BA in English literature. She has worked at a children's library, an independent bookstore, interned at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and coordinated a non-profit women's rights campaign. After living in Hong Kong and Singapore for many years, she is currently doing publicity and marketing for publishing folks in Vancouver, B.C. Follow her on twitter @kayitypes.