Growing Room

About Room

Room is Canada’s oldest feminist literary journal, and has published fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction, art, interviews, and book reviews for forty years. Published quarterly by the West Coast Feminist Literary Magazine Society, also known as the Growing Room Collective, Room showcases writing and art by people of all marginalized genders, including cis and trans women, trans men, nonbinary and two spirit people. We believe in publishing emerging writers alongside established authors, and because of this, approximately 90% of the work we publish comes from unsolicited submissions or contest entries.

Works that originally appeared in Room have been anthologized in The Journey Prize AnthologyBest Canadian PoetryBest Canadian Stories, and Best Canadian Essays, and have been nominated for National Magazine Awards.

Growing Room Event

The Growing Room Collective

The Growing Room Collective includes all staff and editorial board members of Room. We have a unique editorial model, and each issue of the magazine is edited by a different team from our editorial board. Check out our submissions page for more information.

If you would like to volunteer with Room, please complete our application form. (Note we are not always recruiting, but we do keep applications on file for when we do.) The current collective includes:

Room Collective Members

Melissa Barrientos

Melissa Barrientos

Melissa Barrientos is a freelance editor, who enjoys spending her days editing manuscripts and helping self-publishing authors share their work with the world. She holds a HBA in English and Professional Writing & Communication from the University of Toronto and a certificate in Publishing from Ryerson University. Melissa is the co-founder of Archetype: A Literary Journal and volunteer for Editors Canada, gritLIT, and Room. When she is not editing or reading, she is writing about life back home in Lima, Peru.

Lena Belova

Lena Belova is a writer and artist living on unceded Coast Salish territories. They hold a BA in Creative Writing from Kwantlen Polytechnic University and are the former poetry editor and managing editor for pulpMAG. They have self-published two poetry chapbooks trichinella and happy to meet u. Writing across many forms and genres, their writing explores freedom and lack thereof.

Serena Lukas Bhandar

Serena Lukas Bhandar

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.

Adesina Brown

Adesina Brown

Adesina Brown is a 21 year-old, queer, non-binary author who centers QTPOC in all their work. They have been previously published in Minola Review, Rigorous Magazine, Exposition Review, and more. Where the Rain Cannot Reach is their debut novel.

Monica Calderon

Monica Calderon

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.

Ellen Chang-Richardson

Ellen Chang-Richardson

Ellen Chang-Richardson is an award-winning poet of Taiwanese and Chinese Cambodian descent. The author/co-author of five poetry chapbooks, their multi-genre work has been published in Augur, The Fiddlehead, third coast magazine, and Vallum Contemporary, among others. The co-founder of Riverbed Reading Series and a member of the poetry collective VII, you can usually find them baking sourdough bread from their starter, Bubbles, or posting food pics on Instagram. Ellen’s debut collection Blood/Belies is out in Spring 2024 with Buckrider Books (Wolsak & Wynn), and they are represented by Tasneem Motala of The Rights Factory. They are currently based on the traditional, unceded, territory of the Algonquin Anishinaabeg. Find them online @ehjchang and at ehjchang.com. 

Molly Cross-Blanchard

Molly Cross-Blanchard

Molly Cross-Blanchard is a white and Métis poet living on Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish land. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and a BA in English from the University of Winnipeg. Her debut full-length collection of poetry, Exhibitionist, was published by Coach House Books in Spring 2021.

Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros

Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros

Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros is an inner-city Indigiqueer with Treaty 6 Mistawasis Nêhiyaw and Afro-Brazilian ancestry. They are a plant loving, community oriented support worker, artist and organizer born and raised in diaspora, as a guest on stolen & unceded Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh and Musqueam territories. Karmella currently works as the Indigenous Brilliance Community Engagement leader with Room Magazine and the Art Ecosystem. They also work as the CRUW Garden Coordinator at xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, and support the Lucid Arts’ Earthseed Youth Book Club. Karmella’s most recent work is featured in Activations Of Solidarity with the Indigenous Curatorial Collective 2021, and Room Magazine issue 44.1 Growing Room.

Candace Fertile

Candace Fertile

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

Stacy Gardner

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/

Ruchika Gothoskar

Ruchika Gothoskar

Ruchika Gothoskar is an editor, writer, reader, researcher, and settler, currently living and learning on the territory of the Anishinabek, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Ojibway/Chippewa peoples, in Ontario. She holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in English and Cultural Studies from McMaster University, and a Master of Arts in Gender, Feminist, and Women’s Studies from York University. Ruchika is interested in anti-carceral responses to harm, reading more stories by authors of colour, and one day living by the ocean.

Michelle Ha

Michelle Ha

Michelle Ha is a second generation Chinese Canadian artist and editor, whose main interest lies in painting, writing, and editing. Although she enjoys staring at a blank canvas or page every now and then, she also has other interests that include archery, photography, writing letters to penpals, playing cozy games, and reading more “own voice” stories by marginalised folks. Much of her work in the literary world and in her personal life revolves around supporting and uplifting the voices of Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour, along with folks of the LGBTQIA+ community. She is currently an active editorial member for Room. Michelle has graduated from the University of Victoria with a bachelor’s degree in English and a minor in Professional Journalism and Publishing.

Kendra Heinz

Kendra Heinz

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.

Kaiya Jacob

Kaiya Jacob

Kaiya Jacob is a soon-to-be published scholar and emerging doula born and raised on unceded Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh territories. As a queer woman and settler of mixed Afro-Trinidadian and white European descent, anti-oppression is central to her values and her work. Kaiya is set to complete her Bachelor of Arts in Communications and Gender, Sexuality, Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University. Here, she focuses on the role of communications in community building and advocacy specifically for Black, racialized, and queer communities. In her spare time, Kaiya has been self-teaching traditional crafts such as embroidery, knitting, and sewing.

Micah Killjoy

Micah Killjoy was born and raised on coastal Salish land. They are a writer, editor, and BFA student at the University of British Columbia. They enjoy urban exploration, daydreaming, doggo walks, and solarpunk aesthetics.

Holly Lam

Holly Lam

Holly Lam is a Chinese/Scottish/Irish settler living on the territories of the Lekwungen people. She studied creative writing at the University of Victoria and her fiction has been published in carte blanchePlenitude, and Grain. Holly currently works in theatre administration and loves storytelling for its ability to create compassion, representation, and change. When not reading and writing, she listens to podcasts, absorbs moderately useless knowledge about queer celebrity news and TV shows, and cares for her many house plants.

Hope Lauterbach

Hope Lauterbach

Hope Lauterbach is a poet and writer with Zambian roots. She is currently enrolled in The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University. In addition to her role at Room, Hope is the Community and Outreach Coordinator for Learn Writing Essentials, an online creative writing studio, and the host of Unbound Reading Series, a quarterly reading and conversation that highlights Black creative voices.

Annick MacAskill

Annick MacAskill

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.

Lexi Mellish Mingo

Lexi Mellish Mingo

Lexi Mellish Mingo is a multi-disciplinary artist living and creating on the unceded and unsurrendered territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, and Musqueam Nations. Descending from both Afro-Guyanese, English and Scottish ancestry, her work is inspired by the complexity of diasporic experiences, and the process of place making, through community collaboration and dialogue.

Nara Monteiro

Nara Monteiro

Nara Monteiro (she/they) is a writer, editor, and nerd born in Brazil and raised on Treaty 13 territory in Toronto. They’ve worked with the communications and marketing team at the Forest City Film Festival, with the Digital Editorial team at The Walrus, and at Iconoclast Collective, Western University’s arts, culture, and politics magazineNara is currently completing a Master of Publishing at Simon Fraser University. In their spare time, you can find them reading speculative fiction and garden planning. Keep in touch @notesfromnara on Twitter and Instagram.

Rose Morris

Rose Morris

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.

Crystal Peng

Crystal Peng

Crystal Peng lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. She reads for EX/POST and edits for Flat Ink. When not writing, she spends her time propagating succulents, listening to the Goldberg Variations, or in a wikipedia rabbithole about oysters.

Omi Rodney

Omi Rodney

Omi is a Jamaican writer weaving stories from Tkaronto. Their artistic focus lies in documenting and reimagining the Black Atlantic, with an emphasis on the Caribbean. They are surrendering to history as their ancestors tell it.

Rebecca Russell

Rebecca Russell

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.

Ivy Sarker

Ivy Sarker

Ivy Sarker is an Indian writer currently living in Tkaronto. She writes her burning questions into fantasy prose and reintroduces herself to her culture through food. When she’s not writing or working at the local bookstore, she spends her time fighting her ever growing pile of books and rewatching Merlin.

Ellie Sawatzky

Ellie Sawatzky

Ellie Sawatzky is a poet and fiction writer from Kenora, Ontario. Her debut poetry collection, None of This Belongs to Me (Nightwood Editions), a selection of which was shortlisted for the 2019 Bronwen Wallace Award, was released in October 2021. A past winner of CV2’s Foster Poetry Prize and runner up for the Thomas Morton Memorial Prize, her work has been published widely in literary magazines across North America. She works as an editor for FriesenPress and curates the Instagram account @impromptuprompts, a hub for prompts and literary inspiration. Ellie lives in Vancouver with her partner and a cat named Camus.

Geffen Semach

Geffen Semach

Geffen Semach, originally from Vancouver, now lives in Toronto where she works at Penguin Random House Canada. For the last few years, she was living in London, England, where she worked as a Literary Agent’s Assistant at Aitken Alexander. Geffen has also worked at Profile Books and in foreign rights at Andrew Nurnberg Associates in London. She has been an online editor, a creative copywriter at a marketing agency, as well as held an editorial assistant position with The Nabokov Online Journal. Geffen completed the Columbia Publishing Course at Oxford University in 2017.

Asna Shaikh

Asna Shaikh

Asna Shaikh is an aspiring storyteller. Born in Mumbai, India, she currently lives on traditional Musqueam, Tsleil-Waututh, and Squamish land. She holds an MA in English from Simon Fraser University and has some experience in writing, marketing and communications. She is obsessed with cooking, keeping warm in the winter, and articulating untold stories of unseen people. She can’t help but laugh at all puns, no matter how bad.

Jane Shi

Jane Shi

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

Sylvia Symons

Sylvia Symons

Sylvia Symons is a poet and essayist who grew up in Lheidli T’enneh territory in North-central B.C. She currently lives with her family in Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations (Vancouver) and teaches ESL at a community college. Her writing appears in Best Canadian Poetry 2016, EVENT, Geist, Room, Prairie Fire, CV2, The Sustenance Anthology (Anvil Press), Thimbleberry, and Arc Poetry Magazine. 

Rachel Thompson

Rachel Thompson

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.

Shristi Uprety

Shristi Uprety

Shristi Uprety (she/her) is a Nepali writer from Kathmandu, currently living on the unneeded territory of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples in Vancouver BC. She is a MFA candidate at the University of British Columbia, where she is wading through her first novel. You can find her on Twitter @_ShristiUprety.

Délani Valin

Délani Valin

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.

Isabella Wang

Isabella Wang

Isabella Wang is the author of the chapbook, On Forgetting a Language (Baseline Press 2019), and her full-length debut, Pebble Swing (Nightwood Editions, 2021). Among other recognitions, she has been shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year Contest, The Malahat Review’s Far Horizons Contest and Long Poem Contest, and was the youngest writer to be shortlisted twice for The New Quarterly’s Edna Staebler Essay Contest. Her poetry and prose have appeared in over thirty literary journals and three anthologies. She is completing a double-major in English and World Literature at Simon Fraser University. With Vancouver Poetry House, she is a mentor and workshop coordinator for youth and high school poets across lower mainland Vancouver.

 

Isabella Wang

Administration

Managing Editor
Shristi Uprety
managingeditor [at] roommagazine [dot] com

Publisher
Nara Monteiro
circulation [at] roommagazine [dot] com
publisher [at] roommagazine [dot] com
outreach [at] roommagazine [dot] com

Marketing and Contests Coordinator
Ruchika Gothoskar
marketing [at] roommagazine [dot] com
partners [at] roommagazine [dot] com (for all ads inquiries)
contests [at] roommagazine [dot] com

Submissions & Website Content Coordinator
Isabella Wang
submissions [at] roommagazine [dot] com

Indigenous Brilliance Community Engagement Leaders
Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros and Lexi Mellish Mingo
karmella[at]roommagazine[dot]com

Book Reviews Editor
Micah Killjoy
reviews [at] roommagazine [dot] com

Website Manager
Monica Calderon
monica[at]roommagazine[dot]com

Podcast Hosts
Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, jaye simpson, and Lexi Mellish Mingo

Indigenous Brilliance Hosts & Organizers
Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, jaye simpson, Emily Dundas Oke, Patricia Massy, Jessica Johns, Lexi Mellish Mingo

 

Editorial Board

Melissa Barrientos, Lena Belova, Serena Lukas Bhandar, Meagan Black, Adesina Brown, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, Candace Fertile, Stacy Gardner, Ruchika Gothoskar, Michelle Ha, Kendra Heinz, Micah Killjoy, Holly Lam, Hope Lauterbach, Annick MacAskill, Lexi Mellish Mingo, Nara Monteiro, Rose Morris, Crystal Peng, Omi Rodney, Rebecca Russell, Ivy Sarker, Ellie Sawatzky, Geffen Semach, Asna Shaikh, Jane Shi, Sylvia Symons, Rachel Thompson, Shristi Uprety, Délani Valin, Isabella Wang

Board of Directors

Jane Hope, Kristin Cheung, Shagufta Pasta, Rose Morris, Stephanie Yu

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