Lauren Kirshner, Founding Program Director
A finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award and named “Toronto’s Best Emerging Author” by NOW magazine, Lauren Kirshner is a novelist, freelance writer, arts educator and Assistant Professor of English at Ryerson University. Her writing has appeared in publications across Canada including The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, ELLE CANADA, THIS, Hazlitt, NOW, Taddle Creek, Quill and Quire, PRISM International, and Exile. Lauren’s novel, Where We Have to Go (M&S), which the Globe and Mail called “a very strong original debut,” has been translated into Dutch and German and was published in the U.S. Lauren is a graduate of The University of Toronto’s Masters of English in the Field of Creative Writing, where she was mentored by Margaret Atwood.
As an arts educator, Lauren has facilitated hundreds of creative writing workshops across Ontario in universities, schools and libraries, including the groundbreaking oral history program, Generations of Writers, and The Young Authors Project, a 2013 Finalist for the Ontario Minister’s Award for Innovation in the Arts. She has served as a Canada Council for the Arts Writer-in-Residence, and designed creative writing workshops for numerous arts festivals and organizations, including Luminato, Harbourfront Centre, and The Toronto Public Library. Lauren has served as Founding Director of Sister Writes since 2010.
Anna Gallagher-Ross, Curator
Anna Gallagher-Ross is a curator, editor, and performance-maker. She holds a B.A. in Theatre and Performance Studies and English Literature and an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Toronto, and is currently an M.A. Candidate at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College. Recently, Anna was Editorial Intern at Brick, A Literary Journal, Managing Editor of Sister Writes, Associate Editor of PLACE-HOLDER, Fiction Editor at the Hart House Review, and is now contributing editor of aCCeSsions. Anna has worked as a director, dramaturg, producer, and performer in Toronto and internationally. She has also worked as researcher and editor for three books on art, theatre, and performance, the most recent being Learning How to Fall: Art and Culture After September 11 (Routledge 2015). Anna has curated exhibitions, performances, and programming for Sister Writes, WIDEN (Workshops in Interdisciplinarity and Novelty), Footprints performance series, and other venues across Toronto. Anna has been Curator for Sister Writes since 2015.
Virginia LeBlanc, Graphic Designer
Virginia LeBlanc joined the Sister Writes team as a graphic designer in 2014. She was born and raised in the sea-salty air of New Brunswick, before moving to Ontario where she has worked in the image and design industry since 2005. She once built an entire Martha’s Vineyard style dollhouse from scratch, and is a major glam rock fanatic.
Cindy Maguire, Community Coordinator
Originally from northern Ontario, Cindy has been organizing and facilitating Sister Writes workshops for the last two years in her role as Community Coordinator. She has presented workshops for women’s organizations and was the co-organizer of OUT LOUD! the conference for LGBTQ youth and allies. Her stories have been published in three Sister Writes magazines, and her writing can also be found on the Sister Writes blog.
Donna Reid, Community Coordinator
Donna Reid joined Sister Writes in 2012 as a participant, and in 2013, began coordinating and facilitating community events. She was the co-organizer of OUT LOUD! the conference for LGBTQ youth and allies, and has designed and facilitated workshops throughout Toronto, including events at Maggie’s and Times Change. Recently, Donna co-faciliated a Community workshop in translation to Mandarin at The Gladstone Public Library. Originally from the north of England, Donna loves and cooking.