About Us

Winnipeg International Writers Festival

The Winnipeg International Writers Festival is a charitable non-profit organization that promotes reading and literacy in Manitoba by curating the annual THIN AIR writers festival and showcasing writers throughout the year.

Stories are at the core of who we are. THIN AIR KIDS is a celebration of the best Canadian writing in English and French for kids of all ages! You can discover new books to love at our virtual festival, thinairkids.ca. THIN AIR KIDS: investing in future writers, dreamers, leaders, citizens!

Les récits sont le fondement de nos êtres. THIN AIR KIDS célèbre l’excellence dans l’écriture canadienne en anglais et en français pour les enfants de tous âges! Vous pourrez découvrir de nouveaux livres coups de cœur lors de notre festival virtuel, thinairkids.ca. THIN AIR KIDS: un investissement envers les écrivain.es, rêveur.ses, leaders et citoyen.nes de demain!

Who We Are

Charlene Diehl

Charlene Diehl is a writer, editor, and performer, and since 2003 the Director of the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. She received a Ph.D. from the University of Manitoba in 1992 and was an English professor at the University of Waterloo before returning to her beloved Canadian prairies in 2000. She has published essays, poetry, non-fiction, reviews, interviews, academic studies, and several chapbooks.

Her book Out of Grief, Singing: A Memoir of Motherhood and Loss (Signature Editions, 2010) was shortlisted for both the Alexander Kennedy Isbister Non-Fiction Award and the McNally Robinson Book of the Year. Also a lover of jazz, she was the associate editor of a dig! magazine for a dozen years, has performed original poetry with her own jazz ensemble, A Flock of Bards, and is now the producer of the Izzy Asper Jazz Performances series. In 2019, she received the Making a Difference Award at the Mayor’s Luncheon for the Arts.

Chelsey Young
Administrative Coordinator

Chelsey Young graduated from the University of Winnipeg with her Bachelor of Arts in Rhetoric, and Communications in Spring of 2020. THIN AIR 2022 is her 5th festival and she is thrilled to be working toward bringing lively content to the hybrid edition. When she’s not ferociously tracking spreadsheets, you can find her singing pretty much everywhere she goes!

Alina Moore
Communications Coordinator

Alina Moore is the Communications Coordinator for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. Raised in the small lakefront town of Gimli, Manitoba, located on Treaty 1 Territory, she moved to Winnipeg to pursue a degree in Rhetoric, Writing, and Communications at the University of Winnipeg. She received her 3-year BA, and after a short break is back in classes to pursue a 4-year BA.

Alina is passionate about the importance of reading and writing and is thrilled to work with an incredible team that is dedicated to bringing phenomenal line-ups of authors and books to the community throughout the year. When she’s not drinking an iced coffee and reading a book at the lake, you can find her drinking an iced coffee and taking care of her 20+ indoor plants in her Winnipeg apartment.

Evan Hoskins
School Program Coordinator

Evan J (he/they) is the School Program Coordinator for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival. Evan’s first poetry book, Ripping down half the trees, was published in 2021. Evan is also a full-time fiction writer, the fiction editor for Cloud Lake Literary journal, as well as a writing workshop teacher for Vallum’s Poetry for Our Future! program.

Sébastien Gaillard
Coordonnateur de livres en fête junior

Originaire de France, installé depuis 2017 à Winnipeg avec sa famille, il poursuit son parcours professionnel atypique, axé sur le développement des arts et de la culture. Côté pile, il est Sébastien Gaillard. Un nom qui sied comme un gant à un grand bonhomme, passionné de littérature. Côté face, il est Seream. Auteur, performer, agitateur poétique.

Originally from France, he has been living in Winnipeg with his family since 2017, and continues his atypical career path, focused on the development of arts and culture. On the flip side, he is Sébastien Gaillard. A name that fits like a glove to a tall man, passionate about literature. On the other side, he is Seream. Author, performer, poetic agitator.

ryan steel thin air winnipeg international writers festival international ecrivains team
Ryan Steel
Tech Support

Ryan Steel is an independent filmmaker and animator from Treaty 1 Territory. After being introduced to the Winnipeg Film Group at the age of 13, he was sucked into the weirdo world of arthouse cinema.

brian hydesmith thin air winnipeg international writers festival international ecrivains team
Brian Hydesmith
Graphic Artist & Designer

Brian Hydesmith endeavours to connect the visual world with the written word. As a photographer, reporter, and graphic designer he has worked in various capacities on newspapers, magazines, books, academic journals, and visual projects of all types on three continents. Brian enjoys working with Winnipeg’s creative community to assist in sharing all they do to make the world a better place.