CWC Mentors.
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Our team

CWC mentors are dedicated, enthusiastic professionals, active in their respective fields and with strong reputations in the field of education and literature. Our team is composed of award-winning authors, editors, screen writers, playwrights, illustrators, designers, and actors.

When students enroll in CWC, they have direct access to mentors and their individual creative outlooks. Mentors often share their works in progress, so students have a unique opportunity to witness the journey of a book as it comes to life.

Our mentors believe in using the imaginative arts (music, drama and illustration) to inspire students to become stronger readers and writers and to specifically create a broader understanding of concepts such as character, plot, setting, point of view, imagery, and style.

Meet some of our mentors . . .

> Lee Edward Födi (Mr. Wiz)   > Kallie George
> Dan Bar-el   > Stacey Matson
> Greg Brown   > Marcie Nestman
> Nafiza Azad   > K.A. Wiggins
> Lauren Maguire   > James McCann
> Kelsey Moorhouse   > Dona Park
> Joon-hyoung Park    

CWC mentors.


Lee Edward Födi (Mr. Wiz)

Known to his students as “Mr. Wiz,” Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator, and specialized arts educator. He is the author of Spell Sweeper, The Secret of Zoone, The Guardians of Zoone, and the Kendra Kandlestar series. He has also illustrated picture books for other authors and has been the official illustrator for the BC Library's Summer Reading Club.

Lee specializes in presentations and workshops for elementary-aged children. He has taught programs for students in Canada, the United States, England, Thailand, China, and South Korea and is a founding member of CWC. He has taught at the Vancouver Public Library Camp, Summer at St. Georges, and the MASC conference in Ottawa, and has toured several times for CCBC's Book Week. He routinely speaks to educational institutions, literary organizations, and writing groups on topics related to teaching creative writing.

Lee studied at the University of British Columbia and has a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fine Arts.


Written by Lee Edward Födi:
~ Spell Sweeper (HarperCollins, 2021)
~ The Guardians of Zoone (HarperCollins, 2020)
~ The Secret of Zoone (HarperCollins, 2019)
~ Kendra Kandlestar: Legends & Lore from the Land of Een (Simply Read Books, 2015)
~ Kendra Kandlestar and the Search for Arazeen (Simply Read Books, 2015)
~ Kendra Kandlestar and the Crack in Kazah (Simply Read Books, 2014)
~ Kendra Kandlestar and the Shard from Greeve (Simply Read Books, 2014)
~ Kendra Kandlestar and the Door to Unger (Simply Read Books, 2013)
~ Kendra Kandlestar and the Box of Whispers (Simply Read Books, 2013)
~ Corranda's Crown (Royal Fireworks Press, 2002)

Illustrated by Lee Edward Födi:
~ The Turtle Book (SLT, 2014)
~ The Chocolatier's Apprentice (Echo Memoirs, 2007)
~ Gwynne, Fair & Shining (Brown Books, 2006)
~ Martha Anne's Quilt for Queen Victoria (Brown Books, 2006)
~ I'll Follow the Moon (Brown Books, 2005)

Lee Edward Fodi (Mr. Wiz)


Kallie George

Kallie George is an author, speaker and instructor of creative writing workshops. She has a master’s degree in children’s literature from the University of British Columbia.

She has written a number of acclaimed books for young readers including the early reader series Tiny Tails, the picture book series Duck, Duck, Dinosaur. Clover’s Luck— the opener of the enchanting Magical Animal Adoption Agency series—features Clover, an unlucky girl who discovers a magical cottage in the woods which is home to fairy horses, unicorns and a fiery dragon.

Kallie has always loved writing from the time she was a child, and now loves to bring that same joy to the students she teaches.


Fiction for children:
~ Merry Christmas, Anne (Tundra 2021)
~ Anne's School Days (Tundra, 2021)
~ Bedtime Ballet (Little Brown, 2021)
~ The Secret Fawn (Tundra Books, 2021)
~ Wings of Olympus: Colt of the Clouds (HarperCollins, 2020)
~ Wings of Olympus (HarperCollins, 2019)
~ Goodnight Anne (Tundra, 2018)
~ Anne Arrives (Tundra, 2018)
~ The Doll Hospital (Athenum, 2018)
~ Duck, Duck, Dinosaur - Bubble Blast (HarperCollins, 2017)
~ Duck, Duck, Dinosaur - Perfect Pumpkin (HarperCollins, 2017)
~ Duck, Duck, Dinosaur - Snowy Surprise (HarperCollins, 2017)
~ Secrets I Know (Schwartz & Wade, 2017)
~ The Lost Gift (Schwartz & Wade, 2016)
~ Duck, Duck, Dinosaur and the Noise at Night (HarperCollins, 2016)
~ Duck, Duck, Dinosaur (HarperCollins, 2016)
~ Splash (Simply Read Books, 2016)
~ The Enchanted Egg (Disney-Hyperion, 2015)
~ Clover's Luck (Disney-Hyperion, 2015)
~ Flare (Simply Read Books, 2014)
~ Snow White and Rose Red (Simply Read Books, 2014)
~ Spark (Simply Read Books, 2013)
~ The Melancholic Mermaid (Simply Read Books, 2010)
~ Pippy, (Simply Read Books, 2012)
  Saffy and Ollie (Simply Read Books, 2012)
~ Totty (Simply Read Books, 2008)
~ Saffy Looks for Rain (Simply Read Books, 2008)
~ Saffy (Simply Read Books, 2007)

Kallie George



Dan Bar-el

Dan Bar-el is an award-winning children's author of a dozen books as well as an educator and storyteller. His writing includes chapter books, picture books, and graphic novels.

For the past twenty years, Dan has been working with children ages 3 to 13. He's been a school age childcare provider, a preschool teacher, a creative drama teacher and creative writing teacher. These days, when not writing, travelling around the country presenting his book, storytelling or leading various workshops at schools and libraries, he teaches creative writing courses to children in Vancouver, BC where he lives.


~ Just Beyond the Very, Very Far North (Atheneum Books, 2020)
~ The Very, Very Far North (Atheneum Books, 2019)
~ Dog Night at the Story Zoo (Tundra Books, 2017)
~ It's Great Being a Dad (Tundra Books, 2017)
~ Audrey (cow) (Tundra Books, 2014)
~ Nine Words Max. (Tundra Books, 2014)
~ A Fish Named Glub (Kids Can Press, 2014)
~ Dream Boats (Simply Read Books, 2013)
~ Not Your Typical Dragon (Viking Books, 2013)
~ That One Spooky Night (Kids Can Press, 2012)
~ Pussycat, Pussycat, Where Have You Been? (Simply Read Books, 2011)
~ It’s All Greek to Me, Jack (Gumboot Books, 2010)
~ Such a Prince (Clarion Books, 2007)
~ Alphabetter (Orca Books, 2006)
~ Things Are Looking Grimm, Jill (Orca Book Publishers, 2006)
~ Things Are Looking Up, Jack (Orca Book Publishers, 2003)

Dan Bar-el


Stacey Matson

Stacey always wanted to be an author, but she took some long detours along the way. She grew up in Calgary, Alberta, where she completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre at the University of Calgary. She worked for a number of years in museum interpretation, developing public programs and guided tours for multiple heritage sites and museums, eventually moving to Ottawa to run the Parliamentary Tour and Educational Outreach programs on Parliament Hill.

Stacey then moved to Vancouver to complete her MA in children’s literature at UBC. Stacey’s thesis for her MA program became her first published novel and the beginning of a trilogy with Scholastic Canada.

Stacey volunteers as a literacy mentor for the Writers’ Exchange in East Vancouver. She was the Writer’s Trust Berton House writer-in-residence in Dawson City, Yukon, in 2016, has toured as part of the TD Children's Book Week, as well as honed her skills as a public presenter as an interpreter at the Vancouver Aquarium, as well as doing numerous school visits and teaching residencies.


~ Finding Cooper (Scholastic Canada, 2019)
~ Notes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius (Scholastic Canada, 2016)
~ Scenes from the Epic Life of a Total Genius (Scholastic Canada, 2015)
~ A Year in the Life of a Total and Complete Genius (Scholastic Canada, 2014)

Stacey Matson


Greg Brown

Greg brings excitement and many years of writing and teaching experience to his role as CWC mentor. Greg loves working with young writers as they find their own voices and as they encounter the joy and wonder of reading and storytelling. For several years he’s taught across North America and has guided many young writers as they discover their passion for writing. He’s taught creative writing at the University of Virginia’s Young Writers Workshop and at the Doris Henderson Newcomers School, a school dedicated to helping recent young immigrants prepare to enter the US public school system. He's also taught English Literature and writing at the University of North Carolina - Greensboro, where he received his Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

Greg's writing has appeared in, or is forthcoming from: Paragon, Postscript, Pulp Literature, Tate Street, PRISM international, The Journey Prize Stories 30: The Best of Canada’s New Writers and elsewhere. He’s the recipient of the UBC English Department’s Roy Daniells Memorial Essay Prize, a 2018 Pushcart Prize nominee and the winner of the 2018 Grouse Grind Lit Prize for V. Short Forms. Two of his stories were recently longlisted for the 2018 Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. When he’s not writing and teaching, he’s a coordinator for the Vancouver Island Short Film Festival.

  Greg Brown  

Marcie Nestman

Marcie Nestman is an actor, voice-over actor, and theatre instructor.

After graduating from the Theatre Arts Performance Conservatory at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Marcie continued her studies at The Neighborhood Playhouse in New York City. Marcie has appeared in numerous TV commercials, theatre productions, and other projects.

This past year, Marcie made her assistant directing debut with the production of Dot & Ziggy, and up next she’s writing her first commissioned play, On My Walk, with author Kari-Lynn Winters for Carousel Theatre for Young People.

Theatre credits include Ann in Ruby Slippers Theatre's production of Communion, Patsy in Carousel Theatre's The Secret World of Og and Bobby, for 168 performances, in the BC children’s tour of The Big League. Marcie can also be seen in many promotional advertisements for Animas Canada, showcasing and raising awareness for heroes living with Type 1 Juvenile Diabetes.

Marcie specializes in workshops for young actors and writers. She teaches acting at Carousel Theatre and creative writing for The Creative Writing for Children Society (CWC). In addition, she has taught at numerous theatre and writing camps, including the Mount Royal University Summer Camp, Carousel Theatre, CWC Wizards Camp in Korea, the Write It, Read It camp for the Whistler Public Library, and as artist-in-residence in Thailand. She finds that her passion for acting and writing is ignited by teaching children the fundamentals of theatre. She loves being able to participate in and experience the passionate energy that her students bring to everyday life.

~ On My Walk (Carousel Theatre, 2016)
~ Annie, Communion (Ruby Slippers, 2013)
~ Patsy, The Secret World of Og (Carousel, 2009)
~ Bobby, The Big League (Carousel, 2007)
TV / Film
~ VIFF trailer (2014)
~ Onlooker, Signed, Sealed, Delivered (2014)
~ Family Member, A Swan Song (2013)
Voice Over / Narration
~ My Pollogen, 2013
~ Battle of Monmouth Musuem Exhibit, 2013
~ Saffy Looks for Rain, Narration, Simply Read Books, 2013
~ The Swing book Trailer, Simply Read Books, 2013
TV Commercials
~ Bounty paper towels, 2015
~ Toyota, 2014
~ Telus Health, 2014
~ Tidy Cats, Purina, 2013

Marcie Nestman


Nafiza Azad

Nafiza Azad has been immersed in fantastical worlds her whole life. She was born in Fiji where she dreamed about fairies and monsters. She immigrated to Canada with her family when she was seventeen and continued dreaming about fantastical worlds. She was determined to be a doctor but after an epiphany one afternoon while in biology class, she changed her major and graduated with a BA in English Literature. Her first novel was the thesis she wrote for her Masters degree in Children’s Literature which she completed at UBC.

Nafiza is passionate about languages and minored in Korean at university. She mostly uses her Korean skills when she’s watching Korean dramas or when she’s reading webtoons. She has also dabbled in Latin, French, Spanish, Arabic, and Urdu. When Nafiza is not writing, she is either plotting her next book, taking pictures of flowers, or staring out the window at the sky.


~ The Wild Ones (Scholastic, 2021)
~ Come on In (Scholastic, 2020)
~ The Candle and the Flame (Scholastic, 2019)

Nafiza Azad.


K.A. Wiggins

K.A. Wiggins (Kaie) writes speculative fiction for young people and adults that explores social movements, environmental crisis, and identity issues through intricate, dreamlike tales of monsters and magic. She's also the President of the Children's Writers and Illustrators of British Columbia society (CWILL BC), co-founder of marketing and business services consultancy The Creative Collective, and a creative writing coach with the Creative Writing for Children society. She owes a debt of gratitude to the teachers who encouraged her writing at a young age and takes great joy in mentoring and celebrating the next generation of young writers.

Following early success as an award-winning teen writer, she completed a Bachelor of Arts (English Language Studies & Asian Studies, Japanese) at the University of British Columbia, along with intensive workshops in editing and rewriting fiction and children's publishing with award-winning Vancouver-based children's publisher Tradewinds Books. She worked in corporate marketing and business analysis before launching a second career in publishing and brings a wide-ranging skill set to both the trade and art of writing.

Her debut novel was a Page Turner Awards 2020 Book Spotlight Prize winner and a Barnes & Noble Press "20 Favorite Indie Books of 2018," kicking off a celebrated independently published YA fantasy trilogy. Her short fiction has appeared in small press anthologies, genre magazines, and in translation for international audiences. An obsessive reader, she's also fascinated by languages, music, and coding.


~ Burn the Skies: Threads of Dreams (2021)
~ Boy With No Name: The Devil You Know (Fiction-Atlas Press, 2020)
~ Black the Tides: Threads of Dreams 2 (2020)
~ A Song of Dark Things: Unknown Realms (Fiction-Atlas Press, 2019)
~ On the Edge (Enchanted Conversation, 2019 / The Earthian Hivemind, 2021)
~ Under (2019)
~ The Unsought Light (2019)
~ Lettera dalla fine del mondo (Virgibooks, 2019)
~ Letter From the End of the World (2019)
~ Blind the Eyes: Threads of Dreams 1 (2018)

K.A. Wiggins


Lauren Maguire

Over the years, Lauren has worked as a ghostwriter, freelance editor, humanities tutor, submission reader, actor, and UBC teaching assistant. She holds a Master’s degree from the University of British Columbia, with a Bachelor’s in English Literature. Between her Master’s degree and her Bachelor’s degree, Lauren has studied scripting for stage, radio, screen, various forms of composition for children and young adults, adult fiction, and poetry.

In addition to her ongoing work as a ghostwriter and freelance editor, Lauren continues developing side-projects of her own such as a post-apocalyptic verse novel, science fiction graphic novel, and sprawling futuristic series. During her time at UBC, Lauren co-wrote and produced a short, comedic film, and published two works of scholarly critique, along with a short story and a novel review.

Much of Lauren’s work is considered confidential, including her publications as a ghostwriter, but some of her academic distinctions include: the UBC President’s Entrance Scholarship, Trek Excellence Scholarship, Walter H Gage and Elsie M Harvey Education Abroad Scholarship, Graduate Student Initiative Scholarship, Ronald Jobe Award, and MACL Top Graduate Award. At the end of the day, whether reading, editing, writing, of co-writing, there is very little Lauren loves more than immersing herself in a fantastical world full of magic, adventure, and well-plotted intrigue.

  Lauren Maguire  

James McCann

James McCann has written many popular novels, including Three Spartans (Crwth Press), Flying Feet (Orca Book Publishers), and Children of Ruin (Iron Mask Press) His newest middle grade novel will be out in Spring 2021, A Spartan at Sea (Crwth Press).

He has written book reviews for the Canadian Children’s Book News and taught countless workshops for schools, school divisions, libraries, University of British Columbia, BCLA, BCTELA, Writer’s Union, BC Writer’s Federation, Canadian Authors Association, Surrey International Writers Conference, BC Raise a Reader, and many after school programs. From 2006 – 2009 he was the president of CWILL BC.

Currently, McCann is enjoying working with the Richmond Public Library as a digital services technician. Most of his time is spent writing, but now and then he explores the open road, plays Dungeons and Dragons, or practices the ukulele.


~ A Spartan at Sea (Crwth Press, 2022)
~ Three Spartans (Crwth Press, 2019)
~ Children of Ruin (Iron Mask Press, 2018)
~ Flying Feet (Orca Book Publishers, 2010)
~ Pyre (Simply Read Books, 2007)
~ Rancor (Simply Read Books, 2005)

James McCann



Kelsey Moorhouse

Kelsey has spent her life reading, writing, studying, and teaching, all of which inspire her in her work with CWC and beyond. In addition to creative writing, she has taught piano and music theory, swimming lessons and lifesaving training, drama and dance, and has most recently worked as both a teaching assistant at UBC in the Creative Writing Department and an English tutor. She is passionate about working with kids and teens, especially where creativity and self-expression are concerned!

When she isn’t teaching, writing, or practicing the piano, Kelsey is an avid traveller who has lived in Northern England, where she studied medieval manuscripts and architecture, and Southern Italy, where she volunteered on an archaeological dig of a first century Roman cemetery. Currently, she resides between the Rocky Mountains and Canadian Prairies in Calgary, Alberta.

Kelsey has a BA in Honours English from the University of Calgary and an MA in Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Education in Secondary English Language Arts. This past July, she successfully defended her master’s thesis, and she is now revising the third draft of her young adult fantasy novel about the transformative power of creativity.


~ Eleanor (Short Story. Short-listed for Canadian Bridge Prize, 2020)
~ Heroes, Adolescents, and Artists: The Quest of the Female Artist in Young Adult Fantasy Literature (MA Thesis. UBC, 2020)
~ Review of A Treason of Thorns (Book Review. Young Adulting: Serious Reviews of Teen Fiction, 2019)
~ Review of Ember and the Ice Dragon (Book Review. Young Adulting: Serious Reviews of Teen Fiction, 2019)
~ Review of Seraphina (Book Review. Young Adulting: Serious Reviews of Teen Fiction, 2019)
~ Losing Your Passport is Every Traveller’s Worst Nightmare, Here’s My Story... (Personal Essay/Travel Writing. Contiki Six-Two, 2018)
~ Desire (Poem. NoD Magazine, 2018)
~ Touched (Poem. NoD Magazine, 2017)
  Kelsey Moorhouse  

Dona Park

Dona Park is an artist and graphic designer living in Abbotsford, BC. Born in South Korea, she has lived, studied, and worked in Canada and the United States, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts in History and Art at Goshen College. Since 2017, she has worked intensively on art for peacebuilding initiatives in Cambodia.

Pulling inspiration from personal experience to cross cultural experiences, travels, and living abroad, particularly interacting with nature and women from all over the world, Dona creates mythical scenes that focus on the female narrative. Most of her illustrations capture everyday moments and envision a hope for humanity. Whether it is heartbreak, unexpected periods, or self-evaluation of our stretch marks, she enjoys exploring my own effervescent and ephemeral youth and adulthood.

Dona works as both a mentor and graphic designer for CWC, helping students achieve the dream of creating their own books.

  Dona Park  

Joon-hyoung Park

A well-known intercultural educator and author, Joon-hyoung Park is the founder of CWC. His dream to help children weave creativity into their writing began in 2004 when he met children’s fantasy book author Lee Edward Födi at a café in Vancouver, Canada. Joon asked Lee to develop a unique educational curriculum for creative writing and in the fall of 2004 the two experimentally started the first Dream Workshop in North Vancouver with a class of twelve rambunctious students.

Now, many years later, Dream Workshop has developed into a full fledged program, with regular classes held all over the lower mainland of British Columbia. Over 250 children each year take part in CWC’s Dream Workshop and, as result, publish their own books. Even young talent writers in countries as varied as Korea, the USA, China, New Zealand, Australia, and Singapore get toaccess to CWC through on-line programs, and are able to delve into the world of creative writing and art.

Reflecting on these past years with CWC, Joon recently published a book in Korean, ‘내 아이 창의력을 키우는 영어 글쓰기 (Weave Creativity into Writing), compiling his educational critics and columns, which have appeared in newspapers and other media in Vancouver and Seoul. The book poignantly tackles problematic English education in Korea and suggests to Korean parents and educators the fundamental change of perspectives on how to read and write in a comprehensive way.

Keeping the vision he’s shared with CWC’s authors and staff, he will strive to keep on exploring, experimenting, and expanding new creative areas on English education, sticking to the firm belief that kids are born as naturally creative beings and it is our role, as educators, to help them nurture and expand this creativity through robust and educational circumstances.

  Joon-hyung Park  
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