Sister Writes is a creative writing and arts program dedicated to honouring the wisdom and experiences of women-identified participants in downtown Toronto. We are a feminist community organization that provides women with the opportunity to work with professional women writers, develop creative potential, hone literary and leadership skills, receive mentorship, and build self-esteem. Together, each year, the women of Sister Writes publish a magazine of their stories, that is distributed throughout the Toronto Public Library system. The Sister Writes project was started by Lauren Kirshner, and has evolved into a collaboration between Kate Schneider and Anna Gallagher-Ross.
Lauren Kirshner is a novelist, adjunct professor of creative writing, and arts
educator. Her first novel, Where We Have to Go (M & S), was a finalist for the City of
Toronto Book Award and published in German and Dutch translation. She was also
named “Best Emerging Author” by Toronto’s NOW Magazine. Lauren’s other writing has
appeared in publications including The Globe and Mail, ELLE, THIS Magazine, and The
Toronto Star. As an arts educator, Lauren has presented hundreds of creative writing
workshops and programs, including the Young Authors Project, a finalist for the 2013
Ontario Minister’s Award for Innovation in the Arts. Since 2013, she has been an
instructor of creative writing at Ryerson University in Toronto. She is the Founding Program Director of Sister Writes, for which she was awarded a Trillium Foundation grant in 2014. She is currently at work on a second novel.
Kate Schneider is a Toronto-based photographer whose work is based in the
traditions of documentary storytelling and ethnography. Her most recent works focus on
the impact that land, and the socialized landscape, have on individual and cultural identity
in North America. Kate was recognized by the Magenta Foundation’s 2013 and 2015 Flash
Forward competitions, and has recently shown her work at the Soho Photo gallery (New
York), the Great Plains Art Museum (Lincoln, Nebraska), the Society of Photographic
Education (Cleveland), and the floor of the United State Senate. She received her MFA in
Documentary Media from Ryerson University (2009). Kate is also an Instructor at OCAD
University and writes for Raw View magazine.
Anna Gallagher-Ross is a curator, editor, and performance-maker. She holds a B.A.
in Theatre Studies and English Literature and M.A. in English Literature from the
University of Toronto, and is currently an M.A. Candidate at the Center for Curatorial
Studies, Bard College. Previously an Editorial Assistant at BRICK; Managing Editor of
Sister Writes; Associate Editor of PLACE-HOLDER; and Fiction Editor for the Hart
House Review, Anna is now an Editor of aCCeSsions. Anna has researched and edited
three books on the visual and performing arts, most recently Learning How to Fall: Art and
Culture After September 11 (Routledge 2015). She has also worked as a performer,
director, dramaturg, and arts administrator in Toronto and internationally. Anna
completed an Artistic Residency at Nightwood Theatre; co-created and facilitated
Nightwood’s feminist teen empowerment program, Busting Out!; co-founded Theatre in
Her Shoes, a collective devoted to supporting female playwrights and performers;
performed with The Nature Theatre of Oklahoma in Berlin, and co-curated a digital
performance between London, UK, and Toronto, Canada, on the topic of female
friendship. Anna has curated exhibitions and programming for Sister Writes, International Center for Photography, and The Hessel Museum.