Deepa Rajagopalan – Organizer, Host, Curator

Deepa Rajagopalan is an MFA candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Guelph, and a graduate of the Creative Writing program from the University of Toronto. She won the 2021 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices award for her short story, “Peacocks of Instagram.” She is an editor of Held magazine, and co-host and curator of the Emerging Writers Reading Series in Toronto. She is working on her first book, a collection of short fiction.

She has worked in Information Technology and Management Consulting at Deloitte and Accenture. Before moving to Canada, Deepa lived in Saudi Arabia, India and the US. She currently resides in Guelph, Ontario.

You can follow her on Twitter @derajagopalan & Instagram at @deerajagopalan

Anna Lee-Popham – Organizer, Host, Curator

Anna Lee-Popham is a poet, writer, and editor in Tkaronto (Toronto). She holds an MFA Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and University of Toronto’s School of Continuing Education Creative Writing Certificate, where she received the Janice Colbert Poetry Award. Her writing has been longlisted for the CBC nonfiction prize, first runner-up in PRISM international’s Pacific Poetry Prize, and shortlisted for The Fiddlehead Creative Nonfiction Contest and ROOM Magazine‘s Poetry Contest, and has been published in Arc, Canthius, Riddle Fence, ROOM Magazine, and Autostraddle.

Evren Sezgin– Organizer, Host, Curator

Evren Kadir Sezgin is a versatile writer, editor, producer, and educator with a passion for literature and storytelling. With a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, Evren has dedicated his career to honing his craft and supporting emerging writers. During his time at the University of Guelph, he served as the Fiction Editor for HELD Literary Magazine.

As a passionate advocate for diversity and representation in literature, Evren spearheaded the creation of “Isthmus,” McGill University’s inaugural literary column dedicated to showcasing the talent of student authors of color. Through his efforts, the column gained recognition and acclaim within the community, with stories being republished in prominent regional literary magazines such as Dreamers. Originally from Los Angeles, California, Evren now resides in Toronto, Ontario, where he continues to explore the boundaries of creativity through his writing, editing, producing, and teaching. He is also a co-host for the esteemed Emerging Writer’s Reading Series, which was voted the best reading series in Toronto by NOW magazine in 2019.

Mechelle Wu – Promotions and Social Media Coordinator

Mechelle Wu is a Linguistics and Psychology student at the University of Toronto. She gravitates toward the dark and the gray and works within the field of fiction. Mechelle is committed to finding and crafting complex and inclusive “villains,” clever but seamless plot twists, and shocking or bittersweet endings.

Apart from school, she is a Lab Assistant and the Social Events Coordinator of the Society of Undergraduate Linguistics Students (SLUGS). Her love for storytelling and community-building stems, in part, from her ever-changing environment as she grew up in over six locations, including the United States and Singapore.

You can find her on Instagram at @m.chelle02.