Rachael is in her final year of creative writing at UVic, with a heart for poetry and fiction. She finds inspiration from the landscape of her hometown in the Okanagan Valley, particularly from days spent in her family’s vineyard. Other interests include birds, dancing, and trying to become ambidextrous.
Vancouver-born Kathryn Hall is in her fifth and final year at the University of Victoria specializing in Fiction. Kathryn worked as a consulting producer and transmedia coordinator for the web series The Autobiography of Jane Eyre and wrote episodes thirty-two, thirty-four, and forty-one. She continues to work for the production company Kalama+Tea that created AoJE. She is also a fan of Jeff Goldblum, for unknown reasons.
Born and groomed in rainy Vancouver, Colten is a fourth-year student pursuing a double major in Writing and English Literature. Specializing in drama and fiction, he has entertained stints of journalism, working as an editorial intern for the Georgia Straight newspaper this past summer. Currently the lead editor for an online publication called the Good View Social Club, he previously founded the digital writing collective Argot— deceased, but not forgotten. He recently received the Haig-Brown Award for Conservation Writing. His short story, “A Dunwich Farmhouse,” was published in This Side of West’s 2014 issue, and he assisted as a copy editor for last year’s accepted screenplays. He runs on a diet equal parts coffee and burnt toast, and is wildly obsessed with dialogue, reading, and swimming pools.
Jakelene was born in Regina, raised in Calgary, and recently spent eight months on the Sunshine Coast of BC working with Caitlin Press, an independent publishing house. Now in her fifth year of her writing and economics degree, she is a returning drama editor to This Side of West. In the last year, she has had her one-act play Cavendish performed by the Student Alternative Theatre Company, received both the Grant MacEwan Writing Scholarship and the Candis Graham Writing Scholarship, and helped published eighteen different books with Caitlin Press. She is currently at work on her first full-length play.
Dramatically cursed with dry, British wit and a Scottish temper, Tara Fietz has a chronic
love of books and getting lost in them while dinner quietly burns. Naturally, this led her
to writing, and her zeal for the written word hasn’t diminished since her early first novel,
all 191 hand-scribbled pages of it— in which she had a major crush on her male lead
character. After moving eight times since her Ottawa birthplace— mostly around
Alberta, discovering she likes neither horses nor cold weather— Tara seems to have
settled down for good in Victoria, BC. Her poetry has won a place in two previous
writing contests, including Writer’s Digest Poetry Awards. She is also a University of
Victoria student in Creative Writing and Greek and Roman Studies, juggling poetry,
Greek epics and Latin with a longterm, committed relationship with her debut novel,
adding doses of rosé when required.
Riley Smith is a 2nd-year student in screen and fiction. His favourite writers include August Wilson, William Faulkner and Quentin Miller. Riley has played with award-winning folk band Rough Around The Edges and appears in the film Laser Hamlet 3D. In his free time, Riley can be found on, in or around bikes.
Sara Bayat is in her final year of undergraduate creative writing at Uvic. Her first publication was in the 2014-15 issue of This Side of West, and she is thrilled to join the TSoW troop as a fiction editor this season. Her work has previously been longlisted for the 2016 PRISM international Short Fiction Contest, and she was a semifinalist in the 2016 Carve Magazine Raymond Carver Short Story Contest. Her short story, “Mog-a-moos,” currently appears in issue 55.1 of PRISM international. On an extraneous note, Sara has a cat named Bird and should probably one day have a bird called Cat.
Shannon is in her second year of Creative Writing at UVic. She interned with This Side of West last year and has recently been upgraded to poetry editor. She has a poem in Eber & Wein’s upcoming anthology, Upon Arrival, and received an honourable mention in the Times Colonist Flash Fiction Contest for a few paragraphs about a girl without bones. Shannon is a yoga instructor, avid bookworm and nature lover. She delights in many creative endeavours from painting to playing piano and has an uncanny knack for getting lost.