Staff, Board & Volunteers


Katherena Vermette
Program Coordinator

The Program Coordinator organizes and administers all Collective programs: workshops, contests, Inside Publishing, Library Out Loud, Writers’ Circles and The Collective Consciousness. The Coordinator also supports the volunteer committee that organizes Speaking Crow.

Writer of poetry, fiction and children’s literature, artsy teacher, prairie gal about town oft seen trudging under elm trees, and all around herder of cats (feral and otherwise), Kate loves all things Writers Collective, Winnipeg-like, and well, writing, duh


The Writers’ Collective is governed by a volunteer Board. The Board oversees and supports the operations of the Collective. The Board makes decisions about programming and finances. The Board includes the Editorial Committee that manages The Collective Consciousness, and two Board members judge the annual Marie Barton Postcard Fiction contest.

Hilary Friesen

Hilary joined the Board in 2008 as Secretary and became the President in 2009. An aspiring writer since childhood, Hilary was published in Juice in her halcyon college days and currently churns out business copy for a marketing communications firm in Winnipeg.

Eve Dutton

After a year as volunteer layout artist for the Collective Consciousness, Eve Dutton joined the Writers’ Collective Board in 2008 and became Vice-President in 2009. Her third-grade report card reads as follows: “Eve loves to write. Unfortunately, we cannot get her to stop.”

Kelly-Anne Riess

Kelly-Anne Riess is the author of three books, including the poetry collection To End a Conversation (Thistledown Press), which was featured on CBC and the Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor. As a freelance journalist, she has written for the Globe and Mail and Canadian Geographic. She has also worked on a number of documentaries that have aired worldwide on networks such as A&E Biography and History Television.

Jodi Carmichael

Jodi lives in a big yellow house in the heart of Winnipeg, where she can often be found dancing in her living room with her two wildly imaginative daughters, her patient and supportive husband, and her scruffy Border Terrier named Zoe. She is a strong advocate for Asperger’s Syndrome which led to her writing Spaghetti is NOT a Finger Food and Other Life Lessons, a humorous chapter book about an eight-year old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Thembani Mdluli

Originally from Winnipeg, Thembani served a short term as The Collective’s Programming Coordinator before becoming a board member, following a move to Toronto. She now volunteers her time directing the newly rebranded Collective Consciousness; while balancing other hats working in media production as the Director of Brand Marketing for film industry directory, Fonebook, and as a screenwriter and filmmaker.


The Writers’ Collective would not be what it is today without its valued volunteers. Members make up our “Cookie Crew” and are often hands on deck at our various events. They also take on regular roles, such as indicated below. Our thanks is eternal.

Bruce Symaka
Speaking Crow Coordinator

Bruce Symaka is a free-lance arts administrator. He’s been writing book reviews and author interviews for more than a decade (usually under the name of Quentin Mills-Fenn.) He also teaches, tutors, and hosts various arts events around town. Bruce is currently the Audience Development Coordinator for the Winnipeg International Writers Festival.

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