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Leah Bailly

Discipline: Storytelling, Theatre, Writing
Homebase: Vancouver
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Contact Me: Email

I am a fiction writer, journalist and playwright who loves introducing students of all ages to creative writing. As a "writer in the schools," I collaborate with students who want to craft, perform and publish their own poetry, short story and personal memoir for the first time. This is a wonderful way to explore issues that matter to young people-- we point to the flashpoints in our culture and write about them creatively and honestly. My own writing has appeared in literary journals and anthologies across the US and Canada and on CBC and NPR radio, and I have written theatre for festivals across North America. My work has been recognized by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Yaddo Centre for the Arts, Breadloaf, Graywolf, and the Alberta Literary Awards. I hold a PhD in Creative Writing & Literature from the University of Southern California, where I was the Editor-in-Chief of Gold Line Press.


Leah stimulated insightful and thought provoking conversation and was open to new ideas. She was encouraging and open minded about my writing. I love our final project, it really makes me proud of our class and our community. Student, Age 16
Leah Bailly's passion was apparent throughout the entire workshop. Her ability to relate to us made the discussion comfortable and productive. She is very personable and an empathetic listener. I wrote about things I wouldn't feel comfortable about normally. Student, Age 16

Project Examples

Anthology Workshop

This workshop allows students the opportunity to craft and fine-tune their own creative work for publication. We start with rough drafts in poetry and short fiction, and share our work as a group. Discussing and editing our own work carefully allows us to build our piece into something polished. Finally, we learn how to 'layout' the anthology, including a cover image! Each student contributes something meaningful to this chapbook anthology, and sees their own work in print for the first time.

Poetry Slam

This writing and performance workshop is not only for poets! We'll try poetry, short story and memoir pieces, starting with some writing exercises that explore events or issues that matter to us. By trying multiple genres, we'll see which form suits our story. Then, we'll create a public reading event-- something like the Moth Speaking Series-- so students can share their work with each other or a wider audience. A great way to learn about personal writing and public speaking.

Stage to Page to Stage

This writing and theatre workshop is a fun way for students to develop their own theatre piece concerning issues that matter to them. We start with improvisation, interviews and hands-on theatre games to develop our story's theme. Then we transcribe the best scenes and stories to the page. Finally we return to the stage to perform the whole piece, with students using their own script. This is a great way for students to engage in issues that matter to them, and fine-tuning their ideas by exploring both on paper and on stage.

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