Calling all trans* writers

Winnipeg to host landmark trans* literature gathering this May

This May, Winnipeg will have the honour of hosting “Writing Trans Genres: Emergent Literatures and Criticism” – a conference which will be “the largest gathering of its kind in Canada,” according to organizer Trish Salah.

“So often trans* people’s work is read as a symptom of our identity rather than as creative and critical writing that may arise from our experiences, oppression, and culture, but which is not reducible to it,” says Salah.

“The conference builds upon the recent increase in both creative and critical writing by genderqueer, two spirit, and trans* folks, and a number of academic panels and events.”

While formal academic panels and papers will be included in the conference, it also includes many other works. The call for proposals extends an invitation to “writers, scholars, performers, critics, activists and community members to participate in developing critical contexts for reading and interpreting an emerging body of literature by transgender, transsexual, two spirit and genderqueer writers, on two spirit, trans, and genderqueer terms.”

The call for papers and proposals is open until Mar. 1, and Salah hopes the conference will create the space for diverse, intergenerational conversations. “[This] conference is exciting not only because it brings an unprecedented number of trans*, two spirit, and genderqueer writers together to read and perform our work, and not only because we will have important conversations about the politics and poetics of our work, but because it claims the space of literature for and by two spirit, trans,* and genderqueer people.”

Keynote speakers include multi-disciplinary artist Aiyyana Maracle, writer and photographer Jay Prosser, and authors Rachel Pollack and Nathanaël. These keynote speeches, as well as daytime readings, will be open to the public, and registration for the rest of the conference is offered on a sliding scale.

Writing Trans Genres will be held May 22 to 24 in Winnipeg. Papers and proposals are due by Mar. 1, and conference registration is due by Apr. 15. For more information, visit