Gail Sidonie Sobat has assumed any number of disguises in her lifetime, including that of teacher, adjunct professor, woman-in-black, professional actor and singer, grounds keeper, flag girl, parimutuel seller, flower seller, arts administrator and activist. She is the creator of YouthWrite® a camp for kids who love to write…just about anything!She continues to coordinate YouthWrite programs with a focus on diversity, multicultural youth voices, and critical and creative writing. Gail is the founder and director of the Spoken Word Youth Choir (SWYC), and an instructor in the professional writing and communications programs at MacEwan University. She has moved thirty-two times in her life from Badlands to Siksika Nation Reserve to hideous suburbs to Istanbul to the Sunshine Coast to her writer’s garret in a century-old temperamental house.
Gail completed a Master’s degree in English at the University of Alberta in Children’s Literature, specializing in fantasy. She is also a multi-award-winning teacher. For the Legacy Project, a high school program addressing the gulf between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students, Gail and her co-creators (Wally Diefenthaler and Kaye Steward) were named finalists for the Governor General Excellence in Teaching Award and garnered national recognition and international attention.
An experienced workshop presenter and writer-in-residence, Gail has presented across Canada, including Northern Saskatchewan with the Pahkisimon Nuye?áh Library System; in Doha, Qatar with the Qatar Reads Association; in Hanoi, Vietnam at the International School of Hanoi; at the International Conference on Poetry, Biography and Canon in Bern, Switzerland; the Death in Literature Conference at the Helsinki Academy for Advanced Studies, Finland; and lately, at the Writing Women’s Lives International Symposium at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. Gail has been writer-in-residence in several Canadian schools, at Queens’ University, in Doha, Qatar, at the University of Alberta through the Canadian Authors Association, and most recently for the Metro Edmonton Federation of Public Libraries.
Gail’s work has been published in academic and literary journals, anthologies, and has been broadcast on radio and performed on stage. She is the author of 11 books and has received a number of awards. She is currently nominated for a Global Television Woman of Vision award.