Victoria HecnarEnglish grad Victoria Hecnar was selected for a six-month mentorship and workshop program for emerging First Nations, Inuit, and Métis writers.

Alumna joins circle of Indigenous writers

Participating in the Indigenous Writers’ Circle proved an “incredible” experience for Victoria Hecnar, a 2023 BA graduate of the English and Creative Writing program.

“From the very first meeting, I met with writers whose works I have read and admired,” says Hecnar. “I thought to myself, ‘Wow, it’s Richard Van Camp! It’s Joshua Whitehead!’ I couldn’t believe I was in the same space as them.”

The six-month program, hosted by Audible, was created for emerging First Nations, Inuit, and Métis writers to sharpen their creative writing skills while learning from experts about the publication industry. Hecnar was one of 24 writers selected from hundreds of applicants.

She is Cree and a member of the Ochapowace Nation in Saskatchewan. She began writing novels and poetry from a young age and continues to be fascinated by literature.

“I was very excited when I got the acceptance letter from Audible,” explains Hecnar. “I applied without having any real expectations, so it was wonderful to find out that I was selected.”

Each participant is paired with a mentor who is an established author. Workshops from July to December provided guidance on everything from how to establish a scene in a story to how to find an agent.

Hecnar used the time to advance work on a novel, which she began writing in 2020.

“Being a part of this program has really given me the push I needed,” she says. “It is an important story, and I am eager to get it out into the world.”

Hecnar says her novel is inspired by her mother, who was adopted by a non-Indigenous family in the 1960s.

“The story takes place in the modern day. It is a coming-of-age story about a young Indigenous woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery to learn about her identity and where she came from,” Hecnar says. “I think it’s a message that so many young Indigenous people need to hear right now, because a lot of us feel a disconnect with our cultures and traditions due to colonization.”

Learn more about the Audible’s Indigenous Writers’ Circle here.