Writers In Trees Members

This corner of The Authors Book Club is dedicated to creating a safe and supportive community for aspiring and emerging writers. Follow us on Twitter or email us with any questions.

Read our members’ bios & connect with them online and via social media. We are committed to creating a safe and inclusive space for our writers to share their questions, comments, and ideas. We expect anyone who reaches out to members to do so in a professional and constructive manner.

Rahma Abdelrahman graduated from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor degree in Materials Engineering. Rahma has a strong interest in reading, editing, and writing, with plans to become a certified copy-editor. Rahma’s favourite authors include Nina LaCour, Neal Shusterman, and Amal El-Mohtar. Rahma’s other interests include listening to music (a lot of music). Rahma is also the chair of the North York Writers Group.

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Paavan Agarwal is a reader, writer, and editor. Currently working as an editorial associate, he majored in English at the University of Toronto where he also studied creative writing and physics. His interests lie in postcolonial literature and theory, modernism, and postmodernism. He is passionate about form, about the emancipatory potential of the written word, and in new and emerging fields of expression. He is happiest writing and in editing for his fellow writers, and in helping a work become its best version.

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John Bao is a Toronto-based emerging filmmaker. He recently graduated from the University of Toronto with a degree in psychology and cognitive science but found a passion for film and screenwriting. He is currently in the midst of writing a few screenplays, both shorts and features, as well as learning about storyboarding for animation. He’s currently working on small indie film sets and at local film festivals to meet other like-minded filmmakers.

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Leah Duarte is a poet and fiction writer. A graduate of the University of Toronto’s MA in English program, she has worked in research on diasporic language acquisition, 18th century poetry, and AI learning in the digital humanities sphere. Currently, she volunteers as a first reader at The Puritan, Augur Magazine, and Tales & Feathers Magazine. Her thematic interests are shaped by her formative experiences with diaspora and the violence of grappling with female identity. Most recently, her work has appeared in The Temz Review and The Soap Box Volume II: “Home” anthology. Her flash fiction piece “Passengers” won the 2022 gritLIT Youth Flash Fiction contest. She is currently working on her debut poetry collection.

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Emma Graham is a graduate of the University of Toronto’s English Specialist program. Emma has contributed to the Campus Co-Op monthly newsletter and also participated in a Work Study program during her undergraduate studies. During that time, she assisted in compiling research for, and editing, chapters of a now published sociology textbook. She also has significant experience writing technical copywriting to increase SEO for digital marketing purposes. Additionally, she served on numerous boards and meeting based groups throughout undergrad, including but not limited to: The Campus Co-Op board, as Scholarship Chair for her sorority, and on her Residence House Council. Emma loves writing in all its forms, and hopes to enter the publishing industry to help serve fellow writers through editorial support. She is also a proud member of Writers in Trees, and hopes to always serve as a collaborative force with other creatives. She believes that shared creative work brings vital joy and knowledge to the world. 

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Chelsea Kowalski is a reader, writer, and editor. She has edited both fiction and non-fiction pieces for magazines, novels, and published essays. Chelsea is an alumna from both the University of Toronto and Toronto Metropolitan University, completing programs in English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. She is passionate about all things literary (especially female-driven books) and loves interviewing new authors about their unique stories. Chelsea is happiest when given the chance to write, edit, and help support someone’s dream of reaching readers.

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Hemali Ratnaweera is a Toronto-based writer, actress and musician. She is currently working on a book for a musical she hopes to debut at the University of Toronto Festival of Drama in 2023. Previously, she has featured in musicals and plays such as Rock of Ages and The Sunflower Boys by Neil Simon. Hemali has released self-written music which has garnered positive attention and commendation from media outlets such as Sunday Times.

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Vanessa Seneriches is a Hamilton-based writer. She received her Bachelor of Applied Arts from The School of Fashion at Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson) and her post-graduate certificate from the Creative Writing program at Humber School for Writers. She hosts the #WineDown book club with BooknBrunch, curating diverse literary selections and leading readers through discussion, author Q&A’s, creative workshops, and themed food experiences.

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Ness Wong (she/any) is an emerging Toronto-based writer and artist. As a longstanding member of the film group Minus Comm Films, her screenplays have received the Audience Award and Best Use of Genre awards at Toronto’s 2019 48-hour Film Competition. They have also published multiple articles on The Varsity examining the importance of Asian and asexual representation within the media. Ness’ writing explores issues with navigating diasporic and LGBTQ+ identities.

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