About Whitespace Writers

Whitespace Writers was started in September 2016 by Alexa Gilker, a screenwriter & playwright currently living and writing out of Calgary, AB. She had recently moved back to her hometown after a decade away, and had given up a job teaching writing and film at a college in Toronto in order to take the leap to writing full-time. When she announced her new life plans on social media (as all good millennials do), right away she started getting emails and messages from friends and friends-of-friends asking how she became a writer, how she knew what to write, how to start writing, and how to know when your writing is even good once you've done it! Since she was starting to get a bit bored working alone in her little home office (aka the dinner table) all day anyway, she was inspired to create a space that would empower others to "find", ie. unearth, their own unique voice, and begin the process of learning what to write, how to write it, and how to tell if their writing was as good/shiny/sparkly as it could possibly be. Thus Whitespace Writers was born with the goal of creating a safe, welcoming, respectful community for writers of all levels, experiences, and demographics to gather, explore their voice, discover the one-of-a-kind stories they have to tell, and most of all, PLAY...

PLAY is the word-of-the-day, every day, at Whitespace Writers. Whitespace Writers is a place to experiment with different writing forms and stories, to be brave in truth-telling and imagination-making, to gather tools for making your writing stronger and your voice clearer, to make mistakes that actually grow your writing, and above all, to learn and reinforce how ESSENTIAL and VITAL it is to the world that YOUR story, whether real or imagined, be told. 

'White space' is a term typically used in graphic design to literally mean the white space on a page, or the spaces between the images or words. For our purpose as writers, however, we steal (like all good writers do) the term 'white space' to mean 'the place where storytelling happens beyond the words'. Yes we need words to tell a story, but they are simply our tools, they are not the story itself. Storytelling is birthed in the white space- that magical, intimidating, mysterious part of our beings that dares to believe we have something to say, but is often overwhelmed by all the mechanics it takes to say it, aka words, sentences, punctuation, etc. In a Whitespace Writers workshop, we work in the white space, and forget about the noise surrounding it.

“We are all connected to one another and to the mystery at the heart of the universe through our strange and marvellous ability to create words. When we write, we create, and when we offer our creation to one another, we close the wound of loneliness and may participate in healing the broken world. Our words, our truth, our imagining, our dreaming, may be the best gifts we have to give.” - Pat Schneider

To learn more about the 'why' behind our passion to see aspiring writers find their voices and tell their stories, check out this post HERE.

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* All photos on the 'Join Us' page taken by Paige Leigh Reist of www.wholesomehandbook.com