Trans Gemmes

The AMY Project Trans Gemmes Creative Writing Mentorship Program is a virtual creative writing and community-building program for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Colour) trans women and trans femmes of any age. The program offers a stipend, mentorship, virtual meetings and opportunities to meet and connect in an affirming environment with a cohort of 15 BIPOC trans women and trans femmes across Canada.

Participants with an emerging writing practice in poetry, spoken word, theatre, fiction, creative nonfiction and memoir are encouraged to apply.

The program will start on March 1, 2021 and will end on May 30, 2021. As part of the program, participants will:

  • Work in their own time on a piece of writing, which may be new or a work in progress that they are seeking to develop and workshop
  • Attend 3 meetings with the the full cohort to exchange ideas and workshop their pieces
  • Have two 1-on-1 mentorship sessions with a mentor to discuss the development of their piece and/or their writing practice more generally
  • Submit a piece of writing that will be edited and published in an online publication by the AMY Project
  • Attend the launch of the online publication

Participants accepted into the program will be offered a stipend of $1350.

The program is being facilitated by writer, multidisciplinary artist and Associate Artistic Director of the Trans Gemmes Program, Kama La Mackerel.

NOTE: This program is specifically addressed to BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) trans women and trans femmes. By trans women and trans femmes, we mean folks who were assigned male at birth (AMAB) and identify on the spectrum of femininity.

We understand that trans femininity and trans womanhood expresses itself in a variety of ways, many of which do not include medical or social transition, particularly in contexts where gender is understood and lived outside of western, medicalized and colonial frameworks. We also understand that transition, coming out, or living as openly trans may not be possible for certain individuals for a variety of reasons, including safety. 

Therefore, no social and/or medical transition is necessary to be eligible for this program. Neither is using “she/her” pronouns and/or presenting in traditionally “feminine” ways. Participants need to self-identify with trans womanhood or trans femininity in some way or another, but their lived experiences within these identifications are valid.

The program is open to participants of all levels. We only request that participants have an emerging writing practice (by this we mean, some prior writing samples and a desire to strengthen their writing practice).

Should you have any questions about the program or for more information, please feel free to get in touch with Kama La Mackerel at