For the last five years I have been managing NorthWords NWT, first as its president and then as its paid executive director. NorthWords runs the annual NorthWords Writers Festival, programs for northern writers and has helped publish the anthology of NWT writing Coming Home: Stories from the Northwest Territories.
Last weekend I wrapped up my last NorthWords Writers Festival and I have now begun preparations to hand over the position of executive director to somebody else.
NorthWords has been a passion for me. I have poured my heart and soul into it. I have laughed over it and cried over it. NorthWords has made me grow as a writer and a human being. It has challenged me to do things I never thought I would be able to do. It has given me the courage to stand up in public and read my work for the first time and then to go on and publish my first book iceberg tea. It has also given me the amazing privilege of watching other northern writers take those same steps, and for anybody who has got up to a NorthWords mike or published for the first time in our anthology, I am proud of you like a mama.
I am at peace with my decision to leave and I look forward to the change in my life. But I am also very, very sad. While I expect I will always be involved in NorthWords in some way, I’m going to miss being the captain. I’d like to thank all of the NorthWords board of directors, both past and present, for giving the opportunity to go on this amazing adventure and I wish you all well in the future. I am looking forward to seeing the new ideas that fresh blood will bring to the organization and I wish the new executive director (whomever that may be) as much joy as I have had in doing this work. (I am also looking forward to being a NorthWords author without having to worry about whether the chairs are in the right place.)
Thank you again.