Member Profile

Gail Sidonie Sobat

Photo: Geoff McMaster 2011

Canadian writer, Gail Sidonie Sobat, has assumed any number of guises in her lifetime, including that of teacher, adjunct professor, writer in residence, woman-in-black, professional actor and singer, grounds keeper, flag girl, pari-mutuel seller and flower seller.  She is the creator/ coordinator of YouthWrite, camps for kids who love to write…just about anything!©, its adult version, JustWrite, and the Spoken Word Youth Choir (SWYC), and is an instructor in the communications program at MacEwan University and the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta.  She has moved thirty-two times in her life from Badlands to Siksika Nation Reserve to hideous suburbs to Istanbul to the Sunshine Coast to her writer’s garret in a century-old temperamental house.

Gail completed a Master’s degree in English at the University of Alberta in Children’s Literature, specializing in fantasy. She is also a multi-award-winning teacher.  For the Legacy Project, a high school program addressing the gulf between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students, Gail and her co-creators (Wally Diefenthaler and Kaye Steward) were named finalists for the Governor General Excellence in Teaching Award and garnered national recognition and international attention.

Experience in professional theatre and singing make Gail at ease in performance and with any age group.  Described as vivacious and lively, Gail is frequently sought after as a performer, speaker, workshop presenter and writer-in-residence.  She has presented across Canada, including Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Jasper, Banff, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal (with the TD Canadian Children’s Book Week 2004), through Northern Saskatchewan with the Pahkisimon Nuye?áh Library System, in Doha, Qatar with the Qatar Reads Association; in Hanoi, Vietnam; at conferences throughout Alberta; in Cincinnati, Ohio; Monteagle, Tennessee; New Orleans, Louisiana; at the International Conference on Poetry, Biography and Canon in Bern, Switzerland; and at the Death in Literature Conference at the Helsinki Academy for Advanced Studies. Gail has been writer in residence in several Edmonton schools, at Queens’ University, in Doha, Qatar, at the University of Alberta through the Canadian Authors Association, at the UN International School of Hanoi, and most recently at Yeditepe University in Istanbul, Turkey. 

Gail’s work has been published in academic and literary journals, anthologies, and has been broadcast on radio and performed on stage. She is the author of Gravity Journal (a White Pine Honour Book, a Moonbeam Gold Award winner, and a 2011 Stellar Award nominee); the YA fantasy series Ingamald, A Winter’s Tale (a White Pine Award nominee) and A Glass Darkly (an R. Ross Annett nominee); a novel for adults, the IPPY award-winning The Book of Mary; and a collection of poetry, Aortic Caprice.  Her picture book, In the Graveyard, illustrated by Spyder Yardley-Jones, was released in 2011 to critical acclaim, and her YA novel, Chance to Dance for You, is a Moonbeam Award winner, a 2012 White Pine Honour Book, and was long-listed for the 2012 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award.  Not With a Bang (2012) was also long-listed for the 2013 Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and the How the Light is Spent (2013), her second poetry collection, won the Whistler Independent Book Award (2016).  Jamie’s Got a Gun (2014), Gail’s latest YA graphic novel and her eleventh book, won a 2015 Moonbeam Award (Silver).

Phone number:
780.996.4962

Publications

Ingamald. Spotted Cow Press, 2001
Aortic Caprice. River Books, 2003/2004
A Winter's Tale. Great Plains Publications, 2004
A Glass Darkly. Great Plains Publications, 2006
The Book of Mary. Sumach Press/ 3 O'Clock Press, 2006
Gravity Journal. Great Plains Publications, 2008
Chance to Dance for You. Great Plains Publications, 2011
In the Graveyard. Bryler Publications/ Three Dogs Press, 2011
Not With a Bang. Magpie Books, 2012
How the Light is Spent. Wintergreen Studios Press, 2013
Jamie's Got a Gun. Great Plains Publications, 2014

Awards

Ontario Library Association’s White Pine Award (nominee). for A Winter’s Tale, 2005
Jon Whyte Essay Competition, Honorable Mention, Writers Guild of Alberta for "Not a Love Story" - essay, adult category, 2003
Governor General’s Award for Excellence in Teaching (Finalist Co-recipient) for "The Legacy Project", 1996
OLA White Pine Honour Book for Gravity Journal, 2009
OLA White Pine Honour Book for Chance to Dance for You, 2012
Moonbeam Award (Gold) for Gravity Journal, 2009
Moonbeam Award (Bronze) for 2012, Chance to Dance for You
Independent Publisher Book Awards (Gold) for The Book of Mary, 2007
Moonbeam Award (Silver) for Jamie's Got a Gun, 2015
Whistler Independent Book Award for How the Light is Spent, 2016
Eligible for National Public Readings Program :
Yes

WITS

Presentation Length:
45 - 60 minutes
Genre:
YA Fiction, Fantasy, Poetry
Grades:
4-6, 7-12, adult
Audience size:
negotiable
Northern OAC WITS:
No
One session:
$250
Two sessions:
$500
Three sessions:
$750
Four sessions:
$1000
One session:
$150
Two sessions:
$400
Three sessions:
$600
Four sessions:
$850
GST:
GST not applicable