Illustrations by Lea Monique Escano Clarin


What is the X Page Workshop?

The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop is a community arts initiative that connects women who are immigrants or refugees with artists who assist and mentor them in writing and performing their own stories.

Where does "X Page" come from?

Our workshops use exercises based on Lynda Barry’s teaching and philosophy. The X Page is a writing exercise. It's the opposite of a blank page: it’s the space where we enter into an image using all of our senses.

What happens during the workshop?

Over twelve weeks, participants develop a personal narrative and work together to bring their individual stories together into a cohesive presentation. Due to COVID-19, the 2021 workshop will be held online via Zoom. Workshop meetings will be held every Wednesday from April 14 to June 30. Each meeting will run in the evenings for no longer than 1.5 hours.

Will there be a live performance?

Normally, the workshop culminates with a performance before a live theatre audience. This year, we are considering creative options for participants to perform and share their stories safely online.


Can I read or watch stories from previous years?

Yes! Check out the stories from 2020 here. You can also watch and read the stories from 2019. For a quick overview of the workshop, check out the video below!



If you identify as a woman ➢ are over 18 ➢ came to Canada as a refugee or immigrant...

JOIN The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop


Do you have a story to tell? The X Page Workshop pairs you with professional writers and performers to tell your story in your own voice. One evening a week, you and a small group of women will work to create a personal narrative with novelist Tasneem Jamal and director Pam Patel. Tasneem will help you shape your story into a short, written memoir. Pam will help you to perform your story onstage at the end of the workshop.


You will be paid $200 to publish and perform your story. 

No writing or performing experience necessary!


Keep in Mind...


The workshop is equally a writing workshop and a performance workshop. Workshop meetings in 2021 will be held online via Zoom every Wednesday from April 14 to June 30, 2021. Each meeting will run in the evenings for no longer than 1.5 hours.

We will be hosting a virtual “Open House” to meet everyone who is interested in attending the workshop. The Open House will be held on Zoom on Wednesday, March 31, 2021. 

Meet Our Team

Tasneem Jamal

Writing Coach

Tasneem Jamal was born in Uganda and immigrated to Canada in 1975. After more than a decade spent working as a journalist at a number of Canadian daily newspapers, she published her debut novel Where the Air Is Sweet in 2014.


Pam Patel

Performance Coach

Actor Pam Patel is the artistic director of MT Space, Waterloo Region's first and only multicultural theatre company. A graduate of Wilfrid Laurier University's music program, Pam has acquired a special focus in improvisation, both music and physical theatre.


Carrie Snyder

Stage Manager

Carrie Snyder is the author of three books of fiction, including Girl Runner, which was nominated for the Roger's Trust Fiction Prize and The Juliet Stories, nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award. She teaches creative writing at the University of Waterloo.


Lamees Al Ethari


Lamees Al Ethari immigrated to Canada from Iraq in 2008. She holds a PhD in English Language and Literature from the University of Waterloo, where she has been teaching since 2015. In 2018, she published a collection of poems, titled From the Wounded Banks of the Tigris

Melissa Durrell

Vocal Coach

Melissa Durrell is an insatiably curious news junkie and political wonk. Sharpening her journalism and storytelling skills as a CTV reporter, she is now the President of Durrell Communications, where she ampliflies changemakers from tech firms to women’s human rights organizations. Melissa also served two terms as a Waterloo City Councillor in the Uptown ward where she lives. 

Pamela Mulloy


Pamela Mulloy is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in April, 2018. She has lived in Poland, England and the United States and now lives in Kitchener, Ontario.

The X Page: A Storytelling Workshop is supported by:

Kindred Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative serving people across Ontario who want to connect their values and faith with their finances.

Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement is a dynamic space on the University of Waterloo campus, home to peace-oriented innovators, and established organizations from the region's vibrant peacebuilding field.

The City of Waterloo is making cultural development a priority to make Waterloo an even better place to live, work, learn, and play.

Durrell Communications is a boutique PR Agency specializing in Media Relations and Communications.

Project Ploughshares is a Canadian peace research institute with a focus on disarmament efforts and international security.

MT Space is a Multicultural Theatre Space that brings different communities together to create a community of difference.

The New Quarterly is an award-winning literary magazine that publishes Canadian poetry, fiction, and essays.



© 2023 by Urban Artist. Proudly created with