“I never set out to be an author,“ Amber Dawn confides. “Growing up an awkward poor girl in a small rural town, I never imagined I'd one day stand on a stage, or at the head of a classroom, or on the street with a megaphone chanting to a crowd. All I knew is I needed to find my voice.“ Lucky for us, she found it. Dawn is an acclaimed writer, filmmaker, teacher, activist and the Director of Programming for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival. Arsenal Pulp Press published her Lambda Award-winning novel Sub Rosa in 2010, after she edited Fist of the Spider Woman (2008) and co-edited With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn (2005). “I knew that if I didn't tell my story, it would eat me up inside,“ Dawn says. “Telling stories has taken me to some extraordinary places. [Now] I have the opportunity to encourage other women to find their voices.” For the past 15 years, Dawn has focused her activism on women, queer youth, sex workers and survivors of childhood trauma. Her next book, "How Poetry Saved My Life," is a collection of poems and essays that proposes creative writing as a tool for empowerment and healing.