Local libraries have a new Writer-In-Residence.

This year, Rayanne Haines was picked to be the Writer-In-Residence for Strathcona County, Fort Saskatchewan and the St. Albert public libraries.

Haines grew up in a rural area outside of Fort Saskatchewan. Since childhood, she's been interested in theatre and the arts, but she didn't start taking herself seriously as an artist until 2011, when she became the executive director at the Edmonton Poetry Festival.

"At that point, I had some incredible opportunities to meet other writers and be mentored by other writers. [They] really kind of showed me a clear path of where a writing career could take me as a poet and as a fiction author. From there, I started experimenting with my writing," said Haines.

Haines is an award-winning, bestselling hybrid author of four fantasy/romance novels and a number of poetry collections.

She explained in her years of working in the arts, she's found what draws her to artistic works the most is the stories behind them.

"We all have stories to tell and voices that we want to share with the world, and for me, my creative outlet and my way to tell my story was through writing."

Haines has started her work and is currently at the Strathcona County library where she will stay until April. In April she will look after Fort Saskatchewan until May then spend the second half of the year in St. Albert 

Her work will mostly be virtual, although one-on-one consultations may be switched to in person later in the year. She will be running workshops and will look over up to 10 pages of writing from local residents and give them feedback.

"I'm really just interested in hearing people's stories and what they have to share, so pack away that nagging insecurity voice that tells you not to share your work and just bring it to me. I want to talk to people regardless of what stage of their writing they're at."

Norma Dunning was picked to be the Writer-In-Residence for Edmonton.