Joanne Arnott is a Métis/mixed-blood writer and arts activist, originally from Manitoba, at home on the west coast. Her first book Wiles of Girlhood won the Gerald Lampert Award (LCP 1992). She received the Vancouver Mayor’s Art Award for Literary Arts, 2017. She has published nine further books, including Halfling spring (Kegedonce 2013), A Night for the Lady (Ronsdale 2013), Mother Time (Ronsdale 2007), and (as editor) Salish Seas: an anthology of text + image (AWCWC 2011) and Honouring The Strength of Indian Women: Plays, Stories and Poetry by Vera Manuel (U of Manitoba Press 2018). Her essays and poetry appear in over twenty-five anthologies and a similar number of journals. She has been called to judge poetry and nonfiction on behalf of BC Book Prizes, the Governor General’s Awards, and others. A frequent performer, Joanne was a founding member of the Aboriginal Writers Collective West Coast, a past volunteer with The Writers Union of Canada (National Council) and The Writers’ Trust of Canada (Author’s Committee). A grand multipara, mentor, editor, teacher and blogger, Joanne is currently Poetry Editor for EVENT Magazine.
Erin Ashenhurst Erin Ashenhurst’s creative nonfiction has been published in Slate, The Globe and Mail, Vice Canada, The Tyee, The Toast (RIP), and Room Magazine . She writes on the oddities of city living, motherhood, and aging rock stars, and teaches at the Wilson School of Design at KPU.
Ashok Bhargava Ashok Bhargava has published several highly acclaimed collections of poetry: Riding the Tide, Skipping Stones, Mirror of Dreams, A Kernel of Truth and Lost in the Morning Calm. He distinguishes himself by writing poems that attempt to instill in the reader a sense of humanity, love, peace and belonging with this earth through meditative and awareness raising thoughts and diction. As well, Ashok Bhargava has emerged as an important builder of literary communities in the Vancouver BC, and beyond, with his recent initiative of Writers International Network Canada where over a dozen authors, poets, community builders and performers from across communities are recognized each year. Through his poetry, photography and community building efforts, Ashok Bhargava is an avid volunteer. He is involved in many socio-cultural, literary and charitable organizations. He was an honored guest to literary conferences in Turkey, Italy, India, South Korea and the Philippines. He is recipient of Poet Ambassador Award, Poets without Borders Peace Award, Legendary Poet Kalidasa International Award, Nehru Humanitarian Award, Pandora Collective’s Good Citizen Award and Nehemiah Leadership Award
Shashi Bhat is Editor-in-Chief at EVENT Magazine and teaches creative writing at Douglas College. Her stories have appeared in The Malahat Review, PRISM international, The New Quarterly, Grain, The Dalhousie Review, Journey Prize Stories and other publications. She was 2018 National Magazine Finalist for fiction, has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was a finalist for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award. Her debut novel, The Family Took Shape (Cormorant, 2013), was a finalist for the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award. She holds an MFA in fiction from The Johns Hopkins University.
Roger R. Blenman Barbadian-born Canadian author, playwright, spoken word artist, poet, theatre director and secondary school teacher. Has degrees in Science and in Education from the University of Toronto.Most recent novel, Dead’er published 2015 by Hamilton Books. Other work has been published/broadcast/performed: CBC-North by Northwest, Scarborough Fair/University of Toronto Press, Antigonish Review, Bluesprint/Arsenal Pulp Press and others.
Leanne Boschman Leanne Boschman is a prairie transplant to the West coast where she works as a writer of poetry, fiction, and as post-secondary educator. Her poems have appeared in several anthologies, including Poems from Planet Earth, Force Field: 77 Women Poets of British Columbia, and Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry. She has also published in journals including Prism International, Room, Geist Magazine, and Dandelion Magazine. In 2009, she published a collection of poetry Precipitous Signs: A Rain Journal with Leaf Press.
Trevor Carolan Trevor Carolan’s work has appeared in five languages and includes many books of non-fiction, poetry, translation, and anthologies, as well as journalism and interview poetics. His documentary film Cascadia: The Life and Breath of the World features appearances by many distinguished eco-writers. His forthcoming poetry collection Road Trips will be published by Ekstasis. More at: www.trevorcarolan.com
Brooke Carter (adopted by SCBWI Canada West)Brooke Carter earned her MFA in creative writing at UBC and lives with her family in Maple Ridge, British Columbia. For more information, visit brookecarter.com.
Aidan Cassie (adopted by Kathryn Shoemaker) Aidan Cassie studied animation and earned a media arts degree at the Emily Carr University of Art and Design as well as Edinburgh College of Art. Sterling, Best Dog Ever is her first picture book. She lives on a small island, surrounded by other artists, in the Salish Sea of British Columbia.
Christie Charles Vancouver’s fifth Poet Laureate (2018-2021) is Christie Charles a.k.a. “Miss Christie Lee”. She is a spoken word artist, poet, story teller, coastal hand drum singer, filmmaker and a speaker for her ancestors. Charles is a member of Musqueam, with lineage to all three of Vancouver’s Host Nations: Squamish (Harry Family) and Tsleil-Waututh (George Family) First Nations. Growing up in a world of music her focus has been hip hop, namely raps, where, as an emcee, she incorporates her traditional knowledge, stories and ancient Musqueam dialect.
Tony Cliff Currently living in Vancouver, BC, Tony Cliff is a twelve-year veteran of the Canadian animation industry. His books have been recognized with Eisner, Shuster, and Harvey nominations, and he’s a New York Times bestseller. Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules is the third in his Delilah Dirk graphic novel series.
Wayde Compton Wayde Compton is the author of four books: 49th Parallel Psalm(finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize);Performance Bond;After Canaan: Essays on Race, Writing, and Region(finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award);The Outer Harbour(winner of the City of Vancouver Book Award). He has also edited two anthologies: Bluesprint: Black British Columbian Literature and Orature and The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them(finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award). He is currently working with illustrator April Milne on a graphic novel called The Blue Road: A Fable of Migration, which is forthcoming in 2019. Compton is a co-founder of the Hogan’s Alley Memorial Project, an organization formed to raise awareness about the history of Vancouver’s black community. He lives in Vancouver and has recently joined the faculty of Creative Writing at Douglas College.
Brad Cran Brad Cran is a writer and social entrepreneur who served as Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver from April 2009 until October of 2011. Cran published his first book,The Good Life, in 2001 and his most recent book,Hope in Shadows: Stories and Photographs of Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside(with Gillian Jerome), won the City of Vancouver Book Award and has raised over $60,000 for marginalized people in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. He is currently finishing his second book of non-fictionThe Truth about Ronald Reagan: How Movies Changed the World.
Geoff Dembicki Geoff Dembicki has contributed to The New York Times, Foreign Policy, Vice, Mashable, The Atlantic, and The Toronto Star, among others, and to The Tyee, the independent online publication where the idea for his book Are We Screwed began as a series by the same name. He’s received media fellowships from the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada and the New York-based Solutions Journalism Network. Geoff lives in Vancouver.
Charles Demers (adopted by Page Two) Charles Demers is a comedian, writer, and playwright, and the author of the novels Property Values (Arsenal Pulp Press) and The Prescription Errors (Insomniac Press), and the non-fiction books The Horrors (Douglas & McIntyre), Vancouver Special (Arsenal Pulp Press, now out of print), and (with George Bowering) The Dad Dialogues (Arsenal Pulp Press). He’s a regular on CBC’s The Debaters and is the voice of Walter the Slug on the Emmy-winning Netflix cartoon Beat Bugs. He is also the editor of Robin’s Egg Books, a humour imprint of Arsenal Pulp Press. A longtime political activist, he lives in East Vancouver with his wife and daughter.
Linda DeMeulemeester is the author of the critically acclaimed Grim Hill series. The Secret of Grim Hill won the Silver Birch award and was one of Canadian Toy Testing Council’s year’s best books. Her other books have been nominated or shortlisted for several awards, including the British Columbia’s Red Cedar Award. This September, Heritage House is publishing her whole new spooky middle grade adventure, The Mystery of Croaker’s Island, where a group of unlikely friends search for the sinister connection between mysterious ocean echoes, missing cats and teenagers walking in their sleep with no recollection of where they’ve been.
Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn novel when she was twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, and thus began her love affair with writing. She has written five novels including the award-winning series, SHADOW OF THE UNICORN, A TOWN BEWITCHED, winner of the Dante Rossetti Best Coming of Age novel, and FIELDS OF GOLD BENEATH PRAIRIE SKIES, book 6 of the Canadian Historical Brides series. She resides in Burnaby, B.C. with her husband and two sons.
kc dyer kc dyer resides in the wilds of British Columbia in the company of an assortment of mammals, most of them canine. She likes to walk in the woods and write books. kc has spoken with thousands of kids in schools across Canada from British Columbia to PEI; across the US and in Europe and Asia. Her most recent novel is Finding Fraser, a romantic comedy for grown-ups, published by Berkley, an imprint of Random House. For teens, kc’s most recent work is Facing Fire, a sequel to the acclaimed novel, A Walk Through A Window,and published by Doubleday. She is a long-time participant at the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, has been writer-in-residence at New Westminster Secondary School, and a featured presenter at the National Council of English Teachers in both Philadelphia, PA and Chicago, Ill; YouthWrite in Penticton, BC; Young Authors in Kamloops, BC; WORD Vancouver, Canadian Authors’ Association; Ontario Library Association Super-Conference in Toronto, ON; Simon Fraser University Southbank Writers in Surrey, BC; WriteOn Bowen and many others. kc is represented by Laura Bradford of Bradford Literary agency. An unrepentant girl-geek, kc can be found on-line at www.kcdyer.comand sweetly tweeting @kcdyer.
Daniela Elza (adopted by Fernanda Viveiros) Daniela Elza has lived on three continents and crossed numerous geographic, cultural and semantic borders. Her poetry collections are the weight of dew, the book of It, and milk tooth bane bone, of which David Abram says: “Out of the ache of the present moment, Daniela Elza has crafted something spare and irresistible, an open armature for wonder.” Daniela earned her doctorate in Philosophy of Education from Simon Fraser University. Her most recent poetry collection is forthcoming with Mother Tongue Publishing (April, 2020).
Jianna Faner (adopted by Fernanda Viveiros)Jianna Faner is a grateful guest on Musqueam territory, originally from Manila, Philippines. She recently graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in English and Law & Society. Like many Vancouverites, she loves figure skating, yoga pants, and coffee, and, like many Filipinos, loves adobo, karaoke, and her family.
Laura Farina Laura Farina is the author of two full-length books of poetry, Some Talk of Being Human (Mansfield Press, 2014) and This Woman Alphabetical (Pedlar Press, 2015), as well as the chapbook, Diagnostic Tool (Gaspereau Press, 2017). Her picture book, This is the Path the Wolf Took is forthcoming from Kids Can Press. Laura is the recipient of the Archibald Lampman Award, and has appeared on the longlist for both the ReLit Award and the CBC Poetry Prize. She grew up in Ottawa and gradually made her way west. She now lives in Vancouver, where she coordinates arts programs, facilitates writers’ workshops and hangs out with her husband and son.
Lee Edward Födi is an author, illustrator, and educator—or, as he likes to think of himself, a professional daydreamer. He is the author of several books for children, including The Chronicles of Kendra Kandlestar and The Secret of Zoone, which is coming out with HarperCollins in 2019. In his free time, he’s a traveler, adventurer, and maker of dragon eggs. He especially loves to visit exotic places where he can lose himself in tombs, mazes, castles, and crypts.
Kallie George (adopted by Adriane Carr) Kallie George is an author, editor, and speaker living in Vancouver, BC, near the sea. She has her my Masters of Children’s Literature from the University of British Columbia, and loves picture books, fairy tales, beautiful art and music, and baking cookies.
Sara Graefe Sara Graefe is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. As former publications coordinator for BC’s Society of Special Needs Adoptive Parents, she authored the bestselling special needs parenting book, Living With FASD: A Guide for Parents and edited the Adoption Piece by Piece trilogy (Groundwork Press). In 2007, she became a proud queer mom and began chronicling her experiences on her blog, Gay Girls Make Great Moms (queermommy.wordpress.com). Her creative non-fiction has appeared in various magazines and anthologies, including Literary Mama, Walk Myself Home, Boobs: Women Explore What it Means to Have Breasts, Telling Truths: Storying Motherhood, Mothers and Sons, and A Family by Any Other Name: Exploring Queer Relationships (finalist for a 2015 Lambda Literary Award). She lives in Vancouver with her wife and school-aged son and is on faculty in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia.
Heidi Greco (adopted by Stephen Partridge) Heidi Greco is a longtime resident of Surrey, BC. In addition to writing and editing, she often leads workshops – on topics that range from ekphrastic poetry to chapbook making. She’s been an advocate for the literary arts in her community and was instrumental in establishing two distinct reading series, but she considers her greatest success to have been convincing her city to hire an official Poet Laureate. She writes in many genres – with poems, fiction, essays and book reviews to her credit. Her books include a novella, Shrinking Violets which was co-winner of the Ken Klonsky Award in 2011. Her work has also appeared in many anthologies, most recently in Make it True: Poetry from Cascadia (Leaf Press, 2015) and The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil, 2015). In addition to making Sunday suppers for her adult sons, she keeps a sporadic blog at outonthebiglimb.blogspot.ca.
Darren Groth Darren Groth is the author of several novels, including the acclaimed YA works Are You Seeing Me? and Munro vs. the Coyote. He was the winner of the 2016 Adelaide Festival Award for Young Adult Fiction and has been a finalist in numerous other prestigious prizes, including the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize and the CBCA Book of the Year. Darren is a former special-education teacher and the proud father of a son with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). He lives in Delta, British Columbia. For more information, visit www.darrengroth.com
Brett Josef Grubisic A lecturer of English literature residing in Vancouver, Brett Josef Grubisic is the author of the novels The Age of Cities, This Location of Unknown Possibilities, and From Up River and for One Night Only. Previous publications include Understanding Beryl Bainbridge, Contra/diction, Carnal Nation (co-edited with Carellin Brooks), American Hunks (co-authored with David L. Chapman), National Plots (co-edited with Andrea Cabajsky), and Blast, Corrupt, Dismantle, Erase (co-edited with Giséle M. Baxter and Tara Lee).
Carissa Halton (adopted by Alan Horton) Carissa Halton is an award-winning magazine writer, author, speaker and facilitator. Her writing about urban culture, politics and design has appeared in many publications including: Alberta Venture, Eighteen Bridges, the Globe and Mail and Today’s Parent. Her essays are included in the anthologies In This Together and Broadview Anthology of Expository Prose and she has won both a National and Alberta Magazine Award. On CBC Edmonton AM her summer radio column exploring the city’s less traveled haunts can be heard every Tuesday. She is a keynote and workshop speaker and believes in the power of humour and storytelling; she likes to explore how we find connection and hope in our neighbourhoods.When not writing, she has worked broadly as an inner-city non-profit director, a political advisor to government ministers, an event planner and communications consultant. In her work as a facilitator, she melds these diverse leadership experiences with her writer’s listening and storytelling skills, helping organizations discover their unique path through facilitated strategic and project planning sessions.
Ian Hanington (adopted by Linda Robertson) Ian Hanington is Senior Editor at the David Suzuki Foundation and is co-author with David Suzuki of Everything Under the Sun. He has worked as a researcher, news reporter, opinion-column writer, critic, and editor for a variety of newspapers and magazines and was editor of Canada’s largest alternative newsweekly, the Georgia Straight. He lives in Vancouver, B.C.
Rachel Hartman As a child, Rachel Hartman played cello, lip-synched Mozart operas with her sisters, and fostered the deep love of music that inspired much of Seraphina. Rachel earned a degree in comparative literature but eschewed graduate school in favor of bookselling and drawing comics. Born in Kentucky, she has lived in Philadelphia, Chicago, St. Louis, England, and Japan. She now lives with her family in Vancouver, Canada.
Shelley Hrdlitschka (adopted by Kallie George) Shelley Hrdlitschka discovered her love for children’s literature when she was teaching school. This inspired her to write her own books, and she is now the author of ten novels for teens, all published by Orca Book Publishers.Shelley has received a number of awards for her emotionally charged novels that explore complex and often sensitive subjects. Kat’s Fall was chosen as a White Pine Honour Book for 2005 and Dancing Naked won the 2002 White Pine Award. Her novels have been on the CCBC Our Choice list and the International Reading Association Young Adult’s Choices list; as well, Kat’s Fall was included on the 2005 New York Public Library’s Books for the Teen Age list. Sister Wife was a Governor General’s Award Nominee for 2009. Shelley is particularly grateful that five of her books were nominated for the Ontario White Pine Award, which is a reader-choice award. Dancing Naked won it, and three other titles received honourable mentions. These awards are especially significant to her because they are voted on by the teen readers themselves.Shelley lives in North Vancouver, British Columbia. When she’s not writing, she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, practising yoga, Zumba dancing, or hanging out with the grizzly bears and reindeer at the Grouse Mountain Refuge for Endangered Wildlife.
Taryn Hubbard Taryn Hubbard’s poetry, fiction, reviews, and interviews have appeared or are forthcoming in journals and anthologies such asCanadian Literature, Room magazine, The Capilano Review, Canadian Woman Studies, CV2, filling Station, Rusty Toque,Poetry is Dead, and others. She holds a BA in English and Communications from Simon Fraser University, and a certificate in journalism from Langara College. She lives, writes and teaches in B.C.’s Fraser Valley, and has been a member of Room magazine’s editorial board since 2012.Her first full-length poetry collection is forthcoming in 2020.
C.C. Humphreys C.C. Humphreys is a Salt Spring based novelist, playwright, fight choreographer and actor, who has performed on stages from London’s West End to Hollywood. Chris’s first novel, The French Executioner, was runner-up for the CWA Steel Dagger Award for Best Thriller. Vlad: The Last Confession was an international bestseller. His recent novel Plague won the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Novel. He also writes for young adults, his most recent novel being The Hunt of the Dragon.
Melanie Jackson (adopted by Vi Hughes) Scottish-born and mystery-minded, Melanie Jackson works as a business writer and editor. She lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. For more information, visit melaniejacksonblog.wordpress.com. Medusa’s Scream is a thrill-ride that hurtles a train through an out-of-service gold mine in the Fraser Valley. Chase can’t believe his luck when he lands a summer job in the food truck outside the ride’s entrance. But then he notices strange things happening at the old mine. Chase starts to piece things together, and soon his life is threatened by a villain even scarier than the snake-headed Medusa of myth.
Michael Kluckner is the author/illustrator of nearly 20 books, including Vanishing Vancouver. Recently he has published three graphic novels with Midtown Press, returning to his roots in his 20s as a newspaper cartoonist.
Kona Kona is a professional actor, artist and writer, and facilitator of difficult conversation and culture shift. She has worked with a range of cultural non-profits, is a community events organizer, has a background in governmental social justice work, worked in municipal cultural for over 14 years, and currently freelances as an independent Creative Cohesion Artist, and as a Community Developer for PeerNet BC. In addition to contemplating the next iteration of The Queeriodic Table, Kona is researching and writing her first novel, working on the manuscript for #SometimesMyVancouverLooksLikeThis, and planning more art projects.
Peter Kvarnstrom Peter Kvarnstrom is Publisher for the North Shore News as well as President, Community Media for Glacier Media Group. Peter joined the newspaper industry in1991 at the North Shore News. In 1992 he was promoted to Retail Advertising Manager.In 1997 Peter left the North Shore News to move to Sechelt, BC to launch a new community newspaper, Coast Reporter.Peter continues to be the Publisher of the Coast Reporter in addition to his other roles with Glacier Media.Peter represents Glacier on the Canadian News Media Association as Secretary Treasurer of the Board of Directors and previously served as Chair. Peter also served as President of the Canadian CommunityNewspaper Association in 2003-4. Peter currently serves as a Director with Vividata, West Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, North Vancouver Chamber of Commerce, Gibsons Community Building Society as well as serving as Director and Research Chair for the Flyer Distribution Standards Association. Peter lives in West Vancouver with his wife Susan. They are both 50+ year residents of the North Shore
Evelyn Lau Evelyn Lau is the Vancouver author of twelve books, including seven volumes of poetry. Her poetry has received the Milton Acorn Award, the Pat Lowther Award and a National Magazine Award, as well as nominations for a BC Book Prize and a Governor-General’s Award. Her poems have been selected numerous times for inclusion in the Best Canadian Poetry series. Evelyn served as Vancouver Poet Laureate from 2011-2014; her most recent collection is Tumour (Oolichan, 2016).
JJ Lee wrote The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit. It was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction, the Hilary Weston Writer’s Trust Prize and the Charles Taylor Prize. His fashion and personal essays have appeared in ELLE Canada, Fashion, The National Post, The Vancouver Sun, Montecristo, and Nuovo. He is the non-fiction mentor at The Writer’s Studio, Simon Fraser University.
William Tham Wai Liang (adopted by Joy Kogawa House) William Tham Wai Liang was born in Malaysia but currently lives in Vancouver, Canada, where he serves as the senior editor of Ricepaper, a pioneering Asian-Canadian literary magazine. His first novel, Kings of Petaling Street, was published by Fixi London and shortlisted for the inaugural Penang Monthly Book Prize at the George Town Literary Festival. Some of his other fiction and nonfiction has been published in Looseleaf, NANG, KROS, Scientific Malaysian, and Ethos Books. He also co-edited Currents: A Ricepaper Anthology with Karla Comanda and Leila Lee, and recently edited The Seven Muses of Harry Salcedo, a novel by Vincent Ternida. He is also the upcoming Writer-in-Residence at the Joy Kogawa House.
G. Rosemary Ludlow has self-published 4 books in the Crystal Journals series. As a former school teacher, she has targeted this series at middle grade and up readers. “It has been a joy for me to work with children again. To see their enthusiasm and interest spark when I talk about stories and reading,” she said. Having self-published her books she finds that marketing is the most difficult part of the process. “It is very easy to have your book in your hand, but it is a lot harder to get it into the hands of your audiences.”
Jami Macarty Jami Macarty is the author of three chapbooks of poetry: Instinctive Acts, forthcoming from Nomados Literary Publishers in 2018, Mind of Spring, which won the 2017 Vallum Chapbook Award (Vallum, October 2017), and Landscape of The Wait, a chapbook of poems focusing on her nephew, William’s car accident and year-long coma (Finishing Line Press, June 2017). She teaches contemporary poetry and creative writing at Simon Fraser University and edits of the online poetry journal The Maynard. A recipient of financial support from BC Arts Council and a finalist for the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award, her poems appear in journals, such as Arc Poetry Magazine, EVENT, The Fiddlehead, Grain, PRISM international, Vallum: contemporary poetry, Verse Daily, and Volt.
Stella MacLean Contemporary romance author Stella MacLean began her writing career as a nurse who needed an outlet for all the funny and sad events that occurred in her life. Stella MacLean writes stories about women caught up in real life situations that women of all ages can relate to and understand. She is a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction, and finalist in numerous contests held under the auspices of Romance Writers of America.
Daniel Marshall Daniel Marshall is a fifth-generation British Columbian whose Cornish ancestors arrived in the Pacific province in 1858, the year of the Fraser River gold rush. As host of Canyon War: The Untold Story, televised on Knowledge Network, APTN and PBS, the author was subsequently Chief Curator for the Royal BC Museum’s successful “Gold Rush: El Dorado in British Columbia Exhibit” in 2015. He makes his home in Victoria, B.C.
Darrel J. MacLeod (adopted by Cathy Barrett) Darrel J. MacLeodis Cree from treaty eight territory in Northern Alberta. Before deciding to pursue writing in his retirement, he was a chief negotiator of land claims for the federal government and executive director of education and international affairs with the Assembly of First Nations. He holds degrees in French literature and Education from the University of British Columbia. He lives in Sooke, BC, and is working on a second memoir following the events in Mamaskatch. In the spring of 2018, he was accepted into the Banff Writing Studio to advance his first work of fiction. Darrel has been an enthusiastic singer since age three. An accomplished jazz musician he now performs live in Puerto Vallarta and Victoria, BC. He is fluent in French and Spanish. Darrel lives in Sooke B.C.
George McWhirter George McWhirter is the author and editor of numerous books and the recipient of many awards.His first book of poetry, Catalan Poems, was a joint winner of the first Commonwealth Poetry Prize with Chinua Achebe’s Beware, Soul Brother.His most recent books of poetry are The Incorrection and The Anachronicles. His latest book of stories, The Gift Of Women, was published by Exile Editions in2014, as was his eco-story, “Reef” in Cli-Fi: Canadian Tales of Climate Change, 2017. He served as Vancouver’s inaugural poet laureate from 2007 to 2009.
Maureen Medved Maureen Medved is a novelist, screenwriter, playwright and Associate Professor in the Creative Writing Program at the University of British Columbia. She has written essays on television and film. Her debut novel, The Tracey Fragments, was published by House of Anansi Press, and Maureen’s screen adaptation (directed by Bruce MacDonald and starring Ellen Page) opened the Panorama program of the 57th annual Berlin International Film Festival and won the Manfred Salzgeber Prize.Her novel Black Star was published in 2018. A non fiction collection will be forthcoming in 2019.
Jude Neale (adopted by Elaine Taylor) Jude Neale is a Canadian poet, vocalist, spoken word performer and mentor. She has written six books. Her book, A Quiet Coming of Light, A Poetic Memoir(leaf press), was a finalist for the 2015 Pat Lowther Memorial Award, five of its poems were shortlisted for the Magpie Award, judged by George McWhirter, Vancouver’s first Poet Laureate, and three of its poems were nominated for the coveted Pushcart Prize (US) by three different publishers.
Leena Niemela Leena Niemela lives, writes, and teaches on Vancouver Island. In 2017, she completed an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. Poems from her thesis project appeared in The Antigonish Review and she is currently an editorial intern and social media manager for, and former contributor to, The Maynard.
Geoffrey Nilson Geoffrey Nilson is a writer, editor and visual artist living. He is a regular contributor to Coast Mountain Culture, the author of four poetry chapbooks, and his writing has appeared widely in Canada and in the UK. He has been shortlisted for the Alfred G. Bailey Poetry Prize and The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award for Poetry. When not exploring in language, he makes film photographs and educates his daughter on the merits of punk rock.
Lianne Oelke Lianne Oelke, born and raised in Alberta and currently residing in Vancouver, has a degree in philosophy and works in the film industry. Her high school dramas and profession were inspirations for her debut novel, Nice Try, Jane Sinner.
Nasreen Pejvack Nasreen Pejvack is a former Programmer/System Analyst and Counselor/Educator, who worked in Ottawa, California, and Vancouver. Presently she is an author whose historical novel “Amity” was published by Inanna Publications in 2015. Amity was a finalist for BC’s2016 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.FollowingAmity’s success, she is nowhere presenting short tales inspired by her experiences of life in Canada, “Paradise of the Downcasts.” She also has a book of poetry, “Waiting,” both published in 2018.She was also a judge forBC’s2018 Fiction Prize. Nasreen was Past President of Royal City Literary Arts Society, May 2016 –July 2018.
Barbara Pelman Barbara Pelman is a poet and a retired English teacher who has taught at high schools and universities. An occasional host and assistant at Planet Earth Poetry, she also teaches poetry workshops. She has two previous books of poetry: One Stone (Ekstasis Editions, 2005) and Borrowed Rooms (Ronsdale Press, 2008) and a chapbook Aubade Amalfi (Rubicon Press, 2016). Barbara makes her home in Victoria, B.C.
Leanne Prain Leanne Prain is a designer, writer and speaker whose work spans craft, culture, design, social justice, and community. She is the best-selling author of three books, Strange Material: Storytelling Through Textiles; Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti (co-authored with Mandy Moore) and Hoopla: The Art of Unexpected Embroidery (all published by Arsenal Pulp Press) and has contributed design journalism to a variety of publications including Desktop, Works That Work, and Applied Arts. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing and Art History from UBC, a diploma in magazine publishing from Langara College and a Masters of Publishing Degree from SFU. Learn more at leanneprain.com or find her on all things social at @leanneprain
Ram Randhawa Ram Randhawa is a poet, programmer, and physician trying to explore the space in between those various passions. He has been an editor of The Maynard online poetry journal since 2013. Ram lives in Vancouver where he plays host to days of work, evenings of debauchery, and nights of penitence.
Raziel Reid (adopted by Jacob Butler) Raziel Reid’s debut novel When Everything Feels like the Movies won the 2014 Governor General’s Award for Young Readers making him, at 24 years old, the youngest ever winner of the award. When Everything Feels like the Movies has been optioned for film by Random Bench Productions. Raziel lives in Vancouver and has taught Creative Writing for Children and Young Adults at the University of British Columbia. His latest works from Penguin Teen are Kens and Followers (forthcoming 2019). He is represented by Michael Levine at Westwood Creative Artists.
Al Rempel Al Rempel’s books of poetry are This Isn’t the Apocalypse We Hoped For, Understories and two chapbooks: Four Neat Holes and The Picket Fence Diaries. His poems have also appeared in various journals including The Malahat Review, GRAIN, CV2, Event, and Prairie Fire as well as in anthologies such as The Best Canadian Poetry in English, Rocksalt, 4Poets, and Half in the Sun. He was awarded Prince George’s Arts & Culture Award for Poetry in 2012 and Shortlisted for the Fred Cogswell Excellence in Poetry Award in 2013. One of his poems was shortlisted for Arc’s Poem of the Year Award in 2015 and his poems have been included twice in the Poetry in Transit project in Vancouver. Rempel has also had some of his poems translated into Italian by the poet Sandro Pecchiari. Rempel has also created a number of video poems in collaboration with local artists. “Sky Canoe” was screened at the Visible Verse Festival in Vancouver, 2012, and at the Filmpoem Festival in Dunbar, Scotland, 2013, as well as Liberated Words in Bristol, UK, 2013. One of the poems in Undiscovered Country have also been made into videopoems. Al Rempel currently lives in Prince George, where he teaches math and science at a high school, but grew up in Abbotsford and loves to visit the Gulf Islands. More information can be found at http://alrempel.com/.
Renée Sarojini Saklikar Renée Sarojini Saklikar’s ground-breaking poetry book about the bombing of Air India Flight 182, children of air india, won the Canadian Authors Association Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize. Trained as a lawyer, Saklikar is a mentor and instructor for SFU’s writing and publishing program, as well as the city of Surrey’s first Poet Laureate. She is the co-founder of the poetry reading series Lunch Poems at SFU and has served for two years as a national advocate for The Writer’s Union of Canada.
Gay Sha is a queen, dragged up and raised up in their home of East Vancouver. Their drag performances usually incorporate elements of choreography, theatre and other disciplines they are exploring. Shout out to Man Up and PonyBoy. They are excited as heck and as pretentious as Beck.
Cynthia Sharp (adopted by Kevin Tebbutt) Cynthia Sharp is the author of the poetry collection, Rainforest in Russet, which quickly became a Canadian bestseller and the editor of Poetic Portions, an anthology of recipes and poems honouring Earth Day. She’s been published and broadcast internationally in journals such as CV2, untethered and Lantern Magazine, among others, and nominated for the Pushcart Prize & Best of the Net Anthology. She is a full member of The League of Canadian Poets and on the executive of The Federation of BC Writers. She is grateful to take part in Word Vancouver and especially thankful to all the staff and volunteers who make this festival possible.
Lorimer Shenher Lorimer Shenher is an acclaimed author, public speaker, and advocate for marginalized people and police reform. His first book, That Lonely Section of Hell, detailed his assignment as the first detective on Vancouver’s missing women investigation. It was nominated for several literary prizes and selected as one of the Globe & Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2015. His second book, This One Looks Like a Boy, is a memoir of his gender transition, and is set for release by Greystone Books in Spring 2019. He lives in Vancouver, BC, with his family.
Kathryn E. Shoemaker, PhD., is the illustrator of over forty-two books for children, among them the Vine Award winner for the Best Jewish Children’s Book of 2017, Seeking Refuge by Irene N. Watts. As well as illustrating picture books, graphic novels and chapter books, Kathryn writes and teaches courses on children’s literature with a specialty in picture books and graphic novels at UBC.
Claire Sicherman (adopted by Bonnie Nish) Claire Sicherman is the author of Imprint: A Memoir of Trauma in the Third Generation. She is a graduate of the creative non-fiction program at The Humber School for Writers. She facilitates Writing Retreats and Journaling Circles on Salt Spring Island.
Charlie Smith Charlie Smith has been editor of the Georgia Straight since 2005 and before that, he was the paper’s news editor. For seven years, he taught investigative techniques at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (then known as Kwantlen University College). Charlie also worked at CBC Radio for 13 years. In addition, he’s researched and reported stories on CBC TV and Global TV (then known as BCTV) newscasts, written for various publications, worked in private radio, and edited a business magazine. Charlie enjoys public speaking, moderating panel discussions, and advancing people’s understanding of complex issues. He’s won two Western Magazine Awards for business writing and twice been nominated for Jack Webster Foundation Awards for his business and science writing.
Mark David Smith is an English teacher and aspiring time traveller. He writes historical fiction because writing is more affordable than actually living adventures, and because time machine technology is still terribly unreliable. Caravaggio: Signed in Blood is his first novel.
Kevin Spenst Kevin Spenst is the author of Ignite, Jabbering with Bing Bong, (both with Anvil Press), and over a dozen chapbooks including Pray Goodbye (the Alfred Gustav Press), Ward Notes (the serif of nottingham) and most recently Upend (Frog Hollow Press). His work has won the Lush Triumphant Award for Poetry, been nominated for both the Alfred G. Bailey Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry, and has appeared in dozens of publications including, the Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, CV2, the Rusty Toque, BafterC, Lemon Hound, and the anthology Best Canadian Poetry 2014.
Robin Susanto (adopted by Woodworks Custom Developments Ltd.) Robin Susanto was born in Indonesia on the Straight of Malacca. Other than a brief foray in Ottawa, he has never been able to live far from the sea. He moved to Vancouver in 1987 where he now lives, teaches Math and Stats, writes poetry and fiction, translates, and photographs. His first public reading was at Pandora’s Twisted Poets open mic in 2005 or thereabouts, and he’s been a regular feature and supporter ever since.
Bonnie Quan Symons Bonnie Quan Symons is a poet of deep delicate moments who writes all forms of poetry including haiku. Her Quatchi haiku came in the second place for a Quatchi haiku poems contest in the Vancouver Courier. Bonnie has been writing poetry and nonfiction for over thirty-five years, and she has been published in Canada, United States and Australia.Some of her poems can be found at Kind of a Hurricane Press, Four and Twenty, Resurrectionist Review and Skive Magazine.Bonnie moved to Vancouver from Calgary in the 80s, and since then she has been involved in organizing literary, cultural and educational events in the city. She works at the BC Teachers’ Federation in Vancouver while volunteering her time as a member of Pandora’s Collective and Writers International Network (WIN) Canada.
Candie Tanaka Candie Tanaka is an artist and writer exploring intersectionality with digital technologies in innovative ways that play with content and form. They have a BFA in Intermedia from Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design and are a creative writing graduate of The Writer’s Studio program at Simon Fraser University. Candie is currently writing a first novel with the working title of Tanaka and Co. Tanaka is also the Executive Director at the International Centre of Arts and Technology, a literary focused community makerspace in Vancouver.
Henry Tanaka (adopted by Candie Tanaka)Henry Tanaka has held various management positions in the oil and service industries. In the summer, while attending school, Henry was employed in the fishing industry by various fishing companies. He lives in New Westminster.
Rob Taylor (adopted by Bonnie Nish) Rob Taylor is the author of “Oh Not So Great”: Poems from the Depression Project (Leaf Press, 2017), The News (Gaspereau Press, 2016), and The Other Side of Ourselves (Cormorant Books, 2011). In 2017, The News was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize. Rob is also the editor of What the Poets Are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation, which will be published in November from Nightwood Editions. He lives in Port Moody with his wife and son.
Diane Tucker grew up a singing, acting and writing child in Vancouver, British Columbia. Her first book of poems, God on His Haunches (Nightwood Editions, 1996) was shortlisted for the 1997 Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. Her other poetry titles are Bright Scarves of Hours (Palimpsest Press, 2007) and Bonsai Love (Harbour Publishing, 2014). Her poems have been published in more than fifty journals in Canada and abroad. Her first novel, His Sweet Favour, was released by Thistledown Press in 2009. She edits books too, but crafts and paints to free herself from the endless run of words in her head. Diane has been a Dead Poets Reading Series co-ordinator since 2011.
Lilija Valis Lilija Valis, author of Freedom on the Fault Line, has been published in poetry journals and e-zines, as well as nine anthologies. She has two CDs out, one solo and the second, with two musicians. She reads her work at various literary and musical events, as well as political/philosophical international conferences in Vancouver, Bellingham and San Francisco. She performed with a group of other artists an eight day gig at the 2016 Fringe Festival on Granville Island. She is a member of the Canadian Authors Association, Writers International Network, Royal City Literary Arts Society and Federation of BC Writers. She is the recipient of poetry prizes from the Vancouver Tagore Society and the San Francisco Artists Embassy International, as well as the Nehru Humanitarian Award from the University of British Columbia and the Goel Family Charitable Foundation
Lara Varesi Lara Varesi began her poetry journey with Pandora’s Collective, and since then, has featured and hosted at many events throughout the Lower Mainland. Lara is president of Burnaby Writers’ Society, and organizes and hosts their monthly reading series Spoken INK. She was published in the RCLAS Anthology in 2014, and is currently editing many of her old poems and writing new ones in the hopes of compiling a manuscript.
Vikram Vij (adopted by Kerrie Manderscheid) Vikram Vij was born in and studied hotel management in Salzburg, Austria, before moving to Canada to work at the Banff Springs Hotel. He opened the original fourteen-seat Vij’s Restaurant in 1994, and has appeared on many television shows and regularly cooks for events, including the James Beard Awards gala in New York. In addition to running Vij’s and Rangoli with Meeru Dhalwala, Vikram is the chef and owner of My Shanti
Johanna Wagstaffe Johanna Wagstaffe is an on-camera meteorologist for CBC covering local, national and international weather and science stories. She joined the CBC News: Weather Centre in the summer of 2007 working on the CBC News Network morning shows. Johanna is now in Vancouver and her forecasts can be seen daily, on CBC News Vancouver at 5, 5:30, 6 pm, as well as part of the brand new CBC News Now team, presenting the latest weather & science stories with Ian Hanomansing at 5, 7, 10 pm PT across the country. With Wagstaffe’s background in seismology and earth science, she is often utilized by CBC as the go-to expert for insight into breaking science stories. Some of the stories she has covered recently include the Copenhagen Climate Conference, the 2011 Japan earthquake and tsunami, and flying with the Snowbirds. Johanna Wagstaffe graduated with an honours degree in geophysics from The University of Western Ontario. She was first exposed to weather forecasting as a summer intern at the Environment Canada Severe Weather Centre and then obtained her post-graduate meteorology certificate from York University. Outside of work, Wagstaffe enjoys flying and has both her glider’s and pilot’s license. She enjoys teaching children about weather and science and is part of the Astronuts Kids Space Club. She is a runner and snowboarder, and is passionate about music in all forms and can often be found at a local concert.
Andrea Warner (adopted by Tiffany Stone) Andrea Warner writes about music, feminism, and pop culture and is the author of We Oughta Know: How Four Women Ruled the ’90s and Changed Canadian Music. She contributes to CBC Music, Pitchfork, the Georgia Straight, and Exclaim! and co-hosts the podcast Pop This!
Jane Whittingham (adopted by Louis Anctil)Jane Whittingham is a librarian, tea drinker and cat lover from Burnaby, British Columbia, with a Masters of Library and Information Sciences from the University of British Columbia. Much like the energetic characters in her picture books, Jane loves to get outside and explore. She is the author of two picture books, Wild One (Pajama Press, 2017) and A Good Day for Ducks (Pajama Press, 2018). You can connect with Jane on her website at www.raincitylibrarian.ca
Ethel Whitty Ethel Whitty was born and raised in Cape Breton and emigrated from there to the West Coast in her early twenties. She wrote The Light a Body Radiates in stolen moments and occasional weeks of solitude while working for twelve years as the Director of the Carnegie Community Centre in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. A graduate of the Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio, she currently lives in Vancouver.
Sam Wiebe (adopted by Loris Yazedjian) Vancouver based Sam Wiebe’s stand-alone debut novel, Last of the Independents, won an Arthur Ellis Award and the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, and was nominated for a Shamus Award. His second novel is the critically acclaimed Invisible Dead, the debut of his Dave Wakeland series of mysteries.
Gillian Wigmore Gillian Wigmore is the author of three books of poems: soft geography, Dirt of Ages, and Orient, a novella, Grayling, and the novel Glory. Her work has been published in magazines nationally and internationally, shortlisted for prizes, and anthologized. She lives in Prince George, BC.
Mark L. Winston (adopted by Jessica Oakes)Mark L. Winston is the recipient of the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Award for non-fiction for his book Bee Time: Lessons from the Hive (Harvard University Press). One of the world’s leading experts on bees and pollination, Dr. Winston is also an internationally recognized researcher, teacher and writer. He directed Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue for twelve years, where he founded the Centre’s Semester in Dialogue. He lives in Vancouver, BC.
Onjana Yawnghwe (adopted by Joy Kogawa House) Onjana Yawnghwe is Shan-Canadian and was born in Thailand but grew up in BC. She is the author of the poetry books Fragments, Desire (Oolichan, 2017), and the forthcoming The Small Way (Caitlin Press, Fall 2018). She was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award in 2018. She has a MA in English and currently works as a nurse in Vancouver.
Abeer Yusuf (adopted by Jennifer Dove)Abeer Yusuf is a journalist, writer, avid book-reader and interested in all things coloured yellow. Abeer’s interests lie in understanding race and culture through an intersectional lens, as well as how identity works across cultures – and how we can create home, belonging and connection through all kinds of divides. A lifelong learner and believer of serendipity, Abeer usually cannot contain her excitement upon seeing a pot of chicken biryani. Follow her at @aboutabeer.
Jennifer Zilm Vancouver poet Jennifer Zilm’s first book Waiting Room was shortlisted for the Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and selected by the CBC as one of the most anticipated books of 2016. She is also the author of two chapbooks.