Chelene Knight named Word Vancouver’s new executive director


VANCOUVER, BC – Word Vancouver, Western Canada’s largest free festival of reading and writing, has named Chelene Knight as its new executive director. She will be the fifth director to guide the festival in its 24-year history, following Bryan Pike, the festival’s previous director.

“I’m thrilled to welcome Chelene Knight as the new ED of Word Vancouver and I wish Bryan Pike all the best as he moves on to other endeavours,” said Mary-Ann Yazedjian, president of Word Vancouver’s board of directors. “Chelene’s extensive experience in the literary community of Vancouver will be an excellent addition to this festival and the board is excited to work with her to see Word Vancouver grow and flourish.”

Knight was appointed executive director by Word Vancouver’s board of directors following a nation-wide search that culminated in May.

“I have helped organize, curate and been an integral part of some of Canada’s biggest literary festivals. I’m looking forward to bringing on a team that promises to make Word Vancouver 2018 and beyond an inclusive, literary game-changer,” said Knight. “With a focus on mentorship and amplifying marginalized voices, I hope to take Word Vancouver to a whole new level.”

The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society was founded in 1995 and hired Bryan Pike of Rebus Creative as the executive director in 1998. As the producer for Word Vancouver, Rebus Creative has built and transformed the festival into a key event in Greater Vancouver’s literacy and literary community. Earlier this year, Pike announced he was stepping down as Executive Director of the Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society after 20 years.

“I’d like to thank our literary community for all the support for the past 20 years and I’m looking forward the new direction Word will take with Chelene at the helm,” said Bryan Pike.

Knight will make her debut as executive director with the 2018 Word Vancouver festival, which runs from September 24–30, 2018, and offers workshops, panels, readings, and an annual book fair. Attendance is free and open to the public.

In addition to her new role as executive director, Knight will continue to serve as the managing editor of Room magazine and as the programming director of the affiliated Growing Room Festival, a feminist literary festival that celebrated its sophomore year in March. Knight is a publishing professional as well as the author of two books, most recently the memoir, Dear Current Occupant (Book*hug, 2018). She has been named by CBC as one of 18 Canadian women writers to read in 2018 and will be a familiar face to many in the arts and beyond.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Shazia Hafiz Ramji
Board member and acting publicist
Word Vancouver


Chelene Knight

Chelene Knight

Inspiring words.

Job Posting: Executive Director — deadline extended

The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair (Word Vancouver) is seeking an Executive Director to provide visionary leadership in the internal operations of the organization to enable strong, diverse, inclusive, accessible, well-resourced, and sustainable programming for the community we serve.

The Executive Director is responsible for the effective day-to-day administration of Word Vancouver as well as Festival production. This is a rare opportunity for an individual or team to develop and mold their unique vision. Proposals will be accepted both from individuals and from teams.

While the position is described as full-time, year-round, we recognize that there are periods of chaos as well as lull periods with an annual festival. We are seeking an individual or team that will be able to adapt to this timeline, while being welcome to also pursue other endeavours. 

The deadline has been extended until Friday, May 11.

View the job posting on the Alliance for Arts & Culture, or download the Job Description (PDF) here.

Inspiring words.

Bryan Pike stepping down as Executive Director of Word Vancouver after 20 years

Bryan Pike has announced he is stepping down as Executive Director of Word Vancouver. Rebus Creative has been the producer for the Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society for 20 years, building and transforming it into a key event in Western Canada’s literacy and literary community. The festival has transformed from a one-day showcase in 1994 to a five-day celebration across Vancouver. Each year, Rebus Creative has introduced innovative new festival events, improved literacy outreach, increased participation, and showcased Vancouver’s unique artistic culture.

It is with a heavy heart that the board of directors acknowledge the passing of the torch and thank Bryan Pike and Rebus Creative for their hard work and vision over the years.

The Vancouver Book and Magazine Fair Society’s board of directors has begun the search for a new executive director—see the job description here (PDF).

Inspiring words.

Pub Trivia Night – Summer Readin’ Edition

Bring in the summer with a pint and Word Vancouver’s pub quiz on Monday, June 19 at The Cottage Bistro!

The theme is Summer Reading. Think beach reads, poolside, book clubs, and the lighter side of literature. You don’t need to be a serious scholar to join us -although everyone is welcome!

Trivia begins at 7:00 pm, so make sure you arrive early to have a drink, order some food, and get in the zone! Bring your friends, or meet new ones. Teams are 6 people (max).

There will be prizes, including books, gift cards, tasty treats, and maybe even a trophy!

Entry fee: $10 per person (cash only)

This is a fundraiser, with 100% of the entry fees going to Word Vancouver.

Check out our Facebook event for full details.

Inspiring words.

Kids’ Writing Contest

Writers aged 12 and under are invited to submit their work of fiction, 350 words or less, to the Word Vancouver Kids’ Writing Contest. The winners will have their piece published in WestCoast Families!

The submission deadline is August 27, 2017.

Please email your submissions to: or mail them to the Word Vancouver office:

#901 – 207 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC  V6B 1H7

Please clearly state your name, age, and your contact details with your submission.

Good luck!

Inspiring words.

Flash Fiction Contest Winners Announced

Word Vancouver is very pleased to announce the winners of our first Flash Fiction Writing Contest:

Adult Category: Evelyn Schofield
Youth Category: An Xu
Child Category: Isla McGlashan Green, Malcolm Taylor, Ella McLaren-Kennedy, Noah Diguangco, and Judi Li

Congratulations to you all!

Inspiring words.

Venue Changes for Word Vancouver 2016

Due to the recent flooding in the lower level of the Vancouver Public Library, all downstairs programming has been relocated. Perspective Point and Port of View, as well as the Mini–Manuscript Consults and Blue Pencil Sessions, will now be located on level 3 of the library, to the left when you get off the escalator. The Underground exhibitors and activities will be located outside on the North Plaza (Georgia and Homer side of Library Square) and the moat exhibitors will be located in the promenade. The Silent Auction will be outside in the T8 tent.

Please see the updated site map below:


Inspiring words.

Literary Pub Trivia Night

We had so much fun last time, we’re doing it again!

The metaphors have been sharpened. The plots are thickening. The pens have been thrown down…

The board of Word Vancouver invites you to its third evening of literary pub trivia to help raise funds for Western Canada’s largest celebration of literacy and reading.

With trivia written by local literary luminaries, word wizards, and poetic prophets, push your lit smarts to the limit. Fabulous prizes to be won and always fun to be had! So bookmark your page, get your team together, and come out to test your literary knowledge against the biggest book nerds in Vancouver.

Sunset Grill
2204 York Avenue, Vancouver

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

• Cover charge: $10 per person **CASH ONLY**
• OR Dinner & Cover Special: $28 — Gets you a burger (veggie/chicken/beef) and a draft beer / glass of wine. Includes 15% gratuity. ($10 going to Word Vancouver) **CASH ONLY**
• Anything else ordered from the menu will be handled by the Sunset Grill and can be paid with cards.

• Maximum team size: 6
• We recommend you arrive between 6–6:30 pm so you have time to order some food and drinks.
• Trivia starts at 7 pm
• Invite your team members to RSVP on the Facebook event
• Our host is the affable crime noir author Linda L. Richards.

Inspiring words.

Word Vancouver 2016 Writing Contest

Flash fiction: Show us who you are and what you’ve got


Flash fiction gives you the opportunity to show the world your literary star quality… in 250 words or less.

The purpose of the contest is to inspire communication and creativity. The contest is open to all styles and genres.

Rules: Submit original stories only, of up to 250 words. Entry fee must accompany stories, as applicable. Contest closes on September 15. The contest will be judged by professional writers.

Two winners, one from the adult entrants and one from the youth entrants, will be chosen. They will each get the opportunity to read their flash fiction at the 2016 Word Vancouver festival, and their stories will be printed in a local magazine.

There will be one winner and nine finalists from the child entrants, and they will each receive a prize.

Email submissions to

The $10 entry fee can be paid by mailing in a cheque or by using the “Pay Now” button in the right-hand column of the website.


Adult entrants (18 years or older)—fee is $10 per entry (entrants may submit more than one entry; however, a $10 fee must accompany each entry)
Youth entrants (12 to 17 years old)—no entry fee
Child entrants (up to 11 years old)—no entry fee

Inspiring words.

Reading Lights Initiative Launched

Reading Lights celebrates the work of BC children’s book authors and illustrators and offers unexpected encounters with an array of stories for children and their families near parks, playgrounds, schools, and libraries throughout Vancouver.

Intended to spark an interest in stories and reading, the program features excerpts of books and illustrations on lamp posts across the city for all to enjoy.

Twenty Reading Lights plaques have been installed as of January 2016, and the project was officially launched at the Vancouver Public Library on Family Literacy Day, January 27.

Reading Lights is a collaborative project of Vancouver Public Library and the Children’s Writers and Illustrators of BC Society.

Explore this interactive map and discover more about these exceptional children’s books and the authors and illustrators who bring them to life, including Word Vancouver author Ashley Spires (pictured above).

Inspiring words.