Looking Back

Here’s all of those wonderful authors who visited us in 2017!


andersonGail Anderson-Dargatz

has been published worldwide in English and in many other languages in more than fifteen territories. The Cure for Death by Lightning and A Recipe for Bees were international bestsellers, and were both finalists for the prestigious Giller Prize. The Cure for Death by Lightning won the UK’s Betty Trask Prize, the BC Book Prize for Fiction and the VanCity Book Prize. Both A Rhinestone Button and Turtle Valley, were national bestsellers. Her latest novel, The Spawning Grounds, is an  intimate family saga rooted in the Thompson-Shuswap region of British Columbia that bridges Native and white cultures across a bend in a river where the salmon run. She lives in the Shuswap in southcentral British Columbia, the landscape found in so much of her writing.

Carmen Aguirreaquirre

is an award-winning Vancouver-based theatre artist and author who has written and co-written twenty-five plays. Her first memoir, Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter, won CBC Canada Reads 2012 and is a #1 national bestseller. Her second memoir, Mexican Hooker #1 and My Other Roles Since the Revolution, is a Globe and Mail bestseller and was chosen by CBC as one of the best books of 2016. Carmen has over eighty film, television, and stage acting credits, and has been teaching acting and writing for over two decades. She is a Theatre of the Oppressed workshop facilitator and a graduate of the prestigious acting program Studio 58.

25232187646_10f4ebd2e0_kGeorge Bowering

Canada’s first Poet Laureate, was born in the Okanagan Valley. A distinguished novelist, poet, editor, professor, historian, and tireless supporter of fellow writers, Bowering has authored more than eighty books, including works of poetry, fiction, autobiography, biography and youth fiction.  His most recent books include The Hockey Scribbler, Writing the Okanagan, 10 Women and The Dad Dialogues.  He is an officer of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of British Columbia. A native of British Columbia, he lives in Vancouver.

browne_colin_2012_iiColin Browne 

is a poet studying the Surrealist fascination with the art of the Northwest Coast. He curated the 2016 Emily Carr-Wolfgang Paalen art exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery titled I Had an Interesting French Artist to See Me This Summer. Poetry collections include the critically acclaimed Ground Water (2002), nominated for the Governor General’s Literary Award and Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; The Shovel (2007), shortlisted for the 2008 ReLit Award; The Properties (2012), nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize; and The Hatch (2015).  His most recent work, Entering Time: The Fungus Man Platters of Charles Edenshaw (2016) is a nonfiction exploration of the work of Haida artist Charles Edenshaw.

campbellMiji Campbell 

is a writer and teacher. Her work has appeared in Reader’s Digest, Today’s Parent, The Calgary Herald, The Edmonton Journal and on CBC. Separation Anxiety: A Coming of Middle Age Story is her first book and winner of the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Award for Non-Fiction. Born and raised in Calgary, Miji now lives in Red Deer, Alberta.

chang-jJanie Chang 

was born in Taiwan and spent parts of her childhood in the Philippines, Iran and Thailand before ultimately settling in Canada. She has a degree in computer science from Simon Fraser University. Her first novel, Three Souls, was
a finalist for the 2014 BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and one of nine Canadian books longlisted for the 2015 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Janie lives in Vancouver.  Her latest book is Dragon Springs Road.

chapmanAaron Chapman 

is a writer, historian, and musician with a special interest in the history of Vancouver after dark. He is the author of Liquor, Lust, and the Law, a history of the Penthouse Nightclub, and Live at the Commodore, a history of the Commodore Ballroom that won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award (BC Book Prizes) in 2015. As a musician, he has performed across Canada, the United States and in Europe. He has been a frequent speaker at the Vancouver historical lectures and was featured in the 2016 documentary Secret Vancouver: Rebels of the 1970s. His new book is The Last Gang in Town which has spent months on the BC Best Seller list.  It details a wild two fisted period of crime history when East Vancouver street gangs in the 1970s collided with a secret Vancouver Police Department Gang Task Force created to tackle them. He lives in Vancouver’s Chinatown area.

choa-johnsonSimon Choa-Johnston

was born and raised in Hong Kong and educated in Canada. He graduated from McMaster University in 1972. He did post graduate theatre studies in New York, returning to Canada to work in the theatre for over thirty years as an artistic director, director and playwright. He was awarded the Governor General’s Canada 125 Medal and was nominated for the prestigious W. O. Mitchell Literary Prize. In his debut novel, The House of Wives, two women compete for the affections of their opium merchant husband in a tale of friendship, fortune and rivalry in colonial Hong Kong. He lives in British Columbia.

demersCharles Demers

is a writer and comedian based in Vancouver, BC. He is the author of a novel, The Prescription Errors, and two books books of essays, Vancouver Special (a finalist for the BC Bookprize for non-fiction) and The Horrors. In addition to being a frequent performer on CBC radio’s The Debaters and This is That, he has written several stageplays, and stars as Walter the Slug on the award-winning Netflix animation series Beat Bugs, based on the music of The Beatles. His new book, The Dad Dialogues, is a non-fiction collaboration with iconic Canadian author George Bowering.

ann_crop-credit-carol-sowerbyAnn Eriksson

spent her childhood as the daughter of a peripatetic Lutheran minister exploring the natural and literary landscapes of the small prairie towns where she lived. As an adult, she migrated to the west coast where she raised a family and earned a degree in biology. A self-taught writer, Ann is the author of five novels: Decomposing Maggie, In the Hands of Anubis, Falling from Grace which was awarded a Silver medal in the 2011 Independent Publishers Book Awards, and High Clear Bell of Morning (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014). Her most recent, The Performance (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016), was described by Bibliobroads as “a beauty… an utterly compelling read.”  Passionate about the environment, Ann is a founding director of the Thetis Island Nature Conservancy. She lives on Thetis Island with her husband, poet Gary Geddes.

finlayDr. B. Brett Finlay

is a Professor of Microbiology at the University of British Columbia and a world leader in how bacterial infections work. His research has been widely published and reported on worldwide, including in Nature, Scientific American, and on BBC and NPR News. He has won several prestigious awards including five Howard Hughes International Research Scholar Awards and the Prix Galien. Finlay is an Officer of the Order of Canada.  Finlay is the co-author of Let Them Eat Dirt:  Saving Your Child from an Oversanitized World.


Gary Geddes

has written and edited more than 45 books of poetry, fiction, drama, non-fiction, criticism, translation, and anthologies and won a dozen national and international literary awards, including the Commonwealth Poetry Prize (Americas Region), the Lt-Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence, and the Gabriela Mistral Prize. His non-fiction books include Letters from Managua, Sailing Home, Kingdom of Ten Thousand Things, Drink the Bitter Root. and Medicine Unbundled: A Journey Through the Minefields of Indigenous Health Care. His most recent books of poetry are Falsework, Swimming GingerWhat Does A House Want? and The Resumption of Play. Geddes has a PhD from U of T and has taught at Concordia, Western Washington University, and University of Victoria and has been writer-in-residence at UBC and the Vancouver Public Library. He lives on Thetis Island, BC.

hogganJames Hoggan, JD, APR

is president of the PR firm Hoggan & Associates and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation board. He has over three decades of experience in crisis and issues management for corporations, governments and public institutions such as universities and hospitals. A tireless advocate for ethics and integrity in public relations, he founded the influential website DeSmogBlog to expose misinformation campaigns that pollute public debate around climate change and the environment.  He is the author of I’m Right and You’re an Idiot: The Toxic State of Public Discourse and How to Clean it Up, Climate Cover-Up: The Crusade to Deny Global Warming and Do the Right Thing: PR Tips for a Skeptical Public.

iraniAnosh Irani

has published three critically acclaimed and award-winning novels: The Cripple and His Talismans (2004), a national bestseller; The Song of Kahunsha (2006), which was an international bestseller and shortlisted for Canada Reads and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize; and Dahanu Road (2010), which was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize. His play Bombay Black won the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play (2006), and his anthology The Bombay Plays: The Matka King & Bombay Black was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award. ,  The Parcel,  his new novel about a transgender sex worker in the red-light district of Bombay who is given an unexpected task, was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and for the Governor General’s Literary Award. He lives in Vancouver.

mark-leiren-youngMark Leiren-Young

is a journalist, filmmaker and author of numerous books, including Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, for which he won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and The Green Chain, which is based on his award-winning film of the same name. His article for the Walrus about Moby Doll, the first orca publicly exhibited in captivity, was a finalist for the National Magazine Award, and he won the Jack Webster award for his CBC Idea’s radio documentary Moby Doll: The Whale that Changed the World. Leiren-Young is currently finishing a feature length film documentary on Moby Doll. His current book about the same subject is The Killer Whale Who Changed the World.

lawrenceGrant Lawrence

has long been a leading voice in Canadian arts and entertainment. Grant is a popular CBC personality, hosting the CBC Radio 3 Podcast, and can also be heard on various CBC Radio One programs. Grant is also the author of two bestselling books, Adventures In Solitude and The Lonely End of the Rink. Both titles won the Bill Duthie Booksellers’ Choice Award at the BC Book Prizes, marking the first time that the same author has won this prize twice. Grant Lawrence is also a Canadian Screen Award winner, the lead singer of the Smugglers, a columnist for the Westender, and the goalie for the Flying Vees beer league hockey team. He is married to musician Jill Barber, and they live together with their children Josh and Grace in Vancouver, B.C. Grant’s third book, Dirty Windshields: the best and the worst of the Smugglers tour diaries, will be released in early 2017.

manuelJennifer Manuel

has won awards for her short fiction, including the Storyteller’s Award at the Surrey International Writer’s Conference in 2013. She has also published short fiction in PRISM international, The Fiddlehead, Room Magazine and Little Fiction. Author Diana Gabaldon describes Manuel’s writing as “astonishing in its intimacy, delicate complexity and sense of compassion.” A long-time activist in Aboriginal issues, Manuel taught elementary and high school in the lands of the Tahltan and Nuu-chah-nulth peoples. The Heaviness of Things that Float is Manuel’s compelling debut novel: a deft exploration of the delicate dynamic between First Nations communities and non-native outsiders. She lives on Vancouver Island, BC.

martin-sSandy Martin

moved to Galiano 11 years ago, retiring from her business of 23 years. During those working years she always continued with her writing and her study of poetry.  Sandy has had poetry published in three chapbooks, Anecdote, Surprise and Sparrows on Snow edited by Patrick Lane (Leaf Press 2005, 2006, 2007) and a short story in the anthology ‘Interface’ (Oxford University Press, 2010).  She has also published a creative nonfiction essay in the anthology ‘Living Artfully’ (Key Publishing House, 2012). Sandy is currently working on a YA novel and continues working with her first love, poetry.

amber-mcmillanAmber McMillan 

is the author of The Woods: A Year on Protection Island (2016) and the poetry collection We Can’t Ever Do This Again (2015). Her work has appeared in Arc Poetry Magazine, PRISM international,  Best Canadian PoetryThe Walrus and others across North America. She lives and works on BC’s Sunshine Coast.

jane-munroJane Munro’s

sixth poetry collection, Blue Sonoma (Brick Books) won the 2015 Griffin Poetry Prize. Her previous books include Active Pass (Pedlar Press) and Point No Point (McClelland & Stewart). Her work has received the Bliss Carman Poetry Award, the Macmillan Prize for Poetry, the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry (2nd place), was nominated for the Pat Lowther Award and is included in The Best Canadian Poetry 2013. She is a member of the collaborative poetry group Yoko’s Dogs who have published two books, Whisk (Pedlar Press) and Rhinoceros (Gaspereau). She lives in Vancouver.

oneillHeather O’Neill

is a Canadian novelist, poet, short-story writer, screenwriter and essayist. Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night and Daydreams of Angels, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in two consecutive years, and has won CBC Canada Reads, the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Danuta Gleed award. Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.  Her most recent book is The Lonely Hearts Hotel.

Cea Sunrpersonise Person

is the author of the bestselling book North of Normal: A Memoir of My Wilderness Childhood, My Counterculture Family, and How I Survived Both. She has spoken publicly about her unusual life story at numerous events, including TEDx, and also teaches memoir writing. She lives in Vancouver with her husband and three children.  Her most recent book, Nearly Normal:  Surviving the Wilderness, My Family and Myself continues her memoir.

peterson-zoeyZoey Leigh Peterson

was born in England, grew up all over the United States and now lives in Canada. Her fiction has appeared in The Walrus,  EVENT,  Grain, PRISM international and has been anthologized in The Journey Prize Stories and Best Canadian Stories. She is the recipient of the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction (The Malahat Review) and the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award (The New Quarterly). Her debut novel, Next Year, For Sure, is an unflinching, sage and mesmerizing portrait of an open relationship.

Steven Priceprice-s

is the author of two award-winning poetry books, Anatomy of Keys (2006), winner of the Gerald Lampert Award, and Omens in the Year of the Ox (2012), winner of the ReLit Award. His first novel, Into That Darkness, was published by Thomas Allen to acclaim in 2011. His new novel, By Gaslight, is a literary thriller, a riveting, atmospheric portrait of two men on the brink, moving from the diamond mines of South Africa to the battlefields of the Civil War, He lives in Victoria, B.C.

©Imaging by Marlis 2012 Permission granted to Meredith Quartermain for personal and promotional use

Meredith Quartermain

is known across Canada for her award-winning, cross-genre writing. Vancouver Walking won the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, Nightmarker was a finalist for the Vancouver Book Award, and Recipes from the Red Planet, her book of flash-fictions, was a finalist for a BC Book Prize.  She has taught English at the University of British Columbia and Capilano College and led workshops at the Naropa Summer Writing Program, the Kootenay School of Writing, and the Toronto New School of Writing. From 2014 to 2016 she was the Poetry Mentor at the SFU Writers Studio.  Her latest book, U Girl (2016) is a coming-of-age novel set at UBC.


Peter Quartermain

has been editing, writing, and printing hand-set letterpress chapbooks and broadsides since he retired from UBC’s English Department in 1999. Peter has also conducted workshops at the Kootenay School of Writing and the Summer Writing Program at Naropa University. His most recent books include two volumes of The Collected Poems of Robert Duncan and his collection of essays on modern and contemporary poetry and poets, Stubborn Poetries (University of Alabama Press, 2013).  In the last fifteen years, in addition to writing sundry essays, poems and chapbooks, he has principally devoted his writing energies to Growing Dumb, a memoir of his childhood in England during the Second World War.

scherBill Schermbrucker 

 has for many years assisted amateur and professional writers to bring their memoirs into print in short or full-length books and magazine articles.  He has taught  at Capilano College, and in workshops at the West Vancouver Arts Council, Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, the Banff Centre, and his own home on Saturna Island. He has received a number of literary prizes for his own writings.

sellars-3Bev Sellars

was chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation in Williams Lake, British Columbia, for more than 20 years, and she now serves as a member of its Council. Sellars returned to the First Nations community of Soda Creek after an extended period of “visiting other territories.” While she was away, she earned a degree in history from the University of Victoria and a law degree from the University of British Columbia, and she served as adviser for the B.C. Treaty Commission. She was first elected chief in 1987 and has spoken out on behalf of her community on racism and residential schools and on the environmental and social threats of mineral resource exploitation in her region.  Her books include They Called me Number One and Price Paid: The Fight for First Nations Survival.

thanhYasuko Thanh’s

story collection Floating Like the Dead was published in Canada by McClelland & Stewart in 2012 and was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. One of its stories won an Arthur Ellis Award for Best Crime Short Story. The title story won the Journey Prize for the best story published in Canada in 2009. Quill & Quire named Floating Like the Dead a best book of the year. CBC hailed Yasuko Thanh one of ten writers to watch in 2013. In her latest novel, The Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains,  Tranh transports the reader into a vivid, historical Vietnam filled with chaotic streets, teeming marketplaces, squalid opium dens, and angry ghosts that exist side by side with the living. It was awarded the 2016 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction PrizeShe lives in Victoria, B.C., with her husband and two children. In her spare time she plays in a punk band called 12 Gauge Facial, for which she writes all the songs and music.

THOMASAudrey Thomas

has published 17 previous novels and short story collections. Her novels Intertidal Life and Coming Down from Wa were nominated for Governor General’s Literary Awards and won B.C.’s Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. In 2003 she won the George Woodcock Lifetime Achievement Award. Other of her well-known novels include Mrs. Blood, Tattycoram, Local Customs, Isobelle Gunn, and T

This year, there will be four workshops on Friday, February 17th:


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Entering Poetry

Workshop leader:  Sandy Martin

If you’ve ever wanted to write a poem, bring your pen and paper.

Bring an image of someone or something or some place that makes you pause. An image that makes you wish or wonder. Perhaps someone you know or someone you’d like to know. Or a place that you’d like to be. An image that agitates or surprises or calms, even if you don’t know why.

 Come with a visual. Leave with a poem.

Duration:  2 hours (1 to 3 pm)       Cost: $60.00



Workshop leader:   Miji Campbell

This memoir workshop invites you to explore the possibilities and power in your own writing. You will be given suggestions to create story, along with tips and tools to tell it in a meaningful way.  No writing experience required. Only life experience.

Please bring a memento: object, photograph, artifact – that reminds you of a moment in your life.

Duration:  2 hours (3 to 5 pm)    Cost:  $60.00

Flash Fiction

Workshop Leader:  Audrey Thomas

Flash Fiction or Micro Fiction seems to be like a drop of fine perfume.  One drop, maybe, but it lingers.  There is always a story, usually one or two characters. But there can be more. It might be faces in a crowd. Watching how the police as dealing with a shouting man.  but there must be story.  What is he shouting?  Does it make any sense?  Is he calling out to someone?   I will bring examples.  We will try for fiction between 500 and 1000 words.  it should be fun. But challenging.
Duration:   4 hours (1 to 5 pm)    Cost:  $80.00


Write Your Memoir

Workshop Leader:  Bill Schermbrucker

Memoir writers have particular stories to tell, and constructive assistance from the instructor and fellow workshop members can help them to discover, clarify and develop those stories. Sometimes the originally planned manuscript gets honed down tightly, or else expanded. And sometimes it morphs into a whole different book or article.  Memoir-writing is its own reward, whether done for oneself, one’s family and friends, or a wider public. It has also become a fairly hot category in saleable books, especially, but not exclusively, for people who have made a name for themselves in other fields.

Participants will be e-mailed a workshop format to be reviewed in advance of this workshop.

Duration:  4 Hours (1 to 5 pm)  Cost: $80.00


he Path of Totality.  Audrey lives right here on Galiano Island!