2018 Literary Festival Authors

Here’s the lineup of 2018 authors:

Gurjinder Basran’s

debut novel, Everything Was Good-bye, was the winner of the Search for the Great BC Novel Contest in 2010 and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Award in 2011. It was chosen as a Chatelaine Book Club pick in 2012. Gurjinder studied creative writing at Simon Fraser University and the Banff Center for the Arts.  Her latest book is Someone You Love is Gone.





George 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.  He lives in Vancouver.  His latest book, written with George Stanley, is Some End/West Broadway.

David Chariandy

grew up in Toronto and lives and teaches in Vancouver. His debut novel, Soucouyant, received stunning reviews and nominations from eleven literary awards juries, including a Governor General’s Literary Award shortlisting, a Gold Independent Publisher Award for Best Novel, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist. Brother is his second novel.


Angela Crocker

has been described as a pioneer of ethical social media, a business savvy digital goddess and an information organizing superhero. She’s also been called the Ann Landers of the online world, making sense of the sometimes confusing and perilous digital domain.  A thought leader on online communities, digital decluttering, education technology, and content planning, Angela works as an author, speaker and instructor to help individuals and businesses navigate the issues, challenges and joys of living a digital life. She is the author of The Content Planner (2017) and Declutter Your Data (2018).

Linda Cullen

is best known for being half of the award winning comedy show Double Exposure.  She and her husband Bob Robertson, entertained Canadians for 30 years on radio, television and in live shows all over the country.  They are inductees in the B.C. Entertainment Hall of Fame, and have a star on the Walk of Fame in Vancouver.  Linda wrote a humour column for Vancouver’s 24Hours for 4 years, and self published her book 5,378 Tips for a Better Life, Hotter Sex, Fresher Breath, Thicker Hair, Thinner Thighs & Cleaner Laundry! in 2009, which has been read by tens of people.  She is a recovering cat mother, and is now putting all of her energy into trying to stay that way.

Leesa Dean

is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program and a recent professor at Humber College in Toronto. She’s been a finalist for the Irving Layton Award, the Litpop Award, and the Quebec Writing Competition. She is the Interviews Editor for The Humber Literary Review and a regular contributor to The New Quarterly.  She currently teaches English and Creative Writing for Selkirk College’s University Arts and Sciences department in the West Kootenays.  Waiting for the Cyclone, her first book, was nominated for the 2017 Trillium Award.

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.  His forthcoming title, hitting the shelves in April is Property Values.

Wendy Donawa

was born in Victoria, but spent much of her adult life in Barbados as an artist, educator and museum curator. History repeating itself, she once more lives in Victoria. She thrives in its lively poetry community, and her poems have appeared in Canadian anthologies and magazines, including Arc Poetry Magazine, Prairie Fire, Room, and The Literary Review of Canada. She was a finalist in The Malahat Review’s 2013 Open Season Competition, and selected for Vancouver’s 2017 Poetry in Transit project. She has published three chapbooks, most recently with JackPine Press. Thin Air of the Knowable is her first poetry collection.

John McLachlan Gray

is a writer-composer-performer for the stage, film, television, radio and print. He is best known for his stage musicals, including the phenomenally successful Billy Bishop Goes to War, and for his satirical videos on CBC-TV’s The Journal. Gray is the recipient of many awards — a Golden Globe, the Governor General’s Medal and most recently the Order of Canada. He currently writes a weekly column entitled “Gray’s Anatomy” for the Globe and Mail. He lives in Vancouver with his personal demons.  His latest book is White Angel.

Michael Harris

is the author of The End of Absence, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award and became a national bestseller. He writes about media, civil liberties and the arts for dozens of publications, including The Washington PostWiredSalonThe Huffington Post and The Globe and Mail. His work has been a finalist for the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Chautauqua Prize, the CBC Bookie Awards and several National Magazine Awards. He lives in Vancouver with his partner, the artist Kenny Park.  His latest book is Solitude.

Wayne Johnston

was born and raised in the St. John’s area of Newfoundland. His #1 nationally bestselling novels include The Divine Ryans, A World Elsewhere, The Custodian of Paradise, The Navigator of New York and The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, which has been made into a stage play and is being developed as a TV series. Johnston is also the author of the Charles Taylor Prize-winning and bestselling memoir, Baltimore’s Mansion. He lives in Toronto.  His latest book is First Snow, Last Light

Theresa Kishkan 

is the author of thirteen books of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction, including Mnemonic: A book of Trees and Patrin  and the newly released Euclid’s Orchard & Other Essays (Mother Tongue). She has been a finalist for the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize and won the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Prize. The French translation of Patrin, titled Courtepointe, will be released by Marchand des feuilles in 2018. She lives on the Sechelt Peninsula with her husband John Pass.

Ashley Little

writes from Kelowna, BC. Her work has won the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize, the Sheila A. Egoff Children’s Literature Prize, and been a finalist for the ReLit Award, the City of Vancouver Book Award, and twice been longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Anatomy of a Girl Gang has been optioned for television. Her most recent novel, Niagara Motel, is narrated by eleven-year-old Tucker Malone who believes his biological father is Sam Malone from the hit TV show Cheers. Ashley’s fifth novel, Confessions of a Teenage Leper, is forthcoming in Fall 2018.

Kyo Maclear

is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author for both adults and children. Her picture books for children include Yak and Dove, The LisztsThe Good Little Book (which was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award), The Fog, and, most recently, Bloom. The Letter Opener, her first novel for adults, won the K.M. Hunter Artists Award and was shortlisted for the Amazon Books in Canada First Novel Award. Her follow-up novel, Stray Love, appeared on several notable “Best of 2012” lists. Kyo’s newest book for adults, Birds Art Life, was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Nonfiction Prize. She lives in Toronto with singer and composer David Wall and their two children.

Dan MacIsaac

was raised on Vancouver Island and  is a trial lawyer who served for ten years as a director on the board of the Environmental Law Centre at the University of Victoria. His poetry, verse translations, and fiction have appeared in a wide variety of literary journals and magazines. One of his stories was short-listed for the 2009 CBC Literary Awards, one of his poems received the 2014 Foley Prize from America Magazine, and another poem was short-listed for the 2015 Walrus Poetry Prize. He lives in Victoria. Cries from the Ark is his first poetry collection.

Arleen Paré’,

a master of the mixed-genre book, is both a novelist and a poet. Her first book, Paper Trail, was short-listed for the Dorothy Livesay Prize in Poetry and won the Victoria Butler Book Prize. Leaving Now, her second, was listed as an All Lit Up top ten book. Lake of Two Mountains, her third, won both a Governor General’s Literary Award and a CBC Bookie Prize.  He Leaves His Face in the Funeral Car, 2015, was a finalist for the Victoria Butler Book Prize. Pare’s most recent poetry collection, The Girls with Stone Faces, describes the lives and art of two well-known twentieth-century sculptors, Florence Wyle and Frances Loring. Paré, who lives in Victoria with her partner, Chris Fox, holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in poetry from the University of Victoria.

Michael Redhill

is the author of the novels Consolation, longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, and Martin Sloane, a finalist for the Giller Prize. He’s written a novel for young adults, four collections of poetry and two plays, including the internationally celebrated Goodness. He also writes a series of crime novels under the name Inger Ash Wolf. His most recent novel, Bellevue Square, won the 2017 Giller Prize. The author lives in Toronto.

Clea Roberts

lives on the outskirts of Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Her debut collection of poems, Here Is Where We Disembark (Freehand Books, 2010), was a finalist for the League of Canadian Poets’ Gerald Lampert Award, was nominated for the ReLit Award, and was translated into German and Japanese. Clea’s poems have been published in journals and anthologies in Canada, Europe, the United States, and Australia. She facilitates a workshop on poetry and grief through Hospice Yukon and is the Artistic Director of the Kicksled Reading Series.   Her latest book is Auguries. 

Jennifer Robson

is the USA Today and #1 Toronto Globe & Mail bestselling author of Goodnight From London, Somewhere in France and After the War is Over.  She holds a doctorate in British economic and social history from Saint Antony’s College, University of Oxford, where she was a Commonwealth Scholar and an SSHRC Doctoral Fellow. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her husband and young children.



Dr. Martina Scholtens

is a clinical instructor with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia and worked at the province’s only refugee clinic for ten years, caring for patients from around the globe. The recipient of the Mimi Divinsky Award for History and Narrative in Family Medicine (2016), she is currently completing her Master of Public Health degree. Scholtens has done extensive advocacy work around federal health insurance for refugees, and has a special interest in narrative medicine. Your Heart Is the Size of Your Fist is her first book.

George Stanley,

a native of San Francisco, has lived in BC since 1971, a Canadian citizen from 1978.  He taught English in BC community colleges for twenty-six years.  He has published nine books of poetry; the most recent are After Desire (2013) and North of California St. (2014), both from New Star.  His latest book, written with George Bowering , is Some End/West Broadway.

Timothy Taylor

is an award-winning novelist, journalist and short story writer. His debut novel, Stanley Park, was a national bestseller and a finalist for the Giller Prize, and his most recent novel, The Blue Light Project, was a national bestseller and winner of the CBC Bookie Prize in literary fiction. Both his fiction and nonfiction have appeared in Canada’s leading publications, and he is the only writer to have had three stories selected and published simultaneously in The Journey Prize Stories. He currently lives in Vancouver, where he teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia.  Hislatest book, Rule of Stephens, will be on the bookshelves on February 6.

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

Mary Walsh

was born in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She studied acting at Ryerson University and is the creator of the CBC’s This Hour Has 22 Minutes, which has won numerous Gemini, Canadian Comedy and Canadian Screen Awards. She is a versatile actor and has appeared in both dramas and comedies, including the Gemini Award–winning Hatching, Matching and Dispatching, which she wrote and starred in. Recently, Walsh has starred in Sensitive SkinRookie Blue and Slasher. She currently has several feature films in development, and in 2017 the cast of Hatching, Matching and Dispatching will be reunited for a CBC feature called “Christmas Fury,” of which Walsh is the writer, producer and star. She is a Member of the Order of Canada and has received a Governor General’s Performing Arts Award for Lifetime Artistic Achievement.  Herlatest novel is Crying For the Moon.

Iona Whishaw

was born in British Columbia. After living her early years in the Kootenays, she spent her formative years living and learning in Mexico, Nicaragua, and the US. She travelled extensively for pleasure and education before settling in the Vancouver area. Throughout her roles as youth worker, social worker, teacher, and award-winning high school principal, her love of writing remained consistent, and compelled her to obtain her master’s in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. Iona has published short fiction, poetry, poetry translation, and one children’s book, Henry and the Cow Problem. A Killer in King’s Cove was her first adult novel. Her heroine, Lane Winslow, was inspired by Iona’s mother who, like her father before her, was a wartime spy.  In addition to A Killer in King’s Cove, two other Lane Winslow books are in print with a fourth about to be released.

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. His stories have appeared in ThuglitsubTerrain and Criminal Element’s The Malfeasance Occasional e-collection, among others.  His most recent book, just out, is Cut You Down.

Elle Wild’s

debut novel, Strange Things Done, is a double Arthur Ellis Award Winner. She won “Best First Novel”, presented by Kobo, and the Arthur Ellis Unhanged for “Best Unpublished Mystery”. Strange Things Done has been on multiple shortlists and was a 2017 Winner in Women in Film’s “From Our Dark Side” genre writing competition.  Wild’s short fiction has been published in Ellery Queen Magazine and in an anthology of literary fiction by the Canadian Authors Association. Her latest literary short story, California Pure, earned Second Place in the National Capital Writing Competition in 2017.  Recently returned from the U.K., Wild resides on an island in the Salish Sea named after the bones of dead whales.

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