*Andrew Nikiforuk is a contributing editor at the Tyee and author of many award winning books and magazine articles. Saboteurs: Wiebo Ludwig’s War Against Big Oil  won the Governor General’s Award for non-fiction in 2002. Tar Sands: Dirty Oil and Future of the Continent garnered several awards including the W. O. Mitchell Book City of Calgary Book Award and Rachel Carson Book Award from the US Society of Environmental Journalists in 2009. His most recent book, Slickwater, which examines the impact of hydraulic fracturing on rural people, won the Science in Society Journalism Award from the US National Association of Science Writers in 2016. 

*Bill Gaston is the acclaimed author of seven novels and six short story collections, as well as poetry, drama and a memoir. His collection of stories, Juliet was a Surprise, was nominated for the Governor General’s Award, and his most recent novel, The World, won the BC Book Prize’s Ethel Wilson Award. His work has also been shortlisted for the Giller Prize and Gaston was the inaugural recipient of the Writers’ Trust of Canada Timothy Finlay Award for his body of work.

*Brian Brett is a poet, fictionist, memoir writer, journalist and former chair of the Writers’ Union of Canada. His thirteen books include The Colour Of Bones In A Stream, Coyote: A Mystery, and the Globe book-of-the year, Uproar’s Your Only Music. His best-selling Trauma Farm, won numerous prizes, including the Writers’ Trust award for best Canadian non-fiction. To Your Scattered Bodies Go won the CBC poetry prize in 2011. He also received the British Columbia Lieutenant General’s award for writing and service to the craft. A collection of poems, The Wind River Variations was released in 2014. The final book in his trilogy of memoirs, the award-winning Tuco, was published in 2015. In 2016 Brian Brett was the 2016 recipient of the Writers’ Trust Matt Cohen Award for Lifetime Achievement.

*Caroline Adderson is the author of four novels (A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice, The Sky Is Falling, Ellen in Pieces), two collections of short stories (Bad Imaginings, Pleased To Meet You) as well as many books for young readers.  She is also the editor and co-contributor of a non-fiction book of essays and photographs, Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival.  Her work has received numerous award nominations including the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.  Winner of three BC Book Prizes and three CBC Literary Awards, Caroline was also the recipient of the 2006 Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement.  She teaches in the Writing and Publishing Program at SFU and is the Program Director of the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

*Joan MacLeod is an award-winning playwright. She has taught creative writing at the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria and Kwantlen College.Since 2004, she has been a professor at the University of Victoria. She won the Governor General’s Award for English-language drama at the 1991 Governor General’s Awards for Amigo’s Blue Guitar, and was shortlisted for the same award at the 1995 Governor General’s Awards for The Hope Slide and Little Sister, and at the 2009 Governor General’s Awards for Another Home Invasion. She won the Floyd S. Chalmers Canadian Play Award in 1993 for The Hope Slide, was shortlisted for the Dora Mavor Moore Award for Outstanding New Play in 1990 for Amigo’s Blue Guitar, and won the Jessie Richardson Award and the Betty Mitchell Award in 2001 for The Shape of a Girl. She was named the winner of the Siminovitch Prize in Theatre in 2011

*Patrick Friesen has published more than a dozen books of poetry, a book of essays and, with Per Brask, co-translations of several Danish poets, including Ulrikka Gernes’ Frayed Opus for Strings & Wind Instruments which was shortlisted for the 2016 Griffin Poetry Prize.  Friesen has also written stage and radio plays, text for dance, and has recorded two CDs of spoken word and improv music with Marilyn Lerner, Peggy Lee and Niko Friesen.  In 2018 his book of poetry, Songen, was published by Mother Tongue, and his play a short history of crazy bone was staged by Theatre Projects Manitoba.

*Eve Joseph is the author of three books of poetry. The Startled Heart (Oolichan, 2004) and The Secret Signature of Things (Brick, 2010) were both nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Award. She was awarded the P.K. Page Founder’s Award for poetry in 2010. Her nonfiction has been shortlisted for the CBC Literary Awards and won in the “Gold” category of the Western Magazine Awards. Her nonfiction book, In the Slender Margin, published by HarperCollins in 2014, won the Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize and was named one of the top 100 books of the year by the Globe and Mail. Her most recent book of poetry, Quarrels, came out with Anvil Press in 2018.

*Dede Crane is the author of several novels including the nationally acclaimed Every Happy Family, and Sympathy, which was a finalist for the Victoria Butler Book Prize, and the teen novel The 25 Pains of Kennedy Baines. Her other books are The Cult of Quick Repair, a collection of stories and (as co-editor) Great Expectations, a collection of essays about the experience of giving birth. Her first published story was short-listed for the CBC Literary Award, and she has since published stories in numerous literary journals, as well as reviewing books for The Globe and Mail, The Shambhala Sun, and The Times-Colonist.

*Murray Reiss is a poet and editor who’s lived on Salt Spring Island since 1979. His first book, The Survival Rate of Butterflies in the Wild, won the League of Canadian Poets’ 2014 Gerald Lampert Award. Lorna Crozier has called it “a heartbreakingly beautiful book of poems.” It was also a runner-up for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry. His second collection, Cemetery Compost, came out in 2016. His poetry and prose have been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada and the United States, including Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry and Poems from Planet Earth. His chapbook, Distance from the Locus, was published in 2005 by Salt Spring’s Mothertongue Press. Reiss brings his words to life on the stage as well as the page as a Climate Action Performance Poet and founding member of Salt Spring’s Only Planet Cabaret, which has performed to enthusiastic crowds in Vancouver, Nanaimo, Victoria, Metchosin and Salt Spring.

*Ann Eriksson 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, High Clear Bell of Morning (Douglas & McIntyre, 2014) and The Performance (Douglas & McIntyre, 2016), which was described by Bibliobroads as “a beauty… an utterly compelling read” and by the Vancouver Sun as “revelatory.” Ann’s most recent book is Dive In! Exploring our Connection with the Ocean (Orca, 2018), a non-fiction book for children published as part of Orca Footprints, an ecological literacy series.

*John Vaillant is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, National Geographic, and Outside, among others.  His first book,  The Golden Spruce (Norton, 2005), was a bestseller and won several awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction (Canada).  His second nonfiction book, The Tiger (Knopf, 2010), is also an award-winning bestseller. His latest book, a novel, The Jaguar’s Children was a national bestseller.

Shaena Lambert  book of stories, Oh, My Darling (HarperCollins), was selected as a top book of the year by The Globe and Mail and National Post and long-listed for the Frank O’Connor Award for the Short Story. Her  novel Radiance was a finalist for the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Award, and the BC Book Prize. Her first book of stories, The Falling Woman  was published to critical acclaim in Canada, the UK and Germany. Shaena Lambert’s fiction has appeared four times in Best Canadian Stories, and been published in The Walrus, The New Quarterly, Zoetrope: All Story, Canadian Notes & Queries, Ploughshares,  The Journey Prize Anthology, and many other publications.  

*Claudia Casper is the author of three novels, The Reconstruction, The Continuation of Love By Other Means, and most recently, The Mercy Journals which won the prestigious Philip K Dick Award for best science fiction novel of 2017. She is co-writing a feature film adaptation of The Reconstruction for a 3D France/Canada co-production. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in Dropped Threads, edited by Carol Shields and Marjorie Anderson and Geist Magazine, among others. She has taught writing at Kwantlen Polytechnic University and been a long-time mentor for Vancouver Manuscript Intensive. Claudia lives in Vancouver, BC.

*Ronald Wright is the author of ten books of history, fiction, and essays published in sixteen languages and more than forty countries. A Short History of Progress, his 2004 CBC Massey Lectures, won the Libris Award for Nonfiction Book of the Year and inspired Martin Scorsese’s 2011 documentary film Surviving Progress.  Wright’s first novel, the dystopia A Scientific Romance, won Britain’s David Higham Prize for Fiction and was chosen a book of the year by the New York Times, the Globe & Mail, and the Sunday Times. His other bestsellers include Time Among the Maya, What Is America?, and Stolen Continents, a history of the Americas since Columbus which won the Gordon Montador Award and was chosen a book of the year by the Independent and the Sunday Times.  His latest work is the historical novel The Gold Eaters.  Born in England to Canadian and British parents, Wright read archaeology and anthropology at Cambridge University and has been awarded two honorary doctorates.  He lives on Canada’s West Coast. 

*Briony Penn is an award-winning writer, educator, naturalist and broadcaster well known in BC for lending her voice to the protection of ecosystems and species at threat in British Columbia.  Her books include the BC bestseller A Year on the Wild Side being reissued this year by Touchwood Editions; The Kids Book of Canadian Geography, Kids Can Press, 2008, Canadian Children’s Book Centre winner, 2009; The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan, Rocky Mountain Books, 2015. Her work won the BC Roderick Haig-Brown Prize in 2016, and was shortlisted for the BC Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize, and the Hamilton Mack Laing Award for Environmental History.

*Heidi Greco’s poems, reviews, essays and fiction have appeared in books, anthologies and online. In 2017, Caitlin Press published Flightpaths: The Lost Journals of Amelia Earhart. This September, another collection of poems, Practical Anxiety, is forthcoming from Toronto’s Inanna Publications. In 2017, she was honoured by the City of Surrey by being officially proclaimed as one of their Civic Treasures. Heidi Greco lives in Surrey, BC where she works as a writer, editor and occasional instructor. While doing her degree at SFU she lived on Burnaby Mountain (in residence at Louis Riel House). She and her children spent many hours walking and foraging along the trails on the mountain, so her connections there run deep.