Meet the Writers

Ticket sales open Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 8am.

2018 Writers confirmed so far:

Deborah Campbell

Deborah Campbell is the author of A Disappearance in Damascus and This Heated Place. A Disappearance in Damascus won the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize and the Hubert Evans Prize (BC Book Prizes). Deborah Campbell will deliver the 2018 Hutchison Lecture and will address the relationship between journalism and democracy.

David Chariandy

David Chariandy was with us in 2008 with his first book, Soucouyant. His latest novel, Brother, was longlisted for the Giller and won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.  Chariandy contemplates how to discuss race with his children in I’ve Been Meaning to Tell You: A letter to my daughter, a Spring 2018 release.

Charles Demers

Charles Demers returns to the Festival with his new crime fiction novel, Property Values, set against the backdrop of gentrification, Vancouver’s wildly inflated real estate prices and gang violence. And, because he’s Charlie Demers, he works humour and wit into the mix.

Dawn Dumont

Dawn Dumont is a Plains Cree comic, actor, author and journalist. Glass Beads, a collection of 20 short stories, is her most recent book. Earlier books are Nobody Cries at Bingo and Rose’s Run, winner of the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction.


Wildfires “are burning bigger, hotter, faster, and wider through North America’s forests.”- journalist and author Andrew Nikiforuk. These two writers explore wildfire from the perspectives of science, economics, politics, determination and courage.

Scientist, journalist and author Edward Struzik has been writing about environmental issues for over 30 years with a focus on the effects of climate change on the Canadian Arctic. His latest book is Firestorm: How Wildfire Will Shape our Future. 

Aaron Williams, the author of Chasing Smoke: A Wildfire Memoir, fought forest fires in BC, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec from 2006 to 2014. His writing has been published in The Globe and Mail, Halifax Chronicle Herald and the Toronto Star. “Williams is a born storyteller.” – Vancouver Sun.

This event will be hosted and moderated by Festival director and journalist, Sean Eckford.

Kim Fu

Poet and novelist Kim Fu’s latest book is The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore. Her writing has appeared in Granta, the Atlantic and the New York Times. Her first novel, For Today I am a Boy, received numerous citations and awards.

John MacLachlan Gray

John MacLachlan Gray is a playwright, composer, theatre director and author of several books of fiction and non-fiction. His latest book, The White Angel, is a novel based on the 1924 murder of Janet Smith in Vancouver. “One of the best novels of the year.” (The Globe and Mail)

Ausma Zehanat Kahn

Ausma Zehanat Kahn’s literary repertoire includes fantasy, mystery and a soon-to-be-published book of non-fiction for middle grade students. She is a community activist and holds a PhD in International Human Rights Law. She was the Editor-in-Chief of Muslim Girl magazine. Her latest book (February 2018 publication date) is A Dangerous Crossing.

Sheena Kamal

Sheena Kamal’s work and activism around the issue of homelessness inform her debut suspense thriller, The Lost Ones, that takes place in Vancouver and other BC locales. The protagonist, Nora Watts, is fearless, chaotic, and deeply flawed and returns in the sequel, It All Falls Down (July 2018).

Linden MacIntyre

Journalist, broadcaster, author and Scotiabank Giller Prize-winner Linden MacIntyre returns to the Festival with his fourth novel,  The Only Café, “a timely and gripping novel in which a son tries to solve the mystery of his father’s death–a man who tried but could not forget a troubled past in his native Lebanon.”

Clem Martini and Olivier Martini

The Unravelling by brothers Clem Martini and Olivier Martini is a graphic memoir of a family’s journey through mental illness, dementia, caregiving, and the health care system. Clem Martini is an award-winning playwright, screenwriter and novelist. Olivier Martini is a visual artist whose first book, Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness, a collaboration with his brother, won the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

James Maskalyk

James Maskalyk’s Life on the Ground Floor: Letters from the Edge of Emergency Medicine won the 2017 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Non-Fiction. It is currently on the shortlists for the 2017 BC Award for Canadian Non-Fiction and the RBC Taylor Prize. He divides his time between Toronto and Addis Ababa where he practices and teaches emergency medicine.

New Voices

New Voices is our annual celebration of authors of first books.

Carleigh Baker is a Métis/Icelandic writer whose debut short story collection, Bad Endings, won the 2017 City of Vancouver Book Award and was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Her creative writing, poetry, and book reviews have appeared in a number of literary journals and newspapers across the country.

Tenille Campbell is a Dene and Métis author and photographer from English River First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan. She has an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC and is currently working on a PhD at the University of Saskatchewan. Her debut collection of poetry, #IndianLovePoems, has been nominated for a Saskatchewan Book Award.

Cherokee writer and scholar, Daniel Heath Justice, has programmed and will host the annual New Voices event. His latest book is Why Indigenous Literatures Matter. He holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at UBC and lives in Halfmoon Bay, BC.

Carol Off

Carol Off is an award-winning journalist and the host of CBC Radio’s As It Happens. Her fourth book, All We Leave Behind: A Reporter’s Journey into the Lives of Others landed on the shortlist for the top three Canadian non-fiction prize lists and won BC’s National Award for Canadian Nonfiction. It is the story of Asad Aryubwal who was forced to flee Afghanistan with his family after a CBC documentary exposed him as her source.

Michael Redhill

Michael Redhill won the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize for Bellevue Square. Earlier work includes Consolation, longlisted for the Man Booker, and Martin Sloane, a finalist for the 2001 Giller Prize. “Let’s stay straightforward, and tell you that beyond the mysterious elements, this novel is warm, and funny, and smart. Let’s celebrate that it is, simply, a pleasure to read.” – 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize jury citation

Refugium: Poems for the Pacific

This poetry anthology explores our connection to the Pacific, what we know and don’t know, how we’ve already changed the shore and the sea and what we fear losing. The Festival will present three poets whose work is included in Refugium.

Maleea Acker is the author of two books of poetry and one of non-fiction. Her work has been published by a wide range of periodicals and literary journals. She teaches at Camosun College and the University of Victoria and is completing a PhD in Geopoetics.

Yvonne Blomer is the Poet Laureate for the City of Victoria. She is the author of three collections of poetry and a book about her travels by bicycle through Southeast Asia and has contributed to numerous anthologies. Yvonne Blomer is the editor of Refugium.

Philip Kevin Paul is a member of the WSÁ,NEC Nation on Vancouver Island and works with the University of Victoria to preserve the SENĆOŦEN language. His second book of poetry, Little Hunger, was shortlisted for a 2009 Governor General’s Literary Award. His first book of poetry, Taking the Names Down from the Hill, won the 2004 Dorothy Livesay Award for Poetry.

Jennifer Robson

Jennifer Robson is the bestselling author of four books of historical fiction. In Jennifer’s words: “An academic by background, a former editor by profession, and a lifelong history geek, I am lucky enough to now call myself a full-time writer.” Her latest book is Goodnight from London.

Kim Thuy

If you were at the 2014 Festival, you will remember the irrepressible Kim Thuy who brought the audience to their feet for an enthusiastic standing ovation. Kim Thuy returns to the 2018 Festival with her third novel, Vi, that explores the lives of Vietnamese refugees.

Katherena Vermette

Katherena Vermette’s 2016 novel, The Break, was a finalist for both the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. A Girl Called Echo, a graphic novel, has just been published by Portage & Main Press.

Tom Wilson

Writer, musician and songwriter Tom Wilson is a three-time Juno Award-winner (Junkhouse, Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and Lee Harvey Osmond). His memoir, Beautiful Scars: Steeltown Secrets, Mohawk Skywalkers and the Road Home is an astonishing story about deep family secrets and Wilson’s search for truth.

Mark Winston & Renee Saklikar

Mark Winston’s Bee Time, won the 2015 Governor General’s Award for Non-Fiction. Renee Saklikar is the City of Surrey’s inaugural Poet Laureate. She won the Canadian Authors Award for best book of poetry for children of air india and was shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize (BC Book Prizes). Their book, Listening to the Bees: Field Notes and Poems will be published by Nightwood Editions in the spring.