About Us

Writers Festival Event in Rockwood Pavilion

The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts is honoured and grateful to carry out its work in the shíshálh swiya, the unceded and traditional homelands of the shíshálh People. We strive to be respectful allies through both word and action.

The SCFWA was founded in 1983 by Betty Keller and members of the SunCoast Writers Forge. Celebrating its 42nd year in 2024, the SCFWA holds true to the vision of its founders: to produce an annual literary festival featuring writers in Canada exclusively.


  • Bring diverse writers in Canada together with readers through a summer festival in Sechelt and on-going inclusive community programming
  • Nurture the Sunshine Coast as a literary and cultural community
  • Foster literacy and the development of the craft of writing

The one-day inaugural festival has grown to a nationally recognized event that attracts writers from across the country and an audience of 7,000 over the course of four evenings and three days. In addition to the annual festival, the SCFWA works closely with community partners on educational and outreach programs throughout the year. Celebration of Authors, Books and Community (CABC), a joint initiative with School District No. 46 (Sunshine Coast), brings Canadian writers into schools and classrooms, reaching over 1,000 students annually.

CABC publishes Coastal Voices, an annual adjudicated anthology of writing by Sunshine Coast elementary and secondary school students.

The SCFWA is a provincially registered non-profit society (S-22382) and a federally registered charity (119206142RR0001).

2022-23 Board of Directors

  • Maggie Schell, President
  • Janice Webb, Treasurer
  • Bev Craig
  • Sean Eckford
  • Daniel Heath Justice
  • Laura Maddalozzo
  • Anna Comfort O’Keeffe
  • John Lussier


Marisa Alps, Artistic and Executive Director

The Board of Directors is responsible for governance, policy and the finances of the society. The Artistic and Executive Director, a full-time employee, is responsible for Festival and CABC programming and day-to-day operations. The AED reports to the Board of Directors.

The SCFWA is supported by paid contractors, seasonal staff and over 100 volunteers.

The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts (SCFWA) strives to create an inclusive environment, and will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that no festival attendees, staff, volunteers, or presenters are subjected to discrimination and/or harassment.