Jessica Johns is a nehiyaw auntie with English-Irish ancestry and is a member of Sucker Creek First Nation. She is an interdisciplinary artist, award-winning writer, and author of Bad Cree (HarperCollins), which was called “a masterwork of creeping tension,” by Eden Robinson. Her fiction, poetry, and nonfiction have been published in numerous publications such as Cosmonauts Avenue, Glass Buffalo, CV2, SAD Magazine and Red Rising Magazine, among others. She has spoken at various literary and arts festivals such as WORD Vancouver, Vancouver Writers Fest, Room Literary and Arts Festival, FOLD Festival and Blue Metropolis. Her visual art has been featured at the 2022 Rhubarb Festival, grunt gallery, and at Latitude 53.
Sheila Murray’s short fiction has been published in many literary journals including Descant, The Dalhousie Review, and The New Quarterly. Her first novel, Finding Edward (Cormorant Books), was shortlisted for the 2022 Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and was named one of the best books of the year by the Globe and Mail. Sheila is an advocate for social justice and currently leads a grassroots, volunteer-driven initiative that engages urban residents in adapting to local climate change impacts. She was born and raised in St. Albans, England, and now lives in Hamilton, Ontario.
As a journalist, moderator Megan Cole has worked for community newspapers, CBC Radio and Canadian Press. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in The Puritan, The Fiddlehead, Hungry Zine and more. As a podcast and event host, Megan has interviewed Michelle Good, Steven Price, Billy-Ray Belcourt, Ivan Coyote and more. Her first narrative nonfiction book titled Nice Boys Don’t Kiss Like That: Womanhood Explored through 90s Rom-Coms, MSN Messenger, and First Loves is out on submission. When Megan isn’t writing, reading, knitting or cooking, she’s working as the director of programming and communications for the BC and Yukon Book Prizes. She lives and works on the territory of the Tla’amin Nation in BC.