panel stage talent

On this page, you can find more information about the exciting talent at this year’s Word Vancouver. There is also a chance for you to adopt an author and receive a signed copy of their book! To check out the stage’s schedule on Sunday, September 29, click the button below.


Elizabeth Bachinsky

Elizabeth Bachinsky is one of Canada’s most sought-after poets. Her first two books are Curio and Home of Sudden Service, the latter of which was nominated for a Governor General’s Award for poetry and was named one of the best books of that year in The Globe and Mail. She is also the author of three other books of poetry: God of Missed Connections, I Don’t Feel So Good and The Hottest Summer in Recorded History. Poems from these collections have been nominated for numerous awards including the Pat Lowther Award, The Kobzar Award and the George Ryga Award, and have appeared in anthologies, literary journals, on stage, and on film in Canada, the U.S., France, China, Israel, England, Australia, Ireland and Lebanon.



Andrea Carlson is one of Canada's top chefs and a pioneer in the Pacific Northwest food scene. She has worked at and guided some of the best restaurants in Vancouver (and on Vancouver Island), including C, Sooke Harbour House, Raincity Grill, and Bishop's. In 2013 she opened Harvest Community Foods, a noodle shop, local foods grocery, and CSA hub in Vancouver's Chinatown, followed by Burdock & Co on Main Street. Andrea was inducted into the BC Restaurant Hall of Fame in 2018. She lives in Vancouver with her partner, Kevin, and their cat.



Rosie Daykin is the owner of Butter Baked Goods in Vancouver and the author of the book by the same name, and has been a passionate home baker since she was six years old. After a career as an interior designer, she transformed her dream of opening a bakery into a phenomenal success story. Rosie’s baked goods can be found at more than 300 fine retailers across the world. She lives in Vancouver with her husband, Paul; their daughter, India; two fat cats; and a small dog.

Rosie has been adopted by Connie Linder.

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A.J. Devlin

A.J. Devlin grew up in Greater Vancouver before moving to Southern California for six years where he earned a B.F.A. in Screenwriting from Chapman University and a M.F.A. in Screenwriting from The American Film Institute. Cobra Clutch, the first book in the “Hammerhead” Jed ex-professional wrestler turned PI mystery-comedy series, was nominated for a 2019 Lefty Award for Best Debut Mystery and won the 2019 Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Crime novel. Book two in the series — Rolling Thunder — will be released in Spring 2020 by NeWest Press.


Raoul Fernandes

Raoul Fernandes’s first collection of poems, Transmitter and Receiver (Nightwood Editions, 2015) won the Dorothy Livesay Award and the Debut-litzer Award for Poetry in 2016. He lives and writes in Vancouver, with his wife and two sons.

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Niall Howell

Niall Howell was born and raised in Calgary, where he still resides. His short fiction has been published in The Feathertale Review and FreeFall. Only Pretty Damned is his first novel. He can be found on Twitter @niall_howell.


Sean Karemaker

Sean Karemaker is an artist living in Vancouver, BC. He obtained a diploma in graphic design from Malaspina UniversityCollege in 2002 and has worked in illustration, graphic design, and 3D design for video games, in addition to his career as an artist and author working in comics, drawing, painting, and murals. His graphic novel Feast of Fields was recently included in CBC Books’s top 16 Canadian comics of 2018 and he has won first prize in the Alcuin Society Awards 2018 for excellence in comics and graphic novels.

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Winona Kent

Winona Kent is the author of seven novels and one novella. Her latest mystery, Notes on a Missing G-String, was published by Blue Devil Books in August 2019. She recently retired from her job at UBC and moved to New Westminster, where she’s thoroughly enjoying being a full-time writer.


Jónína Kirton

Jónína Kirton, a Red River Métis/Icelandic poet, author and facilitator currently lives in the unceded territory of the Musqueam, Sḵwxwú7mesh, and Tsleil-Waututh. She graduated from the SFU Writer’s Studio in 2007. Her first collection of poetry, page as bone ~ ink as blood, was released in April 2015 with Talonbooks. It has been described as “restorative, intimate poetry, drawing down ancestral ideas into the current moment’s breath.” A late blooming poet she was sixty-one when she received the 2016 Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Her second collection of poetry, An Honest Woman, was a finalist in the 2018 Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize.


Fiona Tinwei Lam

Fiona Tinwei Lam has authored two poetry books and a children’s book. She edited The Bright Well: Contemporary Canadian Poems on Facing Cancer and co-edited Love Me True: Writers Reflect on the Ins, Outs, Ups & Downs of Marriage with Jane Silcott. She has won The New Quarterly’s Nick Blatchford Occasional Verse Contest and was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award. Her work appears in over thirty anthologies, including The Best of the Best Canadian Poetry in English: The Tenth Anniversary Edition and Forcefield: 77 Women Poets of BC. Her poetry videos have screened at festivals locally and internationally. She teaches at Simon Fraser University’s Continuing Studies. Odes & Laments is her third collection of poetry.

Note: Fiona has been adopted by Ricepaper Magazine.

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Paulette McCarthy

Paulette, aging ingénue, started writing as a matter of necessity; fewer acting roles. She has written short stories for Starbucks Writers in Residence, created and hosted Writers Clock on CHLY and published her first murder mystery The Final Hours of Jon Doe.



Desiree Nielsen is a registered dietitian, author of Unjunk Your Diet, and host of The Urban Vegetarian, a cooking show on Gusto TV and Z Living. She is regularly quoted in publications such as Best Health, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, Family Circle, SELF Magazine, Hello Canada, and MindBodyGreen. Desiree appears monthly on Global BC Weekend and Breakfast Television (Vancouver). She is a member of the editorial advisory board of Alive magazine, US edition.

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Mark David Smith

Mark David Smith is a teacher and children's writer who has been rejected by some of the biggest publishers in Canada and the United States.

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joan steacy

Joan grew up in southern Ontario, and is a graduate of Sheridan College, The Ontario College of Art & Design, and The University of Victoria. A visual artist who has worked in a variety of disciplines, including sculpture, traditional illustration, and digital imaging, she is the author/illustrator of So, That's That!, a biography of her father who lived to be 100 years old.

Her most recent work is AURORA BOREALICE, a graphic memoir published by Conundrum Press concerning her struggles with literacy, and how meeting media theorist Marshall McLuhan and professor Eric McLuhan while in art college changed her life.

She lives in Victoria, BC and teaches Comics & Graphic Novels, a visual storytelling program she co-created with her husband, author/illustrator Ken Steacy, at Camosun College.


cathy stonehouse

Cathy Stonehouse lives in East Vancouver and teaches creative writing and interdisciplinary expressive arts at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. The Causes (Pedlar Press 2019) is her first novel.

About Cathy’s latest book: This complex and unsettling debut novel follows the young Argentine conscript José Ramirez from his torture on the bleak plains of the Falklands, back into his childhood in pre-revolution Argentina, and forward across continents as he grapples with the loss of his father and his country as he knew it. Influenced by the works of Jorge Luis Borges and John Berger, The Causes explores themes of war and trauma, resilience and repair. Mysterious, gripping, poetic and magic-realist,The Causes is a love story for a threatened planet, set in Argentina, Spain, the UK and the South Atlantic.

Note: Cathy has been adopted by Kerrie Manderscheid.



Rob Taylor is the editor of What the Poets are Doing: Canadian Poets in Conversation. He is also the author of three poetry collections and the guest editor of The Best Canadian Poetry 2019.

In 2002, Nightwood Editions published Where the Words Come From: Canadian Poets in Conversation, a successful first-of-its-kind collection of interviews with literary luminaries like Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Margaret Avison, Patrick Lane, Lorna Crozier and P.K. Page, conducted by “the younger generation” of poets of the day. Sixteen years later, What the Poets Are Doing brings together two younger generations of poets to engage in conversations with their peers on modern-day poetics, politics and more. Together they explore the world of Canadian poetry in the new millennium: what's changed, what's endured and what's next. Participants include celebrated BC poets Elizabeth Bachinsky, Kayla Czaga, Raoul Fernandes and Russell Thornton.

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Russell Thornton

Russell Thornton’s The Hundred Lives (2014) was shortlisted for the Griffen Poetry Prize. His Birds, Metals, Stones & Rain (2013) was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Raymond Souster Award, and a BC Book Prize. His newest collection is The Broken Face (2018). He lives in North Vancouver.


Betsy Warland

Betsy Warland has published 12 books of poetry, creative nonfiction, and lyric prose including her best-selling 2010 book of essays on writing, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing. In 2013, Warland created a new publishing template: an interactive salon that features excerpts from her manuscript Oscar of Between, Guest Writers and artist’s work and lively comments from salon readers.  In March of 2016, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas launched Caitlin Press’ new imprint, Dagger Editions.

Warland has been teaching creative writing workshops and courses for the past 35 years. She initiated and coordinated Women and Words—les femmes et le mots conference (Vancouver 1983) of 1,000 women from across Canada involved in all aspects of contemporary literature. Warland co-founded the national Creative Writer nonfiction Collective in 2004. Designer and director of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser from 2001-2012 and TWS Mentor in 2001-2003, 2005, she remains on TWS teaching faculty. While on the National Council of The Writers’ Union of Canada, Warland chaired The Writers’ Union AGM in Vancouver in 2012. In 2007, she founded the six-month Vancouver Manuscript Intensive program she is the director of and a mentor in. A professional manuscript consultant/editor for the past 25 years, Warland works with writers from across Canada.

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jane wittingham