Participants

Organizers

Hannah McGregor Hannah McGregor is an Assistant Professor of Publishing at Simon Fraser University, where her research focuses on podcasting as scholarly communication, systemic barriers to access in the Canadian publishing industry, and magazines as middlebrow media. She is the co-creator of Witch, Please, a feminist podcast on the Harry Potter world, and the creator of the weekly podcast Secret Feminist Agenda.
Sylvia Skene Originally hired in 2011 as the Magazine Association of BC’s Executive Director, Sylvia Skene has also worked as Project Coordinator for the association and as Interim Executive Director for the Western Magazine Awards Foundation. Again Executive Director as well as Internship Coordinator for MagsBC, as well as providing subscription services and membership support for BC History magazine and the BC Historical Federation, Sylvia is working towards rebuilding MagsBC’s reputation as an effective association, responsive to its members and innovative in its approach.
Heidi Waechtler Heidi Waechtler is the executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of BC, which works to support the long-term health and success of the Canadian-owned book industry in British Columbia. She was previously the managing editor at Coach House Books, a literary press based in Toronto, where she was engaged in all aspects of the press’s publishing program, including editorial, production, sales and marketing, and digital publishing. She has been invited to speak to publishing classes at Simon Fraser University, Ryerson, the University of Toronto, and Concordia, and at Book Summit. Heidi completed the coursework in SFU’s Master of Publishing program and an editorial internship at McClelland & Stewart. She holds a BA in English Literature from the UBC as well as a Certificate in Editing from SFU.
Erin Wunker Erin Wunker is deeply committed to interdisciplinary, nomadic thinking in her work. This is perhaps partly due to her nomadic life growing up between the Southern United States and Southern Ontario. Crossing borders has become practice and praxis for her in her research and her teaching. Broadly, her research falls under the designations poetics & poetry, culture & theory, and critical race & gender studies. Put more specifically, in her work she considers how cultural production can be—and has been—transformative. She locates her work within a Canadian context but, like the subjects and texts she studies, she understands the Canada in transnational contexts. She’s been interested in the loosely connected concepts of collaboration, cultural production, and the intersections between academia and the multiple publics of our cultural landscape.

Participants

Jordan Abel Jordan Abel is a Nisga’a writer from BC. Currently, he is pursuing a PhD at Simon Fraser University where his research concentrates on the intersection between Digital Humanities and Indigenous Literary Studies. Abel’s creative work has recently been anthologized in Best Canadian Poetry (Tightrope), The Land We Are: Artists and Writers Unsettle the Politics of Reconciliation (Arbiter Ring), and The New Concrete: Visual Poetry in the 21st Century (Hayword). Abel is the author of Injun, Un/inhabited, and The Place of Scraps (winner of the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and finalist for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award). Abel’s third collection of poetry, Injun, has just been shortlisted for the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize. Abel’s work as an Indigenous literary scholar, activist, and poet, with its attention to racism in Canadian literature, is central to this project.
Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm Kateri Akiwenzie-Damm is an Anishnaabe writer of mixed ancestry from the Chippewas of Nawash First Nation. Her writing has been published in various anthologies, journals, and magazines in Canada, the U.S., Aotearoa/New Zealand, Australia, and Germany and in the collection my heart is a stray bullet. She is also the founder and managing editor of Kegedonce Press. Kegedonce Press is one of only three established Indigenous publishers in Canada, and one of only two that publishes Indigenous writers as general practice, and they are the only Indigenous publishing company in Ontario, the only Indigenous publisher committed to publishing poetry, and the only one with a commitment and experience in developing international markets.
Adèle Barclay Adèle Barclay is a writer, scholar, and literary critic whose work addresses themes of gendered and sexual identity, belonging, and dislocation in Canadian culture. Barclay’s work has appeared in key literary journals such as The Fiddlehead, The Puritan, PRISM, and The Literary Review of Canada. She is the recipient of the 2016 Lit POP Award for Poetry and the 2016 Walrus Readers’ Choice Award for Poetry and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her debut poetry collection was nominated for the 2015 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and is currently a 2017 finalist for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Award. She was named 30 Under 30, a Vancouver-based literary event that showcases the work of poets under the age of thirty. She is the Interviews Editor at The Rusty Toque, a poetry ambassador for Vancouver’s Poet Laureate Rachel Rose, and the 2017 Critic-in-Residence for Canadian Women In Literary Arts. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Victoria and researches modern and contemporary American poetry.
David Chariandy David Chariandy, who will be participating only in the Friday evening panel, is a professor of English literature at Simon Fraser University and a very promising creative writer. His first novel, Soucouyant (2007), received the attention of prestigious awards committees and enthusiastic critical reviews. Most notably, Soucouyant was longlisted for the 2009 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the 2007 Scotiabank Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the 2007 Governor General’s Award for Fiction. His second novel, Brother, is forthcoming. Chariandy’s academic research and creative pursuits have made him one of the most prominent voices in discussions of contemporary black Canadian literature. As a scholar of black diasporic and black Canadian literature, Chariandy has been an important contributor to the growing but still-neglected field of Black Studies in Canada.
Karla Comanda Karla Comanda is the Fiction Editor of Ricepaper Magazine. Comanda, who is originally from the Philippines, recently graduated with an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Poet, playwright, and translator, her works have most recently appeared in Cha and Room. Comanda’s writing, editing, mentorship, and teaching centre on the intersection of history, cultural identity, and belonging.
Cynara Geissler Cynara Geissler is the marketing manager at Arsenal Pulp Press (a leading Canadian independent book publisher in Vancouver, BC) and the co-host of Fatties on Ice, an independent feminist podcast about pop culture and media. She has worked in the creative and literary arts community for over a decade as a publicist, writer, editor, event coordinator, typesetter, proofreader, social media consultant, and non-profit administrator. She speaks regularly to the students of the Simon Fraser University Master of Publishing program about the publishing industry and book marketing. She also writes about feminism and size acceptance for venues such as The Establishment, Geez Magazine, and Shameless.
Shazia Hafiz Ramji Shazia Hafiz Ramji received the 2017 Robert Kroetsch Award for Innovative Poetry and was a finalist for the 2016 National Magazine Awards. Her writing has recently appeared in Quill & Quire, Vallum, Metatron’s ALPHAThe Puritan, and Hamilton Arts & Letters. Her first chapbook is Prosopopoeia (Anstruther Press, 2017) and her debut book of poetry, Port of Being, is forthcoming from Invisible Press in spring 2018. She lives in Vancouver, BC, where she teaches creative writing, is an interviews editor for CWILA, poetry and reviews editor at PRISM international, and designer at Rahila’s Ghost.
Fazeela Jiwa Fazeela Jiwa is a writer, editor/indexer, and educator. Her work hinges around the intersection of race and gender in the context of official and alternative art, politics, activism, and histories. She writes and edits for various venues and projects, including CWILA: Canadian Women in the Literary Arts and Jaggery: A DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal, and provides facilitation and educational services by contract to several clients across the country. Jiwa has worked in co-operative and transitional housing, popular and public education, sexual assault crisis work, radio, and facilitation. She has an MA from Concordia University in Montreal and a B.Ed from University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and she has taken several professional courses in Simon Fraser University’s editing certification program. She is an affiliate member of the Editors’ Association of Canada and the Indexing Society of Canada.
Leanne Johnson Leanne Johnson is a text-based artist, editor, publisher, and educator. She began her publishing career writing for Kinesis (Canada’s only national feminist magazine in its time). She went on to co-direct/curate the Publication program at the Western Front Society, which produced FRONT Magazine. She was a director of the Magazine Association of BC, and worked as a publishing consultant to the Banff Centre Press. Published under “leannej,” her work has been described as “hovering between writing and conceptual art,” and has been displayed in galleries, online, magazines, and books. Her books include Long-Range Forecast Variable (2002), Re-reading the Riot Act (2011), Staying Beauty (2013), and Monument (2014). Her most recent texts explore the form of animated and interactive digital narratives. She also teaches publishing management and magazine publishing in Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing.
Jónína Kirton Jónína Kirton is a prairie-born Métis/Icelandic poet, author, and facilitator. She currently lives in Vancouver, on the unceded territory of the Salish people. Kirton graduated from Simon Fraser University’s Writer’s Studio in 2007 and is a member of its Advisory Board as well as the liaison for its Indigenous Advisory Board. Kirton is also a member of the Room Magazine Editorial board. In 2016, Kirton received Vancouver’s Mayor’s Arts Award for an Emerging Artist in the Literary Arts category. Nominated by her mentor Betsy Warland, Kirton is excited to be Warland’s apprentice at the 2017 SFU Writer’s Studio. She brings her experience as a sacred circle facilitator to her writing and teaching.
Hazel Millar Hazel Millar is the co-founder, publicist, and head of marketing and public relations for the independent publishing house BookThug. Known for publishing contemporary and avant-garde poetry and fiction which expands the boundaries of literary production, BookThug has recently begun a new non-fiction series focused on publishing politically-engaged and provocative ideas about race, gender, sexuality, and identity. In addition, Millar and co-founder Jay MillAr have recently revised BookThug’s mission and mandate to invite submissions written by voices that have been traditionally marginalized by mainstream literary presses.
Laura Moss Laura Moss teaches, researches, and writes in the fields of Canadian Literatures. In 2015, Moss became the Editor of the journal Canadian Literature, having served as Associate Editor (Reviews) since 2004 and Acting Editor of the journal (2008, 2013-14). Since 2011, she has also been a contributing editor to the Canlitguides.ca project. Further, she has served on the advisory/ editorial boards of Studies in Canadian Literature, Commonwealth Essays and Studies (France), Postcolonial Text, and Ariel: A Review of International English Literature. From 2006-10 she also sat on the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (CFHSS) Aid to Scholarly Publications Committee. Since its founding in 2012, Moss has been an active member of CWILA, serving on its board of directors (2012-14) and as manager of the jury for the Inaugural Critic-in-Residence in 2012. In 2013-14, Moss led the UBC Gender Race and Social Justice-CWILA Research Network.
Hope Nicholson Hope Nicholson is an editor, researcher, producer, publisher, and passionate fangirl. Her aim in life is to help create space for stories to be told, that aren’t commonly told but are highly desired. Community building and helping others succeed is the aim of the company she has developed, Bedside Press. Bedside Press is a Winnipeg based publisher dedicated to making comics that bring back attention to forgotten works of history, and encourage the growth of new content and creators. Nicholson’s work as an editor and publisher advocates for diverse representation; she is passionate about the inclusion and safety of women in the comics industry and fandom, and facilitates that inclusion through innovative approaches to funding projects, particularly crowdsourcing. Nicholson is also the author of The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen, a history of female characters in comic book history forthcoming from Quirk Books.
Ashley Opheim Ashley Opheim is the Managing Editor of Metatron, an independent publisher based in Montreal that specializes in contemporary literature by new and emerging authors. Opheim and her editorial collaborators are devoted to publishing perspectives that reflect the experiences and sensibilities of our time. Under Opheim’s management Metatron seeks out emotionally resonant work that challenges and informs a new direction and style of contemporary, Canadian writing. Metatron began as an effort to fill a gap that was perceived in Canadian publishing, particularly in English-language publishing in Montreal. Metatron’s mandate is to invest in new and emerging authors; to make their work widely available both online and in print; and to give them the tools and resources they need to advance their literary careers. Metatron has focused on providing opportunities for authors at the very beginning of their literary careers. Metatron’s authors are often 20 – 30 years old, and are usually publishing their first book.
Deanna Reder Deanna Reder (Cree-Metis) is Associate Professor in the Departments of First Nations Studies and English at Simon Fraser University. For the 2016-2018 term she is the MATE Director based at SFU Surrey. She is Principal Investigator, in partnership with co-applicants Dr. Margery Fee and Cherokee scholar Dr. Daniel Heath Justice of the University of British Columbia, on a five-year Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) funded project for 2015-2020 called “The People and the Text: Indigenous Writing in Northern North America up to 1992” (www.thepeopleandthetext.ca). She is President of the newly formed Indigenous Literary Studies Association (ILSA) and is the Series Editor for the Indigenous Studies Series at Wilfrid Laurier University Press. As a scholar at the forefront of Indigenous publishing history in Canada, she brings vital expertise to this event.
Vivek Shraya Vivek Shraya, who will be participating only in the Friday evening panel, is an artist whose body of work includes several albums, films, and books. Vivek’s 2017 album with Queer Songbook Orchestra, Part-Time Woman, was included in Now Magazine’s Best Toronto Songs of 2017. Her first book of poetry, even this page is white, won a 2017 Publisher Triangle Award and was longlisted for CBC’s Canada Reads. Her debut novel, She of the Mountains, was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Best Books, and her book I’m Afraid of Men will be out in Fall 2018 (Penguin Canada). Vivek has read and performed internationally at shows, festivals and post-secondary institutions, including sharing the stage with Tegan & Sara. She is one half of the music duo Too Attached and the founder of the publishing imprint VS. Books. A four-time Lambda Literary Award finalist, Vivek was a 2016 Pride Toronto Grand Marshal, and has received honours from the Toronto Arts Foundation and The Writers’ Trust of Canada. Vivek is currently an Associate Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Calgary.
Léonicka Valcius Léonicka Valcius is a Toronto-based publishing professional. She blogs about various topics, including diversity in the publishing industry, at www.leonicka.com. Follow her on Twitter at @leonicka.
Phoebe Wang Phoebe Wang is writer and educator in Toronto. Her work has appeared in journals such as Arc Poetry Magazine, Canadian Literature, Maisonneuve, The Globe and Mail, and This Magazine. Her debut collection of poetry, Admission Requirements, was published with McClelland and Stewart in 2017. She has also facilitated professional development for writers of colour in partnership with the Ontario Arts Council and currently works as a writing tutor at Seneca College and OCAD University.
Greg Younging Greg Younging is a Member of Opsakwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba. He has worked for The Assembly Of First Nations and The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. From 1990 to 2004, he was the Managing Editor of Theytus Books, a leading North American publisher of Indigenous voices. Located in Syilx territory on the Penticton Indian Reserve in British Columbia, Theytus Books is proudly First Nations-owned and operated in partnership with the En’owkin Centre, a dynamic institution that puts into practice the principles of self-determination and the validation of cultural aspirations and identity. Greg Younging is a former Member of the Canada Council Aboriginal Peoples Committee on the Arts and the British Columbia Arts Council. He is the former Assistant Director of Research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and is the Indigenous Studies Program Coordinator at University of British Columbia.