[In Alphabetical Order]

Heidi Greco is a longtime resident of Surrey, BC. In addition to writing and editing, she often leads workshops – on topics that range from ekphrastic poetry to chapbook making. She’s been an advocate for the literary arts in her community and was instrumental in establishing two distinct reading series, but she considers her greatest success to have been convincing her city to hire an official Poet Laureate.

She writes in many genres – with poems, fiction, essays and book reviews to her credit. Her books include a novella, Shrinking Violets, which was co-winner of the Ken Klonsky Award in 2011. Her work has also appeared in many anthologies, most recently in Make it True: Poetry from Cascadia (Leaf Press, 2015) and The Revolving City: 51 Poems and the Stories Behind Them (Anvil, 2015). In addition to making Sunday suppers for her adult sons, she keeps a sporadic blog at outonthebiglimb.blogspot.ca.

Heidi will be leading a poetry workshop (details forthcoming).



Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, CSP, is a three-time bestselling and award-winning author of five books, and she is featured in seven others. She has had tremendous success in finding corporate sponsors to fund her speaking and book projects/events/tours including her printing, graphic design, venues, travel, media, technology, hotels, even her pet food and dog poop bags! She has developed sponsorship relationships with more than 40 sponsors and 60 business partners.

Her recent book and speaking tour, Million Acts of Kindness, involved a 14,000 kilometre tour in a 32-foot sponsored motor home, hotels sponsored for the team, and more than 40 businesses and retail chains raising funds in their stores/businesses to support this movement, Million Acts of Kindness. She has helped her clients secure cash sponsorship, get their clothes, travel, event needs and more sponsored through the power of relationships and collaboration.

Charmaine loves helping authors sell their books in bulk, find sponsors for their book events and projects, and, plan profitable book tours.

Charmaine will be leading the workshop Planning a Successful and Profitable Book Tour.



Katherine Koller writes for stage, screen and page. Her trilogy of Alberta Landworks plays includes Last Chance Leduc, The Seed Savers and Coal Valley and her collection of plays is Voices of the Land: The Seed Savers and Other Plays. Her six-part web documentary, Sustainable Me, features Edmonton youth changing their world (sustainablemeyeg.ca).

Art Lessons, her debut novel, was a finalist for both the Edmonton Book Prize and the Alberta Readers’ Choice Award. Her short fiction has appeared in Grain, Epiphany, Alberta Views and Room, and her spring 2019 collection of short stories is Winning Chance (Great Plains). A recital reading of her opera libretto, The Handless Maiden, plays in Vancouver in June, and her radio play, Hope Soup, is part of the Edmonton Fringe Festival this summer.

Katherine is Writer-in-Residence for Canadian Authors – Alberta branch, and she will be offering blue pencil sessions at CanWrite! 2019.



Photo credit: Melissa Stephens

JJ Lee grew up on Montreal’s South Shore. He studied fine arts at Concordia University and holds a Master of Architecture degree from the University of British Columbia.

In 2014, he hosted the CBC radio show, Head to Toe. It is now available in podcast. Before that, he wrote The Measure of a Man: The Story of a Father, a Son, and a Suit, published in hardcover by McClelland & Stewart and in paperback by Emblem Editions. The Measure of a Man was shortlisted for the 2011 Governor-General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction, the 2012 Charles Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction, the 2012 BC Book Prizes Hubert Evans Prize for Non-Fiction, and the 2012 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize.

His fashion and personal essays are published in ELLE Canada. His memoir piece, “ELLE First: You are beautiful,” tied for GOLD at the 2011 National Magazine Award for Best Short Feature.

JJ will be moderating a publishing panel.




Donald Maass is a literary agent in New York. His agency, Donald Maass Literary Agency, sells more than 150 novels every year to major publishers in the U.S. and overseas.

Donald is the author of The Career Novelist (1996), Writing the Breakout Novel (2001), Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook (2004), The Fire in Fiction (2009), Writing 21st Century Fiction (2012), and The Emotional Craft of Fiction (2016).

He is a past president of the Association of Authors’ Representatives, Inc.

Donald will be leading two workshops this year: Writing the Breakout Novel and Writing 21st Century Fiction. He will also be participating in a panel.



Robert Mackwood has spent over 35 years in the book publishing industry.

As the owner and principal agent of the BC-based Seventh Avenue Literary Agency – one of Canada’s leading nonfiction agencies – he represents over 50 authors. The Agency has negotiated over 200 book contracts with sales to numerous English language publishers and translations rights sales to over 15 countries for some works. The agency launched a self-publishing imprint, Brilliant Idea Books, in 2012 for business titles and they also offer a publishing consultancy service.

Robert’s background includes 6 years at Raincoast Books and 8 years as VP at Bantam/Doubleday in Toronto.

He will be participating in a panel and in the agent pitch sessions.



Catherine Saykaly-Stevens (TheNetworkingWeb.com) is an author, speaker, trainer, and social media consultant who specializes in online audience growth and fan engagement.

Catherine shows entrepreneurs, authors, speakers, and coaches how to expand their online reach, grow their fanbase, and increase fan-engagement to sell more books, programs, and services. She does that with private consulting and with her Social Media Quick Results Programs.

Catherine is also an active member of the Evolutionary Business Council (EBC) where she is a lead in the social media committee. She is also a committee member of When Words Collide (WWC), and is Dean of Digital Media for Social Buzz U. Catherine is the co-host of two online shows: EBE-Live and Social Buzz U.

She will be leading a workshop on Social Media for Writers.



Betsy Warland has published 12 books of poetry, creative nonfiction and lyric prose including her best-selling 2010 book of personal essays, Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing. In April of 2016, Oscar of Between—A Memoir of Identity and Ideas was launched by Caitlin Press’ new imprint, Dagger Editions. Reviews have called it “an achievement,” “truly luminous,” and a “tour de force.”

In 2013, Betsy created a new publishing template called Oscar’s Salon. An interactive salon that features excerpts from her manuscript Oscar of Between, Guest Writers and Artist’s work, the salon also includes a Featured Reader each month as well as readers’ comments betsywarland.com.

Betsy co-founded with Myrna Kostash the Creative Writers Nonfiction Collective in 2004 that holds an annual conference for CNF writers creativenonfictioncollective.ca. She also founded and is a mentor in the one-on-one six-month international Vancouver Manuscript Intensive program vancouvermanuscriptintensive.com

Warland received the Mayor’s Arts Award for Literary Arts in Vancouver in 2016. In 2017, she was the Lyric Prose and Poetry Mentor for The Writer’s Studio at S.F.U. A professional manuscript consultant/editor for the past 30 years, Warland works with writers from across Canada and abroad.

Betsy will be leading a workshop on creative nonfiction — details will be available soon!



We are in the process of confirming additional conference speakers and presenters and will be continuously updating the site over the next several days. Watch this space for updates!