Canadian Authors WIBA Reviewers

Whistler Independent Book Awards partners, Canadian Authors, review and evaluate the shortlisted titles for the annual WIBAs. They also provide detailed evaluations for all submissions. These are administered by the Metro Vancouver branch of the association.

Margo BatesMargo Bates teaches workshops on research strategies for writing fiction and non-fiction, storytelling, and publicity for authors. In addition to her work as an author, she does public speaking and photography. Margo is the past president of Canadian Authors—Metro Vancouver (Including Victoria). She served nationally as vice-chair. Margo has worked on high-profile public relations projects and events in Canada, the United States and Europe and London, England with her Vancouver-based company, Margo Bates Publicity. A professional member of Canadian Authors, she’s an alumna of Erma Bombeck Humour Writers Workshop, University of Dayton, Ohio. And, she’s a darn good cook.  Margo’s website.

Matthew BinnMatthew Binn is an author and IT consultant from Oakville. He has served as national chair of the Canadian Authors Association and secretary of the Canadian Copyright Institute, and is also a licensed humanist wedding officiant, and the bassist and backup shouter in a punk band. His latest novel, Brendan’s Way, was published by Bundoran Press. Matthew’s website.

Anna CairnsAnna Cairns
I have been a writer and editor for over twelve years. My passions are varied and many: speculative fiction, science-fiction, fantasy, crime, detective, soft-horror, and humour. I have a certificate in editing from George Brown College, am mid-way through a certificate of writing from the University of Toronto, and am an undergraduate at Queen’s University. My ebook, Light in the Dark by A.P. Cairns, a collection of suspenseful short stories, is available through and
All stories have the potential for greatness and anything I can do to help that along is time spent well. Anna’s website.

Deborah CannonDeborah Cannon has authored four fiction series: The Raven Chronicles (thriller), The Pirate Empress (historical fantasy), Fresco Night’s Saga (Romantic Suspense) and, under the penname of Daphne Lynn Stewart, she has published the Merry and Bright Romance series of Christmas stories. The Internet Science Fiction magazine Far Sector SFFH and the popular wellness franchise, Chicken Soup for the Soul have each published two of her stories, and her entry “Twilight Glyph”won an honorable mention in the Canadian Tales of the Fantastic.

She has a BA in Archaeology (University of BC) and a MMST in Museum Studies (University of Toronto), and creative writing certificates from McMaster University and the Humber School for Writers. She has been a guest author for the Ontario Archaeology Society and the Humber School for Writers, and is a reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. Her titles are available on Amazon and in libraries in Canada and the US.

Marlene ChengMarlene Cheng
I’ve worked in cancer research, taught at tech schools, become a registered massage therapist, taken up energy schooling in NY, married and raised two kids, and, at 73, published A Many Layered Skirt, a biography about a young Chinese girl trying to keep one frightening step ahead of the soldiers, during the Japanese occupation.
My husband, of 56 years, was Chinese. Our mixed marriage was intriguing, and happiness was ours. Interests in people, cultures and places took us around the world. Many of those adventures find their way into my writing. He passed away, throwing my life into chaos. Now, I’ve picked up the pen, again. I hope to publish A Mystical Embrace, the third book in a contemporary romance series, soon. Marlene’s website.

Mark CoteMark Cote is an information junkie, scientist, and Instructor at the Department of Geography & Environmental Studies at the University of Regina. He is passionate about both family and aviation history — especially that concerning RAF Bomber Command and his father’s RCAF service in WWII. His first book, That Lucky Old Son: Re-discovering My Father Through His World War II Bomber Command and POW Experiences, was shortlisted for several awards – winning the 2018 Whistler Independent Book Award (Non-fiction). Mark’s website.

Roxanne DaviesRoxanne Davies
Born in Montreal and a graduate of Concordia University, Roxanne comes from a family of entrepreneurs. In 2010 she published a 350-page family memoir entitled Orchards, Crossroads and Dreams. In 2016 she co-authored a book with Super Senior Athlete Olga Kotelko entitled Olga, The OK Way to a Heathy, Happy Life. Davis co-authored Inside View, The Eye Behind the Lens with retired senior CBC cameraman Michael G. Varga. Her most recent book is entitled The Blue Riviera and is a memoir of her mother Sally Tomiuk. “What happens when an immigrant family’s dream turns into a nightmare? I wrote this book to discover a mother I never knew and to solve the mystery behind my mother’s death.”

Katherine DoyleKatherine Doyle
Katherine began writing fiction after a long career in nursing education. She has completed her first novel which will be published in early 2021. She is a member of Canadian Authors and other writing/critiquing groups.

Robynne EaganRobynne Eagan
Robynne Eagan is a writer, editor, book reviewer and teacher who lives and writes in the Ottawa Valley. She holds a Masters of Creative Writing from Bath Spa University (UK), a BA (English) from University of Waterloo and a Bachelor of Education from Western. She has been published with Gage and the Teaching and Learning Co. Her works have appeared in Toronto Star, Today’s Parent, Kitchener-Waterloo Record, etc. Robynne was recipient of Carleton University Short Story Award, CAA-NCR and CAA Vancouver Short Story Awards, and was shortlisted for the Alice Munro Short Story Award and Janklow & Nesbit Bath Spa University Novel Award.

Jennifer D. FosterJennifer D. Foster is a Toronto-based freelance editor, writer and mentor, and her company is Planet Word. Jennifer’s clients are from the book and custom publishing, magazine, business, digital, and marketing and communication fields and include The Globe and Mail, Art Gallery of Ontario, Penguin Random House Canada, Dolce Media Group, Annick Press, Canadian Children’s Book News, and PwC Management Services. She is the former vice-president of Canadian Authors–Toronto, former co-chair of Editors Toronto and former administrative director of the Rowers Reading Series. Jennifer is a long-time mentor to novice editors via Editors Canada and to novice writers via the Canadian Freelance Guild, of which she’s a founding member. She’s also been a judge for the Fred Kerner Book Award. Jennifer’s website.

J FretterJanet Fretter is a writer and editor. A member of Editors Canada, she offers freelance editorial services for emerging and established writers of fiction and narrative non-fiction. She is a graduate of The Writer’s Studio (TWS) and the Editing Certificate programs at Simon Fraser University. She presents topical writing workshops, both privately and through TWS Community Workshops. From 2014 to 2017, she served as managing editor of emerge, the annual anthology produced by the students of TWS. She continues a strong connection to this creative community.

Alison FriebsAllison Friebs writes science fiction and fantasy for a young adult and crossover audience. As soon as she earned her BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, she took off for London, England and spent many years involved with SCBWI British Isles. Now back in BC, she’s a member and volunteer with the Canadian Authors Association. In normal years, she can often be found at Vancouver-based writing and nerd conventions. Allison’s website.

Joyce GoodwinJoyce Goodwin is a writer, visual artist and proud grandmother of four little ones. She emigrated from Ireland to Vancouver in 1989 and continued her social work career with the B.C. Government in the Lower Mainland, mostly on the North Shore, where she has lived since arrival. Joyce writes Poetry, Memoir and Creative non-Fiction. Her award winning work has been published in magazines and numerous anthologies. Her words are also, uniquely, etched in glass at the Lynn Valley library. A North Shore Writers’ Association executive member for many years, Joyce is co-founder of the literary cafe “Dare To Be Heard” in North Vancouver. She served on the Board of the Canadian Authors Association and has been a trustee, judge and reviewer for a number of national writing and book award contests. Joyce’s website.

The Whistler Independent Book AwardsZana Gordon I manage not-for-profit associations for a living and I read and write to live. We all have our past, presents and future – even during these trying times. Reading has been my escape since I started reading at 3, yes at 3. My first book was Thorton W. Burgess The Adventures of ol’ Mistah Buzzard.  I embrace stories and enjoy reading other persons’ work. However, I am a very honest reader. If there is something that is not reading true or off track, I will point it out. I believe “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it,” and “spilled milk stinks.” I think you can see where I am going here and leave it at that. If you are interested in working with me, I welcome the opportunity.

Monique LaytonA well-travelled author of several books, Monique Layton was a WIBA finalist in 2016 and 2017 and is a current finalist for a 2021 Montaigne Medal (Eric Hoffer Awards). Monique holds a Master of Arts in Comparative Literature and a PhD in Anthopology from the University of British Columbia. Monique’s website.

Karen LeeKaren J Lee writes memoir, humour, and personal essay. Her work has appeared in PRISM international’s Love & Sex issue, The Globe and Mail’s Facts and Arguments column and in the Caitlin Press anthology, This Place a Stranger: Canadian Women Travelling Alone. She is an alumna of The Writer’s Studio at Simon Fraser University and the Humber School of Writing.

Marion LovelaceMarion Lovelace
B.A., B.Ed., M.Ed. in English, French, History, ESL, Curriculum Development
Instructor: ESL college level, ESL Teacher trainer
Novel: Dance With the Angels (Pegausus Press, Victoria) 2014, eBook
Textbooks: Words Worth Learning (VCC Press) 15 short stories
TESOL Inservice Certificate Program, Teaching Reading and Writing; TEFL Training Project, English for Aviation
The Muse Journal (Toronto), poem, ‘Victoriana’
President’s Choice (Santa Cruz) Poetry Award for ‘City of the Dead: La Recoleta’
Marion’s website

Margaret LynchMargaret Lynch has published essays in The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, National Post, CBC Radio, and untethered literary journal. She is currently working on a memoir about her journey to become a better person after surviving an experimental bone marrow transplant that cured her leukemia and altered her DNA. In June 2020, her proposal for TRANSFORMED: When My DNA Changed, So Did I won the Penguin Random House Best Nonfiction Book Proposal Prize. She holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction from the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Margaret’s website.

Carol MackayCarol MacKay
Carol writes picture-books, early readers, and magazine pieces for children. Her poems and stories for children have been published in Highlights, Ladybug, Babybug, Cricket, Skipping Stones, Our Canada, Boys’ Quest, Fun for Kidz and The Caterpillar. Her poetry and essays for adults have been published in numerous anthologies and literary magazines, as well as broadcast on CBC Radio.

Carol has been a jury reader for CANSCAIP’s national Writing for Children Competition for several years and has reviewed children’s books for Quill and Quire, School Library Journal, and Canadian Children’s Literature. She lives on Vancouver Island. Carol’s website

Robert MackayRobert MacKay’s current project is a historical novel set in the Korean War.
He spent thirteen years in the Canadian navy with service in destroyers and submarines. Since then he has taught school, practised law, and became a bestselling author with Soldier of the Horse, set in the Canadian cavalry in WW I. His latest, Terror on the Alert, is a thriller set in a Canadian submarine during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Both his novels won “Ippy” awards in the US. Robert’s website

Elizabeth McLeanElizabeth McLean
2015 – The Swallows Uncaged; A Narrative in Eight Panels, Freehand Books, Calgary, Alberta. eight short stories inspired by the history of Vietnam.
2013 – Imagining Vietnam, an earlier version of the above; won the 2011 Impress Prize for New Writers in the UK, and was published there by Impress Books.
2010-2011 – Editorial Consultant for the Anthology of Short Stories by Canadian Women Writers, Women’s Publishing House, Hanoi, Vietnam.
2011– “A History of Hanoi in Three Scenes” and “The Birth, Life and Death of the Bao An Pagoda” in Strange Roots, Views of Hanoi, The Gioi Publishers, Hanoi.
2010 – “On a Viet Mission” in Harvard Summer Review. Elizabeth’s website.

A.B. NeillyA.B. Neilly is a writer, playwright, philosopher, astrologer and magician. Her publications include novels for children, articles, short stories, and blogs. Her novel for young adults, Kalala, will be published shortly by Prometea Press. Her play, The Seer, has been performed at the Toronto Queer Festival and Magicians, selected for Big Ideas Festival. She is a member the Canadian Authors Association. Website.

Kathleen SchmittKathleen Schmitt grew up in 1950s Texas and writes fiction, poetry and articles. Her novel Magnificat: Song of Justice will be published in the fall of 2021 by Inanna Publications in Toronto. A retired Anglican priest, she has published three devotional books entitled Seasons of the Feminine Divine (Crossroads, New York). She lives with her spouse Ed in British Columbia near Vancouver. Kathleen’s profile.

Nina Shoroplova

Nina Shoroplova recently published the bestselling Legacy of Trees: Purposeful Wandering in Vancouver’s Stanley Park (Heritage House, 2020). Legacy received an honourable mention in the 2020 British Columbia Lieutenant Governor’s Historical Writing Awards, organized by the BC Historical Federation. She published the bestselling Cattle Ranch: The Story of the Douglas Lake Cattle Company (Nina Woolliams, Douglas & McIntyre, 1979). She works as an editor, mostly of nonfiction books, taking authors’ manuscripts through every stage, from structural editing to proofreading. Nina’s website.

Myrtle SiebertMyrtle Siebert Myrtle lived her early life on a floathouse on the remote BC coast. Having no expectation of life after high school but marriage and children, her whole life changed upon presentation of a five-year scholarship. During employment as a secondary teacher she completed a textbook in Metric measure –  the first in Canada. This brought an educational publisher asking her to prepare a text for them. A passion for family history research brought new information about her paternal grandparents and visits to Norway. Three memoirs followed. Myrtle’s website.

James Bryan SimpsonJames Bryan Simpson
Following my experience with structured pharmaceutical and medical writing during careers in retail pharmacy and the pharmaceutical industry, and as an independent medical writer, I now enjoy the freedom of writing fiction and creative nonfiction as well as reviewing and critiquing others’ writings. Originally from Thunder Bay and now living in southern Ontario, I am a member of CAA Niagara Branch, Northwestern Ontario Writers Workshop, and (previously) the American Medical Writers Association. I’ve participated in classes and workshops led by Brian Henry, and am currently enrolled in the Creative Writing Certificate program at UOGuelph. My wife and I live in an old stone farmhouse on a rural acreage and enjoy country living and visits with our two children and four granddaughters.

Peter SpasovPeter Spasov has authored two textbooks: Microcontroller Technology: The 68HC11 and Programming for Beginners Using Visual Basic. He is a volunteer book reviewer for the National Space Society and member of the Canadian Authors Association. Having retired from Fleming College, Peterborough, Ontario, he is currently writing his first novel, The Committee.

Naomi SteinbergNaomi Steinberg is an internationally recognized artist and storyteller. She has brought traditional folk stories, fairy tales and community-based art projects to life in countries around the world since 2001. Her playful, evocative storytelling workshops and performances have been covered in The Huffington Post, Plank Magazine and She has facilitated workshops for organizations including MOSAIC, EcoTrust, and the European Parliament, and felt proud to be included in both the UNYA and Musqueam Indigenous canoes for Pulling Together. Goosefeather is her first book.. Naomi’s website.

Carol TulparCarol Tulpar, vice-president and publicity chair of Canadian Authors – Metro Vancouver, co-ordinates the reviews for the Whistler Independent Book Awards. With a BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia and a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies from Simon Fraser University, Carol completed the Writer’s Studio in 2011, then served as a writing mentor at SFU Surrey for the six-year duration of the TWS affiliate Southbank program. Carol’s website.