Canadian Authors WIBA Reviewers 2023–24

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 BC branch of the association.

Lisa BagshawLisa Bagshaw retired from a twenty-five year career in media sales to pursue a more creative life of writing, painting and photography. She is an active person who hikes, bikes, plays golf and pickleball; and adventurous, having recently visited Northern Ghana with a small cohort from UNICEF Canada. She lives in North Vancouver, BC near the sea and the mountains. Lisa’s website.

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.

John CanavanJohn Canavan
I have spent 35 plus years in advertising/marketing primarily in the technology field. At this juncture in my life I have decided to follow a career as a writer which is something I have kept pushing to the back burner of life since my twenties.

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.

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.”

Adrienne DrobniesAdrienne Drobnies is poet and scientist in Vancouver, BC. Her first book Salt and Ashes (Signature Editions, 2019) won the Canadian Authors Association Fred Kerner Book Award. The long poem in the book,“Randonnées,” also won the Gwendolyn MacEwen Award and was a finalist for the CBC literary award. Her poetry has appeared in literary journals in Canada, the US and UK. She had a poem accepted for BC Poetry in Transit in 2020. She will appear at the Whistler Writers Festival Fall 2021. Adrienne is an organizer of The Poets Corner Reading Series in Vancouver. Adrienne’s website.

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.

Judee FongJudee Fong enjoys reading books that grab her by the eyeballs and never let go until the last satisfying pages. She has written about extraordinary people including artists, writers and musicians for Senior Living Magazine. Judee’s book reviews have appeared in Monday Magazine, Goodreads and Amazon Books. She feels privileged to meet “new” writers through books she has reviewed. Judee is a member of Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) and Canadian Authors. Judee’s website.

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

Edythe Anstey HanenEdythe Anstey Hanen

I am a writer who lives on Bowen Island in BC and I have had award-winning stories published in several literary magazines and anthologies. I have also been published in the Globe & Mail, the National Post, and the Hamilton Bay Observer. I studied creative writing at UBC and I was the editor of the Bowen Island Undercurrent community newspaper for 17 years. I am a regular contributor to Mexconnect, an online magazine for travellers to Mexico. My novel Nine Birds Singing was published by New Arcadia Press in December, 2017 and I was a finalist in the Whistler Independent Book Awards in 2019. I am currently completing my second novel, Borderlands. Edythe’s website.

Jennifer HarrisJennifer Harris has worked as a Lactation Consultant and a Registered Nurse in a hospital maternal/child unit for thirty years. Her practice included private care, respite, and premature and compromised infants. Her main role was the assessment of breastfeeding issues and support and planning to resolve these issues with the parents. Now retired, Jennifer is thrilled to be able to share her wealth of knowledge and experiences with new moms everywhere through her writing. Jennifer’s website.

Joanne HarrisJoanne Harris

I am presently working almost full time in health care in the West Kootenay region of BC. I am unpublished this far, but have worked on novels,essays, screenplay’s etc. I’m an avid reader and I always enjoy learning more about the craft.

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.

Kimberly LemaireEver a book lover, Kimberly Lemaire gravitated to all things fantastic while growing up in small-town Ontario. She has worked in the military for nearly twenty years, as a critical care nurse and as a public affairs specialist. Through her travels across Canada, into Europe, the U.S. and South America, Kimberly has amassed unique experiences which she weaves into fantasy stories from the comfort of her home… while dodging small children and cats. With her dwindling spare time, Kimberly attends and volunteers at writing conferences, co-organizes a local writing group, and devours writing podcasts. It is an honour for her to help other writers hone their skills.

Robert LongerRobert Longpré is a retired educator living in Saskatchewan. He has a number of independently published novels through Retired Eagle Books and is currently on the Board of Directors for Canadian Authors. Married and with three adult children and eight grandchildren, his first published work was Sakitawak: A Bicentennial History of Ile-a-la-Crosse. That book has been used for Métis education classes and is found in a number of university libraries that have Métis and First Nations collections.


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

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.

Kamal Pamar

Nanaimo poet and writer, Kamal Parmar has been passionately involved in writing for the last twenty years. Her genre is poetry and she has a few books to her credit. Her poems are simple though poised and evocative enough to set the reader thinking. She has a number of poems published in reputed Canadian literary journals and magazines. She is a member of a several writers’ organizations and Writers Guilds and is also a manuscript evaluator for one of them. She is currently, an active Board member of the BC Federation of Writers, and was also Secretary of The Ontario Poetry Society, while in Ontario. She has also given numerous poetry readings and presentations in various libraries, in ON, SK and in BC. Currently, she is an Associate member of the League of Canadian Poets , a Board member of Federation of BC Writers and a member of The Writers Union of Canada , the Canadian Authors Association as well as of Haiku Canada. She is also the current Poet laureate of Nanaimo for a two year term and is currently working towards completion of her new poetry book.

Barbara Wade RoseBarbara Wade Rose is the author of Marabel or, The Great Exception and The Priest, the Witch and the Poltergeist, and an award-winning journalist. Barbara’s 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.

Arlene Somerton SmithArlene Somerton Smith began her career shooting the rapids of the Ottawa River—with a video camera, that is. That experience with Wilderness Tours Whitewater Rafting led to work as a producer for Rogers Television in Ottawa, Canada. She worked there for twelve years and built lifelong friendships with her talented co-workers and volunteers. After the birth of her second child, she began her writing career. Since 2000, she has been a freelance writer specializing in video scripts, web content and plain language writing. Arlene’s website.

J. Stephen ThompsonJ. Stephen Thompson is a retired public health microbiologist, born in Toronto, raised in Parry Sound, Ontario, and now living with his wife in Kawartha Lakes, Ontario at the edge of the Carden Plain. His science background continues to inform his writing. He published more than three dozen papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Lincoln Cathedral is his second novel. His first novel, The Aftermath, was researched while working in post-war Kosova. J. Stephen Thompson’s website.

Dr Christine TopjianDr. Christine Topjian is a Doctor of Prophetic Ministry (Christian Leadership University) and enjoys writing & publishing books, finding new creative & real estate endeavours, creating learning materials for Leadership University, and teaching all ages about Christ, leadership, prosperity and administering healing. She also loves healthy eating & fitness. Dr. Topjian’s website.

Carol TulparCarol Tulpar, long-time member of Canadian Authors BC, coordinates 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. She is currently working on three connected historical fiction manuscripts provisionally titled Habit of Secrecy, Secret Listener, and Unspoken Past.  Carol’s website.