Authors and Moderators

(2019 information updated as available)

The Writing Week Facilitator and Moderator Caroline Adderson is the author of four novels (A History of  Forgetting, Sitting Practice, The Sky is Falling, Ellen in Pieces), two collections of short stories (Bad Imaginings, Pleased to Meet You) as well as fifteen books for young readers.  She is also the editor and co-contributor of a non-fiction book  of essays and photographs, Vancouver Vanishes: Narratives of Demolition and Revival.  Her work has received numerous award nominations including the Sunday Times EFG Private Bank Short Story Award, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.  Winner of three BC Book Prizes and three CBC Literary Awards, Caroline was also the recipient of the 2006 Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement.  She lives in Vancouver.

(photo credit Rafal Gerszak)





Moderator Stewart Goodings – a former federal and provincial senior civil servant and international development consultant, Stewart has been helping to organize the Denman Festival for the last six years.  Active in the local writers group, he has read three times at the Festival’s Denman Writers sessions.  This is his fifth year as a Moderator and he relishes the chance to meet and learn from Festival authors. 





Moderator Des Kennedy is a novelist, essayist and seasoned back-to-the-lander.  The author of ten books, in both fiction and non-fiction, he has been three times nominated for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.  His latest book is a novel titled Beautiful Communions (Ronsdale Press) that BC Bookworld praised as “a delightfully wise and mirthful read”.

A resident of Denman Island for 48 years, Des has been involved with the Readers & Writers Festival since its inception, putting in stints as author, moderator and organizer.  In recent years, his In Conversation segments have featured in-depth discussions with authors and activists including Bev Sellars, Bruce Cockburn, Alexandra Morton, Maude Barlow, Ronald Wright, Miriam Toews and Andrew Nikiforuk.

Des and his partner Sandy live a conserver lifestyle in their hand-built house surrounded by gardens and woodlands.



Ryan Knighton is an internationally acclaimed author, screenwriter, journalist and performer.  His two memoirs, Cockeyed and C’mon Papa, received numerous award nominations, including the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and have been translated into a dozen languages.  He has been a frequent contributor to the American radio programs This American Life and The Moth, and has written for The New York Times, Outside, Esquire, The Globe and Mail, Popular Mechanics, The Observer, The Believer, Men’s Health, Afar, Vancouver, Vice, The Sunday Telegraph, The National Post and Salon, among other newspapers and magazines.  His travel writing has taken him around the world and earned him two Lowell Thomas Awards, an Eddie/Aussie Award and a James Beard Media Award nomination.  He is also a Sundance Lab screenwriting fellow and the recipient of the 2009 Alfred Sloan Prize from the Tribecca Film Institute for the feature adaptation of his memoir, Cockeyed.  As a screenwriter, Knighton has written for Universal Studios, Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox, and has created several TV pilots for FX.  Most recently he served as a consulting producer on the network drama In the Dark.  Knighton is a sought after public speaker and storyteller who has performed at theatres, conferences and universities around the world, including NASA, the University of London, UCLA and MIT.  He has taught creative writing at Capilano University since 1998.  Surfing is his preoccupation.  


Andrew MacLeod is the author of All Together Healthy:  A Canadian Wellness Revolution (Douglas & McIntyre, 2018) about improving public health.  His first book  A Better Place on Earth:  The Search for Fairness in Super Unequal British Columbia (Harbour Publishing, 2015) won the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature.  He is The Tyee’s B.C. legislative bureau chief.

He has won an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies award for news writing and been a finalist for a Western Magazine Award for best article in BC and the Yukon.  His reporting has appeared in Monday Magazine, The Georgia Straight, BCBusiness Magazine, 24 Hours, the San Francisco Bay Guardian, Detroit’s MetroTimes, Portland’s Willamette Week and elsewhere.  Andrew lives in Victoria, BC.

(photo credit Annie MacLeod)





Beverley McLachlin is the former Chief Justice of Canada, the first woman to hold that position.  Her first novel, Full Disclosure, was an instant national bestseller.  She is currently working on her memoir.  Visit her at

(photo credit Jean-Marc Carisse)






Billeh Nickerson is writer, editor, educator, and arts advocate who is the author of five books including, the 2014 City of Vancouver Book Award nominated Artificial Cherry. He is also a former editor of PRISM international and Event, two of Canada’s most respected literary journals, and a previous writer-in-residence at both Queen’s University and at the Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon. He has performed at hundreds of festivals and readings around the country. He lives in Vancouver, where he is permanent faculty at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.




Heather O’Neill is a Canadian novelist, short-story writer and essayist.  Her work, which includes Lullabies for Little Criminals, The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, Daydreams of Angels, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, and Wisdom in Nonsense, has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, the Orange Prize for Fiction and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in two consecutive years, and has won CBC Canada Reads, the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction and the Danuta Gleed Award.  Born and raised in Montreal, O’Neill lives there today with her daughter.






Kathy Page’s fiction ranges widely in terms of subject matter and form, but always features complex, complicated and compelling characters.  Her two most recent short story collections, Paradise & Elsewhere and The Two of Us were nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.  She is also the author of eight novels, including The Story of My Face, nominated for the (Orange) Women’s Prize, The Find, a ReLit finalist, and Alphabet, a Governor General’s Award finalist.  Her latest novel, Dear Evelyn, winner of the 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction, is about a seventy year marriage between two in many ways incompatible partners.  The UK Guardian describes it as “a love story, a coming-of-age story, and a brilliantly evocative sketch of Britain in the 20th century.” According to the Times Literary Supplement, “Page has laid bare the lives of her characters, making no claims as to their significance to anyone but each other, and in doing so has demonstrated that the ordinary is infinitely precious.”

Kathy Page has lived on Salt Spring Island since 2001 and teaches part-time at Vancouver Island University.



Paula Wild is an award-winning author of seven books including her newest release, Return of the Wolf:  Conflict and Coexistence.  Her previous book, The Cougar:  Beautiful, Wild and Dangerous was shortlisted for the Bill Duthie’s Booksellers’ Choice Award in Canada and was the Gold winner for Foreword Review’s Nature Book of the Year in the USA.

Five of Wild’s books, including The Cougar and Return of the Wolf, have been BC bestsellers.  Sointula Island Utopia also received an award from the BC Historical Federation citing the book as “a significant contribution to history”.   Known for her conversational and engaging style, Wild’s work has been published in British Columbia Magazine, Canada’s History Magazine, the Vancouver Sun and many other publications.  She has written more than 1,000 articles on topics as diverse as ladybugs, health, teen suicide and con artists.  Many have been cover stories, several have been nominated for the National Magazine Awards and “On a Mission for Life” received the John Alexander Award.

As an author, Wild is intrigued by the relationships between people, places and the natural world.  She has feasted on fresh ooligan grease in the Bella Coola Valley, paddled the piranha-infested waters of the Amazon River, and lived off the grid in a squatter’s cabin in the rainforest of northern Vancouver Island.



Lindsay Wong holds a BFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia and a MFA in Literary Nonfiction from Columbia University in New York City.

Wong has been awarded fellowships and residencies at The Kimmel-Harding Nelson Center in Nebraska City, Caldera Arts in Oregon, and The Studios of Key West, among others.

The Woo-Woo:  How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, And My Crazy Chinese Family is her debut memoir.  It was a finalist for the Writers Trust 2018 Hilary Weston Prize in Nonfiction.

Her debut Young Adult novel, The Summer I Learned Chinese, is forthcoming from Simon Pulse in 2020.