Joan B. Flood is a novelist and a short story writer who has just launched her second novel ‘Left Unsaid’ (Signature Editions 2017). Her first title ‘New Girl’, a Young Adult novel, won the Orpheus Fiction Contest, and it was published in the USA by Musa Publishing. Her short story ’87’ won honourable mention in The Binnacle Ninth Annual Ultra-Short Story Competition 2012. Her work has appeared in various anthologies in Canada, USA and Australia. She has also published some of her writings as Joan Bridget. Joan grew up in Limerick, Ireland, and lived in France and England before settling in Canada. She spent some years in Ottawa, Toronto and Hamilton before arriving in Vancouver, where she now lives.
Chloe Cocking is a fiction writer, poet and playwright who has just launched her first novel ‘Blood Rain‘. She is the author of a one-woman play ‘The Blanket on Freud’s Couch‘, and her micro-fiction, articles and poems have appeared in various literary publications, zines and anthologies including ‘Saving Seeds‘ (New West Writers, 2014). She has served as a member of the editorial collective of A Room of One’s Own. She is a member of critique group New West Writers. Chloe professes to be a ‘writer of dark urban fantasy’, and she runs a blog and a newsletter on her craft and different aspects of her life as a writer.
Ken Westdorp is a longtime Surrey poet, painter and oragami artist who has just published his first collection of poems titled Gateway to Obscurity. Ken had begun writing as a child but most of his published work has been done within the last 10 years. The first thing he ever wrote was a short story about imaginary animals, and his first poem was written either for mother’s day or Valentine’s day. Earlier, a couple of his poems appeared in ‘We Are Newton’ anthology. Inspired by Frank Miller and Alan Moore, Ken is now working on a follow up collection Strength and Vulnerability that will take ‘a much broader view of the human condition and the way it relates to various aspects of the environment’.
Ken lives with his wife in the Whalley area where they devote a large portion of their time volunteering to assist homeless people living on the ‘Strip’.
Sylvia Taylor is a writer, editor, and educator. She has published over 400 articles. Her first title The Fisher Queen: A Deckhand’s Tales of the BC Coast (Heritage House Publishing) was published in 2012, and now she’s launching this month another marine-themed non-fiction book, Beckoned by the Sea: Women at Work on the Cascadia Coast. Her prose and poetry have appeared in anthologies and magazines in Canada and the US, and her work was shortlisted for the CBC National Literary Awards. Sylvia worked as executive director and president of the Federation of BC Writers for thirteen years, she is a current director for the Arts Council of Surrey. She has edit-coached over 100 book manuscripts, and she consults with authors and entrepreneurs, and teaches writing & publishing-related skills.
N.K. Johel is a painter turned novelist who is promoting her first novel, Bollywood Storm, in two-volumes: ‘Book 1: New York’ and ‘Book 11: Mumbai’. Johel studied painting, writing and theatre at Vancouver Island Univerity and Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Her first writing was a poem that she wrote in grade three about ‘raindrops sounding like grasshoppers’ on her umbrella. The comic murder mystery she has published has been the result of her participation in a National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) program. Johel credits Toni Morrison’s Jazz and Michael Ondaatje’s Running In The Family as the works that brought her back to writing, and, she mentions Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s 100 Years of Solitude as well as Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s Women Who Run With Wolves as books that gave a certain ‘breath’ to her work. Johel is working on another novel titled Ki Meela, and she is considering a project of writing fictionalized non-fiction.
Arushi is an emerging writer who has just published her debut title ‘When morning comes’. She likes ‘intricate plots, flawed characters, chases, escapes, and sentences that just make you stop and wonder’. Besides writing, Arushi enjoys travelling, arguments, and long car rides. She grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has lived in Egypt, Nigeria, India, the US, UK, and most recently, Canada. As a day job, Arushi works as a consultant in Vancouver.
Lozan Yamolky is an Iraqi Canadian poet of Kurdish origin who is launching her second poetry book titled ‘Counting Waves’ (Silver Bow Publishing) this year. Last year, she had published her first book ‘I’m No hero’. Lozan began to write poetry in her teens but kept it a secret till 2013 when she found a writer’s group in Maple Ridge near where she lived, the Holy Wow Poets of Canada. Lozan began to attend regular group meetings, reciting and writing new poems, and soon she had her manuscript ready. Lozan lives in Vancouver and works as a freelance interpreter and translator for both Kurdish and Arabic languages. She also worked as an interpreter with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Canadian Embassy, and the Australian Embassy in Turkey. Lozan was born in Baghdad as the fifth of eleven children; eight girls and three boys. She left Iraq in 1994 and moved to Ankara Turkey as an asylum seeker before migrating with her family to Vancouver in 1995.