Kootenay Literary Society Members
Co-founding Director Tom Wayman introduces panelists at the 2016 EMLF. (Will Johnson photo)
Antonia Banyard Antonia Banyard has worked on both sides of the publishing desk as a writer and editor. She has been published in literary magazines and anthologies in Canada, the US, England, and Australia. She has degrees in writing from the University of Victoria and the University of Queensland. She has published books for children and adults, including the 2007 children’s nonfiction book Dangerous Crossings!, and her 2010 novel Never Going Back.
Leesa is a graduate of the University of Guelph’s Creative Writing MFA program and teaches English and Creative Writing for Selkirk College. She’s been a finalist for literary accolades such as the Irving Layton Award, the Litpop Award, Kootenay Mountain Culture’s writing contest and the Quebec Writing Competition. Her first book, Waiting for the Cyclone, was published by Brindle & Glass in October.
Anne is a librarian, writer, incorrigible volunteer. She is the author of four traditionally published novels, several self-published regional books, and also writes for newspapers, magazines, and websites. Work in community cultural development has been ongoing in various capacities for more than three decades. Most recently she was president of the Nelson Civic Theatre Society, which turned a defunct movie theatre into a successful social enterprise.
Wendy holds a degree in English & French Literature with a minor in Business Economics. She currently freelances for a performance analytics company, and has recently studied website development, software applications, and DevOps. She has lived and worked in several countries around the world and currently lives in Nelson with her brewmaster husband and four boys.
Verna is an author and editor. From 1991 – 2002 she was a director of Kootenay School of the Arts (KSA) Writing Studio, and was a KSA founding board member. She has been a member of organizing committees for (among other literary events) Terrain festival, Nelson, August 1996, and From Eh to Zee, Student Writers’ Weekend, Nelson, March 1998. Most recently she was a principal of Mint Literary Agency.
As a career nutritionist, Judy penned three non-fiction books about healthy living (Key Porter Books). Now, Judy’s fascination with forensics and training in science come in handy in her second career as a crime fiction writer. Her first novel, Give Out Creek (Mosaic Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the 2016 Arthur Ellis Award by the Crime Writers of Canada. She writes under the pen name J.G. Toews.
Tom is the author of more than 20 books of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction. His 2012 poetry collection Dirty Snow won the Acorn-Plantos award; his 2015 collection of short fiction, The Shadows We Mistake for Love, won the 2016 Diamond Foundation Prize for Fiction (Western Canada Jewish Book Awards). He formerly taught widely in the B.C. community college system, including Nelson’s Kootenay School of the Arts, and his stints as writer-in-residence include the University of Windsor, University of Alberta, University of Toronto. He taught English and writing at the University of Calgary 2002-2010.
Executive Director Natasha Smith
Natasha is an artist, teacher and arts administrator. She holds a BA hons in Fine Art Printmaking from Duncan of Jordanstone College, University of Dundee, Scotland. She has worked in the non-profit arts sector for nine years as an administrative assistant and project coordinator for the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council and grant advisor and administrator for the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance. She currently coordinates the Oxygen Art Centre’s Education Program, is Executive Director for The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival and continues her fine art practice from her home studio in Krestova.