2016 presenters

Our presenters appear in our evening events and take part in the Saturday panel discussions.


Caroline Adderson is the author of four novels, A History of Forgetting, Sitting Practice, The Sky Is Falling, and Ellen in Pieces, two collections of short stories, Bad Imaginings and Pleased to Meet You, and several books for young readers. Her work has received numerous prize nominations including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist, the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Winner of two Ethel Wilson Fiction Prizes and three CBC Literary Awards, Caroline was the recipient of the 2006 Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement. Caroline appears at EMLF’s Saturday Night Live event and on the panel Once Upon a Time, as well as being our 2016 writer-in-residence.



Jill Barber is a Juno-nominated folk/jazz singer-songwriter and children’s author based in Vancouver, where she lives with her husband Grant Lawrence and her two young children. After a string of award-winning albums, Jill became a children’s author in 2011 with her board book Baby’s Lullaby. That was followed in 2014 with the picture book Music is For Everyone (ages 2-6). Jill is currently working on her third book for children. Also—billed for kids of all ages—her latest record is The Family Album, her first with her musician brother Matthew Barber, and a return to her folk roots. Jill will offer a taste of her considerable musical talents at the 100-Mile Opening Gala and offers her kidlit perspective on the Once Upon a Time panel.



A biologist, author, and keen birder, Richard Cannings writes about the natural world, in particular birds of Canada and endangered landscapes of British Columbia. He has written eight books with his brother Sidney, including British Columbia: A Natural History (re-released in 2014) plus an additional 10 as solo author. His most recent book is Birds of British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest (with Tom Aversa) published this spring. A CBC broadcaster and environmental consultant, he served on a number of boards including the Nature Conservancy of Canada. He was recently elected as MP for South Okanagan-Kootenay. Richard appears at the Friday night event Reading the Earth.



CBC broadcaster and author Grant Lawrence’s first book, Adventures in Solitude: What Not to Wear to a Nude Potluck and Other Stories from Desolation Sound (2010) was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the Edna Staebler Award. He published his second book, The Lonely End of the Rink: Confessions of a Reluctant Goalie, in 2013. Both books won the BC Book Prize for Book of the Year in their respective years. Grant is currently working on a third book about his touring days in the band The Smugglers. He has two children with his wife, musician Jill Barber. Grant reads at the 100-Mile Opening Gala and weighs in o the Writing the Land panel.



J.B. MacKinnon writes about nature, ecology, adventure and other topics. His most recent book is The Once and Future World: Nature As It Was, As It Is, As It Could Be, a national bestseller that won the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature. His earlier book The 100-Mile Diet, coauthored with Alisa Smith, is widely credited with helping to spark the international local food movement. MacKinnon’s work has been featured in the New Yorker, National Geographic, Orion, and Best American Science and Nature Writing; here at home, he has won nearly a dozen national magazine awards. He lives in Vancouver. J.B. MacKinnon presents his work at the Friday evening Reading the Earth event and joins the Saturday panel Writing the Land.



Briony Penn is a naturalist, writer, educator, and broadcaster known for her devotion to protecting endangered species and sensitive ecosystems in her native British Columbia. In addition to hundreds of articles in newspapers and magazines, she has written three books for adults and one for children on nature-related themes. Her most recent book is The Real Thing: The Natural History of Ian McTaggart Cowan, published by Rocky Mountain Books and shortlisted for both the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize and the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize. She is a founding member of The Land Conservancy of B.C. Briony is featured at the Friday evening Reading the Earth event and joins the panel Writing the Land.



Bill Richardson is a well-loved Canadian writer and broadcaster. Among his 18 books are Bachelor Brothers’ Bed & Breakfast, which won the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, and After Hamelin, a novel for children, which won the Silver Birch Award. For CBC Radio, he hosted Richardson’s Roundup and Bunny Watson. He wrote, with Veda Hille, the play Do You Want What I have Got? A Craigslist Cantata performed by the Arts Club Theatre. His most recent collection of verse is The First Little Bastard to Call Me Gramps: Poems of the Late Middle Ages, published by House of Anansi Press. He lives in Vancouver, B.C., and Holmfield, Manitoba. Bill will MC the Friday evening Writing the Land event, then join Caroline Adderson as a featured author at the Saturday Night Live! event.


Our 100-Mile Opening Gala features four literary award winners, including winners of the Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine Literary Competition and the Richard Carver Award.


The well-respected, award-winning and decidedly non-fiction publication Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine ran its first-ever Short Fiction & Poetry contest. The staff was stunned at the quality and quantity of submissions that poured in, and the winning writers’ works is featured in their summer issue. Fiction winners Will Johnson and Fletcher Fitzgibbon will bread their work at the 100-Mile Gala.



Richard Carver loved the arts, he loved the Kootenays, and he was invested in the community as both a keen observer and a tireless volunteer. He was a mover and shaker on the board of the Nelson and District Arts Council, the sponsor of this award named in his honour. He was generous with his encouragement. He encouraged everyone to get out there and do whatever it was that called to them: paint, or sing, or dance, or write. He honoured all stages of artistic growth. His passing was a great loss to the community. EMLF is proud to partner with NDAC in the presentation of this award.

This year’s prize is shared between two deserving writers, novelist Alanda Greene and memoirist Donna Macdonald, who will both read at the 100-Mile Gala.


Panelists also include the authors profiled above.


Murray Kimber is a graduate of the Alberta College of Art and Design, where he embraced illustration as his chosen path. Since then, he has created original artwork for everything from billboards to packaging, postage stamps to children’s books. In 1994 he won the Governor-general’s Award for English-language Children’s Book Illustration for Josepha: A Prairie Boy’s Story, written by Jim McGugan. Other notable titles featuring Kimber’s bold, signature style include Fern Hill, Ancient Voices, The Wolf of Gubbio, and The Highwayman. He lives with his family in Nelson, where he operates Speedpro Signs. Murray joins the Once Upon a Time panel on children’s books.



Rolf Maurer was Born and raised in Vancouver, where, after studies at UBC he worked briefly as a reporter and copy editor for The Province before joining New Star Books as editor/typesetter in 1981. He became publisher in 1990, publishing work by Annharte, George Bowering, Elizabeth Hay, Pauline Holdstock, and George Stanley, to name a few.  In 2011 Rolf received the Jim Douglas Publisher of the Year Award in British Columbia. A champion of books that took on issues of the day, Rolf’s decades in the industry and in Vancouver have given him a keen eye for the publishing landscape past and present. Rolf brings his understanding and expertise to the publisher’s panel.



Eileen Delehanty Pearkes explores landscape and humanity in her books The Geography of Memory, The Inner Green (with K.L. Kivi), River of Memory, (ed. William Layman) and The Glass Seed, a memoir. Her guest-curated exhibit for Touchstones Museum of Art and History on the Columbia River Treaty won the Canadian Museum Association’s Award of Excellence. Born in the United States and a Canadian resident since 1985, Eileen’s research interests support her bi-national perspective. A River Captured: the Columbia River Treaty and Catastrophic Change is forthcoming from Rocky Mountain books this fall. Eileen’s perspectives will help inform the Writing the Land panel.



Julian Ross studied writing and design at DTUC and UVIC before starting Polestar Press in 1981, setting up shop in Winlaw with an old Compugraphic typsetter. He published more than 100 titles, including first books by Luanne Armstrong, Caroline Woodward, Vi Plotnikoff, Holley Rubinsky and Rita Moir. An award-winning press, Polestar was one of the first to combine quality literary titles with bestselling non-fiction. After selling Polestar in 1995, Julian founded Bluefield Books, a non-fiction press sold to Nightwood Editions in 2005. He co-owns Polestar Calendars with his wife, Ruth. Julian brings his knowledge to the publisher’s panel.



Nancy Wise is the owner of Sandhill Book Marketing Ltd., a Kelowna-based book distribution company formed in 1984 that specializes in the sales and distribution of independently published and small press books. Among Sandhill’s bestsellers is the locally-produced Whitewater Cooks series by Shelley Adams. Nancy has authored published five titles under the imprint of Sandhill Publishing, including How to Self Publish and Make Money (with Marion Crook). She is a member of the Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia and has served as a cultural funding committee member on the Advisory board for the BC government. Nancy brings her perspectives to the publisher’s panel.