Open Season Awards - Meet the Judges

Evelyn Lau - Poetry Judge

Evelyn LauEvelyn Lau is the Vancouver author of twelve books, including seven volumes of poetry. Her memoir Runaway: Diary of a Street Kid, published when she was 18, was made into a CBC movie. Her prose books (short stories, essays, a novel) have been translated into a dozen languages worldwide. Evelyn's poetry has received the Milton Acorn Award, the Pat Lowther Award, a National Magazine Award, and a Governor General's nomination. She has served as writer-in-residence at UBC, Kwantlen University and Vancouver Community College, as well as Distinguished Visiting Writer at the University of Calgary. Published widely in journals and anthologies, her work as been chosen for Best American Poetry and Best Canadian Poetry series. Evelyn Lau was 2011-2014 Poet Laureate for the City of Vancouver, and her most recent collection is Tumour (Oolichan, 2016).

Carleigh Baker - Fiction Judge

Carleigh BakerCarleigh Baker is a Cree-Metis / Icelandic writer who lives as a guest on the traditional, ancestral, unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh peoples. As an 'urban' person of mixed ancestry, she has a complicated relationship to identity and to the land, and often deals with both in her writing. Baker's work addresses issues of climate change, particularly as it relates to the destruction of plant and animal species. She's also working on an MFA thesis about the othering of 'wilderness,' and how conservationism is used as a tool of colonialism. Baker's first collection of short stories, Bad Endings, was published by Anvil Press earlier this year, and she was nominated for the Journey Prize in 2014. Her fiction and essays have appeared in publications across Canada, and she is a regular contributor to the Globe and Mail.

Betsy Warland - Creative Nonfiction Judge

Betsy WarlandBetsy Warland has published 12 books of creative nonfiction, poetry and lyric prose. A creative writing teacher, mentor and editor for the past 25 years, Warland works with writers from across Canada. Her bestseller book of essays Breathing the Page—Reading the Act of Writing was published in 2010. Oscar of Between – A Memoir of Identity and Ideas – was one of two books that launched Caitlin Press' Dagger Editions in 2016. Warland received the City of Vancouver Mayor's Award for Literary Achievement in 2016. A founder of Canada's Creative Nonfiction Collective, she currently mentors and teaches in The Writer’s Studio at S.F.U., and directs and mentors in the 6-month face-to-face and distance program Vancouver Manuscript Intensive.