Federation of BC Writers STAFF

Bryan Mortensen, Executive Director

I am excited about this opportunity to introduce myself to the membership of the Federation of British Columbia Writers (FBCW) and the readers of our WordWorks Magazine. I have joined the federation as Executive Director after serving in leadership roles in not-for-profits and at the University of Alberta over the last 12 years. I, like many of you, am an emerging writer. (Which, I am confident we all know is code for a “hopefully published in the not-too-distant future.”)

As a fellow writer, I view our work and our efforts as vital to our communities. We are the storytellers, the historians, and knowledge keepers not just of our history, but of our ideas and experiences. We shape the world by doing our work as artists. It is for this reason that I applied to join this team. I want to help each of you tell your story, whether it is through fiction, poetry, creative non-fiction, or in any of the plethora of mediums in which we work.

As Executive Director, my job is to push our organization to be it’s best and to look long term at our future. In the immediate future, as I familiarize myself with our organization and its members, I have two primary goals. The first of which is to support and seek out opportunities for new benefits for our members. It is important to me that our members feel that they are getting true value for being a part of the organization. My second goal is to ensure that these benefits stay consistent and relevant. As such, one of my primary tasks is to seek out new funding and partnership opportunities to enhance the federation.

Angela Douglas, Director of Communications

Hi Everyone! I am the Director of Communications for the FBCW, and have been so since August of last year. I too, am a writer. Emerging from the shadows. I love entering writing contests and received an honorable mention for one. I am currently working on a 2nd draft of my first novel, a psychological thriller. You can read more about me at angeladouglas.ca. At the Fed, I handle content updates, social media channels, readON newsletter, and am the main point of contact for member inquiries. I have been lucky enough to speak with a number of you already, but for those who I have not already chatted with, please feel free to reach out. If you have any questions about your membership or benefits or any of our programs, please connect.

Jessica Cole, Managing Editor, WordWorks

Jessica Cole is the Managing Editor of WordWorks, the Federation's magazine for writers. She likes to genre hop, drafting romantic comedies for adults and speculative fiction for teens under the pen name Jess Wesley. She studied marketing at BCIT and is a graduate of The Writer's Studio at SFU (2020). She loves to connect with writers and can be found on the web at jesswesley.com.

Amber Cowie, Fundraising Coordinator

Amber Cowie is a novelist living in a small town on the west coast of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, The Globe and Mail, Crime Reads, and Scary Mommy and has been endorsed by numerous bestsellers including Samantha M. Bailey, Shannon Kirk, Kerry Lonsdale, Catherine McKenzie, Robyn Harding, and Blake Crouch. Her first novel, Rapid Falls, was a Whistler Book Awards nominee, hit number one overall on Amazon, and was a top-100 bestselling Kindle book of 2018. Her next book, Last One Alive, will be released by Simon and Schuster Canada in the summer of 2022. Her work can be found at ambercowie.com. Amber is also a devoted (if slightly distracted) mother to two awesome kids and a partner to the amazing head brewer of Andina Brewing in East Van. She enjoys skiing, running and securing funding for awesome organizations like the Federation of BC Writers.

Meaghan Hackinen, Contest Compiler

Meaghan Hackinen is a west coast writer, ultra-endurance cyclist, and contest bank compiler for the FBCW. Meaghan's two-wheeled adventures have taken her from Haida Gwaii to Mexico’s high plateaus, across Canada and the United States, and from North Cape to Tarifa along Europe’s highest paved roads. Her debut travel memoir, South Away: The Pacific Coast on Two Wheels (NeWest Press, 2019) was shortlisted for two Canadian book awards. Find Meaghan at meaghanhackinen.com.

Cristy Watson, Committee Chair, Wise Words

Cristy Watson has eight published novels for MG and YA readers. She loves entering writing contests and was pleasantly surprised to receive Editor’s Choice in the CV2, 2-Day Poem Contest in 2013, where contestants have 48 hours to write a poem using ten selected words. She also regularly participates in the Poetry Marathon in June, preferring the half-marathon where she writes twelve poems to twelve prompts in twelve hours. Cristy is thrilled to be supporting the Wise Words Committee and their important work for seniors across British Columbia, as Committee Chair. You can find Cristy here: cristywatsonauthor.wordpress.com and facebook.com/watsoncristy.

Diana Skrepnyk, Graphic Designer

Diana previously led marketing and communications design and design teams at Royal Roads University and, for many years, at the Banff Centre. Her superpower is visual communications, combining a writer’s finely crafted words with graphics and/or images to create messages that attract and inform readers. Her writing prowess is mostly limited to short, catchy headlines, but she LOVES to read – there are always a handful of books on her night table. She also makes visual art, mostly of birds, and enjoys riding trails and running errands on her bike Frankie, a Franken-bike made from recycled parts.

Supported by the British Columbia Arts Council

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