The Quebec Writers’ Federation is guided by a board of seven to twenty directors who are elected to a renewable one-year term at an annual general meeting in March. Each board member may serve up to five consecutive terms and then must step down for at least two years before standing for the board again. This formula ensures both continuity and the regular infusion of new ideas and energy. The board of directors is responsible for overseeing the work of the executive director and staff.
The QWF Board of Directors is composed primarily of writers, but it can also include members of the broader literary community, such as publishers, editors, academics, booksellers
2023-2024 QWF Board of Directors
Tawhida Tanya Evanson
Poet, author, producer, and Ashik, Tawhida Tanya Evanson’s poetry collections include Bothism (Ekstasis 2017) and Nouveau Griot (Frontenac 2018). Her debut novel Book of Wings (Véhicule 2021) won the 2022 CAM/Blue Metropolis New Contribution Literary Prize. With a twenty-five-year, award-winning practice in spoken word, she performs internationally, has released several studio albums and videopoems, and directs the Banff Centre Spoken Word program. As Mother Tongue Media, Evanson produces interarts events including the upcoming Afrofuturist concert film CYANO SUN SUITE premiering in 2023. Born and based in Tiohtià:ke/Montréal, she moonlights as a whirling dervish. www.mothertonguemedia.com
Crystal Chan is a writer, journalist, and editor. She is a professor in the Creative Writing Department of the University of British Columbia and an editor at UBC Press for RavenSpace Publishing, an innovative program for Indigenous authors and their collaborators. Crystal’s writing has been anthologized by Véhicule Press and Guernica Editions.
Don Macdonald is a journalist, writer, and editor. He has more than 20 years of work experience as a political and business reporter and columnist for the Canadian Press and the Montreal Gazette. He has lived for many years in Montreal but has remained close to family and friends in Winnipeg, where he was born and raised. Omand’s Creek, his first novel, was published in 2020. It is a murder mystery set in Winnipeg that deals with the difficult subject of violence against Indigenous women.
Jason “Blackbird” Selman is a Montreal born poet, trumpet player and community worker. He is the author of The Freedom I Stole (2007, Cumulus Press) and Africa As A Dream That Travels Through My Heart (2016, Howl) and co-editor of the poetry anthology Talking Book (2006, Cumulus Press), which chronicles the writings of Kalm Unity Vibe Collective (of which he is a founding member). He has done extensive poetry workshops in schools and community groups across the Montreal area. His work is grounded in the themes of ethnomusicology, surrealist expression, love, and the intersection of masculinity and emotional vulnerability.
Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt is the author of the critically acclaimed Peacekeeper’s Daughter: A Middle East Memoir (Thistledown, 2021), which was a finalist for the Quebec Writer’s Federation Mavis Gallant Award for Nonfiction. Her debut poetry collection Chaos Theories of Goodness was released with Shoreline Press in June 2022. Tanya’s fiction, essays and poems have been published in numerous literary journals and anthologies, including Best Canadian Essays 2019 and 2015. She was the runner-up for The New Quarterly’s 2020 Edna Staebler Personal Essay Competition as well as Prairie Fire’s 2022 McNally Robinson Bookseller’s Creative Nonfiction Contest. Tanya holds an MA from McGill University and an MFA in Creative Writing from UBC.
Read more about Tanya’s writing at https://tanyaallattbellehumeur.com/
Jennifer DeLeskie (she/her) is a writer based in Montréal/Tiohtià:ke with a background in law. Her fiction and personal essays have appeared in publications such as Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Marrow Magazine, Exile Quarterly, The Dalhousie Review, and Aethlon: The Journal of Sport Literature. In 2021, Jennifer was shortlisted for the CVC10 Short Fiction Prize. She is currently polishing her first novel, a coming-of-age story set in near-future northern Quebec.
Bryan Demchinsky is a Montreal freelance editor and writer who has written or co-written five books. Since leaving a career job at the Montreal Gazette in 2011, he has published in various magazines and newspapers. Much of what Bryan learned in the word trade came from working at The Gazette and five other Canadian newspapers over 35 years. He has adapted his experience into teaching and mentorship roles, and has conducted workshops in editing, memoir writing, and publishing for the Quebec Writers’ Federation.
Pamela Hensley has published fiction in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, EVENT Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, The Antigonish Review, The Fieldstone Review, Montreal Writes, and elsewhere. She holds degrees from Western University (London, Canada) and the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, USA). In a previous life, she worked as an automotive engineer and management consultant in Detroit, Tokyo, and Stuttgart. Follow her @pl_hensley.
Christine ML Lee
Based in Tiohtià:ke/Mooniyang (Montreal), Christine ML Lee is a composer, playwright and poet interested in the intersection between music, movement and storytelling. As a sound designer, she was nominated for a META award for her work on Psycho 6 (Teesri Duniya Theatre) and has worked on Centaur Theatre’s At the Beginning of Time as well as Théâtre aux Écuries/Nervous Hunter’s production of Bonnes Bonnes. Alumna of Nightwood Theatre’s Innovators Unit & Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal’s YCU, Christine is currently working on a musical, Just a Note, supported by the Canada Council for the Arts and won a Frankie Award for Most Promising Emerging Artist for the staged reading of her musical at the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe 2022. Christine is excited to be a part of QWF’s Board!
Ehab Lotayef is a poet and writer. His poetry book To Love a Palestinian Woman was published by TSAR in 2010. His works have appeared in multiple anthologies, papers, and webzines. Ehab, who was born in Cairo, Egypt, also writes in classical Arabic and colloquial Egyptian. He holds a B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering and is an IT and Technical Services Manager at McGill University. Ehab has been, and continues to be, dedicated to social justice and is a founding and active member of a number of NGOs.
Curtis John McRae
Curtis John McRae’s fiction has appeared in The New Quarterly, Prairie Fire, Chronicling the Days anthology (Guernica Editions), and elsewhere. He is the Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief of yolk, winner of the 2022 David McKeen award, and finalist in the 2019 QWF Prize for Young Writers. He recently graduated with a fellowship from Concordia’s MA Creative Writing program.
Alex Nierenhausen was born and raised in Montreal. An avid reader his whole life, he has directed and managed the independent bookstore Librairie St-Henri Books since its inception in 2018. Additionally, he is the co-host of the Weird Era literary podcast (alongside founder Sruti Islam) and enjoys interviewing the authors he loves to read.
Monique Polak is the author of 32 books for young people and a three-time winner of the Quebec Writers’ Federation Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children’s and Young Adult Literature (formerly called the QWF Prize for Children’s and YA Literature). Monique taught Creative Writing, Journalism, English Literature, and Humanities at Marianopolis College for 35 years. In addition, Monique has done hundreds of writing workshops for young people across the country. She also works closely with the Blue Metropolis Literary Foundation. Monique was the inaugural CBC-QWF writer in residence. A long-time contributor to ICI Radio-Canada’s literary program Plus on est de fous, plus on lit!, Monique is also a freelance journalist whose work has appeared frequently in the Montreal Gazette. Monique has two new books for young people scheduled for publication, one in 2023 and one in 2024. Monique’s work has been translated into French, Dutch, Korean, and Armenian.
Deb Vanslet is a media artist, videographer, and writer. Her independent videos, including Sick World, Weather Permitting, and Rules of the Road, explore storytelling, performance, and dance. For sixteen years Deb produced and hosted Dykes on Mykes, at CKUT 90.3 FM. Deb is a producer at Confabulation, Montreal’s live storytelling show. She also produces and hosts the Confabulation podcast. She won the 2015 3Macs carte blanche QWF prize for her short story Self-Serve, and published Ghost Station in the Queer Perspectives edition of The Malahat Review. Deb is the production coordinator at Ada-X, a feminist artist-run centre.
Rahul Varma is a playwright and Artistic Director of Teesri Duniya Theatre, which he co-founded in 1981. In 1998, he co-founded the theatre quarterly alt.theatre: cultural diversity and the stage. He writes in both Hindi and English, a language he acquired as an adult. He is a recipient of a Juror’s Award from the Quebec Drama Federation, an award for promoting interculturalism from the Montréal English Critics Circle, a South Asian Theatre Festival Award, and a Montreal English Theatre Award for Equity, Inclusion and Diversity. He was a finalist for the 2019 QWF prize for Playwriting.