Board of Directors

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 and librarians.

2022-2023 QWF Board of Directors

Julie Barlow


Julie Barlow headshot

Julie Barlow is the co-author of four books: The Bonjour Effect (St. Martin’s Press), The Story of French (Knopf Canada), The Story of Spanish (St. Martin’s Press) and Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong (Sourcebooks). Winner of the QWF’s Mavis Gallant Prize and France’s Prix La Renaissance française, Barlow has written for newspapers and magazines in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, including The New York Times, USA Today and the Courrier international. She is a contributing writer at L’actualité magazine and speaks about language and culture to audiences across North America and in Europe.

Tawhida Tanya Evanson

Vice President


Tawhida Tanya Evanson is an Antiguan-Québécoise poet, author, artist and educator. With a 25-year practice in spoken word, she performs internationally, has released several studio albums and videopoems, and is Program Director of The Banff Centre Spoken Word residency. Her two poetry collections are Bothism (Ekstasis 2017) and Nouveau Griot (Frontenac 2018), and her debut novel Book of Wings (2021) is fresh from Véhicule Press. She moonlights as a whirling dervish.

Don Macdonald


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.

Crystal Chan



Crystal Chan is a writer, journalist, and editor. She edits QWF Writes as well as RavenSpace, a publishing platform and book series by Indigenous authors and their collaborators. She was a writer-in-residence at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. She is also a producer in the cultural and non-profit sectors.


Jennifer DeLeskie

A photo of Jennifer Deleskie

Formerly a lawyer, Jennifer DeLeskie is currently editing her first novel, a science fiction coming-of-age story called Everclear

Bryan Demchinsky

Photo: Gabor Szilasi

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

Pamela Hensley has published fiction in the Bristol Short Story Prize Anthology, EVENT Magazine, The Dalhousie Review, The Antigonish ReviewThe Fieldstone ReviewMontreal 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.

Sruti Islam

Photo Credit Ani Harroch

Sruti Islam is a reader, and sometimes a writer. She has over seven years of experience working in publishing—formerly a book publicist for Drawn and Quarterly, Anteism, and Metatron Press. She founded Weird Era, a literary space, in 2019. Since partnering with Librairie Saint-Henri Books, Weird Era has developed into LSHB’s Weird Era, a literary podcast and a literary arts journal exclusively available for sale via Librairie Saint-Henri Books. She continues to freelance in literary and cultural coverage.

Christine ML Lee

Based in Tiotia:ke/Montreal, Christine ML Lee is a composer, playwright, and poet interested in the intersection between music, movement, and storytelling. Christine integrates dance and spoken word with her music, which has been performed at Festival Quartiers Danses and in Montreal Botanical Gardens. Christine is currently part of Nightwood Theatre’s Young Innovators Unit 2020-2021 and is working on a musical called Just a Note; it has been in development with the 2019-2020 Canadian Musical Theatre Writers’ Collective Workshop in Montreal with Jonathan Monro and with the 2019-2020 Young Creator’s Unit at Playwright’s Workshop Montreal with Jesse Stong.

Ehab Lotayef

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, where he is also a member of the Board of Governors. Ehab has been, and continues to be, dedicated to social justice and is a founding and active member of a number of NGOs.

B.A. Markus

B.A. Markus headshot

B.A. Markus is a writer, teacher, and performer living in Montreal She writes song lyrics for Michael Jerome Browne, Bob Walsh, and Eric Bibb. In 2018 she won the Malahat Open Season Award for Creative Nonfiction and in 2014 she won the carte blanche CNFC prize. She has been on the shortlist for the QWF/CBC Quebec Writing Competition twice and the CBC Creative Non-Fiction Long List twice. Her essays and stories appear in literary journals and anthologies, and she enjoys telling stories in the Confabulation, Yarn and This Really Happened storytelling series. She is currently writing a collection of monologues entitled What Mommy Needs about what mothers do to survive mothering.

Christopher Neal

Upon ending a career in various communications management roles at the World Bank, Christopher Neal returned from Washington D.C. to his native Montreal in 2016. In the 1980s, he worked as a journalist with the Montreal Gazette and Ottawa Citizen, and as a freelance correspondent in Latin America. He was later a communications manager at two international development NGOs, and at Global Affairs Canada (then CIDA), where he served as Director-General of Communications. His book, The Rebel Scribe – Carleton Beals and the Progressive Challenge to U.S. Policy in Latin America, will be published in the autumn of 2021. 

Jason Selman

Photo credits Kevin Calixte

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.

Deb Vanslet

Deb Vanslet is a media artist, videographer, and writer. Her independent videos, including Sick WorldWeather 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

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 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.