Meet Our Staff

Vanessa Herman – Artistic Director

Vanessa has been actively engaged in community organizations since serving as the student body president in her second year of Okanagan College in 2007. In 2008 she transferred to UVic to pursue a BA in Writing. In her final year of studies, she became the Writing Students’ Union president and the Editor In Chief of This Side of West. Vanessa continued her involvement with the literary community after graduation. She is currently the Vice President of the Victoria Book Prize Society and served on the award jury in 2014. For three years she developed an international reading series at the independent bookstore Russell Books, before turning her attention to forming and building the Victoria Festival of Authors. She devoted her first months to forming a festival Board and registering the VFA as a not-for-profit society. Her goal is to make a permanent and sustainable festival. To refresh her mind and creativity she has turned to landscaping and enjoys getting her hands in the dirt of Victoria’s many beautiful gardens.

Laura Trunkey – Artistic Associate

Laura’s writing has been published in journals and magazines across Canada. Her short fiction has been anthologized in the bestselling collection, Darwin’s Bastards: Astounding Tales from Tomorrow and her non-fiction has been anthologized in Hidden LivesThe Incredibly Ordinary Danny Chandelier, Laura’s children’s novel, was a starred selection in the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids & Teens. Her short fiction collection, Double Dutch, was released in March 2016 by Anansi. Laura graduated from the UBC Creative Writing MFA program in 2009. In 2014, she was on the organizing committee of the final Victoria Writers Festival. Because of her passion for books – both as a writer and a reader – she is committed to ensuring the Victoria Festival of Authors becomes a major, and self-sustaining, cultural event.

Meet Our Board

Patricia Young – President

Patricia Young has published eleven collections of poetry and one of short fiction. Her poems have been widely anthologized and translated into Spanish, Chinese and Romanian. She has received numerous awards for her writing including The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize, the B. C. Book Prize, the Pat Lowther Award, a CBC Literary Prize, Arc’s Poem of the Year Award, two National Magazine Awards, the Great Blue Heron Contest and the Confederation Poet’s Prize. She has twice been nominated for the Governor General’s Award for poetry. Her collection of short fiction, Airstream, won the Rooke-Metcalf Award, was shortlisted for the Butler Prize and named one of the Globe and Mail’s Best Books of the Year. A new collection of poetry will be published with Biblioasis in the fall of 2016. As a lifelong resident of Victoria, I am particularly pleased to serve on a board that promotes the city’s literary arts community.

Sharon Walls – Treasurer

Sharon Walls is an avid reader and attender of writers’ readings, a retired lawyer, a one-time science teacher, and a former board member of Victoria Heritage Foundation and Ross Bay Villa Society.

Laurie Rubin – Secretary

Laurie Rubin has worked in government ministries, community organizations and not for profits and is well-connected to the performing arts and literary arts communities through his work as coordinator of the Vining Street Party on the Plaza. He has experience with strategic planning, event coordination and fund generation. He joined the Board of the Victoria Festival of Writers because of a strong belief that the literary arts community of Victoria should be heard and read. Laurie also sits on the Boards of The Learning Curve Society (President), Theatre Inconnu (Vice President) and The Fernwood Community Association (Secretary).

Chris Fox – Director

Victoria resident Chris Fox, principal editor of Fox Edits, took her PhD in English at the University of Victoria. Her academic work is focused on Canadian literature and has been published in Ariel, Atlantis, Canadian Literature, Studies in Canadian Literature, The Malahat Review, and The Coastal Spectator. She edits academic and literary work, primarily, and sits on the Boards of the Victoria Festival of Authors; Plenitude; Lambda Scholarship Foundation Canada; and We’re Here! LGBTQ Refugee Sponsorship Group. The VFA is particularly exciting for Chris because it’s an opportunity to bring together two great loves: Victoria and Literature!