2018 Jury

Jan Walter
Returning juror and 2018 Jury Chair, Jan Walter has spent her life around books: selling, acquiring, editing, publishing, promoting. She began as a bookseller at Mel Hurtig’s store in Edmonton, and later joined Hurtig Publishers as editor-in-chief. She then moved to Toronto where she held executive positions with several Canadian publishing companies, including Macmillan and McClelland & Stewart. In 1988, together with writer/editors Gary Ross and John Macfarlane, she launched Macfarlane, Walter & Ross, which became one of Canada’s premier publishers of quality non-fiction, publishing over 60 award-winning and bestselling titles. Walter has made her home in Kingston, Ontario since 2004 and is a former Chair of the Kingston WritersFest Board.

Rick Antonson
Rick Antonson is the author of six books, including To Timbuktu for a Haircut and Route 66 Still Kicks. He entwines travel, history, and memoir when writing about extraordinary places and the people who call them home. An inveterate traveller, visiting places as varied as Iraq, Iran and North Korea, Antonson’s forthcoming book is based in Papua New Guinea. He was President and CEO of Tourism Vancouver for over two decades, and is also a former book publisher. Capilano University awarded Antonson an Honorary Doctorate of Laws and the tourism industry conferred recognitions in Canada, Europe, the US, and Asia. Antonson is currently co-scriptwriting a musical play,
and delivers his “Cathedral Thinking” address around the world; he and his wife, Janice, live in Vancouver and Frankfurt.

Eliza Reid
Eliza Reid, the First Lady of Iceland, is co-founder of the acclaimed Iceland Writers Retreat, an annual event that combines small-group writing workshops with cultural tours to introduce visitors to Iceland’s unique literary heritage. She was the editor of Icelandair’s in-flight magazine from 2012-2016 and was a staff writer at Iceland Review from 2005-2008. In Canada, where she was born and raised, Reid has been published in The Globe and Mail, The Walrus, and The Ottawa Citizen. Until she became First Lady, Reid was a regular commentator on Icelandic current affairs for foreign media, and made appearances on BBC Radio Scotland, CBS Radio, CBC Television and Radio, France 24, and RTE (Ireland).

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Previous Award Winners