Special Achievement Award Winners

2009: Anthony Dalton

Anthony Dalton is National President of the Canadian Authors Association. He is also a member of The Writers Union of Canada. He has written adventure, travel, and nautical articles for magazines and newspapers for over 30 years. During that time his fully illustrated feature articles have been published in 20 countries and 9 languages. A former expedition leader, based in West Africa and the Middle East, he is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Explorers Club.

Although he continues to write for magazine publishers in Asia and the Middle East, plus boating magazines in Canada and the USA, Anthony now spends most of his writing hours working on books. He is the author of six non-fiction books and co-author of two others. In addition, he has two more non-fiction books scheduled for publication in 2010.

2008: Shelley Hrdlitschka

Canadian author Shelley Hrdlitschka began her writing career while she was still a teacher. "I LOVE being a writer," she says. "I can set my own hours, I can wear anything I want to work, I can use my imagination, and I am my own boss. Sometimes I think writing is a compulsion or an obsession as much as anything else." She is the recipient of Our Choice Award; Canadian Library Association Young-Adult Honor Book citation, White Pine Award, and CCBC Our Choice Award, all 2002, Best Book nomination and Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, both American Library Association (ALA), both 2003, Popular Paperback citation, ALA, 2005, and Choice for Young Adults citation, International Reading Association; New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age selection, White Pines Honor Book designation, and Arthur Ellis Award nomination, Crime Writers of Canada in 2005.

2007: Bernice Lever

Bernice Lever is a prize winning poet and an English grammar expert, dedicated to improving the writing and speaking skills of students, business professionals and marketing communicators, for their long-term success in the increasingly competitive global marketplace. She is now a freelance editor for poetry and prose manuscripts.

Born in Smithers, BC, Canada on March 19, 1936, Bernice now resides on the west coast of British Columbia. She has a BA and MA in English from York University in Toronto, Ontario as well as teaching certificates and experience in British Columbia and Ontario.

Bernice founded and coordinated the Richvale Writers Club (1967-2000), and was awarded with the City of Richmond Hill - Arts Award in 1993 for 25 years of community service. From 1993 - 1995, she was treasurer/VP of the League of Canadian Poets, and in 2000, she was awarded the first ever Honorary Lifetime Member in the Canadian Poetry Association. In 2007, she received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the World Poetry Society and the Vancouver Public Library with a inscribed medal. Bernice is a lifetime member of the Canadian Authors Association (CAA), and is the national Grievance Chair for the CAA. In 1998-1999, she was Writer-in-Residence for the CAA - Toronto branch. She was the President of CAA - Vancouver branch, (2001-2003). In 2004, she was awarded the Allan Sangster plaque for her work for CAA. Bernice was also literary chair of the Bowen Island Arts Council for 3 years, and now active in the "Write On Bowen, Readers and Writer's Festival, in July. Since 2006, she is the Writer-in-Residence of the Vancouver branch of CAA and national CAA representive on the Public Lending Right Commission under the Canada Council. (www.plr-dpp.ca )

Bernice has traveled the world extensively. She has read poems in Australia, Brazil, Czechoslovakia, Great Britain, Italy, Japan, and the USA. Bernice has performed her poems in Canada on radio, television and on many public stages, from coast to coast.

2006: Beverley Boissery

Beverley Boissery (Dr. Bev Greenwood) is a retired high school teacher who has been a volunteer at SiWC's Blue Pencil workshops since 1994. She is widely published in the fields of legal history, young adult fiction, religious non-fiction and romance.

Born in Australia, Bev moved to Canada in her twenties and has been writing and teaching here since then. In addition to her work with SiWC, Bev has hosted a writers' group in her home bi-weekly for the past seven years and leads a weekly bible-study group. She was the 2004 Scholar in residence at Regent College at the University of British Columbia.

Now retired and widowed, Bev devotes herself to writing and volunteer work at her church, and is still a welcome part of our Blue Pencil workshops.

2005: Trudy Beyak

Trudy Beyak was born in Abbotsford, BC, in the small farming community of Bradner. Her parents owned a daffodil farm and growing up in the country kindled a deep appreciation and respect for the beauty around her. Her three daughters were raised in rural Clayburn, and because of her love for the community, Trudy chose to work close to home.  For 15 years, she has been an investigative reporter for the Abbotsford News, a member of the Metrovalley Newsgroup.

She is committed to writing comprehensive news stories to help the public stay aware of what is happening in their community. Her stories are well written, thoroughly researched. Trudy has a strong sense of fairness, and takes great care to present both sides of an issue….and there has definitely been no shortage of issues in the Fraser Valley.

Trudy has been the driving force behind exposing the plans of an American company to build a $400-million power plant (SE2) a short distance across the border from Abbotsford, in the U.S. city of Sumas. She alerted the public in a stunning four-page special report titled ‘A Power Struggle’ that was released in the News on June 3, 2000 - and she continues to cover this unresolved and volatile story.

Trudy covered the Avian Flu Outbreak in the Fraser Valley with provocative stories ranging from the government’s mismanagement of the crisis - to the heart-breaking effect of this catastrophe on one farming family. For this she won a Jack Webster award of excellence in journalism.

She has alerted the public on many environmental issues and through her writing, has inspired many residents to take their own pen to paper to fight community injustices.

Trudy has often been the “David” against “Goliath”, and despite the sometimes-formidable challenges, her passion for writing the truth has always prevailed.

Her stories have earned her ten North American awards in journalism this past year – and yet Trudy’s warmth and sincerity shines through when she says that her only objective is to raise awareness in her community.

Trudy Beyak is a wonderful example of proving that one person can make a difference.  She believes in standing up for one’s beliefs, whether political, environmental, moral or religious. Though she maintains a deep respect for other people’s choices, she remains true to herself.  Her love of humanity and the earth we live on has touched the lives and hearts of many people.

Trudy has never sought recognition for her writing, but instead, considers her ability to write as a treasured gift that can make a positive contribution to the world we live in.

2004: Janelle Breese Biagioni

A co-founding member of the Penticton Writers and Publishers, Janelle's published work includes non-fiction books, articles and short stories on a variety of topics, including bereavement and coping strategies for families affected by catastrophic injury. She also offers workshops and presentations on Grief and Loss and has appeared on television and radio to promote her work.

Janelle resides with her family in Victoria, British Columbia. She is editor of Headline, a quarterly publication serving the brain injury community. For more information, see her website www.soulwriter.com.

2003: Fran McGuckin


Frances McGuckin (left)

Fran McGuckin has just published the third edition of her best-selling book "Business for Beginners" and has expanded the book’s reach by selling the electronic rights to Intuit Canada for inclusion in Quicken’s business software. Her numerous magazine and web-based articles published over the past 5 years speak to her dedication to her craft. Fran has been a workshop presenter at several conferences, including our own.

She has contributed to the writing community through continuously working to encourage other writers to break through their fears and uncertainties. She provides helpful advice to many aspiring writers, offers free e-mail advice on her website and is an on-call sounding board and mentor for people from all over B.C. whether it’s brainstorming a title, researching, marketing, distribution, structure, book proposals, agent and contract information, or just encouragement to "keep on writing". Frances does all this with humour, grace and a kind word.

2002: kc dyer

kc dyer was born in Calgary, and has lived and worked in Toronto, Seattle and Vancouver. For many years after receiving her Education degree from the University of Calgary, she was a teacher in public, private and Montessori schools. She lives with her children (and other animals) in Lions Bay, British Columbia, where she works as a freelance writer and publishes the local newspaper. She is very active in the local writing community. kc is the author of The Swim, a short story selected for publication in SHORELINES: A Millennium Anthology, published by the North Shore Writers’ Association in British Columbia, and SEEDS OF TIME, her first young adult novel, published by The Dundurn Group. Her second novel, SECRET OF LIGHT was published this fall by The Dundurn Group. Currently, kc is at work on the final book in the SEEDS/ SECRET trilogy. Her website is www.kcdyer.com.

2001: Elva Stoelers

Elva Stoelers

If 'Special Achievement' can be categorized as the essence of persistence, dedication and involvement, Elva Stoellers is certainly deserving. A supporter of the Conference from its inception, Elva not only works with fellow writers one-to-one, but is an active, participating force within the local writing community, in her province as an outstanding example of BC writers and their writing, and nationally as a contributor to CBC radio. Her writing has also appeared in several newspapers, as well as BC Parent magazine. There is much more to say but not space to say it, we are just glad she is 'one of ours' and we thank her!

From left:

  • Don McQuinn
  • Elva Stoelers
  • Jozef Hubburmin, President Surrey Chamber of Commerce
  • Bonnie Deren, Guildford Continuing Education

2000: Matt Hughes

Matt Hughes writes fantasy and suspense fiction. He's also been a journalist and staff speechwriter to the Canadian Ministers of Justice and Environment, and - since 1979 - a freelance corporate and political speechwriter in BC.

His e-mail address is mhughes@mars.ark.com.

1999: Bill Burns

Bill BurnsA graduate of Gonzaga and Ryerson Universities and London School of Cinematography, Bill worked for the CBC for 17 years, 12 of which as the sound editor for "The Beachcombers." A naturalist, artist, sculptor and author, Bill has been President of the Federation of BC Writers, Director of Emerald Sky Productions, Coordinator of the Creative Writing Program for Surrey Continuing Education, an ESL teacher, and a mentor for the Langely Writers Guild.

Bill passed away suddenly September 18, 2003.

1998: Deltonia Cook

The 1998 award went to Deltonia Cook, an inmate at Matsqui Institution. The Director of Education at the institution nominated Mr. Cook for having earned the equivalent of four diplomas in creative writing (242 hours of class time) and for persuading other inmates to attend the program. "Creative writing has changed my life," Mr. Cook said. "I just wanted to share my discovery with others."

1997: Lois Peterson

Lois Peterson

Teacher, writer and librarian Lois Peterson has contributed endless hours to helping others become good writers. She's a member of a local writing group and a dynamic teacher who inspires others to write. She teaches creative writing at Matsqui prison and helps the men come to self-awareness through writing. Every year Lois contacts all the speakers at the conference and asks them to recommend books that writers should read.

You can find Lois at www.lpwordsolutions.com

1996: Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson Margaret Anderson is a Past President and a founding member of Langley Writers' Guild since 1981, which was created to inspire and help new writers. Margaret has been devoted to creative writing for 24 years. First writing courses were with Surrey Continuing Education followed by Kwantlen and Douglas Colleges.

She has published a book for young people, Cwan the Armourer, written from the p/v of Satsoksis, son of Maquinna, the Nootkan Chief. It takes place during the time Maquinna captured John Jewitt and depicts the friendship between the Prince and John Jewitt. She is currently working on an epic Canadian novel, that starts in WW1.