The Board of Directors of the Shuswap Association of Writers is a hard-working group of volunteers.

President, Debra Turner is the retired campus library coordinator at Okanagan College and former college liaison to the board. In her professional capacity, she had many years of experience assisting students and faculty with research, writing, editing, and citation. Her personal interest in genealogy has sparked an interest in memoir writing. She is also the membership director.
Vice President, Kevin Gooden has extensive experience in technical and business writing, and recent creative writing training from Gotham Writers Workshop, New York. He is a speculative fiction and humour writer with numerous published short stories—including in the 2022 Askew’s Word on the Lake Anthology, as Editor’s Choice—and is now novel writing.
Treasurer, Kay Johnston remains Festival Chair of Word on the Lake. She is the author of two non-fiction books Spirit of Powwow and The Amazing Mazie Baker. She is proud to be an adopted member of the Baker family of the Squamish Nation.
Secretary, Shirley DeKelver has published three young adult novels, The Trouble with Mandy, Lilacs & Bifocals and Child of the Ancient, as well as short stories in Voices from the Valleys and Kaleidoscope V. Her photography has been published in a number of anthologies and she is currently working on her art portfolio. Shirley is the producer of Café Lit.
Director, Ray Hudson is a retired broadcast journalist who worked with CBC Radio, DCTV, print, and business development. His involvement with the arts includes performing at the Kits Showboat in the early 60’s, being President of the Prince Rupert Arts Centre Assn and a civic committee member, which built the “Lester Centre for the Arts” in Prince Rupert. He has written the music and lyrics for 12 productions for a musical theatre camp on Gambier Island. He is currently writing and performing music and poetry (2017 Poetry winner at WOTL), working with heritage railway, doing photography, and working with SAW and Word On the Lake as co-chair of the Promotion Committee.
Director, Deanna Barnhardt Kawatski is the best-selling author of seven books, including Wilderness Mother and Clara and Me. A founding member of Word on the Lake, she has presented many workshops and readings for the festival and SAW events. Deanna is featured on the Literary Map of BC.
Director. Mary-Lou McCausland is one of SAW’s grant writers and past coordinator of the Askew’s Foods Word on the Lake Writing Contest. She is also one of the organizers of our Spring fundraising events like the Ceildh and Sock Hop.
Director, Kay McCracken is the author of two memoirs, one children’s book, short stories, and poetry. She is a founding member of both SAW and Word on the Lake Writers’ Festival and appreciates the support and enriching environment they provide for writers.
Director, Gloria Walker is an avid reader. When she retired from a long-term career as an executive assistant in a large company, she turned her hand to creative work as a designer. She uses skills from both to be the liaison managing arrangements at the Prestige Hotel venue.
CEO (Canine Executive Officer), Sugar Westie sits on the board laps and enjoys our social events. While she is a relatively new member, she has quickly risen in the ranks.