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Upcoming Speakers and Topics

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WRITING TRADITIONALLY UNDER-REPRESENTED CHARACTERS with Hyacinthe Miller and Anthony Bidulka, and moderated by Amber Cowie

Saturday, October 28, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific time

In this panel discussion, Hyacinthe Miller and Anthony Bikulka will discuss diversity in Canadian crime writing. They will speak to tropes, stereotypes, and crafting an authentic cast of characters, touching on: 

– drawing a believable diverse character
– avoiding stereotypes in descriptions, speech and actions
– determining whether an under-represented character ‘fits’ your plot
– why you shouldn’t plug in diversity without being intentional
– intersectionality to raise awareness 
– layering characteristics (gender identification, race, ethnicity), and
– developing these characters with nuance and sensitivity.

About Hyacinthe Miller:

Hyacinthe M. Miller is an award-winning author of short stories, magazine and newspaper articles, contemporary women’s fiction and non-fiction. She’s been published in Borealis magazine and in Herotica 7, Whispered Words, and Allucinor, The Elements of Romance anthologies.   

Her debut novel, Kenora Reinvented, (Investigations, Mystery and Seasoned Romance) was published in 2019. Her current works-in-progress include The Fifth Man, book two of the Kenora & Jake series and a general interest text based on interviews with over seventy current and retired police officers around the world about challenges, rewards, and leadership in their chosen profession.

About Anthony Bidulka:

David Stobbe / Stobbe Photo

Anthony Bidulka has dedicated his career to writing traditional genre novels in an untraditional way, developing a body of work that often features his prairie roots and underrepresented, diverse main characters. He tells serious stories in accessible, entertaining, often humorous ways.

Bidulka’s books have been shortlisted for numerous awards including the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence (three times), the Lambda Literary Award (three times), the Saskatchewan Book Award (five times).  Flight of Aquavit was awarded the Lambda Literary Award for Best Men’s Mystery, making Bidulka the first Canadian to win in that category. 2022’s Going to Beautiful about a gay man rising from the depths of despair in search of joy on the Saskatchewan prairie won the Independent Publisher Book Award as the Canada West Best Fiction Gold Medalist and the Crime Writers of Canada Award of Excellence for Best Crime Novel.

The University of Saskatchewan inducted Anthony into the College of Education Wall of Honour and presented him the College of Arts and Science Alumni of Influence Award. He received the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Nation Builders Award and was named, along with his husband Herb, Saskatoon Citizen of the Year. For his promotion of Saskatchewan through his writing, co-founding Camp fYrefly Saskatchewan (a leadership retreat for gender and sexually diverse and allied youth), and widespread volunteer and philanthropic efforts in the community, Anthony was honoured by the selection of a two-part park in Saskatoon named Bidulka Park and Bidulka Park North.

In his free time Bidulka loves to travel the world, collect art, walk his dogs, obsess over decorating Christmas trees (it’s a thing) and throw a good party.

About Amber Cowie:

Amber Cowie is a novelist living in a small town on the west coast of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, The Globe and Mail, Crime Reads, and Scary Mommy. Her first novel, Rapid Falls, was a Whistler Book Awards nominee, hit number one overall on Amazon, and was a top-100 bestselling Kindle book of 2018.Her next book will be released by Simon and Schuster Canada in February 2024.