Who We Are

Who we are (mission & history & who we welcome) (link with Who’s who)

Past Chairs and Presidents

Past Chairs of CWC (Title changed 2014)

2016-2018: Cathy Ace (2 terms)

2014-2016: Vicki Delany (2 terms)

Past Presidents of CWC

2012-2014: RJ Harlick (2 terms)

2011-2012: Garry Ryan

2010-2011: Cathy Astolfo

2008-2010: Kay Stewart (2 terms)

2007-2008: Michael Blair

2005-2007: Rick Blechta (2 terms)

2004-2005: Barbara Fradkin

2003-2004: Maureen Jennings

2001-2003: Mary Jane Maffini (2 terms)

2000-2001: Nora Kelly

1999-2000: James Dubro

1998-1999: Peter Sellers

1996-1998: Peter Robinson (2 terms)

1995-1996: Laurence Gough

1994-1995: James Dubro

1993-1994: John Lawrence Reynolds

1992-1993: LR Wright

1990-1992: Alison Gordon (2 terms)

1989-1990: Medora Sale

1988-1989: Peter Sellers

1987-1988: Ted Wood

1986-1987: Howard Engel

1985-1986: William Gough and Anna Sandor

1984-1985: Eric Wright

1982-1984: Tony Aspler (2 terms)

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Who We Are

We are the national professional association 
for mystery and crime writers in Canada.


Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) is a national non-profit organization for Canadian mystery and crime writers, associated professionals, and others with a serious interest in Canadian crime writing. Our mission is to promote Canadian crime writing and to raise the profile of Canadian crime writers with readers, reviewers, librarians, booksellers, and media.

What is Crime Writing?

The field of Crime Writing is a broad category that includes crime, detective, espionage, mystery, suspense, and thriller writing, as well as fictional or factual accounts of criminal doings and crime-themed literary works. Cross-over tales such as romantic suspense and speculative thrillers are also considered part of the genre. In broader terms, it includes any work of fact or fiction that features crime or mystery as a central element.

Our history

Crime Writers of Canada was established as a professional organization in June 1982 by Derrick Murdoch, the Globe and Mail’s crime fiction reviewer at the time, and other writers interested in the quality of Canadian mystery and crime writing. The following year the Canadian National Arthur Ellis (AE) Awards for Excellence in Crime Writing were launched.  A special annual Derrick Murdoch Award, in the gift of the Board Chair, was created in honour of Derrick Murdoch’s inspired creation of CWC.

In 2005, a written constitution formalized the rules and principles of CWC, and in 2006 the organization was federally incorporated as a non-profit corporation by the Canadian Ministry of Industry.

As a non-profit organization, our activities are made possible by hard-working volunteers and committees. Our activities have two main goals: author promotion and professional development.

Board of Directors 2018 - 2019 (June – June) 

Executive Officers:

ChairMike Martin, Ottawa/EO

Vice Chair:

Past-Chair:  Cathy Ace, BC/Yukon/NWT
Click here for a full list of past Chairs/Presidents.

Treasurer: Ryan Aldred, Ottawa/EO


Merrilee Robson, BC/Yukon/NWT

Dwayne Clayden, Prairies

Kevin Thornton, Prairies

Lynn McPherson, Tor/SO

Ann Shortell, Tor/SO

Judy Penz Sheluk, Toronto/SO

Katherine Prairie, Ott/EO

Michael Kent, QC/Atl


Regional Representatives:

BC/Yukon/NWT: Merrilee Robson

Prairies: Dwayne Claydon

Toronto/SO: Lynn McPherson and Ann Shortell

Ottawa/EO: Katherine Prairie

QC/Atlantic: Michael Kent



Executive Director: Alison Bruce

Assistant Executive Director: Ludvica Boota

Arthur Ellis Awards Manager: Ludvica Boota