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 2019 - 2020 (June – June) 

Executive Officers:

ChairMike Martin, Ottawa/EO

Vice Chair: Judy Penz Sheluk, Tor/SO

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

Treasurer: Ryan Aldred, Ottawa/EO


Iona Whishaw, BC/Yukon/NWT

Lizz Bass, BC/Yukon/NWT

Kevin Thornton, Prairies

Lynn McPherson, Tor/SO

Michael Kent, QC/Atl


Regional Representatives:

BC/Yukon/NWT: Iona Whishaw/Liz Bass

Prairies: Kevin Thornton

Toronto/SO: Lynn McPherson

Ottawa/EO: pending

QC/Atlantic: Michael Kent



Executive Director: Alison Bruce

Assistant Executive Director: Ludvica Boota

Arthur Ellis Awards Manager: Ludvica Boota