President, Debra Turner is the soon to be retired campus library coordinator at Okanagan College and college liaison to the board. In her professional capacity, she has 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, Cindy Zobac has loved being a member of this group for 6 years. She believes in this group and the caliber of the writers we are able to provide are truly impressive. When she is not coordinating Emergency Services, Cindy is our Twitter person as well as an organizer for the Café Lit.


Secretary, Judith Benson, has been a member of SAW and a member of the Board for several years. As a former teacher and children’s author, she reveres SAW for its dedication to the celebration of the written and spoken word as a lifelong skill and passion for all ages. She also designs creative centerpieces for the festival dining tables.


Treasurer and Past President, 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.


Director, Karen Bissenden is a poet and graduate of the Writing and Publishing diploma program at Okanagan College, Vernon. She has been the long-term driving force behind SAW’s KidsWrite program.


Director, 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 past producer of Café Lit.


Director, Scott Fitzgerald Gray, is a writer of fantasy and speculative fiction, a fiction editor, a story editor, and an editor and designer of roleplaying games — all of which means he finally has the job he really wanted when he was sixteen. He has also been a great asset to SAW as a contest judge and presenter.


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 SAWs grant writers and 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, Lee Rawn is an author and avid reader. She has been a part of Word on the Lake for fifteen years. She does a wonderful job managing our hospitality.


Director, Tracy Riley, she has been at Okanagan College for the past 15 years. She teaches Fundamental English, runs the Volunteer Adult Literacy Tutoring Program, and coordinates the Adult Basic Education programming at the Salmon Arm campus. Her interests in reading and writing have led her to volunteer at Word on the Lake and she is taking over as the college liaison.


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.