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2018 Sunburst Jurors

We are proud to announce our distinguished panel of judges for the 2018 Sunburst Awards. This year also marks the first time we have appointed a dedicated jury for the Short Story category. 

Novel Jury

Megan Crewe

Megan Crewe is the author of several highly acclaimed books for young adults. Her first novel, Give Up the Ghost, was shortlisted for the Sunburst Award. The Way We Fall, the first instalment in Crewe’s Fallen World trilogy, was nominated for the OLA White Pine Award in 2013, and Earth & Sky, the first book in her Earth & Sky trilogy, was an OLA Best Bet for 2015. She is also the author of the standalone novels A Mortal Song and Beast. When not writing, she loves planning overseas expeditions and spending time with her family in Toronto.

Kate Heartfield

Kate Heartfield’s first novel, a historical fantasy called Armed In Her Fashion, is coming from ChiZine Publications in spring 2018. Her short fiction has appeared in magazines including Strange Horizons, Lackington’s and Podcastle, and in anthologies such as Clockwork Canada, Blood and Water, and Monstrous Little Voices: New Tales from Shakespeare’s Fantasy World on spec. She is writing an interactive novel for Choice of Games based on The Canterbury Tales. A former newspaper journalist, she lives on the outskirts of Ottawa. Kate teaches journalism at Carleton University. Her website is and she can be found on Twitter at @kateheartfield.

Dominik Parisien

Dominik Parisien is a writer, editor, and poet. He is the co-editor, with Navah Wolfe, of The Starlit Wood: New Fairy Tales, as well as several other forthcoming anthologies from Simon & Schuster's Saga Press. He is also the editor of Clockwork Canada: Steampunk Fiction from Exile Editions. His fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Uncanny Magazine, Strange Horizons, Lackington's, ELQ: The Literary Quarterly, and in the anthologies The Playground of Lost Toys, and Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories, as well as other venues.

Halli Villegas

Halli Villegas authored three collections of poetry (Red Promises, In the Silence Absence Makes, and The Human Cannonball) and a book of ghost stories, The Hairwreath and Other Stories. She received Honourable Mentions for two of her stories in the 2010 edition of The Year’s Best Horror edited by Ellen Datlow. She co-edited the anthologies Imaginarium: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing 2012 and In The Dark: Tales of the Supernatural. Her work has appeared in anthologies that include Chilling Tales 2, The White Collar Anthology, Bad Seed, Incubus and Girls Who Bite Back. After selling the press she founded, Tightrope Books, she began an editing and manuscript evaluation business – In the Write Direction. Not least, she is the winner of the 2017 Exile Quarterly's annual short story contest; the winner and finalists will be published in the seventh volume of the Carter V Cooper (CVC) Short Fiction anthology.

Heather Wood

Heather J. Wood was born and raised in Montreal and now makes her home in Toronto. She is the author of two novels, Fortune Cookie and Roll With It. Her short fiction has appeared in the anthologies, The Lion and the Aardvark: Aesop's Modern Fables, I.V. Lounge Nights, and In the Dark: Stories from the Supernatural. She is the editor of the international fiction anthology Gods, Memes and Monsters: A 21St Century Bestiary, for which she was nominated for a 2016 World Fantasy Award in the Special Professional category.


Short Story Jury

Candas Jane Dorsey 

Candas Jane Dorsey is the internationally-known, award-winning author of novels Black Wine (originally Tor, re-released Five Rivers) and Paradigm of Earth (Tor); short story collections Machine Sex and other stories, Dark Earth Dreams, Vanilla and other stories, and ICE and other stories; four poetry books; several anthologies edited/co-edited, and numerous published stories, poems, reviews, and critical essays. She was editor/publisher for fourteen years at the literary press The Books Collective, including River Books and Tesseract Books. She teaches writing to adults and youth, communications at MacEwan University, and speaks widely on SF and other topics. She was founding president of SFCanada, and has been president of the Writers Guild of Alberta. In 2005 she was awarded the Province of Alberta Centennial Gold Medal for her artistic achievement and community work, and in 2017 the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts. She is also a community activist, advocate and leader.

Emily Pohl-Weary

Award-winning author Emily Pohl-Weary's latest books are Not Your Ordinary Wolf Girl, a young adult fantasy novel, and Ghost Sick: A Poetry of Witness, a collection of poetry about tragedy and resilience in downtown Toronto. She has also published a middle-grade mystery, a female superhero anthology, a serialized girl pirate comic, and a Hugo Award-winning biography of her grandmother, Judith Merril, (who wrote and edited emergent science fiction). Emily is an assistant professor of writing for young adults in the Creative Writing Program at University of British Columbia. She’s currently working on a new teen novel.

Alexandra Renwick

Alexandra Renwick's award-nominated fiction has been translated into nine languages and adapted to stage and audio. Canadian from birth, she grew up in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Yorkshire, Austin, Denmark, and Toronto. She currently lives and writes in a historic manor in downtown Ottawa. Alex can be found on Twitter at @AlexCRenwick or at her website,