CWILA (Canadian Women in the Literary Arts) is an inclusive national literary organization for people who share feminist values and see the importance of strong and active female perspectives within the Canadian literary landscape.

CWILA The Numbers

The 2013 CWILA Count was our biggest yet. The results reveal why we must continue to raise the issue of gender equity in Canadian literary culture. A gender gap remains and our numbers talk: since 2012, CWILA has been sparking conversations that close the gap.

Public + Women = Risky

By Erin Wunker

Quand les femmes comptent

Par Evelyne Ledoux-Beaugrand

See The Numbers

Meet The CWILA Board

We're very proud to introduce the 2014 CWILA Board.

Leigh Nash

Marie Carrière

Libe García-Zarranz

Clélie Rich

Erin Wunker

CWILA strives to promote and foster equity and equality of representation in the Canadian literary community by:

  1. tracking statistics on gender representation in reviewing;
  2. bringing relevant issues of gender, race, class and sexuality into our national literary conversation;
  3. and creating a network supportive of the active careers of female writers, academics/critics, publishers and editors.

Call For Submissions

CWILA calls for essays on any topic relating to literary arts by female, transgender, or genderqueer Canadian writers, and welcomes pitches for interviews with artists and professionals across the full spectrum of literary arts, production, and reception in Canada.


Join CWILA and receive a quarterly newsletter, promotion on the CWILA website and access to the CWILA listserv which connects feminist writers, editors, publishers and critics from across Canada.

Thank You!

CWILA was launched in June of 2012, and since then we have become incorporated as a not-for-profit organization with a board of directors and more than 400 members. We have created an independent social justice network of academics and students at UBC with the support of the Centre for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice. Through the support of our members we have raised enough funds to sponsor a Critic-in-Residence (CIR) for two years running. Poet Sue Sinclair was our inaugural CIR, and poet and writer Shannon Webb-Campbell is our current Critic-in-Residence. With your continued support we’ll welcome our third CIR in 2015. We have now completed our third annual CWILA Count. All this work has been possible because people believe in the importance of the organization enough to support it with their time, labour, and donations. Thank you. We believe in this work and we will keep doing it.

CWILA is an organization that functions because of the incredible dedication and generosity of a network of truly phenomenal people. We are able to launch the 2013 Count due in great part to the volunteer efforts of the people who helped collect, check, and triple check the data for the 5,613 book reviews we counted. That’s an 82% increase in our scope since the 2012 Count. Mighty and fathomless thanks to: Kelsey Attard, Susan Bahaduri, Emily Ballantyne, Kristy Bell, andrea bennett, Laura Bidwell, Alice Burdick, Andrea Cabajsky, Mandy Catron, Sonja Cvoric, Sarah Deretic, Sonia Di Placido, Tatrina Finlay, Cynthia Flood, Janet Fretter, Elee Kraljii Gardiner, Sheila Giffen, Neta Gordon, Katia Grubisic, Warren Heiti, Bethany Hindmarsh, Bara Hladikova, Kyla Jamieson, Katherine Leyton, Sylvia McKelvie, Kaarina Mikalson, Monica Miller, Dominique Millette, June Munro, Carmel Purkis, Maddie Reddon, Clélie Rich, Alexandra Saginur, Guldana Salimjan, Natalie Simpson, J.C. Sutcliffe, Taryn Thomson, Leslie Timmins, Christina Turner, Rachel Wallace, Daniel Wai Hon Yip, and Jan Zwicky. Thanks also to the writers and commentators who are participating in publication of new material to support the Count and the membership and funding drive. These great people include Evelyne Ledoux-Beaugrand, Bronwyn Haslam, Shannon Webb-Campbell, Kate Eichhorn, Tina Northrup, Jonathan Ball, Brecken Hancock, and Gail Scott.

Without the good people at Poly Studio we wouldn’t have this website to share our information with you. Thanks to Marlon Lulgjuraj and Jamie Lawson.

We would not have a CWILA Count without the brilliance and dedication of our Count Director Judith Scholes. The CWILA ship itself wouldn’t steer straight without our Executive Director Sheila Giffen at the helm. Seriously, these two people are truly incredible. Gratitude goes to our managing editor Chelsea Novak and our membership coordinator Elaine Woo. We also have the hardest working volunteer editorial teams around. Much respect and thanks go to our interviews editors andrea bennett, Brecken Hancock, Tina Northrup, and Savanna Scott Leslie, and to our essay editors Fazeela Jiwa, Susan Briscoe, Michelle O’Brien, and Stephanie Fung. The CWILA Board of Directors is one of the finest, most creative and kind group of people you could ever want to meet. Clélie Rich, Leigh Nash, Libe García Zarranz, and Marie Carrière do all this work in addition to their numerous other commitments. Boundless thanks also goes to Gillian Jerome, Laura Moss, and Pam Oliva who continued to give advice and support even after their terms on the Board finished.

Thank you to the Critic-in-Residence jury with whom I had the great honour to work with as I managed the 2013 – 2014 search. It was a delight to work with andrea bennett, Andrea Beverley, Fazeela Jiwa, Elee Kraljii-Gardiner, Margrit Talpalaru, and Rachel Zolf.

CWILA is so fortunate to have so many supporters and advocates; to those of you we may have missed: we apologize for the omission, and we thank you!

To our partners, children, families, and friends: thank you doesn’t even begin to cover it.

CWILA is growing because of the dedication of our volunteers, our members, and our donors. As a young non-profit, we continue to be in need of and extremely grateful for your generous donations. Thank you to all our donors whose support keeps the CWILA boat afloat. We can’t do it without you.

--Erin Wunker, September 2014