The Writers’ Union of Canada announces new Executive Director


The Writers’ Union of Canada is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelly Duffin as Executive Director.

Kelly joins the Union after having worked in the book and publishing industry and in the not-for-profit sector for several years.

As General Manager of the Scotiabank Giller Prize for Fiction, Kelly developed and implemented the marketing strategy that helped make the Giller a household word for excellence in Canadian books. While CEO of the Canadian Hearing Society she turned around a significant deficit and, with considerable diplomacy and personal integrity, successfully navigated a board/membership rift that might have torn the organization apart. She also has extensive communications experience as a former Vice President of Random House and brings with her considerable expertise in advocacy.

“We are delighted to be welcoming Kelly to the Union, as her experience and her enthusiasm for writers and their work will enable her to build on the strong foundation created with guidance by her predecessors,” said Union Chair Alan Cumyn.

Cumyn noted, “The recent membership growth in the Union demonstrates that there is increasing demand for the organization as a resource and as a unifying force for book writers, especially during these times of change, challenge and uncertainty in the literary landscape.”

“It’s an exciting time to be returning to books,” said Kelly, “and especially significant to me to be returning to work with the writers who are the heart, soul – and engine – of the industry.”

Kelly Duffin succeeds Deborah Windsor who is leaving to pursue other interests after having served eight years as Executive Director. During that time Union membership nearly doubled and the Union built on its reputation as the country’s leading arts advocacy organization.

The Writers’ Union of Canada is a national body representing 1,900 professional book writers from across the country. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada and protecting freedom of speech, as well as promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well being of all writers. For more information, please visit

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