Open Season Awards—meet the judges

Ki'en Debicki—poetry judge

Ki'en DebickiKi'en Debicki is Kanien’kehá:ka, Wolf Clan, from Six Nations of the Grand River. They are a parent, a language learner, and a tree and forest devotee. As an assistant professor and secret poet, Ki'en lives an Indigiqueer life in Hamilton, Ontario with their child, their mini schnauz, and their ADHD.

Read an interview with Ki'en Debicki to see what they're looking for in a winning poem.

Ben Lof—fiction judge

Ben LofBen Lof’s fiction has appeared in magazines across Canada. His story “Naked States” won The Malahat Review’s 2021 Far Horizons Award, and was a finalist for the Howard O’Hagan Award for Fiction. Another story featured in The Malahat Review, “When In The Field With Her At His Back,” appeared in The Journey Prize Stories, won the Howard O’Hagan, and was a finalist for the Bronwen Wallace Award and a Western Magazine Award. Ben has an MA in English and Film Studies from the University of Alberta. He also attended the Banff Centre's Writing Studio and Artscape Gibraltar Point on Toronto Island. He currently lives with his family in Edmonton on Treaty Six Territory.

Read an interview with Ben Lof to find out what he's looking for in a winning story.

Bahar Orang—creative nonfiction judge

Bahar OrangBahar Orang is a writer living in Toronto. Her first book is Where Things Touch: A Meditation on Beauty.

Read an interview with Bahar Orang to find out what she's looking for in a winning essay.