John Degen is Executive Director of The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC), and Chair of the International Authors Forum (IAF) in the UK – all together serving and representing over 650,000 authors worldwide. He is a poet and novelist with three published books. He has worked for many years as an arts administrator, arts funder and policy advocate on cultural issues. He is the previous Literature Officer at the Ontario Arts Council, where he administered a $4 million dollar funding budget for Ontario’s writers, publishers and literary presenters and was active in expanding the granting reach for that office into Ontario’s northern and indigenous communities. His essays and opinions have been published widely throughout Canada, including in The Globe and Mail, THIS Magazine, The Hill Times, Canadian Notes and Queries, and the Literary Review of Canada. He has served on many boards and advisories in the literary and arts sector including terms as Chair of the Book & Periodical Council, THIS Magazine and the Canadian Creators’ Coalition. He holds a Master’s Degree in Literature from the University of Toronto. His debut novel, The Uninvited Guest, was shortlisted for the 2006 Amazon.ca First Novel Award.