Introducing John Degen, Our New Executive Director

The Writers’ Union of Canada announces new Executive Director
John Degen to follow Kelly Duffin as ED of Canada’s largest writers’ organization

For immediate release

Toronto, October 25, 2012 – The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is pleased to announce that John Degen, well-known cultural commentator and arts administrator, has been hired as the new Executive Director of TWUC.

John is a skilled administrator, policy analyst, and writer. Outspoken in defense of writers' rights on issues such as copyright, John is at the forefront in using digital technologies to communicate within and beyond the cultural sector. He is currently the Literature Officer with the Ontario Arts Council, and was formerly the Executive Director of the Professional Writers Association of Canada (PWAC) and the Communications Manager for Magazines Canada (formerly Canadian Magazine Publishers Association). He knows the literary world from the inside as a published novelist and poet and as founding editor of Ink magazine and host of The Book Room, an online audio show featuring author interviews and readings.

Degen replaces Kelly Duffin, who leaves on November 23 to become Executive Director of the Ontario Institute of the Purchasing Management Association of Canada. Kelly advanced the cause of authors in this country, forging alliances within the sector, both nationally and internationally.

John’s passion, commitment, and expertise will not only carry on the current work of the Union, but advance us even further as a strong professional and advocacy organization for Canadian writers.

John begins his duties on November 26, 2012.


The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.

For additional information:

Kelly Duffin, Executive Director or The Writers’ Union of Canada
416-703-8982 Ext. 221,

Merilyn Simonds, Chair
The Writers’ Union of Canada 613-985-0925,