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Whistler Writers

Write on, Whistler

A burgeoning literary community finds voice in the mountains



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There are many different types of writers involved in the group, from people who are just starting to write, to professional screenwriters and published authors. Jennifer Cowan is a writer who has a very successful career writing for several different TV series. She was the executive story editor for CTV’s Traders , as well as for Big Sound , a comedy series about the music industry. She is currently writing for Liography , a mock biography series hosted by Leslie Neilsen; John Callahan’s Quads , a politically-incorrect animated series about the disabled; and The Zack Files , a kids’ version of The X Files for YTV.

Cowan came to Whistler from Toronto in 1999. She had planned to stay in Whistler for a five-month ski sabbatical. "I’d been out three times in early ’99, during the epic snow year, and figured I’d plant myself for a spell. Then I was offered a show in Vancouver, so I decided to hang around."

Cowan says Whistler is a good place to be a writer.

"If you’re going to be stuck at a computer all day, it’s nice to look out the window and see the mountains. And if your hours are flexible; it’s great to ski or go for a ride to clear your head before getting to work. Or to mull over ideas. My Toronto technique generally involved napping."

Cowan isn’t napping nearly as much now. Last year she got in almost 100 days on the hill.

The mountains were a big factor in Lesley Anthony’s decision to move to Whistler. And rightly so. As the former editor of Powder Magazine , Anthony is one of the best known ski writers in the world. He is not a member of the writers group, but he is definitely a Whistler writer.

Anthony moved from Toronto to Whistler two years ago. It was something that he had always wanted to do.

"It seemed that more and more stories were coming out of Whistler," says Anthony. "I was travelling out here seven or eight times a year. So I knew Whistler well and it was definitely a place I wanted to be."

One of the attractions of Whistler for Anthony was its world-class ambience. As a Torontonian, Anthony says he has a cosmopolitan appetite. A small community like Fernie or Rossland just wouldn’t cut it for him. He wanted to be near a major city and, of course, he needed to be near an international airport.