Fiona Tinwei Lam is the author of Intimate Distances (finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award), Enter the Chrysanthemum, and the children’s book, The Rainbow Rocket. Her poetry, fiction and non-fiction have been published in over twenty-four anthologies (Canada, Hong Kong, and the US), including The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2010.  Her work has been featured  twice on local transit as part of B.C.’s Poetry in Transit, as well as aired on CBC Radio.  Thrice short-listed for Event magazine’s literary non-fiction contest, she is a co-editor of and contributor to the creative non-fiction anthology, Double Lives: Writing and Motherhood published by McGill-Queen’s University Press.  She also edited The Bright Well, a collection of contemporary Canadian poetry about facing cancer. Her poetry videos have been screened at poetry film festivals locally and internationally  (including Berlin, Athens, Delhi, Minneapolis, and Buenos Aires).

Over the years, she has facilitated writing workshops for people of diverse ages, backgrounds and circumstances (including adult students at UBC Continuing Studies and Langara Continuing Studies, low income adults and single parents in various community settings, and elementary and high school students). She is currently an instructor and mentor at Simon Fraser University (SFU Continuing Studies), including The Writers’ Studio Online (TWS Online).

Born in Scotland, she emigrated to Canada at a young age with her family.  She has a B.A. in political science (UBC),  an LL.B. (Queen’s University) and an LL.M. (University of Toronto).  She articled and worked as an associate in a Vancouver law firm,  and later as a staff lawyer at the Law Society of British Columbia.  She also has an M.F.A. in creative writing (UBC).


She is a member of The Writers Union of Canada, The League of Canadian Poets, The Creative Nonfiction Collective, and the Federation of B.C. Writers.  Information about the author is also available on the University of Toronto Library’s Canadian Poetry Online.

Literary Awards

Event Literary Magazine Non-Fiction Contest 2013, Shortlist Co-Kisser Poetry Film Festival 2013, Audience Choice – Best in Category Prize (“Relationships” category) for “Aquarium”;  Geist Magazine’s Jackpine Sonnet Contest 2010, 2nd PrizeEvent Literary Magazine Non-Fiction Contest 2006, Shortlist; City of Vancouver Book Awards 2003, Finalist;  Event Literary Magazine Non-Fiction Contest 2002, Shortlist;  Vancouver Courier Fiction Contest 2002, 4th prize;  Vancouver Courier Fiction Contest 2001, 2nd prize;  League of Canadian Poets’ National Poetry Contest, 1999-2000, Runner-Up (two poems).

Literary Judge/Juries

The author has participated as a juror with the Canada Council for the Arts in the past, and as a judge for the Malahat Review’s Open Season Award 2015 (nonfiction), Pandora Collective’s Poetry Contest (Hibernating with Words) 2012,  the 2011 Downtown Eastside Writers’ Jamboree Writing Contest, the ARM/Demeter Press Poetry contest on “Mothers and Daughters” 2008, and the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival Poetry and Short Fiction Contest 2005.