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Okanagan author’s loss of two children to cancer penned, awarded

Vernon writer’s memoir earns Word Guild Award, signing copies in Kelowna

A local author’s story delving into mysteries in life has earned her a national Word Guild Award.

Janet Williamson of Vernon submitted her book God of the Valleys, Mysteries Along Life’s Journey and was selected the 2023 winner in the Life Stories, Memoir category.

“My book is about my story and the stories of my two children, Tanya and Eric, who battled with cancer throughout their lives and how they lived successful and fulfilling lives with the help of God,” said Williamson, who moved from Ontario in 2020, after raising her kids as a single parent.

She worked full time as a teacher assistant while studying university courses part-time to earn a bachelor of arts. Her children were active volunteers in the community and church, both earning awards for their commitments.

“My daughter was given an award at her high school graduation for her involvement in numerous clubs and dedication to helping others, and my son won an award as Volunteer of the Year for the Province of Ontario for his devotion to helping others through volunteering at nursing homes.”

But during their childhood, the kids were frequently in hospital recovering from surgeries, medical complications or cancer treatments. Both children died in their early 20s.

Williamson will be sharing her story and signing copies Saturday, Dec. 9 at Kennedy’s Parable book store in Kelowna from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I have enjoyed meeting new people and sharing my story to encourage others,” she said, since moving to Vernon and attending the Vernon Alliance Church, where she leads a ladies Bible study and is a member on the prayer team.

The World Guild represents Canadian writers who are Christian.

In addition to Williamson, several other local authors have been awarded.

Karen Autio of Kelowna’s book I Can Too! won the Children’s award.

Laura Thomas of Kelowna earned the Novella award for The Christmas Cabin.

The Romance award went to Blossom Turner of Lake Country for Jeanette’s Gift.

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Jennifer Smith

About the Author: Jennifer Smith

Vernon has always been my home, and I've been working at The Morning Star since 2004.
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