“The Ormsby Review, named for pioneering historian and UBC professor Margaret Ormsby, is a remarkable and comprehensive online review of more British Columbia books than you ever imagined existing — the west coast publishing market is lively. It covers fiction, poetry, politics, memoir and much else, as well as a lot of local and west coast history.” – Christopher Moore, September 14, 2020.


Editor and Publisher: Richard Mackie

Mission Statement: The Ormsby Review is a lively and inclusive Vancouver-based online journal devoted to the literature, arts, culture, and society of British Columbia. We find BC reviewers to review books written by BC writers or concerning BC topics. Most of the books we review come from members of the ABPBC (Association of Book Publishers of BC), but we also review books that are privately printed, self-published, or published by BC writers at non-BC publishing houses. Ormsby’s mandate is to review BC books from any source. Our accessible and authoritative reviews and essays, written by experts in their fields, are packaged as illustrated magazine articles.

The Ormsby Review works with writers, publishers, and literary professionals to promote books published by or about British Columbia in all its diversity. We include books by all authors, regardless of race, age, ability, sexual orientation, gender or gender identity, ethnicity, religion, political belief, marital or family status, and/or status as Indigenous, Métis, or Inuit.


The Ormsby Review is named in honour of Margaret Ormsby, a trailblazing academic who was born in British Columbia. As a UBC historian, she wrote the first widely-acknowledged modern history of the province, British Columbia: A History (Toronto: Macmillan of Canada, 1958). For more, please see Welcome to Ormsby Street.

The Ormsby Review originated in September 2016 as part of Alan Twigg’s BC BookLook to provide a forum of in-depth reviews and essays regarding British Columbia, with an advisory board consisting of Jean Barman, Wade Davis, Robin Fisher, Cole Harris, Hugh Johnston, Kathy Mezei, Patricia Roy, Maria Tippett, and Graeme Wynn.

Reviews edited by Richard Mackie were hosted on the BC BookLook site until The Ormsby Literary Society was registered under the B.C. Societies Act on April 30, 2018. The board members are: Byron Sheardown (president), Joanne Arnott, Trevor Carolan, Daniel Francis, Ron Hatch, Imogene Lim, Renee Sarojini Saklikar, LiLynn Wan, and Eldon Yellowhorn (treasurer). The Ormsby Review has been fully independent of BC BookLook and BC Bookworld since November 1, 2019.

In addition to book reviews, The Ormsby Review website contains portals to a number of literary, cultural, and educational organizations with whom we have partnerships: The Association of Book Publishers of BC, The BC and Yukon Book Prizes, Quills Poetry Magazine, Kumtuks, Thompson Rivers University, The Graduate Liberal Studies programme at Simon Fraser University, and The New Orphic Review. Our Honorary Patron is Yosef Wosk.

The Ormsby Literary Society thanks

  for funding.