Carolyn Wilker grew up in rural Oxford County where she walked, rode her bike, or took the bus to school. She achieved Provincial Honours through her 4-H club participation, taught Sunday school, and babysat neighbours’ children.
From the time she was a young child, she wanted to be a teacher. After high school, she attended Conestoga College where she trained as a preschool teacher. She taught in Waterloo and Stratford then married and settled in Kitchener. All three daughters attended co-op preschool, having their mother nearby and occasionally as a substitute teacher. From a craft business to custom sewing, to writing and editing, Carolyn has gained valuable experience as an entrepreneur.
As a member of the Record’s 2003 Community Editorial Board, she wrote about environmental concerns, writing and gardening. Publishing credits include articles, book reviews and poetry in Esprit, Glad Tidings, Canada Lutheran; devotionals in Eternity for Today and the Upper Room Devotional Magazine. Her poetry has appeared in Tickled by Thunder; Tower Poetry; Writers Undercover, Vol. X; Voices and Visions, Vol. 6; and Favourite Poems Contest anthology, in which her poem “The Editor Falls Asleep” took First Honourable Mention. Her poem, “Waiting Room,” tied for third place in the Inscribe Christian Writer’s Fall contest in 2008. Her creative non-fiction piece, “Anticipated Visits,” was published in The Wisdom of Old Souls, and her poem “Sails on a Quilted Sea” in Grandmothers’ Necklace in 2010.
While writing, Carolyn took online courses from Ryerson University’s publishing program. In 2006, she was a member of the proofreading team for the award-winning Africa Bible Commentary. Working as a freelancer, she has edited and proofread book-length manuscripts, business newsletters, website content, and the Powerful Women magazine.
Anticipating the need to speak or lead workshops, Carolyn joined Toastmasters in 2004. Later, she joined the Baden Storytelling Guild. She has led workshops for writers and Toastmasters, taught business writing at Conestoga College, and told stories at Open Story Night in Baden and in other public venues.
Through reading Home and Country magazines and publications of the Oxford County Women’s Institute and Federated Women’s Institute, Carolyn gained a deeper understanding of the goals and accomplishments of women in her community and across Canada through the Women’s Institute, and the organization’s nurturing of 4-H programs. She hopes the Women’s Institute can continue its positive contributions far into the future.
Carolyn and her husband live in Kitchener, Ontario, where she writes, edits and teaches Creative Writing. She enjoys gardening, photography, scrapbooking and spending time with her family and friends.