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My earliest memories are of the stories my grandfather told me on our walks in the mountains. He told me about his childhood growing up in Vancouver: days spent hunting pheasants with a slingshot in the forest along the Fraser River. Days spent with his dog Rufous and his pet screech owls: Morley, Fezzywig and Scrooge. There were other stories too: stories told at bedtime about best friends Danny the Mouse and Sam the Dinosaur fighting the creatures of the Terrible Forest.

I won my first writing competition when I was sixteen: Access Radio’s Alberta High School Storytellers. My story, “The Christmas Gift,” was produced as a radio play, I was interviewed on air, and I was paid $150. That early recognition gave me the confidence I needed to pursue my writing.

I’ve written for textbooks, periodicals, weeklies, online publications, and anthologies (see my Bibliography). In 2013 I completed my MA in Environmental Education and Communication through Royal Roads University, and now I teach in the Bachelor of Communication Studies program at MacEwan University in Edmonton. My book, Weaving a Malawi Sunrise: A Woman, A School, A People, was released by the University of Alberta Press in November 2015.

My most joyful writing development has been joining two small groups of writers who each meet once a month to critique each other’s stories. The groups have re-energized my storytelling. I’m looking forward to good things to come.

Read more about my writing projects here.

Weaving a Malawi Sunrise is available for purchase through the University of Alberta PressChapters/Indigo, and Amazon.com.

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“In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy.”

John c. sawhill

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