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About the Author

Bernice Friesen
Audience Age Groups
Secondary (Grades 10-12)
Middle (Grades 6-9)
Elementary (Grades K - 5)

Bernice Friesen

BERNICE FRIESEN grew up in a family of dyslexics, inventors, and divergent minds in rural Saskatchewan.

First a visual artist, she then turned to writing, has taught through Sage Hill Writing Experience, and is a past editor of Rhubarb Magazine.

The title story of her first book, The Seasons Are Horses, won the Vicky Metcalf Award for best young adult short story in Canada. Her book of poetry, Sex, Death, and Naked Men, was described in Prairie Fire as “ferocious feminist verse that chews up the patriarchs of western civilization from Freud to Plato to the Pope and spits them out.”

Her first novel, The Book of Beasts, was shortlisted for the Writers Trust Fiction Prize.

Now, if she makes art, it’s usually wearable, incorporating leather, pipe-fittings, and other junk. People often ask her about what she’s wearing—or are afraid to ask her.

Her new novel, Universal Disorder, is just out with Freehand Books.

Workshops Offered

Fiction Freefall
Group Size: 6-15
Year: 0
Fiction Freefall is a series of eight two-hour classes in which students learn how to use inspirational techniques from the dramatic and the visual arts to create a short story. All stages of writing the short story are touched upon, including re-vision and editing, through a combination of lecture, class and take-home work, and one-on-one consultation.
Show and/don't Tell
Group Size: 6-25
Year: 0
Students will explore various ways of making writing immediate and powerful, by showing -- dramatizing, illustrating, and using metaphor -- rather than telling. This is a one-day workshop.


The Book of Beasts

Coteau Books, 2007

Sex, Death, and Naked Men

Coteau Books, 1998

The Seasons Are Horses

Thistledown Press, 1995


Canadian Literature
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Global Tapestry Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
NeWest Review
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Prairie Fire
Category: Literary Journal
Prairie Journal
Category: Literary Journal
Category: Literary Journal
The Antigonish Review
Category: Literary Journal
The Capilano Review
Category: Literary Journal
The Dalhousie Review
Category: Literary Journal
The Fiddlehead
Category: Literary Journal
The Malahat Review
Category: Literary Journal
The New Quarterly
Category: Literary Journal

Broadcast Works

The Irish Book of Beasts, CBC Radio Gallery, 2000-2000
James, a young English boy, goes to an Irish boarding school and finds it overgrown with fruit trees, the obsession of it\'s oldest priest. As he settles into his new life, the death of the priest, and the breaking of a branch, transform his life.
Dungeons and Dragons, CBC Radio Gallery, 1998-1998
Richard, a self-professed 19 year-old geek and gamer goes to England to office-temp for the summer and lives with other Canadian students, one of whom is Yvonne. As the weeks pass, Richard finds himself living in a different sort of dungeon with different dragons, one of whom might be himself.
Scorch, CBC Radio Ambience, 1993-1993
Rosalie finds an old tooth in a field. Will anyone believe it’s from a human skeleton her father plowed up? Will anybody be scared? Scorch is a story about power shifts and alliances among twelve-year-olds in small town Saskatchewan.


Electronic Media
  • Blogs
  • Children's Writing—Young Adult
  • Historical
  • Literary
  • Autobiography
  • Essays
  • Literary


  • Developmental/Project Editing
  • Manuscript Critiquing (Not Editing)
Lecturing/Public Speaking
  • Conferences
  • Professional Development Workshops
  • Writer-in-Residence
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