Member Profile

Shelley A. Leedahl

Photo: Janos Kovacs 2014

Shelley A. Leedahl is a prolific multi-genre writer. Her most recent books are Listen, Honey (short stories, DC Books, Montreal); Wretched Beast (poetry, BuschekBooks, Ottawa); and The House of the Easily Amused (poetry, Oolichan Books, Lantzville, BC). I Wasn't Always Like This, a collection of essays, will be released in Fall 2014 with Signature Editions, and a new children's book, The Moon Watched It All, is on the horizon with Red Deer Press.  

Leedahl's work  has frequently been anthologized, in books ranging from Great Canadian Murder and Mystery Stories (Quarry Press) to The Best Canadian Poetry in English, 2013 (Tightrope Books). She has regularly led creative writing workshops and enjoyed Writer-in-Residency positions with the Quebec Writers Federation, the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, and Sage Hill (Youth Writing Camps in Saskatoon and Moose Jaw, SK). She also works as an editor, manuscript evaluator, book reviewer, and freelancer, and often presents in schools and universities. 

Leedahl has been the recipient of a number of national and international Fellowships. In 2009 she was a Fellow at Fundacion Valparaiso, in Mojacar, Almeria, Spain. In 2006 she was awarded both the Wallace Stegner Grant for the Arts (Eastend, SK) and a Fellowship to attend the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences in Georgia (US). In 2004 she was a Fellow at the Hawthornden Castle International Retreat for Writers (Scotland), and in 2002/2003 she was one of five Canadian writers selected for the Canada-Mexico Writing/Photography Exchange in Mérida (Mexico) and Banff.

Other career highlights include participation in the Labrador Creative Writing Festival, and having her children's book, The Bone Talker selected for a White Ravens designation and publication in Braille. She has thrice been shortlisted for the National CBC Radio Literary Awards (Poetry Category). 

Aside from her literary work, Leedahl also works as a radio advertising copywriter. She is a long distance runner and swimmer, an avid gardener, a piano and guitar player, and she has seen a fair bit of the world on a shoestring (aka literary writer's) budget. She is the parent of two adult children, Taylor Leedahl (also a writer) and Logan Leedahl. The Saskatchewan-born and raised writer called Edmonton home from Jan. 2010 - March 2014 and now lives on Vancouver Island in Ladymith, BC.

 

 

Phone number:
c/o Writers' Union of Canada

Publications

The Bone Talker. Red Deer Press, 1999; Fitzhenry and Whiteside, 2005.
Orchestra of the Lost Steps. Thistledown Press, 2004.
Talking Down the Northern Lights. Thistledown Press, 2001.
Tell Me Everything. Coteau Books, 2000.
A Few Words For January. Thistledown Press, 1997, 1990
Sky Kickers. Thistledown Press, 1994
The House of the Easily Amused. Oolichan Books, 2008
Wretched Beast. BuschekBooks, 2011
Riding Planet Earth. Phoenix Books, Thistledown Press, Roussan Publishers Inc, 2010, 2006, 1997
Listen, Honey. DC Books, 2012
The Moon Watched It All. Red Deer Press, Forthcoming
I Wasn't Always Like This (Essays). Signature Editions, Forthcoming Fall 2014

Awards

Nominated, Saskatchewan Book Awards: Book of the Year, Fiction Book of the Year, Saskatoon Book of the Year for Orchestra of the Lost Steps, 2004.
Winner, John V. Hicks Manuscript Award (for "Orchestra of the Lost Steps" - stories) for Orchestra of the Lost Steps, 2001.
Nominated, Saskatchewan Book of Poetry Award and Saskatoon Book Award for Talking Down The Northern Lights, 2001.
Foreword Magazine's Book of the Year, Children's Literature (United States) for The Bone Talker, 2000.
Nominated, Saskatchewan Book Awards: Book of the Year and Children's Literature Award for The Bone Talker, 1999.
Saskatchewan Writers Guild Short Manuscript Awards for First Place, Creative NonFiction; First Place, Children's Literature, 2006
Shortlisted for CBC Radio Literary Competition ("The Blue Notebook," poetry), 2007
Winner, John V. Hicks Manuscript Award (for "The Blue Notebook" - poetry), 2008
Arc Poem of The Year Contest for Editor's Choice Award, 2009
CBC Radio Literary Competition for Poetry Suite "Wretched Beast" shortlisted, 2009

WITS

Presentation Description


Available for public readings across Canada and school presentations for any grade. With kindergarten to grade 4 students, Leedahl presents a mini-drama using her illustrated book The Bone Talker. All students are involved, and one adult volunteer is needed to dress up in the "Grandmother Bones" costume and sit in a rocking chair beside Leedahl. Maximum group for this 30 minute presentation is 50.


Leedahl's lively one-hour presentation from her popular novel Riding Planet Earth is specifically for grades 6-8 students. Video element included in presentation. Two classes maximum, and students must have the first 4 chapters of the novel read before Leedahl's visit.This novel is taught in several schools and remains popular with students and teachers alike. The presentation includes the sharing of the secrets behind the story, how the first draft of the book was written in collaboration with a grade 6\7 classroom in Saskatoon, a discussion of how Leedahl came to be a writer, a Q and A period, and occasionally a short DVD presentation. This realistic story concerns a 12 year old boy, Ringo, who moves from Gibsons, BC to Saskatoon, SK, and deals with an unusual family, a dangerous school bully, and a first girlfriend while adjusting to his new home.


For high school students and adult audiences, Leedahl presents multi-genre readings and sometimes includes a multi-media element. There is ample time for discussion, questions, and book signings. Poetry, fiction and creative nonfiction are presented.

Presentation Length:
30 min or 1 hour
Genre:
mini-drama, poetry, fiction
Audience size:
depends
Workshop Description:


Leedahl has been delivering tailor-made readings and workshops for writers of all ages and experience since the 1980s. She's been highly active in schools--from Goose Bay to Victoria.


Workshops in poetry, fiction or creative nonfiction are available for up to 12 participants per group. One of Leedahl's favourite workshops concerns the relationship between walking and writing. One-on-one mentoring or editing is available, either in person or online, in any genre.


Please e-mail shelleyaleedahl@gmail.com to discuss.


  

Northern OAC WITS:
No
GST:
GST not applicable