Photo Credit:
Photo credit
Rebecca Blissett
Frances Peck

Frances Peck wrote fiction and poetry until her early twenties, when the realities of adulthood and rent steered her toward a career as a ghostwriter, editor and instructor.

As a professional wordsmith, Frances worked with an array of clients and authors to make their material as polished and reader-friendly as possible. She also wrote about the finer points of language, authoring two editions of Peck’s English Pointers and co-authoring the popular HyperGrammar website. Along the way she wrote occasional essays and blog posts, and taught scores of workshops and courses for associations of editors, writers and translators, as well as for the University of Ottawa, Douglas College, Simon Fraser University and UBC.

Frances returned to her first love, fiction, with her debut novel, The Broken Places (NeWest Press, April 2022). This “intense and absorbing drama” (Vancouver Sun), which explores how a major earthquake shakes up the lives and relationships of a group of characters, was named a Globe and Mail best book of 2022.

City: North Vancouver, Province/Territory: British Columbia
Literary fiction
The Broken Places
NeWest Press
Presentation details
Audience Size
Audience size
Any size
Presentation Genre
Author talk and reading
Presentation Length
1 hour
Presentation Description
Presentation description

From Editor to Author: A Journey in Several Parts

Over the course of three decades, Frances Peck established herself as a successful behind-the-scenes wordsmith, working on other people's publications as an editor, ghostwriter and rewriter. Then she decided it was time to come out of hiding. In this presentation she discusses the long, laborious journey from hidden editor to published author (and reads from her fiction if desired).

Workshop details
Audience Size
Maximum 25 people
Intended Audience
Adult writers, beginning to intermediate
Workshop Length
1-2 hours (flexible)
Workshop Description
Workshop description

Sentences with Style

What exactly happens when we rearrange a sentence and suddenly it’s sharper and stronger? The study of syntax (word order) may have gone the way of foolscap and fountain pens, but it has a lot to teach us about clarity, emphasis and rhythm. Join Frances Peck, author and former editor, as we dust off some intriguing syntax techniques and explore how they can punch up our writing.

School presentation details
Audience Size
any size
Intended Audience
secondary school
Presentation Length
up to 1 hour
Presentation Description
Presentation description

Frances Peck reads from and discusses her compelling novel The Broken Places, about a massive earthquake that upends the lives of a group of Vancouver residents. At the heart of the novel is 17-year-old Sidney Stedman, troubled daughter of a tech tycoon, who tests her reserves of strength and resilience in order to survive and protect others who shelter in her family's waterfront mansion.

Programs & Interests
Interested in participating Union’s Ontario Writers-in-the-Schools program:
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