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James Bow

James Bow

Photo: Christine Saunders

James Bow grew up with his mother – the writer Patricia Bow – reading him Issac Asimov and Ursula K. LeGuin. He started writing young, cutting his teeth as a writer of Doctor Who fanfiction. (It is a measure of how cool James is that he liked Doctor Who before it was cool.) He met most of the important people of his life through writing and fandom, including his wife, fellow writer Erin Bow.

At university, James studied what he thought would one day be his “real” job: urban planning. When he graduated, he discovered that the economy had different plans for him, though imaginary cities and small governments making hard decisions still pervade his work.

After drifting through work that paid the bills but starved the soul, James took the leap and concentrated on what he loved best – writing. He has since published The Unwritten Books trilogy of fantasy for young readers (Dundurn); The Night Girl, a new adult fantasy novel that got him threatened with a lawsuit by the CN Tower (Reuts), and the Prix Aurora Award-winning YA SF novel Icarus Down (Scholastic).

James remains a fan of Doctor Who – and Star Trek – as well as the works of Terry Pratchett, Kenneth Oppel, Martha Wells, Arthur Slade, and Philip Reeve, to name just a few. He lives in Kitchener, Ontario, with Erin and their two teenaged kids, Wayfinder and Eleanor.

c/o Writers' Union of Canada
Speculative Fiction
I write professionally in the following language(s):


The Unwritten Girl. 2006, The Dundurn Group
Fathom Five. 2007, The Dundurn Group
The Young City. 2008, The Dundurn Group
Icarus Down. 2016, Scholastic Canada
The Night Girl. 2019, REUTS Publications


Prix Aurora Award for Icarus Down, 2017
Eligible for National Public Readings Program: