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Bettyjane Wylie

Bettyjane Wylie

I´m not a dead white guy. I´m a living old white female writer, a prolific unknown, have been for years. I love plays best but I have a large collection of OOP books, mostly first editions, with one or two exceptions, the major one being Beginnings: A Book for Widows which went to four editions, in print for 27 years. Thus I became Canada’s professional widow for which I was granted a D.Litt. by my home university (Manitoba, which stores my archives, saving me from being a Hoarder) and made a humble member of the Order of Canada. No one has ever asked me for a bow tie or a hank of hair to auction off for a fund-raiser; I’ve never served on a cultural arts board nor been a judge of other artists’ work; I can go to movies without being mobbed by adoring fans, though for years I had this quiet cult, a huge underground following of absolutely powerless women who lent each other my book (the one for widows). I’m not complaining. I count my blessings, hoping, as we all do, to persuade the government to alllow us more.

Toronto, ON


The Write Track: How to Succeed as a Freelance Writer in Canada. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2001
Beginnings: A Book for Widows. 4th ed. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1997.
Life's Losses: Living Through Sudden Change, Bereavement. Toronto: Macmillan Canada, 1996.
The Better Half: Women's Voices. Windsor, ON: Black Moss Press, 1995.
Reading Between the Lines: The Diaries of Women. Toronto: Key Porter Books, 1995.
Letters to Icelanders: Exploring the Northern Soul. CGI Books, 2000


Bunting Institute Fellowship, Radcliffe College, 1989-1990.
Alumni Jubilee Award, University of Manitoba, 1989.
Canadian Nurses' Association Media Award: "Victorian Spice" (CBC Dramatic Radio Series), 1988.
Education Award, Psychological Foundation of Ontario for Successfully Single: How to Live Alone and Like It., 1995
D.Litt. Honorary doctorate, University of Manitoba, 2003
Order of Canada, 2003
Eligible for National Public Readings Program:


Presentation Description

1) K-6: puppet play creation – improvs and dialogue fun (no crafts!) 2) highschool – play structure and dialogue 3) memoir, life writing, diaries. Betty Jane chats and reads from her plays to illustrate her points.

Presentation Length:
60 min.
Drama, Fiction, Non-F., Poetry, Tales, Film
Audience Size:
30 plus
Workshop Description:

Stand -up improvs (all ages) to illustrate structure, characterization, dialogue - all with an eye to writing