Member Profile

Ken McGoogan

Photo: Sheena Fraser McGoogan

The award-winning author of more than a dozen books, Ken McGoogan is best-known for his four acclaimed narratives about Arctic exploration: Fatal Passage, Ancient Mariner, Lady Franklin's Revenge, and Race to the Polar Sea. These works earned him the Writers' Trust of Canada Biography Prize, the Canadian Authors' Association History Award, the UBC Medal for Canadian Biography, the Pierre Berton Award for Popular History, and an American Christopher Award for "a work of artistic excellence that the affirms the highest values of the human spirit." Ken's other books include the novel Kerouac's Ghost, and the nonfiction bestsellers How the Scots Invented Canada, 50 Canadians Who Changed the World, and Celtic Lightning. In autumn 2017, Ken will publish Dead Reckoning: The Untold Story of the Northwest Passage. 

Before moving mainly to books, Ken worked as a journalist for two decades (Toronto Star, Montreal Star, Calgary Herald). He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from Toronto's Ryerson University and a master's degree in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. He has taught writing for a dozen years, and in 2010 won an award for teaching excellence from the University of Toronto. Ken made a cameo appearance in the docudrama based on his book Fatal Passage. He served as vice-chair, chair, and past-chair of the Public Lending Right Commission, Ken teaches an online course, The Art of Fact: An Introduction to Writing Nonfiction, through University of Toronto, and also in the low-residency master's program in Creative Nonfiction at the University of King's College in Halifax. 

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c/o Writers' Union of Canada
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