Frances Boyle

I am a writer of fiction and poetry living in Ottawa, Ontario on the  traditional unceded territory of the Algonquin Anishnaabeg people. I was raised on the Canadian prairies, mostly in Regina on Treaty 4 territory, the traditional territory of the Cree and Saulteaux, Assiniboine and Métis. I went to university in Regina, and in  Montreal and Toronto before moving to Vancouver for a number of years. I am grateful to now be living  and well-settled in Ottawa.

I've been making stories since before I could hold a pen. I've written most of my life, with pauses or minimal output during years of raising a family and working in the legal field.  Since being able to devote more time to my craft, my short stories and poems have been published  in literary magazines throughout Canada and in the United States, and in anthologies with themes as varied as the films of Alfred Hitchcock, mothers and daughters, form poetry, and sexual assault. 


My most recent book is Seeking Shade , my collection of short stories, which The Porcupine's Quill  published in August 2020. My first poetry collection, Light-carved Passages was published by Buschek Books in 2014, and my second, This White Nest, by Quattro Books in 2019. My novella, Tower, with Fish Gotta Swim Editions  came out in June, 2018,

Photo credit: John W. MacDonald


I've been fortunate enough to receive a number of prizes and other acknowledgements for my writing. Most recently, my work has been nominated for "Best of the Net" award, and selected for inclusion in The Best Canadian Poetry 2020.  


Significant early recognition includes the Diana Brebner Award for poetry (winner), the Great Canadian Literary Hunt (first place for poetry and third place for fiction in the same year), the Tree Reading Series chapbook manuscript prize (winner),  the Sawdust Reading Series poem-off competiton (winner) and the Bliss Carmen- Banff Centre Prize for poetry (2nd place).  The poem which won the Brebner Award was also chosen as one of the top 100 poems of 2012 by the editor of The Best Canadian Poetry in English anthology, and  I was named as a "Hot Ottawa Voice" that year.


I am a strong believer in the support that writers can provide to each other, and in the benefits of a strong and diverse community. I have been part of many writing groups and have taken courses where mutual nurturing of creativity is paramount. The Ruby Tuesday writing group I helped to found has been meeting weekly since 2006.

I have facilitated small-group writing workshops for the Canadian Authors' Association, National Capital branch, for the Ottawa Public Library, the Sawdust Reading Series and the Tree Reading Series. I have had many wonderful writing mentors, and am pleased whenever I am able to pass along the benefit of what I've learned. 

I was part of the editorial team for Arc Poetry Magazine for over 10 years, variously as President, Vice-President and  Associate Poetry Editor. I write reviews for Canthius: feminism and literary arts journal. I am a volunteer with VerseFest (Ottawa's international poetry festival) and am a member of the Ottawa International Writers Festival. I belong to both the League of Canadian Poets and The Writers Union of Canada.


Past arts-related volunteer work includes positions with the group that provides support for an Ottawa arts-magnet high school, and with Vancouver's Co-op Radio and the charity that supports it. Outside the arts, I've volunteered with organizations including National Association of Women and the Law, the  Women's Legal Education & Action Fund, CARE Canada, and a women's community economic development group. 

I gratefully acknowledge the financial assistance of the City of Ottawa, of the Ontario Arts Council and of Access Copyright Foundation.