Joanna Lilley
Author Joanna Lilley
(Photograph by Michael Edwards)
Joanna Lilley's fourth book and debut novel, Worry Stones, was published by Ronsdale Press in October 2018. Joanna is also the author of the poetry collection, If There Were Roads (Turnstone Press); the poetry collection, The Fleece Era (Brick Books), which was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry: and the short story collection, The Birthday Books (Radiant Press). Joanna has an MLitt degree in creative writing from the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde and is a Humber School for Writers graduate. She also has diplomas in plain language editing and journalism. Joanna is from the UK and now lives in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, where she helped to set up the Yukon Writers' Collective Ink. She is grateful to the Kwanlin Dün First Nation and Ta'an Kwäch'än Council on whose Traditional Territories she resides.

upcoming and recent (ish) publications
  • an essay, Do We Have the Right to Write About Animals, in Writing For Animals (Ashland Creek Press)
  • a poem, Knot, in Heartwood, an anthology of poems about trees, editors Leslie Strutt and Anne Burke (League of Canadian Poets)
  • Infinite Variations (a poem) in Write magazine (The Writers' Union of Canada's magazine)
  • Tylosaurus and Eelgrass Limpet (poems) in The Goose, A Journal of Arts, Environment and Culture in Canada
  • Short-faced Bear and Desmostylus Hersperus (poems) in Zoomorphic (UK)
  • Camelops hesternus, Helmeted Muskox and Beringian Wolf (poems) in The Northern Review (Yukon College, Canada)
Read more of Joanna's poems.

awards and publications
Joanna is grateful to have received four Advanced Artist Awards from the Government of Yukon to support her writing, a grant from the Emerging Northern Writers and Artists Fund, support from the Cultural Industries Training Fund and three Touring Artist Fund awards.

Joanna's first poetry collection, The Fleece Era, was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry.

Her poems and stories have been published in journals and anthologies in Canada, the US and the UK, including The Malahat Review, The New Quarterly, Grain, The Fiddlehead and The Antigonish Review. In the UK, her work has appeared in publications including two New Writing Scotland anthologies, The Scotsman and Orange Short Story Award Secrets collection (Polygon), and in A Fictional Guide to Scotland (OpenInk).

Joanna's awards and competition placings include first prize in the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival Poetry Contest, Lothian Life Poetry Competition and the Worldwise Regional Creative Writing Competition, joint first prize in the Baked Poetry Contest, second prize in the Dr W H Drummond Poetry Contest and the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival Poetry Contest, third prize in The Antigonish Review Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest and fourth place in the Guernsey Literary Festival Poetry Competition. 

Her work has also been a finalist for The Malahat Review Open Season AwardsThe Malahat Review Far Horizons Award and The Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers, and shortlisted for the Freefall Chapbook Contest, the PRISM Poetry Contest and the Winston Collins/Descant Poetry Prize. Her poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.

In 2013, Joanna self-published a chapbook of poems about animals as a fundraiser for animal welfare charities. It's called They Bring it on Themselves.

projects in progress
Joanna is currently working on poetry and fiction manuscripts. She is also hatching a plan with her niece Leonora Lilley, who is also a writer, for a family publication featuring Leonora's own work and a tribute to Leonora's mother, the artist Rebecca Lilley, who died of breast cancer in 2015.

Joanna has lived with her husband in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada, ever since they emigrated from the UK in 2006. She was born and grew up in England and has also lived in Wales and Scotland and travelled around a bit, including, a long time ago, working her passage on yachts across the Atlantic Ocean and cycling 5,885 miles alone across Canada from Nova Scotia to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories.