Joanna Lilley
Author Joanna Lilley
(Photograph by Michael Edwards)
Joanna Lilley's fourth book and debut novel, Worry Stones, is being published by Ronsdale Press in autumn 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 coming up in Writing About Animals (Ashland Creek Press)
  • A poem coming up in Heartwood, an anthology of poems about trees, editors Leslie Strutt and Anne Burke (League of Canadian Poets)
  • Two poems being published in Another Dysfunctional Cancer Poem Anthology, editor Priscila Uppal (Mansfield Press)
  • 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's first poetry collection, The Fleece Era, was nominated for the Fred Cogswell Award for Excellence in Poetry.

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.

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).

Awards and competition placings include:
  • finalist for The Malahat Review 2018 Open Season Awards (poetry)
  • longlisted for the 2017 Pacific Spirit Poetry Prize 
  • novel manuscript longlisted for the 2016 Caledonia Novel Award
  • poetry chapbook longlisted for the Cinnamon Pamphlet Prize (2016)
  • fourth place in the 2015 Guernsey Literary Festival Poetry Competition
  • shortlisted for the Freefall Chapbook Contest in 2015
  • third prize in The Antigonish Review 2014 Great Blue Heron Poetry Contest
  • shortlisted for the 2014 PRISM Poetry Contest
  • commended in the 2014 McLellan Poetry Prize
  • shortlisted for the 2013 Winston Collins/Descant Poetry Prize
  • second prize in the 2013 Dr W H Drummond Poetry Contest
  • finalist for The Malahat Review Open Season Awards in 2013 (poetry)
  • first prize in the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival Poetry Contest in 2012
  • second prize in the Vancouver International Writers' Festival Poetry Contest in 2011 
  • second prize in the Vancouver International Writers' Festival Poetry Contest in 2010
  • finalist for The Malahat Review Far Horizons Award in 2011 (fiction)
  • finalist for The Malahat Review Open Season Awards in 2010 (fiction)
  • nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2011
  • finalist for the 2010 Writers' Union of Canada Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers
  • joint first prize in the 2009 Baked Poetry Contest
  • first prize in the 2008 Authors on Eighth Creative Non-Fiction Contest
  • finalist for the 2008 CBC Poetry Face-off
  • first prize in the 2005 Lothian Life Poetry Competition
  • first prize in the 2004 Worldwise Regional Creative Writing Competition
  • winner of the 1995 Zurich Insurance Business Feature Award (admittedly 1995 is a long time ago but it was her first award for writing and she's very grateful for the encouragement)

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.