Alumni Spotlight

We’d love to hear from you! If you are an Alumni or current student of the UBC Creative Writing program with something to share, we invite you to contact us with your news and successes. Send information to Andrew Gray


Alanna Francis Leaps into Screenwriting with The Rest of Us

Recent MFA graduate Alanna Francis spoke to us about finding success with the screenplay she wrote as a student in the Creative Writing Program.

The screenplay, The Rest of Us has recently started production, produced by Toronto’s Babe Nation Creations.

The film is directed by #AfterMeToo co-creator Aisling Chin-Yee (Synesthesia), who is making her feature film directorial debut. It stars Heather Graham (Boogie Nights), Sophie Nélisse, (The Book Thief) Jodi Balfour (The Crown) and young actress Abigail Pniowsky (Arrival). It follows a divorced woman (Graham) who threatens her already rocky relationship with her teenage daughter (Nelisse) when she invites her ex-husband’s second wife (Balfour) and daughter (Pniowsky) to move in following his unexpected death.  Continue reading “Alanna Francis Leaps into Screenwriting with The Rest of Us”

Leah Mol wins 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

Congratulations to Leah Mol, MFA Alumna, who’s this year’s winner of the $6000 CBC Short Story prize for her story Lipstick Day, a story about teens’ sexual behaviour and peer pressure..

Congratulations to our Graduates

Congratulations to our graduating MFA and BFA students. Graduation was held on a lovely May Wednesday last week, and we’re happy to share some photos of faculty and students, as well as our honorary doctorate holder, Eden Robinson.

Eden Robinson and Prof. Keith Maillard

MFA Rachel Jansen and family

Continue reading “Congratulations to our Graduates”

Eden Robinson Receives an Honorary Degree

We’re delighted that our MFA Alumna Eden Robinson, the internationally acclaimed Haisla and Heiltsuk novelist and short story writer, will be receiving an honorary doctoral degree today from UBC to recognize her substantial literary contributions.

Our colleagues at the Faculty of Arts interviewed her recently about her literary accomplishments.

An Interview with MFA Alumnus Ellen Keith

UBC Creative Writing graduate Ellen Keith (MFA ’16) recently published her debut novel The Dutch Wife – a historical fiction work that she completed during the MFA Optional Residency program. The book, which won the HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction, reached #1 on the Globe & Mail Canadian Fiction Bestseller List.

Ellen talks with UBC Arts about her studies at UBC and her writing.

Alumni Spring Books

Every year, our fantastic BFA and MFA alumni continue to publish wonderful books, and Spring 2018 is no exception. The list of titles recently published or forthcoming includes thrillers, poetry collections, the satirical and the elegiac. Read them all and find out what our graduates are producing.




Continue reading “Alumni Spring Books”

Writing the Future: Gallery

We’re delighted to showcase some moments from our Indigenous Alumni Reading, “Writing the Future”, held at UBC on March 19th, 2018. All photos courtesy of Edward Chang of V. Saran Photo.

Congratulations to our MFA and alumni nominated for the BC Book Prizes!

Congratulations to our students and alumni! The West Coast Book Prize Society announced the finalists for the 2018 BC Book Prizes. The BC Book Prizes, established in 1985, celebrate the achievements of British Columbia writers and publishers.

The seven Prizes are presented annually at the Lieutenant Governor’s BC Book Prizes Gala in the spring, as well as a presentation to the winner of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.

The Prizes are administered and awarded by members of a non-profit society  who represent all facets of the publishing and writing community.

Winners will be announced on Friday, May 4, 2018



Continue reading “Congratulations to our MFA and alumni nominated for the BC Book Prizes!”

Alumna focus: Francine Cunningham: ‘I walk around all day observing things and thinking about what ifs.’

Francine Cunningham is a Canadian Indigenous writer, artist and educator. Her creative non-fiction has appeared in The Malahat Review, the anthology Boobs: women explore what it means to have breasts (Caitlin Press), The Best Canadian Essays 2017 (TightRope Books), and more. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in The Puritan, Joyland Magazine, Echolocation Magazine, The Maynard and more. She is a graduate of the UBC Creative Writing MFA Program, a recent winner of The Hnatyshyn Foundation’s REVEAL Indigenous Art Award, and recipient of the 2017 Telus StoryHive webseries grant. You can find more info about her here. We spoke to Francine about what she has been up to since she graduated.

Continue reading “Alumna focus: Francine Cunningham: ‘I walk around all day observing things and thinking about what ifs.’”

MFA Alessandra Naccarato wins CBC Poetry Prize

Congratulations to our MFA Alessandra Naccarato who has won the CBC Poetry Prize for Postcards for my Sister. The CBC Literary Prizes have been recognizing Canadian writers since 1979. Allessandra’s poem was selected from more than 2,400 English-language submissions this year. She wins $6000 as well as a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.