Candas Jane Dorsey

Candas Jane Dorsey, founding president of SF Canada, is an  internationally-known, award-winning author of speculative, crime, and literary fiction.

Speculative fiction publications include award-winning fantasy novel Black Wine (1997) and award-nominated near-future SF novel  A Paradigm of Earth (2001); short story collections Machine Sex and other stories (1988) including the Aurora-Award-winning short story “Sleeping in a Box”, Dark Earth Dreams (1994), Vanilla and other stories (2002, winner of the WGA Short Fiction Award), and ICE and other stories (2018); also the International Three-Day Novel Contest 1986 winner Hardwired Angel co-authored with Nora Abercrombie.

Dorsey’s recent crime fiction series The Epitome Apartments Mysteries includes The Adventures of Isabel (2020), What’s the Matter with Mary Jane? (2021) and He Wasn’t There Again Today (2023) from ECW. (The first book was published by Pushkin Press in the UK, and as Drag Cop in German translation by Suhrkamp Verlag, both in 2021.) The series features a smart-talking, pansexual, nameless downsized social worker and reluctant sleuth and her cat Bunnywit.

Dorsey’s YA novel The Story of My Life, Ongoing, by C.J. Cobb, an epistolary novel of an intersex teen who helps a friend solve the friend’s life-threatening mystery, was published in 2021 by Inanna Publications.

She also has four poetry books; several anthologies edited/co-edited (including the 2021 Aurora-nominated Food of My People co-edited with Ursula Pflug from Exile Editions), and numerous published stories, poems, reviews, and critical essays.

She has received a variety of awards and honours for her novels and short fiction.

 Dorsey is a partner in Wooden Door & Associates, a professional communications consulting company in Edmonton since 1992, providing writing, editing and consulting for private, public and non-profit clients. At WDA, Dorsey was the co-author of a number of significant reports including The Report of the Review Panel on the Alberta Human Rights Commission, Cultural Diversity in the Workplace, and Children’s Interactive Television in Canada. She has written screenplays and educational television scripts, her unproduced full-length screenplay Hardwired Angel reached development stage, and she was a script reader for Allarcom. She was editor/publisher for ten years of the arts newspaper The Edmonton Bullet and for fourteen years  (1992-2006) of literary press The Books Collective, including River Books, Hodgepog Books, Dinosaur Soup Books, Slipstream Books, and (from 1994-2003) speculative fiction imprint Tesseract Books. She speaks widely on writing, speculative fiction, and other topics. She teaches writing to adults and youth, has been teaching creative writing at universities and continuing education since 1983, and at MacEwan University she now teaches in the Bachelor of Communications programme.

 She was founding president of SF Canada, and has been president of the Writers Guild of Alberta. In 2005 she was awarded the Province of Alberta Centennial Gold Medal for her artistic achievement and community work, and in 2017 the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Literary Arts. She was inducted into the City of Edmonton Arts and Cultural Hall of Fame in 2019. Other awards include the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame 2018, YWCA Woman of the Year Arts and Culture 1988, and an Edmonton Arts Achievement Award 1988. Her books and short stories have received Crawford, Aurora, Tiptree, and WGA awards, and most recently What’s the Matter with Mary Jane? won the very first Crime Writers of Canada Whodunit Award (2022) for Best Traditional Mystery.

 She is also a community activist, advocate and leader who has won two human rights awards and served on many community boards and committees working for neighbourhoods, heritage, social planning, equality of policing, and human rights advocacy.

Dorsey is also a visual artist. Represented by Wayne Arthurson of Wayne Arthurson Agency for adult writing and Stacey Kondla of The Rights Factory for children’s and YA; Old Strathcona Arts Emporium for visual art.


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