Mark Leiren-Young

“Mark Leiren-Young, who has a background in pretty much everything — journalism, television, comedy, theatre and film — is without a doubt one of the most talented, multi-disciplinary voices in Canada.” – Vanessa Farquharson, National Post

Having graduated from the Department of Theatre in 1985 with a double major in theatre and writing, Mark Leiren-Young’s diverse career has seen him work as an author, journalist, playwright, documentary writer, and feature film writer.  

As a playwright Mark has written comedy, drama, plays for young audiences, musicals, revues and, in 2012, he debuted his first piece as a solo performer– Greener Than Thou, an autobiographical comic monologue about the challenges of going green. His plays have been produced throughout North America and also staged in Europe and Australia. One of his other works, Shylock, has been translated into French, Czech and Dutch. Shylock and Articles of Faith were published by Anvil Press.

His books include The Green Chain: Nothing is Ever Clear Cut (Heritage), a collection of interviews dealing with the future of our forests, and This Crazy Time (Knopf), written with/about controversial environmentalist Tzeporah Berman.

Mark is also the author of two comic memoirs: Free Magic Secrets Revealed (Harbour, 2013) and Never Shoot a Stampede Queen — A Rookie Reporter in the Cariboo (Heritage), which won the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. Mark is adapting both books for film for Middle Child Productions. A stage version of Stampede Queen (adapted by Mark) premiered at Western Canada Theatre and starred Ryan Beil.

As a journalist Mark has written for TIME, Maclean’s, The Hollywood Reporter, The Walrus and most of Canada’s daily newspapers. Mark has interviewed hundreds of celebrities ranging from William Shatner to Salman Rushdie.

Mark has received three Writers Guild of Canada nominations for his work. The third, and most recent, was for the script for his award-winning debut feature film, The Green Chain, which he directed and produced. He wrote and co-starred in the EarthVision award-winning TV special Greenpieces: The World’s First Eco-Comedy, featuring his comedy duo Local Anxiety.

Most recently, his new book about Moby Doll: The Killer Whale Who Changed the World is being released by Greystone in partnership with the David Suzuki Foundation. His radio documentary for CBC’s Ideas Moby Doll: The Killer Whale that Changed the World received a 2014 Webster Award for “Best Radio Documentary.” He is in post-production on a feature documentary he’s writing and directing about Moby for Middle Child Films and a short documentary he’s writing and directing about Granny The Hundred Year Old Whale for BravoFactual. He was also a finalist for a National Magazine Award for Best Science, Technology & Environmental Writing for his feature on Moby Doll for The Walrus.

To learn more, visit or Mark can also be contacted on twitter,