Frances Backhouse

Sessional Instructor

B.Sc. (Alberta), M.F.A. (UVic)

Office: 231


Web site:


Areas of Research & Creative Activity

Creative nonfiction, literary journalism, narrative approaches to writing about science and history, travel writing.


Frances’s latest book, Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver, will be published in October 2015. Her previous works include two narrative histories—Women of the Klondike and Children of the Klondike—and a travel memoir, Hiking With Ghosts. She is also the author of Woodpeckers of North America and Owls of North America, and has written extensively about wildlife, ecology, and environmental issues for Canadian and American magazines.

In 2010, Frances won the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. She has also won two International Regional Magazines Association awards, served as Writer in Residence at Berton House in Dawson City, and received an Institute for Journalism and Natural Resources fellowship. Literary events where she has appeared as a presenter and reader include the Vancouver International Writers Festival, the Surrey International Writers’ Conference, the Sidney Literary Festival, the Waterton-Glacier International Writers Workshop, and the Vancouver Mountain Film Festival.

A strong believer in writers working together for the common good, Frances is a past president of the Periodical Writers Association of Canada and a current member of the Creative Nonfiction Collective, The Writers Union of Canada, the Society of Environmental Journalists, the Canadian Science Writers’ Association, the Canadian Creative Writers and Writing Programs, and the Association of Writers and Writing Programs.

Selected Publications


Once They Were Hats: In Search of the Mighty Beaver

Published by ECW Press


Women of the Klondike

Published by Whitecap Books


Children of the Klondike

Published by Whitecap Books


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