It is with great joy that we are able to announce that as of today, May 25th, 2018, we are up and live!

Canada’s Early Women Writers (CEWW)

The Canada’s Early Women Writers project at the Canadian Writing Research Collaboratory is now populated with the biographies and bibliographies of 730 female authors. Novelists, poets, journalists, scientists: our authors write in a number of genres, come from a multitude of social spaces and ethnicities, and have published in forums ranging from local newspapers to internationally recognized journals, from small family-owned presses to major players in the publication world.

The stories of these women, and of our delving into their histories, are fascinating. I have posted in the past about our research adventures, such as the discovery of Isa Grindlay Jackson’s peregrinations; or the mystery of nurse Jane Layhew, who married Northrop Frye’s cousin; or the rather convoluted history of Margaret Vance Rody’s one book of poetry, Gleanings (1925, 1931, 1942). The stories are myriad, and it is our privilege to share them with you all.

The Database of Canada’s Early Women Writers (DoCEWW)

At the outset of the project, our task was to find as many early Canadian women authors as possible, after which we would try to fill in the details for as many as we could. We were astonished to discover over 4800 Canadian women who published their first works in or before 1950.

We knew, though, that we would not be able to find biographical details for all 4800 authors, although bibliographical data was more likely to be comprehensive. In order not to lose what information we had amassed, with the assistance of the Digital Humanities Innovation Lab at the Simon Fraser University Library, we created a more extensive and yet simpler database: DoCEWW.

Where CEWW offers extensive bio-bibliographic entries, DoCEWW records each author’s name, alternative names, dates and places of birth and death, residences, titles written, and collections and periodicals contributed to.

While DoCEWW already contains some 4800 authors, the list is not yet comprehensive, so if you know of any other authors to include, or have information to add or corrections to make, please contact us! Neither of our projects would be half as rich without the help of the online community.


So thank you all!

Our heartfelt thanks go out to all of the relatives, and friends, and academics who have shared their knowledge and research and family stories with us. This is what our project is all about: sharing stories and information and making sure the women who helped build Canada’s literary world are not forgotten.

Here is the list of some of the wonderful people who have assisted us; if you should be on here and are not, please contact me so I can rectify the omission.

A. Elizabeth McKim
A.M.D. McWilliam
Ajai Khattri
Alan Kultschar
Anita Birt
Annette Fulford
Arthur W.F. Barrett
Ashley Armsworthy
Beatrice Rowley
Beverlee (Croft) Nelson
Bill Wills
Brenda Hattie
Brian Busby
Bruce Gordon
Cairine Macdonald
Callie Stacey
Carol Fraser
Carolyn Brown
Cathy Rowley
Charles Rowley
Chris Boggs
Christine Kilpatrick
Christine Owen
Coral Ann Howells
Daniel Madden
Daphne Biggs
David Mawhinney
David Reed
Debra Martens
Dennis Brooks
Diana Birchall
Dorian Gieseler Greenbaum
Dresdin L. Archibald
Eileen Santlal
Eleanor Best
Elizabeth Donaldson
Eric Pedersen
Eva-Marie Kroller
Evelyn Bromley
Geir Jaegersen
Geneviève Bruneau
Glenn Belyea
Helen Elizabeth Ross
Helen L. Whyte
Helen Piddington
Helena M. MacLean
Holly Jonson
Jan Gregory
Janice Dowson
Janice Hamilton
Janice Kelly Brown
Jean McCollum
Jim Arnett
John Grove
John Tepper Marlin
Jon Palmer Broderick
Judy Schuett
Karen E.H. Skinazi
Kathy Le Gresley
Kaye Soulsby
Kitt Maitland
Lester Batten
Linda and Bill Jones
Linda Pellerin Cass-Jones
Lindsay Carroll
Liz Tracy Hartzler
Lyn and Debra Cook
Lyn Nunn
Margaret Buffie
Margaret Sweatman
Mark Donaldson
Marte Brengle
Mary Chapman
Mary Joanne Peace Henderson
Michael Edward Bath
Nevin Taggart
Nick Drumbolis
Nora Spence
Pam McCorquodale
Patricia McDonald
Paul Ross
Paula Niall
Ray Saintonge
Ron Robichaud
Samantha Philo-Gill
Sheldon Rose
Simon Pole
Stephen Cox
Steve Willerton (and his father Victor)
Vivian Moreau
William Sivell