- BERNICE FRIESEN was born in Rosthern, Sask. and grew up on her grandparents’ homestead. The life of her grandmother’s family has been published in The Mulberry Tree by Victor Carl Friesen and Anna Friesen.
She trained as a printmaker at the University of Saskatchewan, ending up with a B.F.A in visual art and a B.Ed. by 1990. She took creative writing courses with Elizabeth Brewster, Guy Vanderhaegue and Tim Lilburn, and attended the Banff Writing Studio. She has been an art studio lab assistant, art gallery educator, and has taught Sage Hill Writing Experience for teens, and Fiction Freefall through the Saskatoon Writers Coop.
Her writing and art has been published in Canada and Europe, and has twice been short-listed for the CBC Radio Literary Awards. Her writing has been included in two League of Canadian Poets winners anthologies, and Best Short Stories, 2002, (Oberon).
The title story of her first book, The Seasons are Horses (Thistledown, 1995), won the Vicky Metcalf Award for Best Young Adult Short Story in Canada. Her book of poetry Sex, Death and Naked Men, (Coteau) came out in 1998.
Friesen’s first novel, The Book of Beasts was published by Coteau in 2007. It won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction and numbered among the Globe and Mail’s top 100 books of that year. It was longlisted for the Rogers Writers Trust of Canada Fiction Award.
She has lived in England and New Zealand and British Columbia. She married Colin, gave birth to Alexander and Josephine, and lives in Saskatoon and on Hornby Island, B.C.
- Fiction » Children's Writing—Young Adult, Historical, Literary
- Poetry » Literary
- The Book of Beasts. Coteau Books, 2007
- Sex, Death, and Naked Men. Coteau Books, 1998
- The Seasons Are Horses. Thistledown Press, 1995
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- The Irish Book of Beasts, CBC Radio Gallery, 2000
- James, a young English boy, goes to an Irish boarding school and finds it overgrown with fruit trees, the obsession of it's oldest priest. As he settles into his new life, the death of the priest, and the breaking of a branch, transform his life.
- Dungeons and Dragons, CBC Radio Gallery, 1998
- Richard, a self-professed 19 year-old geek and gamer goes to England to office-temp for the summer and lives with other Canadian students, one of whom is Yvonne. As the weeks pass, Richard finds himself living in a different sort of dungeon with different dragons, one of whom might be himself.
- Scorch, CBC Radio Ambience, 1993
- Rosalie finds an old tooth in a field. Will anyone believe it’s from a human skeleton her father plowed up? Will anybody be scared?
Scorch is a story about power shifts and alliances among twelve-year-olds in small town Saskatchewan.
- Fiction Freefall
- Group Size:Fiction Freefall is a series of eight two-hour classes in which students learn how to use inspirational techniques from the dramatic and the visual arts to create a short story. All stages of writing the short story are touched upon, including re-vision and editing, through a combination of lecture, class and take-home work, and one-on-one consultation.
- Show and/don't Tell
- Group Size:Students will explore various ways of making writing immediate and powerful, by showing -- dramatizing, illustrating, and using metaphor -- rather than telling. This is a one-day workshop.
Audience Age Groups
- Secondary School (10-12)
- Middle School (6-9)