Famous 21st Century Canadian Writers

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 21st Century Canadian Writers

 1 
Margaret Atwood
(Poet, Novelist, Literary Critic & Environmental Activist)

Margaret Atwood
26
Birthdate: November 18, 1939
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ottawa, Canada

Margaret Atwood is a Canadian poet and novelist. Her works encompass themes, such as religion and myth, climate change, and gender and identity. An award-winning writer, many of Atwood's works have been made into films and television series; her work, The Handmaid's Tale, has had several adaptations. Perhaps, Margaret Atwood's most important contribution is her invention of the LongPen device.

 2 
Malcolm Gladwell
(Author of 'The Tipping Point', 'Blink', and 'Outliers')

Malcolm Gladwell
6
Birthdate: September 3, 1963
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Fareham, United Kingdom
Malcolm Gladwell is best known for his bestselling books The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers. He has also written for The New Yorker and The Washington Post. His writings encompass subjects such as psychology, economics, and sociology. Gladwell has also co-founded a podcast company and hosts the podcast Revisionist History.

 3 
William Gibson
(Fiction Writer)

William Gibson
6
Birthdate: March 17, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Conway, South Carolina, United States

William Gibson is an American-Canadian essayist and speculative fiction writer. He is widely credited with pioneering cyberpunk, a science fiction subgenre. His early works, which he produced during the late-1970s and early-1980s, helped create an iconography for the information age even before the dawn of the Internet in the 1990s. William Gibson is also credited with coining the term cyberspace.

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 4 
Naomi Klein
(Author)

Naomi Klein
5
Birthdate: May 5, 1970
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Canadian author, social activist, and filmmaker Naomi Klein is known for her criticism of corporate globalization and capitalism. She became internationally known following the release of her alter-globalization book No Logo. She often appears on global and national lists of top influential thinkers and is the recipient of the 2016 Sydney Peace Prize. She is a prominent environmentalist as well.

 5 
Steven Pinker
(Psychologist)

Steven Pinker
4
Birthdate: September 18, 1954
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada

Steven Pinker is a Canadian-American linguist, cognitive psychologist, and popular science author. He is also a supporter of the computational theory of mind and evolutionary psychology. His works have earned him awards from organizations like the National Academy of Sciences, the American Psychological Association, and the American Humanist Association. In 2013, he was named in Prospect magazine's World Thinkers list.

 6 
Denis Villeneuve
(Film Director, Screenwriter, Playwright)

Denis Villeneuve
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1967
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Trois-Rivières, Quebec, Canada

Known for directing critically acclaimed movies, such as Arrival and Blade Runner 2049, Denis Villeneuve was adjudged Filmmaker of the Decade in 2019 by the Hollywood Critics Association. One of the most popular and respected filmmakers of the current generation, Denis Villeneuve's films have had a major impact all over the world.

 7 
Phan Thi Kim Phuc
(Appearing in a world famous, Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph from the Vietnam War in 1972)

Phan Thi Kim Phuc
4
Birthdate: April 6, 1963
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Trảng Bàng, Vietnam

Phan Thi Kim Phuc is a South Vietnamese-born Canadian woman. As a nine-year-old child, she was captured in a photograph taken during the Vietnam War, in which she is shown running naked on a road following a napalm attack. It took her a long time to recover from her injuries. As an adult, she is a peace activist.  

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 8 
Chrystia Freeland
(Deputy Prime Minister of Canada)

Chrystia Freeland
5
Birthdate: August 2, 1968
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Peace River, Alberta, Canada
Known as the Minister of Everything, Christina Freeland is Canada’s 10th deputy prime minister. She is also Canada’s finance minister and the first woman to hold the office. She has previously worked with the Financial Times, Thomson Reuters, and The Globe and Mail. She has also authored a bestselling book. 

 9 
Todd McFarlane
(Comic book artist best known as the creator of the popular Spawn comics.)

Todd McFarlane
4
Birthdate: March 16, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Calgary, Canada

Todd McFarlane is a Canadian writer, artist, comic book creator, filmmaker, and entrepreneur. Renowned for his artistic work on The Amazing Spider-Man, Todd became a comic book superstar during the 1980s and 1990s for his work on the Spider-Man franchise. As an entrepreneur, Todd McFarlane is credited with founding Todd McFarlane Productions and its subsidiary McFarlane Toys.

 10 
Samantha Bee
(Comedienne, Actress, Writer and Television Host)

Samantha Bee
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

Samantha Bee is a Canadian-American political commentator, television host, comedienne, producer, and writer. Bee achieved international recognition for her 12-year tenure as a correspondent on the late-night talk and satirical news program The Daily Show. In 2017, she was named in Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world list. In 2017, she also won a Primetime Emmy Award.

 11 
David Brooks
(Journalist)

David Brooks
4
Birthdate: August 11, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Toronto

David Brooks is a Canadian-born American conservative political commentator. Having worked with popular publications like The Washington Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Weekly Standard, and Newsweek, Brooks is currently contributing as a writer for The New York Times. Also an educator, David Brooks has taught at prestigious institutions like the Sanford School of Public Policy and Yale University.

 12 
Pattie Mallette
(Author, Producer)

Pattie Mallette
4
Birthdate: April 2, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Stratford, Ontario, Canada

Pattie Mallette is a Canadian author and film producer. She had a difficult childhood marked by sexual abuse. She began her career as a child and appeared in many TV shows and stage productions. She became pregnant when she was 18. Her son is the popular singer Justin Bieber. She also managed his early career. 

 13 
Alice Munro
(Short story writer)

Alice Munro
4
Birthdate: July 10, 1931
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Wingham, Canada

Her mother’s struggle with Parkinson's disease pushed Alice Munro into reading as an escape route. Munro later became a housewife, but soon soared to fame for her short story collections such as Too Much Happiness. The Canadian author later won the Nobel Prize and the Man Booker Prize, too.

 14 
Robin Sharma
(Writer, Public Speaker)

Robin Sharma
4
Birthdate: June 16, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Port Hawkesbury

Canadian writer Robin Sharma is best known for his The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari book series. A qualified lawyer, he is an alumnus of the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie University. He has published several books on stress management and spirituality. He is the founder of the training company Sharma Leadership International.

 15 
Mark Steyn
(Writer)

Mark Steyn
4
Birthdate: December 8, 1959
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Canadian author Mark Steyn is best known for his bestselling books such as America Alone and After America. A political commentator and critic, too, he has been in the news for his controversial comments on the LGBT community. He has also hosted Fox shows such as Tucker Carlson Tonight.

 16 

Gavin McInnes
11
Birthdate: July 17, 1970
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Hitchin, Hertfordshire, England

Described as a far-right, writer and political commentator Gavin McInnes is said to be anti-Islam, anti-Semitism and a racist. He has also been accused of inciting violence. He is the founder of ‘Proud Boys’, dubbed an extremist group with links to white nationalism. In 2018, he was banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for promoting hate speech.

 17 
Win Butler
(Songwriter, Singer, Composer, Poet, Guitarist)

Win Butler
5
Birthdate: April 14, 1980
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Truckee, California, United States

Win Butler is an American-Canadian multi-instrumentalist, musician, singer, and songwriter. He is credited with co-founding the popular Canadian indie rock band, Arcade Fire. Also a humanitarian, Butler contributed to a charity record named Do They Know It's Hallowe'en as part of a UNICEF benefit project. A multi-talented personality, Win Butler often participates in the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game.

 18 
Paul Haggis
(Director, screenwriter, and producer who won the Academy Awards for Best Original Screenplay and Best Picture for the 2004 film Crash)

Paul Haggis
4
Birthdate: March 10, 1953
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ontario, Canada

 19 
David Frum
(Journalist)

David Frum
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1960
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 20 

Keegan Connor Tracy
5
Birthdate: December 3, 1971
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Windsor, Ontario Windsor, Ontario, Canada

 21 
Louise Penny
(Writer)

Louise Penny
6
Birthdate: July 1, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Once a CBC journalist, Louise Penny is now an award-winning mystery writer. Her bestselling Armand Gamache series of novels have been published in over 20 languages. The five-time Agatha Award-winning author has also launched an award for budding Canadian mystery writers. She had met her husband on a blind date.

 22 
Meg Tilly
(Actress)

Meg Tilly
4
Birthdate: February 14, 1960
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Long Beach, California, USA

Meg Tilly is an actress best known for her role in the drama mystery film Agnes of God, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. She began her career as a dancer and eventually took up acting roles. She loves to write as a hobby and is the author of many novels. 

 23 
Paul Hellyer
(Politician, Ufologist, Writer)

Paul Hellyer
3
Birthdate: August 6, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Waterford, Ontario

 24 
Diana Hart
(Model, Writer)

Diana Hart
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Calgary, Alberta, Canada

 25 
Justine Musk
(Author, Elon Musk’s Ex-wife)

Justine Musk
9
Birthdate: September 2, 1974
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Peterborough, Canada

Ex-wife of business magnet Elon Musk, Justine Musk is a Canadian author most recognised for her contemporary fantasy novel, BloodAngel. She wrote two more books Uninvited and Lord of Bones, both of which were appreciated. A Queen’s University graduate, she was employed as an English teacher in Japan before she moved back to US and later married Elon Musk.

 26 
David Shore
(Film director, Screenwriter, Film producer, Writer, Lawyer)

David Shore
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1959
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London

 27 
Serge Monast
(Journalist)

Serge Monast
4
Birthdate: 1945 AD
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: December 5, 1996

Serge Monast was a Québécois investigative journalist, poet, and essayist. He was also known as a conspiracy theorist. He wrote extensively on the theme of the New World Order in the 1990s and was particularly inspired by the works of fellow conspiracy theorist William Guy Carr. Project Blue Beam (NASA) is one of his most popular works. 

 28 
Margaret Trudeau
(Author, Actress)

Margaret Trudeau
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

 29 
Tarek Fatah
(Journalist Known for His Fiery Stance on Pakistan)

Tarek Fatah
4
Birthdate: November 20, 1949
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Karachi, Pakistan

Tarek Fatah is a Canadian liberal journalist, author, commentator, and Islamic reformer. Fatah, who was born in Pakistan, is renowned for his criticism of Islamism and Pakistan. Thanks to his views, Fatah remains a controversial figure in several Islamic countries. He is also known for his activism and has been active in advocacy groups that support causes like LGBT rights.

 30 
Cory Doctorow
(Blogger, Journalist, and Science Fiction Author Who Served as Co-editor of the Blog Boing Boing)

Cory Doctorow
3
Birthdate: July 17, 1971
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 31 
Steven Erikson
(Anthropologist, Writer)

Steven Erikson
3
Birthdate: October 7, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Toronto

Canadian novelist Steven Erikson is best-known for authoring the widely acclaimed ten-volume epic-fantasy series Malazan Book of the Fallen. Other notable works of Erikson include The Kharkanas Trilogy, a prequel to Malazan Book of the Fallen series; the Willful Child Trilogy, a spoof on Star Trek; and The Witness Trilogy, first novel of which is planned for a November-2021 release.

 32 
Emma Donoghue
(Novelist)

Emma Donoghue
3
Birthdate: October 24, 1969
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland

Alex Awards winning Irish-Canadian playwright, literary historian, short story writer, novelist, and screenwriter Emma Donoghue is best known for authoring award winning novels like Room and Hood. Room, an international best-seller, was adapted into a film bearing same title that not only emerged as a critical and commercial success but also garnered four Oscar nominations at the 88th Academy Awards.

 33 
Gail Simmons
(Writer)

Gail Simmons
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1976
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 34 
Lisa Jakub
(Writer)

Lisa Jakub
4
Birthdate: December 27, 1978
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

 35 
Danny Antonucci
(Animator)

Danny Antonucci
3
Birthdate: February 27, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Toronto, Canada

 36 
Anna Olson
(Television show host, cookbook author, and pastry chef)

Anna Olson
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1968
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia, United States

 37 
Rupi Kaur
(Poet)

Rupi Kaur
13
Birthdate: October 4, 1992
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Hoshiarpur,Punjab, India Punjab, India

Rupi Kaur is an Indian-born Canadian poet, photographer, illustrator, and author. Born in India, she moved to Canada at an early age. She began performing in 2009 and gained international fame through her Instagram posts. She often explores her South Asian identity and femininity in her work. Her latest poetry collection, Home Body, released in 2020, was a resounding success. 

 38 
Bilal Philips
(teacher, writer)

Bilal Philips
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kingston

Bilal Philips is a Canadian author, Islamic teacher, and speaker. He is best known for founding the International Open University where he is currently serving as the chancellor. Bilal Philips has written and commented on many Islamic books and has also appeared on numerous satellite and national television channels, such as Saudi TV, Peace TV, and Sharjah TV.

 39 
Albert S. Ruddy
(Film producer, Screenwriter)

Albert S. Ruddy
3
Birthdate: March 28, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montreal

 40 
Bryan Lee O'Malley
(Canadian Cartoonist Best Known for His 'Scott Pilgrim' Series)

Bryan Lee O'Malley
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1979
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London, Ontario, Canada

Bryan Lee O'Malley is a Canadian cartoonist and musician. He is best known for his work in the Scott Pilgrim series. One of the most celebrated cartoonists of his generation, O'Malley has won several prestigious awards, such as the Doug Wright Award and Joe Shuster Award.

 41 
Brent Butt
(Actor, Writer, Comedian)

Brent Butt
3
Birthdate: August 3, 1966
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Tisdale, Canada

Best known as Brent Leroy from the Canadian sitcom Corner Gas, Brent Butt had initially worked as a drywaller and had also owned a publishing company. He then tasted success with stand-up comedy and later formed his own production company. He is also a 4-time Canadian Comedy Award winner.

 42 
Janette Oke
(Writer, Novelist, Children's writer)

Janette Oke
3
Birthdate: February 18, 1935
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Champion, Alberta

 43 
Yann Martel
(Author best known for the Man Booker Prize–winning novel Life of Pi)

Yann Martel
3
Birthdate: June 25, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Salamanca, Spain

Canadian author Yann Martel gained international fame with his Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi, which was later made into an Oscar-winning movie. Born to a diplomat and poet father, Martel lived in places such as Spain and France in childhood and worked odd jobs before he began writing.

 44 
Dan Hill
(Singer, Songwriter, Writer, Singer-songwriter)

Dan Hill
3
Birthdate: June 3, 1954
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto

 45 
Adrienne Clarkson
(26th Governor General of Canada)

Adrienne Clarkson
3
Birthdate: February 10, 1939
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Central, Hong Kong

 46 
Anna Silk
(Actress)

Anna Silk
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1974
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada

 47 
Hiro Kanagawa
(Actor known for roles in Netflix's Altered Carbon and The Man in the High Castle)

Hiro Kanagawa
3
Birthdate: October 13, 1963
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan

 48 
Guy Gavriel Kay
(Lawyer, Writer)

Guy Gavriel Kay
3
Birthdate: November 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Weyburn

 49 
Irshad Manji
(Author and founder of the Moral Courage Project)

Irshad Manji
3
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: Kampala, Uganda

 50 
Douglas Coupland
(Known for First Novel, the 1991 International Bestseller ‘Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture’)

Douglas Coupland
3
Birthdate: December 30, 1961
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: CFB Baden–Soellingen, Germany

Douglas Coupland is a Canadian novelist and artist who popularized the term “Generation X” mentioned in his international bestseller Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture. He has published several novels, collections of short stories, and works of non-fiction. His art is frequently exhibited at the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.