Canadian Women Writers

Throughout history, there have been many Canadian women writers who have made significant contribution to the field. The list includes many familiar and great Canadian female writers such as Margaret Atwood, Naomi Klein, Lucy Maud Montgomery, Jane Jacobs, Alice Munro.

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

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Lucy Maud Montgomery
4
Birthdate: November 30, 1874
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New London, Canada
Died: April 24, 1942
Canadian author Lucy Maud Montgomery is best remembered for her iconic novel Anne of Green Gables and its sequels. She had also authored countless short stories, poems, and essays. Most of her novels are set in her native Prince Edward Island. She was honored with the OBE.

 2 
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.

 3 
Katherine Ryan
(Comedian, Actress)

Katherine Ryan
5
Birthdate: June 30, 1983
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada

Canadian comedian Katherine Ryan initially worked at a restaurant to support her education and then stepped into open mic and comedy nights. She has performed across Canada and the UK and even at the LA-based Comedy Store. Now an actor, too, she is also a 2-time skin cancer survivor.

 4 
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.

 5 
Jane Jacobs
(Journalist)

Jane Jacobs
4
Birthdate: May 4, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: April 25, 2006

American-Canadian journalist Jane Jacobs is best known for her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities. A specialist in urban culture and its issues, she was one of the few women who excelled in a male-dominated field. The Vincent Scully Prize winner was initially scorned at as a housewife.

 6 
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.

 7 
Andrea Martin
(Actress)

Andrea Martin
5
Birthdate: January 15, 1947
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Portland, Maine, USA

American-Canadian actor Andrea Martin is best known for her roles in movies such as My Big Fat Greek Wedding. She has also won Tony and Drama Desk awards for her performances in plays such as My Favorite Year and Pippin. Her one-woman show Nude, Nude, Totally Nude was a hit.

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 8 
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.  

 9 
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. 

 10 
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. 

 11 

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

 12 
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.

 13 
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. 

 14 
Diana Hart
(Model, Writer)

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

 15 
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.

 16 
Margaret Trudeau
(Author, Actress)

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

 17 
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.

 18 
Gail Simmons
(Writer)

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

 19 
Lisa Jakub
(Writer)

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

 20 
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

 21 
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. 

 22 
Janette Oke
(Writer, Novelist, Children's writer)

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

 23 

Victoria Pratt
3
Birthdate: December 18, 1970
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Chesley, Ontario, Canada

Actor, author, and fitness model Victoria Pratt is best known for her roles such as that of Queen Cyane in Xena: Warrior Princess. She excels in karate and kickboxing. She also boasts of a Canadian Track & Field Championship medal and has a degree in kinesiology.

 24 
Adrienne Clarkson
(26th Governor General of Canada)

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

 25 
Nellie McClung
(Writer, Human rights activist, Politician)

Nellie McClung
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1873
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 1, 1951

Canadian author and social reformer Nellie McClung had struck gold with her first novel, Sowing Seeds in Danny, a bestseller. She also spoke widely about woman suffrage and was part of the Alberta legislature. She was part of The Famous Five, a group of women who launched the Persons Case.

 26 
Anna Silk
(Actress)

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

 27 
Margaret Laurence
(Novelist, Writer, Children's writer)

Margaret Laurence
3
Birthdate: July 18, 1926
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Neepawa
Died: January 5, 1987

 28 
Irshad Manji
(Author and founder of the Moral Courage Project)

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

Kari Skogland
3
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Ottawa

 30 
Miriam Toews
(writer)

Miriam Toews
3
Birthdate: May 21, 1964
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Steinbach

 31 
Anne Carson
(Linguist, Poet, Translator, Writer, University teacher, Literary critic)

Anne Carson
3
Birthdate: June 21, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto

Born to a banker in Toronto, Anne Carson grew up to study Classics and later taught at institutes such as Princeton University. Her signature style consists of a mix of prose and poetry. One of her notable works, Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse, was inspired by Greek mythology.

 32 
Shulamith Firestone
(Writer, Feminist)

Shulamith Firestone
3
Birthdate: January 7, 1945
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ottawa
Died: August 28, 2012

 33 
Kelley Armstrong
(Novelist, Writer)

Kelley Armstrong
3
Birthdate: December 14, 1968
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Greater Sudbury

 34 
Elisabeth Brooks
(Actress, Singer)

Elisabeth Brooks
0
Birthdate: July 2, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Died: September 7, 1997

 35 

Mavis Gallant
2
Birthdate: August 11, 1922
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Montreal, Canada
Died: February 18, 2014

 36 

Susanna Moodie
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bungay, England
Died: April 8, 1885

English-Canadian writer Susanna Moodie is best known for her realistic depictions of her life in “the bush” or the wilderness of Canada, which was a British colony back in her time. Her most popular work remains Roughing it in the Bush. She had initially also penned several children’s stories.

 37 

Lisa Codrington
1
Birthdate: 0000 AD
Birthplace: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

 38 
Maureen Jennings
(novelist, writer)

Maureen Jennings
3
Birthdate: 1939 AD
Birthplace: Birmingham

 39 
Terri Tatchell
(screenwriter)

Terri Tatchell
3
Birthdate: 1978 AD
Birthplace: Canada

 40 
Rosie Shuster
(Screenwriter)

Rosie Shuster
3
Birthdate: June 19, 1950
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Toronto

 41 
Jeanne Sauvé
(Politician)

Jeanne Sauvé
3
Birthdate: April 26, 1922
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Prud’homme, Canada
Died: January 26, 1993

 42 
Carol Shields
(Novelist)

Carol Shields
2
Birthdate: June 2, 1935
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Oak Park, Illinois, United States
Died: July 16, 2003
The Pulitzer Prize-winning Canadian novelist Carol Shields was known for capturing and highlighting domesticity in her writings. Most of her writings centred around the lives of women, the genesis of art, notions of gender, etc. Her seventh novel, The Stone Diaries, won a Pulitzer Prize for fiction (1995), and was shortlisted for a Booker Prize.

 43 

Fannie Farmer
2
Birthdate: March 23, 1857
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Died: January 15, 1915

 44 
Joyce Cheng
(Singer, Actress)

Joyce Cheng
0
Birthdate: May 30, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vancouver, Canada

 45 
Tara Moss
(Author, Model)

Tara Moss
0
Birthdate: October 2, 1973
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Victoria, British Columbia

 46 
Deborah Ellis
(Writer, Children's writer)

Deborah Ellis
3
Birthdate: August 7, 1960
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Cochrane

 47 
Marjorie Gross
(Writer, Television producer, Screenwriter)

Marjorie Gross
3
Birthdate: April 18, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Toronto
Died: June 7, 1996

 48 
Gabrielle Roy
(Writer, Novelist)

Gabrielle Roy
2
Birthdate: March 22, 1909
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Saint Boniface
Died: July 13, 1983

 49 
Ann-Marie MacDonald
(Playwright, Actress)

Ann-Marie MacDonald
2
Birthdate: October 29, 1958
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: CFB Baden–Soellingen, Germany

 50 
Sheila Copps
(Journalist, Politician, Autobiographer, Writer)

Sheila Copps
4
Birthdate: November 27, 1952
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hamilton