Michelle Barker

Michelle Barker

Vancouver, BC

Surrey International Writers' Conference Storyteller Award (Winner, 2017)

Ontario Library Association Forest of Reading Golden Oak Award (Short-listed, 2016)

TD Canadian Children's Literature Award (Short-listed, 2016)

Blotter/Laine Cunningham Novel Award (Runner-up, 2012)

Surrey International Writers' Conference Storyteller Award (Runner-up, 2009)

Surrey International Writers Conference creative non-fiction contest (Winner, 2003)

Gold National Magazine Award in personal journalism (Winner, 2002)


Young adult (YA) Fiction (Ages 12 and up)


I am a writer and the mother of four children. I was born and raised in Vancouver, and did my undergraduate degree in English literature at UBC—with a year abroad at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. I have lived in France, Quebec, and the Okanagan before returning to Vancouver. 

My writing career began in newspapers and magazines and, once I had children, led to a monthly column for B.C. Parent Newsmagazine. I published some short fiction and began writing a book review column in the Sherbrooke Record newspaper. Creative non-fiction led to a National Magazine Award. Then, with the help of a Canada Council grant I wrote my first novel, a YA fantasy called The Beggar King, published by Thistledown Press in 2013.

In 2015 I completed a Master’s degree in creative writing at UBC. During my time there, I worked with writers in the mentorship program, Booming Ground, and sat on the poetry editorial board of Prism International. I then taught classes at the Shatford Centre for the Arts in Penticton, and now work one-on-one with writers whenever the opportunity arises. 

Most recently my writing has shifted from fantasy to historical fiction. I’ve fallen in love with Germany—understandable, since my mother was born and raised there. My picture book, A Year of Borrowed Men, was nominated for several awards including the TD Canadian Children’s Literature award. My novel for teens, The House of One Thousand Eyes, will be published in the Fall of 2018 by Annick Press. I am presently working on another historical novel for teens set in post-war Germany.