Born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Myrna Kostash is a fulltime writer of nonfiction in several genres.
Books (selected): All of Baba’s Children (1978); Long Way From Home: The Story of the Sixties Generation in Canada (1980); Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe (1993); The Doomed Bridegroom: A Memoir (1997); Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan River (2005), The Frog Lake Reader (2009). Prodigal Daughter: A Journey into Byzantium (2010). The Seven Oaks Reader (2016).
Kostash has written for diverse magazines, such as Chatelaine and Saturday Night, Canadian Geographic and Books in Canada, Literary Review of Canada and Alberta Views. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in (selected) Brick, Border Crossings, Capilano Review, Grain, Prairie Fire, Rhubarb, Geist, Dooney’s Cafe, and dandeLion. Her essays and articles have appeared in anthologies (selected) such as Going Some Place: Creative Non-fiction Across Canada; Why Are You Telling Me This? Eleven Acts of Intimate Journalism; The Thinking Heart: Best Canadian Essays; The Vintage Book of Canadian Memoirs; Edmonton on Location: River City Chronicles; and Slice Me Some Truth: An Anthology of Canadian Creative Nonfiction; Unbound: Ukrainian Canadians Write Home.
Other Genres: Kostash has written radio drama and documentary, television documentary, playscripts and theatre cabaret.
Teaching: Kostash was Max bell Professor Journalism, University of Regina 1989-90 and writer-in-residence at the University of Alberta 2003-4, and was the Haig-Brown writer-in-residence in Campbell River, BC, in 2006-07. She has taught numerous creative nonfiction creative writing workshops across Canada.
Awards: No Kidding:Inside the World of Teenage Girls and Bloodlines: A Journey Into Eastern Europe were both awarded Best Book by the Writer’s Guild of Alberta. The Next Canada: In Search of the Future Nation was a finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. Reading the River: A Traveller’s Companion to the North Saskatchewan River received the 2006 Award for Publishing at the Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her 2010 book, Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, won the City of Edmonton Book Prize, April 2011 and the Writers Guild of Alberta Wilfrid Eggleston Nonfiction Prize, June 2011. It was short-listed for the 2011 Runciman Award (U.K.) and the 2012 Kobzar Literary Award.
In 2008 the Writers Guild of Alberta presented her with the Golden Pen Award for lifetime achievement. In 2010, Kostash was recipient in 2010 of the Writers Trust Matt Cohen Award for The Writing Life.
Selected Activities: In 1989-90, Kostash served as President of the Writers Guild of Alberta and in 1993-94 as Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada. From 1995-1999 she served as Alberta representative to the Board of Governors of the Canadian Conference of the Arts [CCA]. She served on the program committee of the Edmonton Literary Festival dedicated exclusively to creative nonfiction. With Betsy Warland she co-founded the Creative Nonfiction Collective in 2004. She is a volunteer “barista” at the Carrot Community Arts café. Kostash has presented at literary festivals in Campbell River, Vancouver, Sechelt, Grande Prairie, Calgary, Moose Jaw, Winnipeg, Eden Mills and Montreal. She has served on numerous literary juries in Canada and has read at Canada Council-sponsored readings across Canada since 1979.