Richard Scarsbrook (Photo by D. McMann)

Short Bio

Richard Scarsbrook is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry: Cheeseburger Subversive, Featherless Bipeds, Destiny’s Telescope, The Monkeyface Chronicles, Nothing Man and The Purple Zero, Six Weeks, The Indifference League, and Rockets Versus Gravity.

He won the 2011 White Pine Award, and his books have been finalists for the CLA YA Book of the Year, the Stellar Book Prize, and the ReLit Award.

His individual stories and poems have been published widely, and have won many other prizes. Richard teaches Creative Writing courses at George Brown College and the Humber School for Writers, and has been the Writer in Residence for a number of institutions.

Medium Bio

Richard Scarsbrook is the author of eight books of fiction and poetry: Cheeseburger Subversive, Featherless Bipeds, Destiny’s Telescope, The Monkeyface Chronicles, Nothing Man and The Purple Zero, Six Weeks, The Indifference League, and Rockets Versus Gravity.

His short stories and poems have appeared in The Guardian (UK), Reed Magazine (USA), The Vestal Review (USA), The Los Angeles Times (USA), The Stockholm Literary Review (Sweden), Descant, Vallum, The Dalhousie Review, Existere, Prairie Fire, Jones Avenue, Carousel, PRECIPICe, Lies With Occasional Truth, Matrix, The Toronto Quarterly, The Moose and Pussy, The Nashwaak Review, Rampike, Storyteller, The New Orphic Review, The Harpweaver, Backwater Review, NeWest Review, Surface and Symbol, Zygote, and many other journals, magazines, anthologies and collections. 

Richard’s books have been short-listed for the CLA Book of the Year Award (twice), the Stellar Book Prize, and ReLit Award, and the OLA White Pine Award (twice), which he won in 2011 for The Monkeyface Chronicles. His poetry chapbook Guessing at Madeline won the 1997 Cranberry Tree Press Poetry Chapbook Competition.  

He has also won the Matrix LitPop Award, the Hinterland Award for Prose, the Lawrence House Centre for the Arts Short Story Competition, the New Orphic Short Story Prize, the Scarborough Arts Council Poetry Competition, and has been a finalist for the Exile/Vanderbilt Short Story Prize, the Seán Ó Faoláin Short Story Prize, the Fish Short Story Prize, the Bath Short Fiction Award, the New Century Writer Awards, and many others. 

Richard was a juror for the 2011 Governor General’s Literary Awards, the Host of the Ontario Library Association’s 2012 Red Maple and White Pine Awards Ceremonies, and he has served as Writer in Residence for the Toronto District School Board, and the Orangeville, Richmond Hill, and Toronto Public Libraries. He also teaches creative writing courses at George Brown and Humber Colleges, and is a mentor for the respected Humber School for Writers Correspondence Program.

Long Bio

Richard Scarsbrook is a Canadian Author.

Scarsbrook’s fiction and poetry have appeared in many publications, including The Guardian Unlimited (UK), The FISH Anthology (Ireland), Verbicide (US), Prairie Fire, Descant, Matrix, Carousel, The Dalhousie Review, PRECIPICe, Rampike, Storyteller, The New Orphic Review, The Nashwaak Review, The Harpweaver, The Backwater Review, NeWest Review, Lies With Occasional Truth, The Moose and Pussy, Jones Avenue, Surface and Symbol, and Zygote.

His stories and poems have won many prizes and awards, including the 1998 Hinterland Award for Prose, the 2001 New Orphic Short Story Prize, the 2001 Scarborough Arts Council Poetry Prize, the 2002 Lawrence House Centre for the Arts Short Story Prize, and the 2009 Matrix LitPop Award for Fiction.

His first book publication was Guessing at Madeleine, a collection of poems which won the 1996 Cranberry Tree Press Poetry Prize.

Scarsbrook’s first novel, Cheeseburger Subversive, was published by Thistledown Press in 2003, to positive reviews and great reader response. Renowned author W.P. Kinsella (Shoeless Joe, Dance Me Outside), wrote this in Books in Canada: “Cheeseburger Subversive is a coming of age story written with humour and panache. Scarsbrook has a special eye for the absurd, a wonderful way of looking at the world that turns tragedy into humor. A very funny and heart-warming debut.”

Cheeseburger Subversive was short listed for The Canadian Library Association’s 2004 Young Adult Book of the Year Award, The Ontario Library Association’s 2005 White Pine Award, and the 2005 Stellar Book Award

Featherless Bipeds, the sequel to Cheeseburger Subversive, was published by Thistledown Press in 2006, and was short-listed for the Canadian Library Association’s 2007 Young Adult Book of the Year Award, and the 2008/2009 Stellar Book Award.

There were many excellent reviews, including this one from Storyteller: Canada’s Short Story Magazine: “Featherless Bipeds remains at all times as tightly focused as the best short stories … Fans of live pop music will enjoy Scarsbrook’s wonderful evocations of the characters, venues, trials, and successes of such a career, as well as the experience of making music, both onstage and off.”

Destiny’s Telescope, a collection of Scarsbrook’s prize-winning short stories, was published in 2006 by Turnstone Press. Reviewer Mike Gillespie, of the Ottawa Citizen, wrote that “Destiny’s Telescope is … a gem. Scarsbrook’s stories are arresting. Anyone looking through the lens of this Telescope can’t miss the author’s own star – rising up through the literary universe to a date with charmed destiny.”

The book was long-listed for the 2007 ReLit Award, and many individual stories in the collection won magazine and fiction competition prizes.

Scarsbrook’s novel The Monkeyface Chronicles, was published in 2010, to excellent reviews. CM Magazine called the book a “multi-layered, engrossing, complex tale”, and a review in Resource Links said “Scarsbrook is an excellent writer with great comic overtones”. A review by author Ann Ewan (Firedrake, Brondings’ Honour) said of The Monkeyface Chronicles, “It reminds me of the books of Paul Quarrington and John Irving, creating an over-the-top yet close-to-real world.”

The Monkeyface Chronicles was the winner of the Ontario Library Association’s 2011 White Pine Award.

Scarsbrook’s most recent YA novel is Nothing Man and The Purple Zero, published by DCB/Cormorant in 2014. It has been HIGHLY RECOMMENDED by CanLit – Books for Kids and Teens, Recommended by The Canadian Children’s Book Centre, and was a BEST BOOKS OF 2013 selection in Resource Links Magazine.

Richard also released his first book of poetry, Six Weeks, with Turnstone in 2014. “Don’t let the sparseness of Richard Scarsbrook’s writing fool you – the poems in Six Weeks are lush, layered, and rich with wit and imagination.” – Jeanette Lynes.

Scarsbrook’s much-anticipated next book, The Indifference League, was published by Dundurn in September 2014, to many excellent reviews, and his next novel, Rockets Versus Gravity, will also be published by Dundurn in Fall 2016. His next book of poetry, Apocalypse One Hundred, will be published by Turnstone Press in Spring 2017.

Richard Scarsbrook’s biography is listed in the Canadian Who’s Who, “the largest and most authoritative publication of its kind in Canada, offering instant access to nearly fourteen thousand notable Canadians in all walks of life”.

Author Profiles

Other Stuff

Richard Scarsbrook is also a Teacher and Entertainer.

Scarsbrook grew up in the tiny rural community of Olinda (near Leamington, Ontario). He attended elementary school at Ruthven Public School, graduated from Kingsville District High School, earned an Honours BA in History from The University of Western Ontario, and a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Ottawa.

He lived and taught in Petrolia, Ontario for nearly a decade, where he acted, directed, and served as a member of the board of directors for the Petrolia Community Theatre, playing roles such as Mr. Toad in Toad of Toad Hall, Gratiano in The Merchant of Venice, Scrooge in A Christmas Carol, and Jonathan Brewster in Arsenic and Old Lace.

In Petrolia, he also wrote original songs, and played the drums and sang in a band called The Know. He also began publishing his first short stories and poems at this time, in many Canadian and international magazines, journals and anthologies.

Scarsbrook now makes his home in Toronto, Ontario, where he teaches creative writing courses at Humber College and George Brown College. Many of his students have gone on to publish their first works after taking one of his courses. (Click HERE for Scarsbrook’s current course offerings).

Scarsbrook is available for school, library, festival, book club, and other appearances. He has nearly twenty years teaching experience the elementary, high school and college levels, and can present on a variety of writing-related topics to groups of varying size and age. Funding assistance is available through The Writers’ Union of Canada Ontario Arts Council Writers in the Schools Program, as well as through The Canada Council for the Arts Readings Program. Email to make a booking!

He also plays and sings with with various rock bands, and has performed in venues such as The Rivoli, The Guverment, Healey’s Roadhouse, The Opera House, The Tattoo Rock Parlour, The Royal York Hotel, The Hard Rock Cafe and The Black Swan (all in Toronto), The Hard Rock Cafe and The Liquor Store Bar in Ottawa, and The Just For Laughs Studio in Montreal.