Alan Cumyn is the author of the beloved Owen Skye children’s novels—The Secret Life of Owen Skye, After Sylvia and Dear Sylvia—which combined have either won or been short-listed for twelve national awards in Canada and were called “literary masterpieces of their genre” by the Writers’ Trust of Canada jury that awarded him the 2016 Vicky Metcalf Award for his body of work for young readers.

He has also adapted After Sylvia for the stage and authored seven wide-ranging novels for adults including Burridge Unbound, a Giller Prize finalist, and The Famished Lover, longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. His first YA novel, Tilt, was named one of the top works for young readers in 2011 in the US by Kirkus Reviews and in Canada by Quill & Quire. His latest young adult novel is Hot Pterodactyl Boyfriend, his first publication released simultaneously in Canada, the US and the UK. Alan lives in Ottawa, Canada.

He taught English in China and Indonesia, ran a group home in Toronto, and for eight years wrote on international human rights issues for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada. He has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of Windsor, has taught at the Humber School for Writers and the Banff Centre, and he has served most recently as writer-in-residence at Berton House in Dawson City, Yukon. Alan is also a recent past Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada.


MA - Creative Writing | University of Windsor

BA - English Literature | Queen's University

Selected work

Shelley Tanaka

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Anna-Marie McLemore

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Varian Johnson

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Nova Ren Suma

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

Tom Birdseye

Faculty, MFA in WCYA

David Macinnis Gill

Faculty, MFA in WCYA