Lauren Kirshner is a writer, arts educator and Assistant Professor of English at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Her novel, Where We Have to Go (M&S), which the Globe and Mail called “a very strong original debut,” was a finalist for the City of Toronto Book Award. It has been translated into Dutch and German and also earned her “Toronto’s Best Emerging Author” award from NOW magazine.
Lauren’s journalism, short fiction, and memoir have appeared in publications across North America including The Globe and Mail, Hazlitt, PRISM International, Taddle Creek, The Toronto Star, Chatelaine, The National Post, ELLE, THIS, Carousel and Room.
Her non-fiction work about the maquiladora workers of Juarez, Mexico, “Twenty Poems about Claudia,” was included in the paper documentary I Live Here. When she was 19, one of Lauren’s first writing assignments was an interview with late great Clash guitarist and singer Joe Strummer for NOW magazine.
She’s received the Arthur Irwin Award for Distinction in Journalism, an Eden Mills Literary Festival Prize, and two Hart House Poetry Awards. In 2020, she won the Ryerson University New Faculty Teaching Award.
Lauren is a graduate of The University of Toronto’s Masters of English in the Field of Creative Writing, where she was mentored by Margaret Atwood. In 2019, she received her PhD from the York-Ryerson Joint Program in Communication and Culture, where her dissertation was nominated for a Governor General’s Gold Medal.
As an arts educator, Lauren has taught hundreds of workshops in the community since 2004, and designed and facilitated programming for organizations including Luminato, Harbourfront Centre and The Toronto Public Library.
She is the Founding Director of Sister Writes, a creative writing program for women hailed by The Toronto Star as a groundbreaking initiative. In 2018, Lauren received an ArtsBridges Award for Remarkable Achievement in Community Arts.
Lauren is a Long Form 2015 mentor.