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Carleigh
Baker

Carleigh Baker is a nêhiyaw âpihtawikosisân/Icelandic writer. Her debut short story collection Bad Endings won the City of Vancouver Book Award in 2017 and was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Emerging Indigenous Voices Award for fiction. Baker was writer-in-residence at the Berton House Writers’ Retreat in 2019 and a 2020 Jack and Doris Shadbolt Fellow at Simon Fraser University. She is currently completing The Matriarchs, a novel about woefully unprepared environmentalists in Yukon’s Peel River Watershed. An excerpt of this work was published by Hairstreak Butterfly Review. Baker lives in Vancouver. 

Award History

2017 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize
for Bad Endings

Jury Citation

“In Bad Endings, Carleigh Baker has created a skillfully woven tapestry of stories, centred on strong, contemporary female characters battling for agency over their own lives. Whether standing in a river catching salmon as part of rehab, spending time on a honey farm, or riding the SkyTrain, Baker’s characters are wholly autonomous, and wholly convincing. Their lives are awkward, absurd, beautiful, and desperate. We were impressed by the precisely drawn dilemmas the characters face, the way each story traces a quiet yet inevitable arc. Bad Endings is a work of a profoundly talented writer who wields gentleness, subtlety, and generosity as her tools. These stories are not about happy endings — they are about powerful endings, and we found them nothing short of electrifying.” — 2017 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Michael Christie, Christy Ann Conlin, and Tracey Lindberg)

Program History

2020

Rising Stars

Writer in Residence

Berton House Writers' Retreat

Works recognized by WT