Skip to content


Jen Neale has an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia. In 2012, she won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her story “The Elk-Headed Man.” Her short fiction has appeared The Puritan, This Magazine, The Masters Review, Maisonneuve, and Little Fiction. As a writer and editor for Oxford University Press (China), she produces educational material for the Hong Kong market. Neale lives in Vancouver.

Award History

2018 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for Land Mammals and Sea Creatures

Jury Citation

"Jen Neale’s Land Mammals and Sea Creatures is a novel which nimbly follows a zig-zagging shoreline between the magic and the real, the beautiful and the vile, the quietly unassuming, and bang-out crazy. What begins with a beached whale dying on a remote B.C. beach spirals into a story of fish guts and human frailties, of intractable war wounds and uncanny animal suicides, of fathers and daughters, and PTSD and the legacies of depression. First-time novelist Neale has managed something truly original: a salty tale of port-town dysfunction and universal pain, written with such abundant beauty and stickily visceral imagery, it corrals every sense. This is a novel to be read not just with the head, but the whole body."

— 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Ann Y.K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, Robert Wiersema)

Jury Citation

“‘Elk-Headed Man’ has it all: pure imaginative power, sharp humour, emotional honesty and real insight. Throw in a hard-to-resist main character – he’s the strong silent type – and add a few flourishes of raw writerly style and you get a finely crafted story that re-plants the hot seed of Latin American magic realism into the cold heart of the Canadian wilderness.” — 2012 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award Jury (Alexander MacLeod, Johanna Skibsrud, and Madeleine Thien)

Works recognized by WT

Elk-Headed Man