Lawrence Scanlan - Canadian Author & Journalist


Summary of Strengths

  • Award-winning journalist/author with 45 years of experience in publishing

  • Superb interviewing skills

  • The ability to make complex subjects accessible through clear and lyrical prose

  • Experience in broadly based research

  • The discipline to meet deadlines


BOOKS ——————————————————————1989-2017

  They Desire a Better Country: The Order of Canada in 50 Stories


Figure 1, published February 2017


The book tells the history of the Order of Canada as the nation’s highest civilian honour marks the fiftieth anniversary of its founding. Almost seven thousand citizens have received the award since 1967. The fifty recipients profiled here illustrate the range and depth of their accomplishment. With stunning photography. French translation by Daniel Poliquin.



  A Year of Living Generously: Dispatches From the Front Lines of Philanthropy. 

Douglas & McIntyre, published Spring 2010.

This book offers both a celebration and a critique of volunteering and philanthropy in the modern world. A film option on the book was sold to a Canadian film-maker, 90th Parallel Productions in 2008.

 The Big Red Horse

The Big Red Horse, HarperCollins, 2007

A book about the racehorse Secretariat and his devoted groom, Eddie Sweat. Aimed at a young audience.

 The Horse God Built By Lawrence Scanlan The Horse God Built: Secretariat, His Groom, Their Legacy, HarperCollins, 2006

A book about the great Thoroughbred racehorse and his relationship with the man who was closest to him. Also published in Spring 2007 in the U.S. by St. Martin’s Press. A film option was sold in the winter of 2009 to Little Dog Productions, Inc., a Canadian documentary film company.

         The Horse’s Shadow, Penguin, 2005

A Young Adult novel about a habitant girl and her two horses who get caught up in the American Civil War.

Harvest of a Quiet Eye By Lawrence Scanlan Harvest of a Quiet Eye: The Cabin as Sanctuary, Penguin, 2004

A personal essay on the log cabin (mine and others) as a place of refuge.

Grace Under Fire By Lawrence Scanlan Grace Under Fire: The State of Our Sweet and Savage Game, Penguin, 2002

A personal and historical look at violence in hockey.

Little Horse of Iron Little Horse of Iron: A Quest for the Canadian Horse, Random House, 2001

The book tells two stories: the history of Canada’s heritage horse and my own tale of buying, at the age of fifty, my first horse — a cheval canadien.

Wild About Horses Wild About Horses: Our Timeless Passion for the Horse,

Random House and HarperCollins (U.S.A.), 1998
A wide-ranging look at the history, nature and culture of the horse-human bond.
A Globe and Mail best-seller, the book was also published in Germany, Spain, and throughout Latin America and continues to sell.

Horses Forever By Lawrence Scanlan Horses Forever, Scholastic, 1998

A book for young readers about horses and our bond with them.

Heading Home By Lawrence Scanlan Heading Home: On Starting a New Life in a Country Place, Doubleday, 1996

A practical and personal book about country life based on my experience of living with my wife and son  in the village of Camden East, Ontario between 1981 and 1996.

Big Ben By Lawrence Scanlan Big Ben, Scholastic, 1994

A book for young adult readers about the life of the horse ridden by the Canadian equestrian Ian Millar. The book has been reprinted several times. To date, it has sold almost 90,000 copies.

Co-author /Ghostwriter

 Life Sketches: A Memoir.

Simon & Schuster, November 2015


Robert Bateman with Lawrence Scanlan as ghostwriter. The book tells the life story of the acclaimed Canadian artist.





 Damage Done: A Mountie’s Memoir.

HarperCollins, published Spring 2015.


Deanna Lennox with Lawrence Scanlan as ghostwriter. The story of an RCMP officer who dealt with her job-induced trauma, in part, by connecting to horses.



 Dream Job: My Wild Ride on the Corporate Side, with the Leafs, the Raptors and TFC

HarperCollins, published Fall 2013.

Richard Peddie with Lawrence Scanlan. The life and times of the man at the helm of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment for 15 years, until 2012. The Woman Who Changed Her Brain

Scribner’s (U.S., Canada, U.K., Australia). Published May 2012.
This book tells the story of a remarkable Canadian woman, Barbara Arrowsmith Young, who developed a unique and pioneering program to address learning disorders. Young herself had several crippling brain deficits for twenty-eight years of her life before devising unusual brain gymnastics that effectively rewired her own brain.

Was one of two ghostwriters who worked with Margaret Trudeau on her memoir, Changing My Mind, HarperCollins, published in the fall of 2010. The book was a national bestseller.
The Rescue of Belle and Sundance The Rescue of Belle and Sundance: A Miracle on Mount Renshaw. Published Fall 2010.

Rights since sold in U.S. and Australia.
This book tells the dramatic story of how a remote community in northern British Columbia came to the rescue of two horses trapped high atop a mountain in mid-winter. Co-author Birgit Stutz played a key role in the eight-day saga, which involved digging a metre-wide, kilometre-long trench through six-foot-deep snow in extremely harsh conditions. The story grabbed the attention of media around the world. A film option was sold to a Canadian film-maker, Big Coat Productions, in February of 2010.

Flight of the Dragonfly Flight of the Dragonfly: A Mother’s Harrowing Journey to Bring Her Daughters Home, HarperCollins (Canada and Australia), 2008

This account of the Melissa Hawach story — her two pre-school daughters had been kidnapped by their father and taken into war-torn Lebanon — stayed on The Globe and Mail’s bestseller list for ten weeks in the summer of 2008.

Healed by Horses Healed by Horses: The Carole Fletcher Story, Simon & Schuster (Canada and U.S.A.), 2005

The story of a woman’s remarkable recovery from a tragic fire and her journey to a new life as a trick-horse trainer.

The Man Who Listens to Horses The Man Who Listens to Horses, Random House, 1997.

As the book’s ghost writer (in collaboration with horseman Monty Roberts, whose life the book chronicles), wrote a long Introduction and Epilogue. The book remained on the best-seller lists of The New York Times, Maclean’s, The Toronto Star and The Globe and Mail for more than a year. To date, the book has sold more than one million copies in North America.

Riding High: Ian Millar’s World of Show Jumping, McClelland & Stewart, 1990

With equestrian Ian Millar. The book made The Globe and Mail‘s top-ten list.

Participated in a roundtable discussion on the state of Canadian literature that was used in The Second Macmillan Anthology, a collection of fiction and literary criticism published by Macmillan in 1989.
Some of my literary columns were used in Quiet Voices, a Whig-Standard Magazine anthology published by Quarry Press in 1990.

BROADCASTING—————————————1988-1989, 1993-1995

CBC Radio’s Writers & Company, a national weekly hour-long program featuring interviews with writers from around the world. 1993-1995

Responsible for suggesting authors, reading their works, and preparing and editing taped interviews.

CBC Radio’s Morningside, August 1988 to July 1989, September to December 1993

Responsible for author interviews and issues related to books. Worked with host Peter Gzowski in choosing books and authors for treatment on air. Generated ideas that resulted in other items, including an unprecedented series of six programs on the world of the deaf, which put deaf guests (and their interpreters) on national radio.

Occasional Broadcaster
CBC Radio’s Morningside

Read letters sent in by listeners, 1994
Was part of Morningside’s on-air book panel, 1990 and 1991

CBC Radio’s The Arts Tonight

Wrote brief essays and read them on the air, 1993-1995

MAGAZINES—————————————-January 1990 to May 1993

Managing Editor
Harrowsmithmagazine, 1992-1993

Conceived, assigned and edited award-winning stories for this bi-monthly national magazine about rural life. Entrusted with day-to-day operations of the magazine. Edited all investigative features, plus several departments while overseeing the work of one full-time and two half-time editors.

Associate Editor
Harrowsmithmagazine, 1990-1991

Wrote features, news stories, book reviews, profiles and occasional editorials.

NEWSPAPERS———————————–December 1977 to July 1988

Literary Editor 
The Whig-Standard Magazine, 1981-1988

Expanded the newspaper’s book section into what The Writers’ Union of Canada called (following a national survey) the best in the country. Wrote a weekly column in The Whig-Standard Magazine inspired by interviews with authors and my own reading.

Copy Editor
The Kingston Whig-Standard, 1980

Wrote headlines and photo captions, edited copy, laid out op-ed pages.

The Nelson Daily News, 1979-1980

As editor of this daily newspaper in the Interior of British Columbia, supervised a staff of six, edited and laid out copy, wrote editorials and columns, and ran the dark room.

The Nelson Daily News, 1977-1978

Covered city hall, wrote news and feature stories, and took photographs.

TRADE PUBLICATIONS——————January 1973 to December 1976

Assistant Editor
Canadian Family Physician, 1973 -1976
Travelled to every province reporting from medical conventions and gathering news for a national monthly magazine aimed at the nation’s primary care doctors. Wrote occasional editorials for the magazine and about a dozen features — including an investigative piece on the state of ambulance service in Canada that led to my first interview on CBC Radio with As It Happens.

Freelance Journalism——————————————— 1976 to 2016

Published essays, op-ed pieces, feature articles and book reviews on a wide variety of subjects in many magazines and newspapers, including The Globe and Mail, The Toronto Star, The National Post, The Ottawa Citizen, The Whig-Standard, The Washington Post, The Literary Review of Canada, Canadian Geographic, Equinox, Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Books in Canada, Maclean’s, Quill & Quire, Cottage Life, The World Book Encyclopedia and Brick. Write a column on sports called Home Game in the bimonthly magazine, Kingston Life.
Following travel in Europe, South America, North Africa, Australia and New Zealand, wrote pieces that appeared in some of the above publications, along with The Financial Post Magazine, The Journal (published by the Addiction Research Foundation), and the Canadian Press.

EDUCATION———————————————————1968 to 1972

Bachelor of Arts, Honours, minor in French. Glendon College, York University, 1972.
Have worked in the French language.
Have also studied Spanish and German.

COMMUNITY SERVICE——————————————-1969 to 2016

  • Have lectured at Queen’s University, McGill, Brock, Dalhousie, and Mount Royal University in Calgary as well as high schools in Kingston and Picton — on philanthropy 2010-2015.
  • Taught high school classes on interviewing techniques, profile-writing, journalism, and book publishing as part of summer courses offered to select secondary students.
  • Conducted two-day sessions on creative writing for both primary and secondary school students in Napanee, Ontario.
  • Taught classes to aspiring adult writers at the Kingston Writers’ School.
  • Gave a workshop to aspiring writers. Organized by the Kingston Arts Council.
  • Taught writing classes inside Collins Bay Penitentiary and spoke to book clubs at Pittsburgh Institution and Millhaven Penitentiary
  • Mentored a high school student during the spring of 2016 as part of a program offered by the Kingston Writers’Fest
Public Service
  • Served on a committee that selects the best of stories written by high school students in Gananoque, Ontario, 2006 and 2007.
  • Served as poet laureate and participated in Frontier College’s 2007 bonspiel in Toronto. Fund-raiser for literacy.
  • Wrote an essay for The Library Book, a chapbook fund-raiser for the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 2003.
  • Coached little league baseball teams and minor league hockey teams in the Napanee area and Kingston between 1993 and 2004.
  • Wrote an essay for Millenium Lectures 2000, a fund-raiser for Glendon College. My subject: How radical students of the ’60s are finding satisfaction today through community involvement and volunteering.
  • Have worked, since 1985, as a volunteer with Horizons of Friendship — a non-governmental organization based in Cobourg, Ontario that endeavours to better the lot of the poor in Central America and Mexico. For the past twenty years, have served on the organizing commitee and emceed a gala literary event in Kingston that has featured Canadian artists such as Margaret Atwood, Bruce Cockburn, and Michael Ondaatje. These events have raised more than $250,000.
  • From 1992 to 1997, served on a committee in the village of Camden East, Ontario that acted as a virtual board of governors, fund-raising co-ordinator, and guiding force for a community school that continued to operate long after the publicly funded school had been shut down.
  • In 1969 and 1970, organized Glendon College’s “Shinerama” fund-raiser for the Canadian Cystic Fribrosis Foundation. This was a major responsibility that involved mobilizing hundreds of students to shine shoes at various locations around the city, dropping off supplies, and collecting money raised.

LITERARY ASSOCIATIONS—————————————–1986-2016

  • Served on two Canada Council juries, plus one Ontario Arts Council jury, 1989-1991.
  • Served on several prize juries, including the Marian Engel Award, 1986.
  • Acted as Judge, Western Magazine Awards, 1993 and 1994.
  • Member of PEN (Poets, Essayists and Novelists).
  • Member of The Writers’ Union of Canada. As Ontario rep, I sat on National Council, 2008-2010.
  • Served on the jury for the Ottawa Book Award, non-fiction category, 2009
  • Served as the judge of creative non-fiction entries in contest held by the literary magazine, Prairie Fire, 2012.
  • Member of the Board of Directors, Kingston Writers’ Festival since 2013.
  • Member of the Board of Directors of Wintergreen Studios, a non-profit artists’ retreat north of Kingston, since 2013.

PUBLISHING AWARDS———————————————-1991-2011

  • The 2007 Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award
  • The Horse’s Shadow was shortlisted and was also selected as a “choice” title by the Canadian Childrens’ Book Centre in 2006.Silver, National Magazine Awards, 1996
  • Travel category, for “Why Humans Love Horses” in Equinox magazine.Gold, National Magazine Awards, 1991
  • Environment category, for “The Killing Fields”(about hazards posed by electromagnetic radiation), in Harrowsmith magazine.Silver, National Magazine Awards, 1991
  • Science, Health and Medicine category, for “The Killing Fields” in Harrowsmith magazine.Honourable Mention, The Canadian Association of Journalists, 1991Magazines category, for “The Killing Fields” in Harrowsmith magazine.