W.O. Mitchell, Author

W.O. Mitchell, Author

mitchellWho Was W.O. Mitchell?

W.O. Mitchell, the only Canadian author known by his initials, was born William Ormond Mitchell on March 13, 1914 in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. The author's vivid descriptions of prairie life are based on his early years spent in the Canadian prairies.

Employed as the fiction editor for Maclean's in Toronto from 1948 to 1951, Mitchell also became known as a gifted teacher and taught creative writing at the University of Alberta and was Director of the Writing Division at the Banff Centre for Fine Arts. He soon became Writer-in-Residence at York University in Toronto, and the University of Windsor. For more information please visit www.womitchell.ca

First Novel

n307431In 1947, his first novel Who Has Seen the Wind, now a Canadian classic, was published to great critical acclaim and made into a film production in 1977. Several other novels followed, with the best loved How I Spent My Summer Holidays in 1981 and Roses Are Difficult Here in 1990. In 1997, the W.O. Mitchell Literary Prize was established in memory of Mitchell's mentor and teacher, F.M. Salter. The prize is awarded to writers who have acted as successful mentors to other fellow writers. W.O. Mitchell died at his home in Calgary on February 25, 1998. He was 83 years old. An entry in the 1998 Canadian World Encyclopedia was included by publishers McClelland & Stewart for W.O. Mitchell as a tribute to the extraordinary career of a masterful writer.


List of works, awards and honours for W.O. Mitchell:

1942 - Short stories published in the Queen's Quarterly and Maclean's magazine.

1947 - First novel published to critical acclaim: Who Has Seen the Wind.

1949 - First radio play produced by CBC Radio: The Devil's Instrument.

1950 - Radio series Jake and the Kid starts and runs for 320 episodes until 1956.

1953 - The Alien is published in serial form in Maclean's and runs until 1954.

1961 - Radio series of Jake and the Kid is televised.

1962 - Second novel published The Kite.

1965 - The Black Bonspiel of Wullie MacCrimmon: CBC Television production adapted from a radio play.

1967 - Production of a musical Wild Rose.

1973 - Third novel published: The Vanishing Point.

1977 - Film production based on Who Has Seen the Wind.

1981 - Fourth novel published: How I Spent My Summer Holidays.

1982 - The Dramatic: W.O. Mitchell published a collection of 5 plays.

1984 - Fifth novel published: Since Daisy Creek, hailed as a "Canadian Moby Dick".

1988 - Sixth novel published: Ladybug, Ladybug.

1989 - According to Jake and the Kid, a short story collection published.

1990 - Seventh novel published: Roses Are Difficult Here.

1992 - Last novel published: For Art's Sake.

Awards and Honours:

1973 - W.O. Mitchell was made an Officer of the Order of Canada

1976 - Winner of the Chalmers Award for his play Back to Beulah.

1962 and 1990 - Winner of the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour, for his collections of Jake and the Kid stories.

1992 - W.O. Mitchell was made a Member of the Privy Council of Canada.


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