Through the Humber School for Writers and the Toronto Public Library Writer in Residence program, Jennilee Austria has been graciously mentored by Wayson Choy, Kim Echlin, Karen Connelly, Richard Scarsbrook, and more. She is a co-founding member of Pluma, the Filipino-Canadian writers and poets collective, and the Filipino-Canadian Writers and Journalists Network. With the support of the Ontario Arts Council, Jennilee writes Young Adult fiction and children’s literature.
In 2018, she edited Eric Tigley’s Hoy! A Philippine Islands Activity Book — the first Canadian children’s activity book featuring Philippine culture and history.
Her newspaper articles have been published in The Philippine Reporter, Rabble, New Canadian Media and Wanderful, and her creative writing has been published in LooseLeaf Literary Magazine, Akdang Dayo, and TAYO Literary Magazine.
An excerpt from her upcoming novel won an emerging author’s award from the Ontario Book Publishers Organization in 2017, and an upcoming short story is set to be published by Guernica Editions— coming soon!
Ontario Book Publishers Organization
The Ontario Book Publishers Organization:
“For the third edition of the 2017 Ontario Book Publishers Organization's and North York Arts’ What's Your Story? writing contest, we are presenting brand new, original work in three genres, exclusively here on Open Book. These texts - in fiction, non-fiction, and poetry - are from the winners of the North York region of the competition, and you don't want to miss them.
This unique writing contest asked authors across the city to draw inspiration from their life and experiences in the city, with a focus on neighbourhoods that don't always get starring roles in Toronto literature: Etobicoke, North York, East York, and Scarborough.”
Jennilee’s entry, “Belonging at Bathurst and Wilson” was one of the North York winners of this writing contest.
Bluegate Reading Collective
“With her fiction, Jennilee brings us in close. Using the light touch of sparse, clear prose, she creates a sumptuous intimacy in public spaces with characters who have lived and lived and now have to live some more. There is lightness and sparkle in Jennilee’s work. She takes the grind of living and feeling and does something with it that’s tender and sad and joyous all at once.”
-Shoilee Khan, Bluegate Reading Collective
TAYO Literary Magazine
LooseLeaf Literary Magazine
“Hey Aps, what do they sell here, exactly?”
“Everything you ever wanted and everything you’d never want!” Apollo replied, weaving his way through the kitchenware section. “At Honest Ed’s, there’s a section for everything: shoes, toys, underwear, rakes, lightbulbs, buttons, bread, Spam— you get the idea. There’s even a pharmacist and a dentist office buried somewhere in here!”
Delmar looked around for offices, but all he saw was an overwhelming amount of clutter that he couldn’t afford. He couldn’t believe that he used to shop at the best malls in the Philippines, but now, even Honest Ed’s was beyond his reach.