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About Me

I’m the author of Radiant Shimmering Light and This Cake Is for the Party. I created the Sarah Selecky Writing School in 2011, which has now grown into a creative community of over 10,000 writers from around the world.

I've been a writer since I was five years old. For me, writing is deep, important play.  I let myself come undone when I create words and images, and I find new meaning and direction in story and scene. I approach writing as an art, and also as a contemplative practice.

My first book, This Cake Is for the Party, was a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Carribean, and was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor Prize. The New York Times called the stories “utterly fascinating.” You can find my writing in The WalrusELLE CanadaFashion Magazine, and a variety of newspapers and magazines.

My novel, Radiant Shimmering Light, is available in Canada, the US, Australia, New Zealand, and the UK, and has been optioned for a premium one-hour television series. Kirkus Reviews called it “A killer satire . . . [and] a funny, tender, gimlet-eyed dive into the cult of self-improvement.”

In my writing school, we teach writers how to put writing in the centre of their life, focus on learning craft, and write what they want to read.

When I’m not writing fiction, I’m making art, observing nature, and thinking about how to connect to creative flow. 

What I Do

I lead writers and teachers in the Sarah Selecky Writing School, host conversations and workshops for Centered members, record Sarah Selecky Audio episodes, write articles of writing advice and instruction for my blog, and send letters once a month. Sign up for my newsletter.

I speak about creativity, intuition, mindfulness, wonder and story, and make appearances on podcasts, panel presentations, book clubs, festivals, conferences, and other spaces that highlight creativity and connection. Hire me to appear at your event.

I read. I'm fascinated by culture, identity and humanity, and I spend a lot of time reading stories, poetry, scientific studies, philosophy, comics, memoir, self-help, YA and children's literature, song lyrics, screenplays, and genre fiction. I read everything. 

I think about how we can make the kind of culture we want to live in. I recognize the flow of presence and integrity when I see it, study the scrambled patterns of media and culture when it looks like chaos, and I think up better ways for people to create and connect to each other.

I advise teachers, founders, writers, leaders, and artists who feel stuck. I show people how to change old patterns, take risks with style and content, recognize and eradicate clichés and stereotypical story lines (in writing and in business). Hire me as a consultant for your organization, your project, or your online program.

I writeI take time off regularly, go where nobody will find me, and focus on something I really love to do. And I advise you to do the same. 

About the Sarah Selecky Writing School

I started teaching people how to write receptively in 2001, when I ran my first workshop out of my living room in Victoria, British Columbia. 

My creative writing programs respect intellect, nature, mystery, and intuition.⁠


I’ve studied with exceptional teachers, including Natalie Goldberg, Lynda Barry, Zsuzsi Gartner and Karen Joy Fowler, and I work under their influence. I am an alumna of Hedgebrook, the Humber School for Writers and The Banff Centre, and I graduated from the University of British Columbia with an MFA in Creative Writing.

I started teaching because I couldn’t find a writing workshop that taught me what I really wanted to learn: how craft and technique can be a contemplative practice.

I wanted to learn how to achieve mastery without breaking my spirit.

After ten years, my living room writing programs grew too big for my living room. I opened my internationally celebrated online writing school in 2011, with my core program, the Story Course

In 2012, I opened the Story Intensive, the creative writing and mentorship program that's still at the heart of our school's programming today.  Guest mentors include Margaret Atwood, George Saunders, Eden Robinson, Ruth Ozeki, and Gail Carriger.

In 2021, I opened Centered, a membership site for writers who want to work better independently while also feeling the power of community and interdependence with other writers. Members write together, teach each other, and share resources in an online space that values respect, intelligence, and care.

Our graduates go on to publish books, win awards, and achieve all kinds of creative and professional success.

Since 2011, I have been writing regularly here about how to cultivate a healthy and challenging creative life.

Other Details

I am represented by Samantha Haywood of Transatlantic Agency.

  • I’m vegan.
  • I’m a dual citizen of Canada and the United States.
  • I’m a Virgo with Gemini rising.
  • I’m an Enneagram type 1.
  • I am a lifelong student of mystery, uncertainty, not-knowing.
  • I love Fabriano paper, fountain pens, dark chocolate, and green hydrangeas.
  • I live on the traditional land of the Wendat, Anishnaabeg and Haudenosaunee Peoples, near Kanien’keha:ka (Mohawk) territory, also known as Prince Edward County, Ontario.


I love receiving handwritten letters in the mail. Please send here:
P.O. Box #6271, Picton, ON, K0K 2T0, Canada

Email: I often feel overwhelmed by my inbox. If you have something important to ask or share with me, please contact support@sarahselecky.com. You’ll get a response from me or my assistant in a few business days.

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  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “You were exotically authentic! You made authenticity (showing up on the page) sexy and fun! That is a major accomplishment. Thank you. But moreover, you made me feel good, you allowed me to be a writer, in the presence of other writers… and I have made a commitment to myself, to allow that door to stay open.”

  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “Thank you for a simply amazing interview. Your honesty and sincerity in answering what were hard questions to address on the spot was noticed by many in the audience, and greatly appreciated by me. Many who were there have commented on how you taught them how to read short stories. In your brief time on stage, you taught many teachers how to read short fiction. And I know they will, and indeed have, passed it on to their students.”

    Humber College

  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “The work you've assigned has changed me, both as a writer and as a human being… I am truly grateful to you for having created an offering so imbued with artfulness, yes, but also love and wisdom.”

  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed the Saturday session in Calgary. I found it quite eye opening. I also wanted to comment on the relaxed but active vibe in the room. It was excellent! I think that you did a fantastic job guiding 50+ people through the workshop. Thanks again.”

  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “Sarah is a gifted individual, whose desire to get at the heart of literary matters is extraordinary. She is a sagacious and deeply intuitive creative writing coach and educator.”

    Author of Tarry This Night and Stoop City

  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “The wisdom that she continuously imparts distinguishes Sarah as an author and as an experienced teacher.”

  • Sarah Selecky Writing School

    “Thank you for a simply amazing interview. Your honesty and sincerity in answering what were hard questions to address on the spot was noticed by many in the audience, and greatly appreciated by me. Many who were there have commented on how you taught them how to read short stories. In your brief time on stage, you taught many teachers how to read short fiction. And I know they will, and indeed have, passed it on to their students.”

    Humber College