Peter J. Atwood fiction

A little bit about Peter J. Atwood

A photo of Peter Atwood
Smiling in Ottawa, 2015

Born in Halifax, Canada, I grew up in Ottawa and Winnipeg. My family’s roots are still in Nova Scotia, but it was in Winnipeg that I spent my formative years. During my time studying English Literature at the University of Winnipeg, I worked as an editorial assistant, self-published a book of poetry, and then founded Blizzard Publishing with friend and fellow student, Gordon Shillingford.

My love for books, I soon discovered, had turned me into an erstwhile entrepreneur. But the challenges of running a small literary book publisher brought unexpected rewards. Within the first year, I attended the book editing workshop offered at the time by the Banff Centre, and now part of the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing. During those intense short weeks, I met a number of wonderfully odd people—whose most odd feature was the calm, attentive, and diplomatic temperament they shared with me. All of them were working in publishing and wanted to be book editors. I had found my tribe.

I was an editor, but a publisher too. And in that role I was privileged to represent my company and my fellow literary publishers in the larger Canadian industry, serving on the boards of the Literary Press Group of Canada, the Association of Canadian Publishers, and Access Copyright, among others.

I eventually left publishing. The transition years found me living in Toronto, Seoul, Beijing, Cairo, Kathmandu, and Ottawa, where I worked, at times, as a book editor, a Web editor, and a bureaucrat. Living abroad returned me to writing, and I was lucky enough to attend the Clarion Writer’s Workshop, which was formative.

I now live in Kyiv, Ukraine, where I write for a living. I am married to a diplomat, with two daughters, and my son and granddaughter live in Toronto.