Tyler Keevil's Writing Room

'Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories - and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.' - Alice Munro

Tyler Keevil is an award-winning writer from Vancouver, Canada.  He is the author of three novels - Fireball, The Drive, and No Good Brother - and the short story collection, Burrard Inlet.

Winner of the Writers' Trust of Canada / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize

Winner of the Cinnamon Press Short Story Prize

Winner of the Frome Festival International Short Story Competition

Winner of a 2015 Independent Publisher Book Award

Finalist for a 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Award

Shortlisted for The Wales Book of the Year Award

Shortlisted for the Rubery International Book Award

Longlisted for The Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award

Longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Prize

Burrard Inlet is the body of water that divides Vancouver's North Shore from the rest of the Lower Mainland.  In this collection of previously published and award-winning stories, Tyler Keevil uses that rugged landscape – where the city meets the mountains, and civilization meets the wild – as a backdrop for characters who are struggling against the elements, each other, and themselves.  A search-and-rescue volunteer looks for a missing snowboarder on Christmas Eve; two brothers retreat to the woods to shoot a film in memory of their dead friend; a reclusive forestry worker picks up a hitcher on his way down Mount Seymour; a young man finds a temporary haven on the ice barge where he works.

Written in a lean, muscular style, these are stories awash in blood and brine, and steeped in images of freedom and confinement.  Within that narrative framework, Burrard Inlet becomes more than a geographical location: it is a liminal space, a boundary and a barrier, a threshold to be crossed.The stories in Burrard Inlet originally appeared in various international magazines and anthologies, including Cottonwood, The Lampeter Review, and Rarebit.  The collection can be ordered direct from Parthian Books or via your local bookstore (ISBN978-1910409978). It is also available on Amazon.

The collection has been longlisted for the Edgehill Short Story Prize 2015 and the Frank O'Connor Short Story Award.  Many of the individual stories in it have already won awards, prizes, and competitions, including the annual Cinnamon Press Short Story Prize and 1st place in the Frome Festival International Story Competition.  One of the stories, 'Sealskin,' was announced as the winner of The Writers' Trust of Canada / McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize 2014, a $10,000 prize which is awarded annually to the best Canadian short story by an emerging writer of distinction.   Further info on the award and ceremony at the Glenn Gould studio in Toronto can be found on the Writers' Trust Website, at Maclean's Online, and The Toronto Star.  A conversation between Tyler and Miriam Toews, winner of the Writers' Trust Fiction Prize 2014, can be read at the National Post

Burrard Inlet Review Quotes


Beneath the deceptively calm surface of these spare and beautiful stories, mad passions boil. There is a transatlantic tradition of studying the interaction between men and nature, in such figures as Hemingway, Carver, McGuane; now Keevil extends and enriches that lineage. He truly is that good.

-        Niall Griffiths (author of ‘Grits’ & 'Kelly & Victor' )

Burrard Inlet is, first and foremost, a collection of short stories that tries to recognise the relationship between humans and nature through separate human identities...This is a piece of work that, without a doubt, should be added to a book-shelf of short-story lovers and novel aficionados alike. (Read full review)

-       Wales Arts Review

The masculine, often unforgiving scenarios which unfold here are a suitable fit for Keevil's economical - if elegant - phrasing, but a strong moral core is ever-present, and sometimes vindication for the downtrodden.

-        Buzz Magazine

“Sealskin” is a stunner: straightforward and unadorned, but humming with subsurface power. Possessed of a sturdy narrative backbone and unrelenting forward momentum, the story explores familiar themes – alienation, humanity’s relationship to nature, coming of age, and loss of innocence – but does so in a way that seems fresh and vibrant. Strong physical details adjoin keen psychological insights, and Keevil handily builds scenes that reverberate with insight and potency. Keevil has accomplished something rare: a story about rough masculinity that brims with emotion and pathos.

- The Journey Prize judges

Keevil’s writing has been compared to Raymond Carver’s and I can understand the comparison, although the voice is most definitely his own. As with Carver, Keevil’s stories are like ink on wet blotting paper  -  there’s a dense dark core of story arc, spare but telling detail and dialogue, yet around that dense mass is an aureola of implied back narrative and a sense of a continuum past the final full stop. (Read full review)

- CCQ Magazine

'Carving Through Woods on a Snowy Evening,' about the search for a missing snowboarder on Christmas Eve, took me aback with its haunting atmosphere and the brilliance of its descriptive prose.'

-        Matthew Francis

Keevil’s 'Tokes from the Wild' is an assured story of a city boy who follows his friend into the countryside to spend a summer tree planting, which soon degenerates into a mess of weed smoke and recriminations.

-        The Short Review

Tyler Keevil’s 'Carving Through Woods on a Snowy Evening' tells of a snowboarder, missing on a mountainside not long after an accident, being tracked by hopeful rescuers.  ‘Carving’ has…storytelling rich in symbolism; subtle plot devices; and an ending that opens and sings.

-        New Welsh Review

There’s real quality in Tyler Keevil’s gripping tale of mountain rescue, 'Carving Through Woods on a Snowy Evening.'  The Canadian won a Writer of the Year award from Writers Inc.

-        The Western Mail

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