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In Memory of Frances Hern

Friends of Frances

The WGA would like to express our sincere gratitude to the Friends of Frances, who are supporting the 2016 Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award in memory of long-standing WGA member, Frances Hern. Frances passed away last September at the age of 64. She leaves behind a literary legacy that spans nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, including Engraved: Canadian Stories of World War OneYip Sang and the First Chinese Canadians, Arctic Explorers, and Norman Bethune: The Incredible Life and Tragic Death of a Revered Canadian Doctor.


Perhaps it’s portioned out at birth,
this much for you, less for you.
Perhaps I’ve squandered my share
on small things,
a glutton for serendipity,
rather than hoarding it for when
I really need it. But then
if I had hoarded,
denying small pleasures, successes,
so I could use it when all the odds
are playing against me,
I might not care so much about
what is happening now.

(Frances Hern – December 19, 2013)


Born near Tolkien territory, Frances Hern (1951-2015) came to Canada in 1973 — technically for a yearlong visit. A treasured member of many Calgary writing groups, she wrote poetry and stories for anthologies while also publishing several CNF titles. Her historical YA novel will be published posthumously.

On her many travels, Frances sought out local museums, art galleries, historical sites and a good cup of tea. She was always ready with a pad and pen, jotting down notes for her next story.

Read more about Frances at:

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