Leslie Vryenhoek

Writer ~ Editor ~ Communications Specialist

Reviews & awards


  • "Leslie Vryenhoek has written a spellbinding story about female friendship, family relationships, love, deceit, debt and gifts, and you should read it. Read Jean Graham's review in the Northeast Avalon Times (PDF)

  • "Vryenhoek manages to weave a deep and engaging novel out of money matters, though she makes it about more than that. ... the connections between all these people over the decades yield surprising insights and remarkable depth, culminating in a really wonderful story. Vryenhoek?s prose is bright and accessible, the novel fast-paced and compelling, and there is a startling originality to all of it." Kerry Clare's review at Pickle Me This

  • "The writing in Leslie Vryenhoek's debut novel, Ledger of the Open Hand, is flowing and descriptive, with some images so beautiful you know they've come from the mind of a serious wordsmith." Read Kerri Cull's review in The Overcast 

  • "Ledger of the Open Hand succeeds in its page-turning persuasiveness." Read Carlyn Schellenberg's review in The Winnipeg Review

  • "With Scrabble Lessons, Leslie Vryenhoek becomes a new literary voice that's helping to revitalize the Canadian short story."  Dave Williamson, writing in the Winnipeg Free Press (Dec. 19, 2009) - Read the review

  • "Some authors show you well-rounded lives in their stories; Leslie Vryenhoek takes you inside the skin." Samuel Thomas Martin

  • "I stopped breathing. Shocked, without a trace of cheap thrill. Then I felt only gratitude for the creative leap." Jim Bartley's review in the Globe and Mail.

  • "With each poem functioning as an integral relic in the suitcase that is the collection, Gulf itself become a sanctuary for the uprooted. Entirely salient, Vryenhoek's debut leaves an impression of permanence in a culture of temporality." Whitney Moran, writing at ArtsEast.

Awards & Nominations

  • Longlisted, International DUBLIN Literary Award (2017) for Ledger of the Open Hand

  • Finalist, Winterset Award (2016) for Ledger of the Open Hand

  • Finalist, Gerald Lampert Award for Gulf, 2012

  • Third, Geist's Postcard Story contest, 2011

  • Winner, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters award 2010, senior fiction

  • Winner, Winston Collins/Descant Prize for Best Canadian Poem, February 2010

  • Winner, Geist's Fortune Cookie contest, 2009 (Read "Impatient")

  • 1st runner up, Prism's annual poetry contest, 2010

  • 2nd place, This Magazine's Great Canadian Literary Hunt (poetry) 2009

  • Finalist, Arc Poem of the Year contest, 2010 and 2008

  • Winner, 2007 Eden Mills Festival Literary Competition (fiction)

  • Winner, Cahoots magazine first fiction competition, 2007 (Read Disappearing Act)

  • 2nd and 3rd prize, Association for Research on Mothering (York University) poetry contest, 2008

  • Winner, Newfoundland and Labrador Arts & Letters Award for poetry, 2008 (Read Blind Spot - PDF)

  • Poem of Distinction, Anderbo.com, 2008 (Read What Your Life Did While You Were Away)

  • 3rd prize, This Magazine's Great Canadian Literary Hunt (poetry) 2006

  • 3rd place, The Antigonish Review's Sheldon Currie fiction competition, 2005

  • Winner, Dalton Camp Award (national essay competition) 2003 (Read Mourning Strangers)

What others have said ...

In stories that variously explore the isolating loneliness of being human, Leslie Vryenhoek's spare, elegant prose entertains, shocks and surprises.~ Joan Clark, author of An Audience of Chairs

"Scrabble Lessons" ...feels as natural and intimate as a kitchen-table monologue, and yet close reading reveals an intricately elliptical structure.... The resilience, elasticity and playfulness of words, and their ability to bolster us in the face of illness and death, constitute the heart of the story. ~ Richard Cumyn, The Antigonish Review

Rich, visceral images; realistic and convincing dialogue. ...it has the mysterious complexity of a true short story.       ~ Judges comments, Eden Mills Writers' Festival Literary Competition, 2007