About Vanessa Farnsworth

Born and raised in southern Ontario, Vanessa is a writer and journalist who makes her home in the BC Interior. She received her education from York University, the Humber School for Writers, and the print journalism program at Sheridan College where she picked up the TJ Allen Memorial Award for journalism. Her numerous articles on nature, the environment and agriculture have appeared in magazines across Canada and her short fiction has been published in Canadian and American literary journals. One of her stories was nominated for the Journey Prize. Vanessa is the author of three books: Rain on a Distant Roof: A Personal Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada (Creative Non-fiction, Signature Editions, 2013), The Things She’ll Be Leaving Behind (Short Fiction, Thistledown Press, 2018) and The Haweaters (Novel, Signature Editions, 2020).

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Contact Vanessa via email and LinkedIn.

From the publisher:

The women in The Things She’ll Be Leaving Behind have nothing in common except that they all find themselves trying to find their footings, preserve their sanity, and just generally survive in circumstances they never thought they would encounter. They don’t always do it gracefully. Occasionally alcohol or firearms are involved. Just like in real life.

These women go toe-to-toe with chronic liars, dead grandfathers, beleaguered sons, mysterious voices, unfaithful husbands, midnight callers, spiteful sisters, and hallucinated clowns. Husbands go crazy or wayward or missing. Life hits walls and somersaults and does breathless, tactless things. And always it must be dealt with even when the means to do so seem to be entirely absent.

Filled with burnt-at-the-edges dialogue, contemporary humour, and compelling pacing, the stories in The Things She’ll Be Leaving Behind are inventive, energetic and thoroughly original.


“… [these stories] remind us that the purpose of fiction is not always to entertain but occasionally to confound expectations, provoke discomfort, or probe the various folds of the unknown.”

Quill & Quire

Farnsworth’s range is beautifully demonstrated in this collection…”

SaskBooks Reviews

“In these tales, anxiety, restlessness and volatility are tapped like raw nerves, and the dangers and menace of events only mitigated by Farnsworth’s savvy use of black comedy and irony…The end result is fascinating inventive fiction.” 

49th Shelf