Literary Arts

Vanessa Winn

Victoria, BC

My historical novels feature real events and people who otherwise would remain in the margins of history.

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Featured Novels

About Vanessa Winn

Born in London, UK, Vanessa Winn currently resides in Victoria, BC, where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature. This was the origin of her inspiration for her deep dive into historical fiction and telling the stories of our past. A writer since childhood, Vanessa has always been drawn towards literature and creative writing. Fascinated with 19th century literature, she felt an affinity towards the era, but noticed the lack of historical portrayals of the West Coast. Thus began the journey of her delve into the multicultural roots, historical figures, and local history of Victoria itself.

Vanessa realized how little she knew of the history of Victoria and grew enraptured in her research, leading her to follow one rabbit hole into another. Early in her research, she noticed the apparent lack of first-hand sources by women, particularly in fur-trade society, and started to imagine history from their perspective. Feeling their stories deserved to be told, it is here she felt the space for a historical novel. Vanessa began to create, extrapolating truths from footnotes and photographs, until eventually their journeys took shape. With the framework of these women and their families in mind, layer by layer she built her novels around the factual essence at the core of her work. The atmosphere of the setting almost evolved into another character, influencing those who populate it, another story to be told in its own right.

Her debut novel, The Chief Factor’s Daughter, was long-listed for The ReLit Awards, and a finalist for Monday Magazine’s “Favourite Fiction” award. It has been studied in several history courses at BC universities. Her poetry has appeared in various journals, most recently in The Quilliad. Beyond her love of the written word and historical research, she finds inspiration in dance and teaches Argentine tango. Vanessa Winn brings life to the history of colonial Victoria, awakening stories that otherwise may have been lost to the tests of time, engaging readers in the journeys of those who have come before us.