Ailsa Ross writes about nature, people and place for Outside, the Guardian, BBC History, Longreads, National Geographic Traveler, JSTOR Daily, the Irish Independent, Evening Standard, Time Out, the Writers’ Union of Canada and many others.
She is the author of the illustrated children’s book The Woman Who Rode a Shark: And 50 More Wild Female Adventurers (UK).
A USBBY Outstanding International Book 2020, around the rest of the world it’s available as The Girl Who Rode a Shark: and Other Stories of Daring Women.
In the autumn of 2019, with the Writers’ Trust of Canada, she was the writer-in-residence at Berton House in the Yukon.
Under the Carlyle Norman Scholarship, in 2018 she was a Banff Centre resident of the Mountain and Wilderness Writing program. Her research and creative writing has also been supported by the Orion Environmental Writers Workshop, and by the Canada Council for the Arts.
A graduate of the University of Edinburgh’s law school, Ailsa does freelance fact-checking for various clients, including Harper’s Magazine, Cosmopolitan, and Harper’s Bazaar. She’s worked in communications for environmental nonprofits like the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, and in editorial branded content strategy for the world’s largest independent travel magazine, Matador Network—commissioning for campaigns for REI, Burton, Visit California, and many others.
While Ailsa lives in Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies, when she closes her eyes she only sees puffins—a common affliction among people who’ve grown up on Scotland’s northeast coast.
Since the summer solstice—as part of a book project called The Familiar Unfamiliar—Ailsa has been giving herself weekly challenges that might help make her small world big. A week of falling in love with mosquitoes was a surprising success. A week meant to involve plunging into Jasper’s glacial waters, less so.
She’s represented by Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists. Her bio pic above makes her seem far more serious than she is.
She’s available for freelance work if the project fits.