Ailsa Ross writes about people, place, and art for Outside, the Guardian, the BBC, Longreads, National Geographic Traveler, JSTOR Daily, ARTNews, Orion, the Writers’ Union of Canada and many others.
Since the summer solstice—as part of a book project called The Familiar Unfamiliar: A Year of Fleeting Obsessions—Ailsa has been doing one small new thing a week. Trying to love mosquitoes was so good. Really the best. It introduced her to this art installation that she thinks about a lot.
She’s 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, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, and 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, and she’s done communications for environmental nonprofits like the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. That work has led to her being called a tofu-farting f…, which is accurate.
While Ailsa lives on Treaty 8 land in Canada’s Jasper National Park, when she closes her eyes she often sees puffins—a common affliction among people who’ve grown up on Scotland’s northeast coast.
Ailsa is happily represented by Jackie Kaiser at Westwood Creative Artists. Her bio pic at the top of the page makes her seem more serious than she is.
She’s available for freelance work if the project fits.
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