Alan Cumyn Novelist

Alan Cumyn is the author of wide-ranging and often wildly different literary novels for children, young adults and adults. A two-time winner of the Ottawa Book Award, he has also had work shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award, the Giller Prize, and the Trillium Award. He teaches through the Vermont College of Fine Arts and is a past Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada. In 2016 he received the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Vicky Metcalf Award for body of work for young people.



Alan Cumyn’s middle grade and young adult novels burst the molds of fiction for the young. A risk-taker in his play with style and imagery, Cumyn expresses with extraordinary vitality the confused morass of emotional and physical change that is part of growing. His Owen Skye books are literary masterpieces of their genre. In the context of three brothers’ grandiose adventures and susceptible imaginations, he evokes fundamental moments when insight shifts: a first realization of mortality, the fleeting time we have on earth, or romantic love that moves from the ideal to the warmly, wonderfully, egg-splatteringly real. Brilliantly exceeding the standards of fiction for the young, Cumyn’s novels for teenagers and children alike show a sure-handed mix of humour, poetry, and melancholy, and an abiding commitment to a young person’s viewpoint. ~ Vicky Metcalf Award Citation

NOW AVAILABLE! Hot Perodactyl Boyfriend, about a sexy and charismatic pterodactyl who crashes the senior year of Student Body Chair Sheils Krane, invading all desires, upending all the best laid plans…


“… a deliciously weird and original contemplation of personal metamorphosis, the intoxicating effects of lust, and the clarity that comes with experience.”
Publishers Weekly starred review

“This novel is not a gag – it’s both satirically brilliant and genuinely captivating. Millions of readers were willing to accept – in all seriousness – a sparkling vampire as a romantic lead. So why not a dinosaur? But Cumyn is never explicitly mocking and, therefore, keeps us fully immersed with the weird, darkly sexy taboo premise right up until the profoundly satisfying and nutty ending. This is a terribly strange experiment gone terribly right.” Shannon Ozirni, The Globe and Mail

“…could be the next big thing”CBC Books


Alan Cumyn gratefully acknowledges funding from these sources for a number of his novels over the years:

Canada Council for the Arts
OAC logo
City of Ottawa