Mary Lou Dickinson has been writing since she was a young child. Her grandmother, who had a column in a Toronto newspaper, paid $5 to publish one of the budding writer’s poems. This hooked a young, impressionable child who was trying to decide between being the first woman RCMP officer or an early female pilot into pursuing the path of writing instead.
The author grew up in northern Quebec and migrated to Toronto via Montreal and Michigan. She studied Arts at McGill University and Library Science at University of Toronto before discovering workshops and residencies in creative writing. She has participated in such opportunities at:
- York University. Glendon Campus. Writing Workshop. Summer 1973.
- Banff Centre for the Arts. Writing Studio. Spring 1992.
- Maritime Writers Workshop. Summer 1997.
- Humber School for Writers. Summer 2006.
- She has been a member of the Moosemeat Writers Group since 2005.
Dickinson also worked in information centres and consulted around the collection and organization of information and resources for many years. When she retired from the regular work force it was after twenty years as a crisis counsellor in the area of violence against women. She wrote through all these years whenever she could.
Dickinson enlightens her readers with compassion for and understanding of the human condition. She understands the deeply felt emotions of people longing for communication and connection as they deal with both small and huge problems. As a former crisis counsellor, she uses her experience to create fiction in her novels “Would I Lie To You?” and “Ile d’Or” that is authentic and moving. Through Dickinson’s characters, we understand their difficulties and embrace the possibilities and potential for change in our lives as well as in theirs. Dickinson loves having fun, too, and in spite of approaching a venerable age many consider the twilight zone is often seen on the dance floor cutting some amazing figures in ballroom, Latin and swing!
The author's fiction has been published in the University of Windsor Review, Descant, Waves, Grain, Northern Journey, Impulse, Writ and broadcast on CBC Radio. Her writing was also included in the anthology, We Who Can Fly: Poems, Essays and Memories in Honour of Adele Wiseman. Inanna published a book of Dickinson's short stories, One Day It Happens, in 2007, and her first novel, Ile d'Or, in 2010. Her latest novel, Would I Lie to You?, launched in October 2014. A mystery, The White Ribbon Man, has been accepted for publication in early 2018.