Shortlisted for a 2019 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize from the BC Book Prizes

“With assured debuts in two genres, Alex Leslie melds remarkable acuity of vision with a refreshing eagerness for formal experimentation. She’s at once a writer’s writer and an accomplished teller of tales.  Leslie displays a tremendous gift for compassion that’s equal to a talent for technique.” –Dayne Ogilvie Prize Jury Citation, The Writers’ Trust of Canada

“Gem-like stories…Clear-eyed, poetic prose from an impressive rising talent.”                                –NOW Magazine

“Timely, powerful, and expertly crafted, the stories weave the moments of a heartbreaking and relatable life into an unforgettable narrative.” -Open Book

“Leslie’s writing blends patience and violence… We All Need to Eat is a work of precision. As the stories layer on top of each other, Alex Leslie opens many of urban life’s paradoxes.” – Canadian Notes & Queries


Hello there!

I am a writer born on unceded Musqueam territory in Vancouver.

My third book,  We All Need to Eat (short stories) was published by Book*hug press in Fall 2018. My next book, Vancouver for Beginners (poems), will be published by Book*hug in Fall 2019 and you can pre-order it here. 

We All Need to Eat was shortlisted for the Ethel Wilson fiction prize from the BC Book Prizes and was named one of the 10 Best Books of 2018 by NOW Magazine and a Fiction Book of the Year 2018 by 49th Shelf.

Order ‘We All Need to Eat’ through the publisher here.

Praise for We All Need to Eat

We All Need to Eat is a stunning inquiry into the sharpness of the world as it collides with the fragility – the ambiguities and possibilities – of the self. Alex Leslie a tremendously gifted and compassionate writer. This bold and searing collection is a wonder.”

Madeleine Thien, Scotiabank Giller Prize winning author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing, Dogs at the Perimeter, Certainty, and Simple Recipes

There’s plenty to say about We All Need To Eat, all of it good. In her second story collection Vancouver’s Alex Leslie has created a thematically rich and sophisticated portrait of an individual and her entwined networks — family, friends, lovers. […] In the tradition of Alice Munro’s “Royal Beatings” and Barbara Gowdy’s “Disneyland,” Leslie’s lovely-but-sad depiction of helpless innocence is managed with a perfectly sure hand.”

—Brett Josef Grubisic, The Toronto Star


Cover and book design: Malcolm Sutton

‘We All Need to Eat’ is a collection of linked stories from award-winning author Alex Leslie that revolves around Soma, a young Queer woman in Vancouver. Through thoughtful and probing narratives, each story chronicles a sea change in Soma’s life. Lyrical, gritty, and atmospheric, Soma’s stories refuse to shy away from the contradictions inherent to human experience, exploring one young person’s journey through mourning, escapism, and the search for nourishment.

“Alex Leslie has written a refreshing set of interlocking narratives about family and heartache. A far cry from the self-discovery credos of the millennial age, her protagonist Soma ruminates and broods. And with Soma’s painfully careful and wonderfully-crafted considerations, the reader might also weight the many small, trying moments that connect us to chosen and blood family.”

Amber Dawn, author of Sodom Road Exit, How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir, Where the Words End and My Body Begins and Sub Rosa

“[Moves] between the poetic and the fictional, constantly evolving, constantly making words swerve in countless directions, and captivating readers one sentence at a time. A magnetic collection that must be read over and over.”

Kirkus Reviews

Leslie’s prose is fluid, occasionally leaving this reader lightheaded. Nearly each story feels like a narrative experiment.”

– Fiona Raye Clarke, Broken Pencil

“Leslie’s sometimes hallucinatory writing style teases out the murky threshold where the conscious self meets the body.”

– Jonathan Valelly, Canadian Notes & Queries

Order ‘We All Need to Eat’ through the publisher here.




I was born on unceded Musqueam territory in Vancouver. My chapbook of microfictions Twenty Objects For The New World  was published by Nomados in 2011. My collection of short stories People Who Disappear was published by Freehand in 2012 and was shortlisted for a 2013 Lambda Award for debut fiction. My collection of prose poems, The things I heard about you, an experiment in procedural writing, was published by Nightwood Editions (blewointment series) in 2014 and was shortlisted for the 2014 Robert Kroetsch Award for innovative poetry – available through the publisher here. My collection of stories We All Need to Eat was published by Book*hug in Fall 2018. My collection of poems Vancouver for Beginners will be published by Book*hug in Fall 2019. My writing has won a CBC Literary Award for fiction, a National Magazine Award for creative non-fiction, fiction awards from Matrix and Prairie Fire; has been included in the Journey Prize anthology, Best Canadian Poetry in English and Best Canadian Stories; and has been published by many literary journals including GrantaThe Malahat Review and The Fiddlehead. In 2015, I received the Dayne Ogilvie Award from the Writers’ Trust of Canada for emerging LGBT*Q2S writers. I was shortlisted for the 2018 ARC poem of the year award for my poem ‘The Purity Detector” and you can read the poem here.’ I have been a guest fiction mentor at the Banff Centre for the Arts and a Writer-in-Residence for the Vancouver International Writers Festival’s school outreach program. I am currently writing a novel.


I live in the Vancouver area and can be reached at <>. Please note that if you send me an email with a large attachment, Gmail will filter it out. Yes, I really should be able to fix this, but, you know, the obnoxious aleatory nature of technology and fate.

Thank you for reading and if you are a writer, good luck with your work!!!!!!


Photo Credit: Writers Trust of Canada/Dayne Ogilvie Award presentation ceremony