Ainsley Hawthorn, PhD (Yale), is a cultural historian, sensory scholar, and author who writes about forgotten events, curious folklore, and the surprising connections between past and present.

She is a columnist with CBC,  a blogger for Psychology Today, and has contributed to The Washington Post, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among others. In 2020, she co-created Apocalypse Then, a CBC radio and web series that looked at past pandemics to help shed light on the COVID experience.

Her nonfiction anthology Land of Many Shores: Perspectives from a Diverse Newfoundland and Labrador was named one of The Telegram's Top Ten Books of 2021, and in 2022 she received a Radio Television Digital News Award for Best Digital Opinion (East Region). She has two books in progress represented by The Margret McBride Literary Agency.

She is available for interviews, speaking engagements, hosting, and workshops. Please send an e-mail for details.

Photo of Ainsley Hawthorn. She is a white woman with short brown hair and brown eyes. She wears a dress with a print in autumn colours and sits in front of a bookcase.

As seen in...

Breakfast Television
Apartment Therapy


Writing Prizes


2024, Winner, Off Topic Publishing January Fiction Contest, for the short story "The Sea, Like Glass"

2022, Best Digital Opinion, Radio Television Digital News Awards (East Region), for the article "Think wearing masks in everyday life is a new concept? Think again"

2021, Top 10 Book of 2021, The Telegram, for the anthology Land of Many Shores

2006, Honourable Mention, 19th Annual Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror Anthology, for the short story "In Grandmother's House"

2004, McIlquham Foundation Prize in English, Queen’s University, for the short story "In Grandmother's House"

2003, James H. Stitt Prize in Poetry, Queen’s University, for the poem "Crossing the Break"


2023, Professional Project Grant, ArtsNL, for the book Apocalypse Then

2022, Community Arts Program Grant, ArtsNL, for the anthology On the Edge

2022, Professional Artists' Travel Fund Grant, ArtsNL

2021, Research and Creation Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, for the anthology Outer Reaches/Inner Workings

2020, Concept to Realization Grant, Canada Council for the Arts, for the anthology Land of Many Shores

2020, Individual Artist Grant, City of St. John's, for the anthology Land of Many Shores

2020, Professional Artists' Travel Fund Grant, ArtsNL (declined due to COVID-19)

2019, Professional Project Grant, ArtsNL, for the book The Other Five Senses

Academic Honours

Public Engagement Awards

2018, Quick Start Fund Grant for Public Engagement, Memorial University

Postdoctoral Fellowships

2014, Visiting Research Fellowship, Distant Worlds: Graduate School for Ancient Studies, University of Munich

2013-14, Advanced Seminar in the Humanities Fellowship, Ca' Foscari University of Venice and Venice International University

Graduate Fellowships

2008-09, Paul C. Gignilliat Dissertation Fellowship, Yale University

2004-08, Yale University Graduate School Fellowship, Yale University

2004-05, Marty Memorial Scholarship, Queen’s University

Undergraduate Honours 

2004, Medal in Philosophy, Queen’s University

2004, Jaganathan Muraleenathan Book Prize in Philosophy, Queen’s University

2004, Prize for Best Paper, Undergraduate Classics Conference, University of Alberta

2001-04, Dean’s Honour List with Distinction, Queen’s University

2003, Wallace Near Prize in Classics, Queen’s University

2002, John D.B. Walton Arts '45 Scholarship, Queen’s University

2001, Maclennan Prize in Greek, Queen’s University

Undergraduate Entrance Scholarships

2000-04, National Millennium Excellence Scholarship, Canada Millennium Scholarship Foundation

2000-04, Chancellor’s Scholarship, Queen’s University

1999, Centenary of Responsible Government Scholarship,  Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

College Scholarships

1998-2000, United World College Scholarship, Lester B. Pearson United World College of the Pacific


Yale Women
St. John's Status of Women Council
Canadian Media Guild
Women's Media Center's She Source
Informed Opinions
Dance NL
First Light St. John's Friendship Centre