Leavitt, Sarah

Sarah Leavitt won an ACF Research Grant in 2011. Her first graphic novel, Tangles, won critical praise and was shortlisted for a number of awards, including The Writers’ Trust Nonfiction Prize.

1. How much had you published before you won the grant?

I had published articles and comics in magazines, newspapers and anthologies, and I published my first book the year before I won the grant — a graphic memoir (ie comics) called Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me (Freehand Books 2010).

2. What is the project for which you won an ACF grant?

Research, writing and drawing for my second book, historical fiction in graphic novel form, set in 1800s British Columbia.

3. Why is this project important to you?

It’s a story I have wanted to work on for a long time, since before I wrote Tangles. It will be my second book, but it feels like a first book, since it’s fiction, not memoir, and a very different drawing and writing style.

4. How did the money help you pursue this project?

The money allowed me to take time away from my day job and travel to the interior of the province where the book is set. I did interviews with local residents, made lots of sketches and notes.

5. How did this grant promote your development as an artist?

This book requires me to develop new skills in research, writing and drawing. The grant allowed me time to work on these skills – eg time to do careful research on my story, time to figure out how I want the final book to look, and work on the drawing and writing skills that will allow that vision to come true.

6. What was the outcome of this project?

I got a good start on this project, and got much a much clearer idea of its final shape.




Residence: Vancouver, BC

Grant Details: 2011 | Creators | Featured Grantee | Research

Discipline: Literary

Grant Amount: $7500