Author of poetry, fiction for adults and children, radio plays and commentaries, Gertrude Story was born on September 19, 1929, near Sutherland, Saskatchewan. Her experiences growing up in a German-Canadian farming community provided a background for her later writing. After completing high school, she worked for a time as a bank clerk before marrying Joseph LeRoy Story, a country schoolteacher, and living with him in a rural teacherage, where they raised two children. She began to write amusing stories and commentaries based on their rural life, which were broadcast on CBC Radio. In 1988, some of these stories were reworked for the book The Last House on Main Street. After being widowed, she started taking classes at the University of Saskatchewan in 1976. She received her BA in 1981, convocating as the most distinguished graduate and receiving the university’s Arts Prize and the President’s Medal. Her first book, a collection of poems, The Book of Thirteen, was published in 1981 and followed by several others, as well as contributions to anthologies and periodicals. She received the Saskatchewan Culture & Youth Poetry Prize in 1978, a CBC Radio Literary Award in 1980, and the Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild Children’s Literature Award in 1982. An active member of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild, she spent much time teaching the craft of writing at Guild-sponsored workshops and at writer-in-residence programs at the Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw public libraries, as well as at the University of Winnipeg.
Margaret A. Hammond