Vanessa Farnsworth is a science journalist, former horticulturist, long-time resident of the BC Interior, and co-founder of one of the first internet application development companies in Canada. Her non-fiction focusses primarily on nature, horticulture, and issues that intersect with either or both.
During a career that has spanned more than 25 years, she has delved into native plant diversity, indigenous mushrooms, citizen science, Lyme disease, heavy horse farming, pine bark beetles, grafting techniques, hostile fruit flies, and sick bees. She is interested in rare plants, novel insects, threats to nature from within and without, environmental gardening practices, and anyone who has made a career pursuing these things.
Vanessa's countless short and feature articles and columns have appeared in many regional and national publications, including Canadian Gardening, Canadian Living, Cottage, Creston Valley Advance, Garden Making, The Grower, Harrowsmith Country Life, Kootenay Life East, Kootenay Living Magazine, Route 3, and Vitality Magazine. She sometimes guest blogs, but doesn't make a habit of it. And she is aware that some of the magazines listed above no longer exist, but she is proud to have written for them and sees no reason to remove them from her bibliography. She is also aware that because of the seminal role she played in those wild, quasi anarchic, early days of the internet that people would like her to write about technology. She would rather jam a screwdriver into her hand.
Her non-fiction book, Rain on a Distant Roof: A Personal Journey Through Lyme Disease in Canada (Signature Editions, 2013) explores the growing Lyme disease crisis in this country. A second book, the short story collection The Things She'll Be Leaving Behind (Thistledown Press), was published in 2018. Vanessa's short fiction has also been published in literary journals across Canada and in the United States, including The Dalhousie Review, dANDelion, filling Station, The New Quarterly, PRECIPICe, Qwerty, and Reed Magazine. Her short story, "Napoleon's Eyes", was nominated for the Journey Prize and appears in this collection.
Vanessa is currently the President of the BC Interior Chapter of the Professional Writers Association of Canada.