About Marty Chan

Marty Chan loves to write. Before he became a kids’ author, he worked in theatre, radio, and television. Now his passion is inspiring the next generation of lifelong readers and writers. Using a combination of storytelling, improv, humour, and stage magic, he shares his love of words with audiences young and old.

Marty Chan

Get the Books!

Find more information about Marty’s complete works and where to buy his books online.

Contact Marty

Get booking information for presentations, keynotes, and professional development sessions.

What's Next?

View the calendar to find upcoming events that Marty will be at, or book Marty for your event!

Inspired to pursue creative writing by his high school English teacher, Marty has been a professional writer for over 25 years. He writes books, stage plays, radio dramas, television scripts and humour articles, and his career has taken him around the world from New York to Los Angeles to Galway to Beijing.

From 1994 to 2000, Marty was a regular contributor to CBC Radio with his weekly commentary series, The Dim Sum Diaries. Later, this series was adapted into a half-hour television program (The Orange Seed Myth) which won a Gold Medal for Best Television Pilot at the Charleston World Film and Television Festival.

Marty’s first young adult novel, The Mystery of the Frozen Brains, is a hit with young readers across Canada. Resource Links magazine listed it as one of the BEST BOOKS OF 2004 for grades 3 to 6. Another three books in the Marty Chan Mystery Series followed, including The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul, which won the 2007 Diamond Willow Award. In 2014, his steampunk fantasy book, Demon Gate, received nominations for best young adult novel from the High Plains Book Awards as well as the Aurora Awards.

Marty has served as a writer in residence at the library systems in Edmonton, Strathcona County, Fort Saskatchewan, and St. Albert. He was the Citadel Theatre’s first playwright in residence. In 2016, the Alberta Foundation for the Arts named Marty one of the 25 most influential artists in Alberta.

Marty lives and works in Edmonton with his wife, Michelle. When he’s not writing, Marty dabbles in his other passions: learning stage magic and playing video games.

Works and Awards

A complete list of Works & Awards by Marty Chan.

  • Best Author, Vue Weekly, 2017.
  • Top 25 Influential Alberta Artist, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, 2016.
  • Best Young Adult Novel, Aurora Awards, 2014.
  • Best Young Adult Novel, High Plains Book Awards, 2014.
  • Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award, Best New Fringe Work, 2011.
  • Nominated for the Golden Eagle Children’s Choice Award, Alberta, 2010.
  • Nominated for a Dora Award for best TYA Production, Toronto, 2009.
  • Nominated for a Sterling for Best Musical Production, Edmonton, 2009.
  • Diamond Willow Award, Saskatchewan, 2008.
  • Nominated for the Manitoba Young Readers Choice Award, 2008.
  • Nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award (Juvenile Crime Fiction), 2007.
  • Nominated for the Golden Eagle Children’s Choice Award, 2007.
  • City of Edmonton Book Prize, 2005.
  • Performance Award, Salute to Excellence Awards, Edmonton, 2004.
  • Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama, Alberta, 2004.
  • Nominated for Jessie Award (Outstanding TYA Production), Vancouver, 2003.
  • Nominated for Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award (TYA Production), Edmonton, 2003.
  • Horizon Award, University of Alberta, 2001.
  • Merit Prize, Action Theatre, Singapore, 1999.
  • Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award, Best New Play, Edmonton, 1999.
  • Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award, Best Production of a Theatre for Young Audience Show, Edmonton, 1999.
  • City of Edmonton Arts Achievement Award, 1999.
  • Adams Chinese Theatre Society Award, Harvard University, 1999.
  • Nominated for Gemini Award, Best Writing in a Children’s or Youth Program, 1998.
  • Nominated for Golden Sheaf Award (Children’s Production), Yorkton Short Film Festival, 1998.
  • Nominated for AMPIA Award, Best Dramatic Writing, Alberta, 1998.
  • Gold Medal, Best Television Pilot, Charleston World Fest, North Carolina, 1997.
See Marty’s Books to view his library of novels and plays.

  • Sink or Swim, Pearson, 2016.
  • Villainous, Pearson, 2016.
  • “Mothership Down Monologue,” Rattling the Stage, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2012.
  • “Math Class of the Living Dead,” Remix, McGraw-Hill Ryerson, 2012.
  • “Driven,” Henry Chow and Other Stories, Tradewind Books, 2010.
  • Humour Columns, “Life,” Edmonton Journal, 2007 – 2008.
  • “Waiting,” Alberta Anthology, Frontenac House, 2006.
  • “Tagging,” Alberta Anthology, Red Deer Press, 2005.
  • “The Gift,” Where is Here Volume 2, Scirocco Press, 2005.
  • “Water Cooler Tales” (monthly humour column), Alberta Venture Magazine, 2000 – 2004.
  • “The Meeting,” Canadian Theatre Review, 2002.
  • “The Playwrights’ Challenge,” Canadian Theatre Review, 2002.
  • “Orange Seed Myths and Other Lies Mothers Tell,” Possibilities Magazine, 1994.
  • “Freeze Frame,” Fit to Print: a Guide to Essay Writing, Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1991.
  • “A Flock of Freshmen,” Bare Essentials, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1990.
  • “Fall From University Grace,” Contest Essays, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1990.
  • Mothership Down, Edmonton Fringe Festival, 2011.
  • The Bone House, Village Theatre, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2010.
  • The Forbidden Phoenix, Citadel Theatre/LKTYP, Edmonton & Toronto, 2008 & 2009
  • God’s Eye, Paper Tiger Productions, Edmonton, 2007.
  • Secret Spaces (Playwriting Collective), Workshop West Theatre, Edmonton, 2004.
  • Best Left Buried, TheatreOne, Nanaimo, 2003.
  • Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl
    • Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, New York, 2004.
    • Western Canada Theatre, Kamloops, 2001.
    • Richmond Gateway, Richmond, 2001.
    • TheatreOne, Nanaimo, 2001.
    • Persephone, Saskatoon, 2000.
    • Fringe Theatre Adventures, Edmonton, 2000.
    • Prairie Theatre Exchange, Winnipeg, 2000.
    • Theatre Network, Edmonton, 1998.
    • Firehall Arts Centre, Vancouver, 1996.
    • Cahoots Theatre Projects/Theatre Passe Muraille, 1995.
  • Kick Up Your Heels, Nina Zapata, Paper Tiger Productions, Edmonton, 1998.
  • The Old Boys’ Club, Workshop West Theatre, Edmonton, 1997.
  • Weeping Moon, Workshop Production, University of Alberta, Edmonton, 1997.
  • Maggie’s Last Dance, Paper Tiger Productions, Edmonton, 1995.
  • Fulcrum of Evil, CBC Radio, 2008.
  • Waiting, Alberta Anthology, CBC Radio, 2007.
  • Tagging, Alberta Anthology, CBC Radio, 2006.
  • The Gift, Sunday Showcase, CBC Radio, 2005.
  • Turbulence, Alberta Anthology, CBC Radio, 2004.
  • The Kiss, Alberta Anthology, CBC Radio, 2003.
  • Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl, one-hour adaptation, CBC Radio, 2000.
  • Dim Sum Diaries (weekly humour commentary), CBC Radio, 1994 – 2000.
  • Executive Story Editor, Incredible Story Studio – Season IV, YTV, 2000.
  • Senior Story Editor, Incredible Story Studio – Season III, YTV, 1999.
  • Story Editor, Incredible Story Studio – Season II, YTV, 1998.
  • Assistant Story Editor, Jake and the Kid – Season II, Nelvana/Great North, 1996.


Promoting Marty Chan at an upcoming event or workshop? In a panic about how to write a blurb about him? Don’t worry. Here are some bios you can use. If you have the task of introducing Marty, you’ll also find some host bios you can use, but Marty will answer to pretty well anything.

Marty Chan writes funny books for kids and plays for adults. He’s best known for his Marty Chan Mystery Series. He’s written picture books, funny kids books, adventurous young adult novels, and thrilling plays for adults. He lives in Edmonton with his wife and their two cats, Buddy and Max.
Marty Chan has been a professional liar since 1988. Over the span of his career, he has authored hit plays, worked as a story editor on TV series, penned radio dramas, and written eight kids books. He won the 2005 City of Edmonton Book Award. He was the 2011 writer-in-residence for the Edmonton Public Library. His plays have been produced around the world. For more information, go to www.martychan.com.
Marty Chan writes plays for adults and books for kids. His hit play Mom, Dad, I’m Living with a White Girl has been produced across Canada and received an Off Broadway production in New York. His thriller, The Bone House, captivated audiences in Edmonton, Toronto and Edinburgh. He received a City of Edmonton Performance Award for his contributions to theatre. Marty’s novels for kids inspire and entertain reluctant readers. The Mystery of the Graffiti Ghoul won the 2007 Diamond Willow Award and was selected for the Edmonton Public Library’s inaugural Kids Read Edmonton campaign. He was a regular humour contributor to CBC Radio and the Edmonton Journal. He was the Edmonton Public Library’s writer-in-residence in 2011. You can watch him on CTV 2’s Alberta Primetime news, where he appears regularly as a panelist. Marty continues to work and write in Edmonton, where he lives with his wife Michelle and their two cats.
Mystery Series
Barnabas Bigfoot Series
Keepers of the Vault Series
Mystery Series
Barnabas Bigfoot Series
Keepers of the Vault Series
Ehrich Weisz Chronicles
Books by Marty Chan