William Bell (author)

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William Bell
Born(1945-10-27)27 October 1945
Toronto, Ontario
Died30 July 2016(2016-07-30) (aged 70)
Orillia, Ontario
OccupationTeacher, Author
GenreChildren's Literature

William Edwin Bell (27 October 1945 – 30 July 2016) was a Canadian author of young adult fiction, born in Toronto, Ontario. He lived in Orillia, Ontario.[1]


His novel Crabbe was partly inspired by his days as a student at New Toronto Secondary School. Bell had a master's degree in literature and a second master's in education curriculum and administration, both from the University of Toronto.

Teaching career[edit]

Bell taught in a variety of settings. He was a high school teacher at several schools in Simcoe County and the head of the English department at Orillia District Collegiate & Vocational Institute. He was a teacher in China at the Harbin University of Science and Technology and the Foreign Affairs College. He also worked at the University of British Columbia and the Simcoe County Board of Education. He was frequently invited to give presentations at conferences and to speak to elementary and secondary school students on creative writing.

Writing career[edit]

The inspiration to become a writer came to Bell when he heard a speech by John Metcalf, author of one of his favourite short stories. Bell says he likes to write for young people because they are "the best audience: they are loyal to the writers they like and they are enthusiastic readers".[2]

Bell wrote many books, including three set near his home in Orillia, Ontario (Five Days of the Ghost, Stones and Fanatics), two in Barrie (Death Wind, The Cripples' Club), one in Toronto (Julian) and one in Fergus (Zack).

Bell's work has been widely published outside of Canada. His books have been translated into Chinese, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch and Japanese.

Personal life[edit]

He was born 27 October 1945 in Toronto, son of William and Irene Bell.[3] He married Susan Arnup and had three children: Dylan, Megan and Brendan. He lived with his wife, Chinese-Canadian author Ting-Xing Ye. He died in Orillia on 30 July 2016 at the age of 70.[4]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Crabbe - 1986
  • Metal Head - 1987
  • The Cripples' Club - 1988 (reissued in 1993 as Absolutely Invincible)
  • Death Wind - 1989
  • Five Days of the Ghost - 1989
  • Forbidden City - 1990
  • No Signature - 1992
  • Speak to the Earth - 1994
  • The Golden Disk - 1995 (a picture book)
  • River My Friend - 1996 (a picture book)
  • Zack - 1998
  • Stones - 2001
  • Alma - 2003
  • Throwaway Daughter – 2003 (written with his wife Ting-Xing Ye)
  • Just Some Stuff I Wrote - 2005
  • The Blue Helmet - 2006
  • Only in the Movies - 2010
  • Fanatics - 2011
  • Julian - 2014
  • Crabbe - 1986


  1. ^ "Orillia Hall of Fame" (PDF). City of Orillia. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-11-02.
  2. ^ Niki B. "Stellar Award". Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  3. ^ "Acclaimed novelist William Edwin Bell wrote of teen angst". Globe and Mail. Retrieved December 7, 2016.
  4. ^ Orillia author William Bell dead at 70
  5. ^ "Ruth Schwartz Award". Library Thing. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  6. ^ "Mr. Christie's Book Award". Library Thing. Retrieved October 22, 2012.
  7. ^ "Manitoba Young Readers' Choice Awards". Retrieved December 8, 2016.

External links[edit]