Mark Leiren-Young

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Mark Leiren-Young
Born Mark Leiren-Young
(1962-09-04) September 4, 1962 (age 52)
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Occupation Writer and performer
Notable work(s) Never Shoot a Stampede Queen, The Green Chain, Shylock (play), Free Magic Secrets Revealed

Mark Leiren-Young (born 1962) is a Canadian journalist, screenwriter, playwright, and occasional performer in the comedy duo Local Anxiety. He lives in Vancouver, British Columbia.


Mark Leiren-Young's first full-time journalism job was at The Williams Lake Tribune, a small newspaper in Williams Lake, British Columbia. Twenty years later, he turned these experiences into a comic memoir, Never Shoot A Stampede Queen, which won the 2009 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour.[1]

Leiren-Young has recently adapted the memoir for stage, where it's receiving its world premiere with the Western Canada Theatre company in Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Additionally, he released his new memoir, Free Magic Secrets Revealed (Harbour Publishing, 2013), on April 3.

His news and feature writing, humour pieces, reviews, and columns have appeared in a host of publications in Canada and the U.S., including Time, Maclean's and The Utne Reader. He's a contributor to The Georgia Straight, where he has written since the mid-1980s. He has covered the Toronto International Film Festival for the Georgia Straight for the past ten years. His celebrity interviews can be found at the Georgia Straight Online, detailing a range of celebrities from William Shatner to Salman Rushdie and including such A-Listers as Emily Blunt, Michael Cera, and Terry Gilliam.

Leiren-Young is a passionate environmentalist. As a columnist and podcaster for Vancouver's independent online news site The Tyee, he often addresses issues facing British Columbia's old growth forests. His Tyee interviews provided the content for his 2009 book, The Green Chain: Nothing Is Ever Clear Cut, which examines the logging industry. Described by The National Post as “Canada’s go to guy for dolphins, whales and trees”, Mark has also been dubbed "Canada’s greenest writer". Many of his projects feature a green theme, such as his award winning short film, The Green Film, and his feature-length movie, The Green Chain, which has won awards internationally at film festivals. As one half of the comedy duo, "Local Anxiety" with Kevin Crofton, he released the 2009 CD Greenpieces, and cuts from the satirical album are often featured on CBC Radio. He also coauthored This Crazy Time: Living our Environmental Challenge (Knopf Canada, 2012) with controversial Canadian Environmentalist, Tzeporah Berman.

Mark also has extensive television writing credits, with over 100 hours of produced work. His love of comic books inspires his work on a number of animated series, including ReBoot and Beast Wars: Transformers. He has many credits writing for drama series as well, including PSI Factor: Chronicles of the Paranormal and Blood Ties.

Before writing for T.V., Mark was a widely produced playwright. He has a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre and creative writing from the University of Victoria, and his plays have been produced in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and Australia. He has also been translated into French and Danish. He's best known for controversial work such as the teen drama Basically Good Kids and Jim, about the life of Doors frontman Jim Morrison. His mainstage work includes Articles of Faith, about the Anglican church's internal struggle over the issue of gay marriage, and the award-winning Shylock (play), about the tensions surrounding theatre's most famous Jewish character. Shylock has been produced around the world and was published by Anvil Press in 1996.



Leiren-Young's first feature film, The Green Chain, which he wrote, directed and produced, explores the issues facing dying logging communities in British Columbia. The movie won the El Prat de Llobregat Award at the 15th Annual Festival Internacional de Cinema de Medi Ambient (FICMA 2008) in Barcelona.[2]


  • RollBots (TV series) – writer, (2009)
  • The Green Film (short) – writer, (2008)
  • Blood Ties (Lifetime series) - Story editor and writer, (2007)
  • The Green Chain – written by, (2007)
  • Pucca (TV series) – writer, (2007)
  • Class of the Titans (TV series) – writer, (2007)
  • The Collector - scriptwriter, (2006)
  • Ace Lightning (TV series) – writer, (2002-2004)
  • The Great Canadian Music Dream (CBC miniseries) - scriptwriter, (2003)
  • Mentors (TV series) - writer, (2001)
  • Psi Factor - scriptwriter, (2000)
  • Life and Times: The Brian Orser Story - scriptwriter, (2000)
  • Greenpieces (TV special short), (2000)
  • Grand Illusions: The Story of Magic (TV series), (1998)
  • The 27th Annual Juno Awards – (1998)
  • Beasties (TV series) – writer, (1997)
  • Reboot - scriptwriter, (1996)
  • Jonovision (CBC) - scriptwriter, (1996)


His plays have been produced throughout Canada, the U.S., Europe and Australia. His works include:

  • Never Shoot a Stampede Queen - 2013
  • Articles of Faith - 2001
  • Easy Money – 1999
  • If You Really Love Me... - 2000
  • Shylock (play) - 1996
  • Basically Good Kids - 1993
  • Blueprints From Space - 1993
  • Dim Sum Diaries – 1991
  • Jim - 1990
  • Escape from Fantasy Gardens - 1989
  • Watchin` - 1986