Joel Thomas Hynes

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Joel Thomas Hynes
Hynes at the 2014 Cineplex Entertainment Film Program
Hynes at the 2014 Cineplex Entertainment Film Program
Born (1976-09-29) September 29, 1976 (age 47)
Calvert, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
  • Novelist
  • screenwriter
  • actor
  • producer
  • director
Years active2000-present
Notable worksDown to the Dirt, Cast No Shadow
ChildrenPercy Hynes White

Joel Thomas Hynes (born September 29, 1976) is a Canadian writer, actor and director known for his dark characters and vision of modern underground Canada.


His 2017 novel We'll All Be Burnt in Our Beds Some Night won the Governor General's Award for English-language fiction[1] and the Winterset Award[2] and was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

He has released two albums - JTH Live at the LSPU Hall and 2018's Dead Man's Melody, a concept album that loosely follows the story of a doomed relationship that ends in murder and mayhem with the album's main character barricaded inside a house, unabashed, determined to go out in a hail of bullets. The album was produced in Toronto by Eamon McGrath.

His debut novel Down to the Dirt won the Percy Janes First Novel Award, was shortlisted for the Atlantic Book Award and the Winterset Award, and was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award[3] and the ReLit Award.[4] The novel was subsequently adapted into the film Down to the Dirt, in which Hynes also played the lead role.[5] The unabridged audiobook edition of Down to the Dirt narrated by Johnny Harris, Joel Thomas Hynes and Sherry White was recorded by Rattling Books in 2006. Down to the Dirt has been translated into numerous languages and adapted to stage.

The follow-up to Down to the Dirt was the gritty novel Right Away Monday, also available with HarperCollins Publishers.

Hynes is the creator, an executive producer and plays the lead role in the CBC comedy series Little Dog, which follows burned out boxer Tommy "Little Dog" Ross on the rocky road to redemption after he makes a reluctant return to the ring after a long, shameful hiatus.

Hynes has performed numerous lead and leading roles for television, film, and theatre. His credits include the television series Hatching, Matching and Dispatching (for which he was also a writer), as well as the films Rabbittown, Crackie, The Con Artist, Messiah from Montreal, The Sparky Book, Ashore , Hunting Pignut, A Christmas Fury, and many others.

Hynes's gothic novella Say Nothing Saw Wood, inspired by a true story of a grisly murder that happened in his hometown in 1971, was adapted to the big screen under the title Cast No Shadow, and went on to receive numerous accolades on the festival circuit. Hynes was awarded the Michael Weir Award for best Atlantic Screenwriter at the Atlantic Film Festival and was nominated for a Canadian Screen Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. In Cast No Shadow, Hynes plays opposite his real life son Percy Hynes White. White won numerous accolades for his portrayal of Cast No Shadow's young, disturbed protagonist Jude Traynor, including the Rising Star Award at the Edmonton International Film Festival and the Best Actor Award at the Atlantic Film Festival.

Hynes was named Artist of the Year by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council in 2008, has received the Lawrence Jackson Writer's Award, the Summerwork's Theatre Festival's Contra Guys Award, and also in 2008 won the Cuffer Prize.[6] He has also played recurring characters on Republic of Doyle, Orphan Black, Mary Kills People, and Frontier.

Hynes currently divides his time between Newfoundland, Toronto, and California. He is the nephew of singer-songwriter Ron Hynes.[7]




  • Down to the Dirt (2006)


  • The Devil You Don't Know (co-written with Sherry White) (2011)
  • Say Nothing Saw Wood (2009)
  • Broken Accidents (2010)
  • Incinerator Road (2011)


  • God Help Thee: A Manifesto (2011)


  • Straight Razor Days (2012)





  1. ^ "Governor General Literary Awards announced: Joel Thomas Hynes wins top English fiction prize". CBC News, November 1, 2017.
  2. ^ "Joel Thomas Hynes Wins BMO Winterset Award" Archived 2018-08-31 at the Wayback Machine. VOCM, March 22, 2018.
  3. ^ 2006 Longlist Archived 2011-01-22 at the Wayback Machine. International Dublin Literary Award.
  4. ^ "2005 ReLit Award longlists revealed". Quill & Quire, February 21, 2005.
  5. ^ Down to the Dirt at Toronto film fest. Quill & Quire, August 29, 2008.(subscription required)
  6. ^ "Joel Hynes named Artist of the Year by Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council". Quill & Quire, May 16, 2008.
  7. ^ "Singer Ron Hynes brings his folk classic to Greenbank hall". Port Perry Star, November 30, 2014.

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