Terry Fallis

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Terry Fallis
Terry Fallis at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 2013
Fallis at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 2013
Occupationnovelist, public relations consultant
Notable worksThe Best Laid Plans, No Relation

Terry Fallis is a Canadian writer and public relations consultant. He is a two-time winner of the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, winning in 2008 for his debut novel The Best Laid Plans[1] and in 2015 for No Relation.[2]

The Best Laid Plans is a satire of Canadian politics, in which a burned-out political strategist's plan to get out of politics by managing an unelectable candidate in a federal election in order to kill off his own credibility is thrown into turmoil when the candidate becomes unexpectedly popular with the voters.[3] Due to lack of publisher interest, Fallis originally released the entire novel, chapter by chapter, in podcast format, later turning to the print-on-demand company iUniverse to self-publish a paper edition.[1] The podcast was subsequently picked up for broadcast on Radioropa.[1]

Following his award win, Fallis signed with McClelland & Stewart, which republished The Best Laid Plans through its Douglas Gibson Books imprint in September 2008. A sequel, The High Road, was published by Douglas Gibson Books in September 2010 and was a finalist for the 2011 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. His third novel, again published by M&S, Up and Down, debuted on The Globe and Mail Bestsellers list in September 2012. It was a finalist for the 2013 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour and won the 2013 Ontario Library Association Evergreen Award. His fourth book, No Relation, was published by Douglas Gibson Books in May 2014 and won the 2015 Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour. His fifth novel, Poles Apart, was published in the fall of 2015 and opened on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list, and was again a shortlisted finalist for the Stephen Leacock Award in 2016.

The Best Laid Plans also won the 2011 edition of Canada Reads as the "essential Canadian novel of the decade", where it was defended by journalist Ali Velshi.[4] In 2013, CBC Television announced plans to adapt the novel into a six-part television series,[5] The Best Laid Plans, which debuted in January 2014.[6] The Best Laid Plans was also developed as a stage musical by Touchstone Theatre and Patrick Street Productions in Vancouver where it enjoyed a successful run in the fall of 2015.

In June 2013, Fallis won the Libris Award for Author of the Year presented by the Canadian Booksellers Association.

Fallis attended McMaster University where he earned a Bachelor of Engineering degree and became involved in student politics, eventually becoming president of the student union.[7] After graduating he began a career in federal politics.[8] He is a former Liberal Party strategist, who has worked on the campaign and legislative staffs of Jean Chrétien, Jean Lapierre, Robert Nixon and Michael Ignatieff. In 1995, he co-founded Thornley Fallis, a public relations and social/digital media agency with offices in Toronto and Ottawa.

In 2014 he received the L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Engineering Alumni Award from McMaster.[8]


  • The Best Laid Plans (2008)
  • The High Road (2010)
  • Up and Down (2012)
  • No Relation (2014)
  • Poles Apart (2015)
  • One Brother Shy (2017)


  1. ^ a b c "Self-published novel by Terry Fallis wins Leacock award", cbc.ca, April 30, 2008.
  2. ^ "Terry Fallis wins second Leacock Medal for No Relation". Quill & Quire, April 30, 2015.
  3. ^ The Best Laid Plans at chapters.indigo.ca.
  4. ^ "Terry Fallis’ The Best Laid Plans wins Canada Reads competition". National Post, February 9, 2011.
  5. ^ "CBC brings political satire ‘Best Laid Plans’ to series" Archived 2013-05-09 at the Wayback Machine. TV Guide Canada, March 8, 2013.
  6. ^ Bill Brioux, "‘Best Laid Plans’ turns satiric focus on politics". Toronto Star, January 4, 2014.
  7. ^ "Big ideas: engineering as a foundation for anything". Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University. May 16, 2018. Retrieved August 9, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "The L.W. Shemilt Distinguished Alumni Award". Faculty of Engineering, McMaster University. Retrieved August 9, 2018.

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