Author and illustrator Rachael Clarke grew up in Brandon, Manitoba, but always felt like a country girl at heart. A lover of nature and animals, and all things creative, she grew up writing poetry and drawing everything she admired in the world around her. In her youth, she published a few poems and a short story, and often created custom drawings for family and friends. Her favorite subject in school was art... no shock there.
After high school, Rachael went to C.M.U. (Canadian Mennonite University) and travelled with the "Outtatown" program to Central America, which provided life-changing experiences that helped to shape her future. Simultaneously, a spark was ignited for service and helping others. When she witnessed an unfortunate abusive incident in Guatemala, that spark grew, igniting a passion that lead her to become a police officer.
Rachael spent nine years serving both her country, and the general public, as a constable in the RCMP and the Weyburn Police Service. She enjoyed her years of service, training and specializing in several areas. Getting to help a lot of people made the challenges that came with police work worthwhile. Unfortunately, Rachael began to struggle with complex PTSD resulting from work-related trauma, and she ultimately made the difficult decision to retire early. Rachael remains proud of her service/achievements, and now advocates for first responders struggling with mental health/PTSD in any way she can.
Rachael is now a stay-at-home mom living in south-central Manitoba with her husband, two wonderful (but busy!) boys, and a couple of quirky dogs. Having rekindled her old dream of becoming an author and artist, she's been chasing it ever since. Whenever she's not wrangling kids or enjoying down time at the lake, she's busy writing short stories (of all genres), acting in local theatre, drawing/painting, or taking classes to improve her craft. And all while savouring a steaming cup of coffee of course.
Rachael Clarke is currently working on her first YA fantasy novel (one of two), a children's chapter book, and several picture books. Plans for future novels slosh around in her brain, wreaking havoc as well. There's simply too many ideas and not enough time!
Rachael's multi-genre short fiction - written under the pseudonym, R.A. Clarke - can be found and enjoyed by clicking in the top menu. Thanks for reading!
- 1st place overall winner in Portion 2 of The Writer's Workout Writers Games, 2020. 2 stories placed in individual events (2nd & 3rd place), the remainder of her stories garnering high scores. The placing stories will be published in the upcoming 72 Hours of Insanity, Vol 9 anthology (link will be posted on the publications page upon release).
- Successfully completed the Writing Chapter Books for 6 - 9 year olds course held by the Australian Writers' Centre. 2020.
- 1st place winner of Writer's Weekly spring 24-Hour short story contest., June 2020. Published short story title: A Giant Tale (Link on publications page)
- 1st, 2nd, and 5th placing stories portion 2 of The Writer's Workout Writers Games. 2019. Placed 4th place in the overall top 10 for 5 weeks of competition. All three stories were published in the 72 Hours of Insanity, Vol 7 anthology (see publications page for the link to buy/read).
- 2nd place winner of the Writer's Weekly summer 24-Hour short story contest. Published short story title: Rewind. 2019.
- Successfully completed the Children's Picture Book Illustration course - Red River Community College. 2019.
- 1st place winner in Transcona Literacy Centre (TLC) "So you think you can write" contest. Published short story title: Awakening. 2006. Also shortlisted in Eden Mills Writers Festival Contest 2019. Read this story on my Blog now!
- Published a long narrative poem in Make Us Holy Ministries newsletter. Poem title: The Barbwire Fence. 2006.
- Received a coveted Fine Arts award/grant (2001 - prior to high school graduation).
- 1st place winner in MB Skills Canada photography competition (high school).
- Published several sketches in an informational booklet distributed for young people (high school), as well as numerous private commissions for sketched/painted works, such as a wall mural, pet portraits, misc. artwork.
- Published 3 poems in an anthology of verse (poetry contest in grade school).