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Author, Dog-lover, and Award-Winning Journalist


Author, Dog-lover, and Award-Winning Journalist


Author, Dog-lover, and Award-Winning Journalist

Judy Piercey - Author
I’ve had this typewriter for more than 50 years. My sister gifted it to me on my 16th birthday, demonstrating her faith in my future as a writer.


I was born in Chapel Arm, Newfoundland, in a house whose back garden sloped down to Trinity Bay, and where my family had lived for generations. At the age of 13, my father died suddenly and within two weeks our family moved to Toronto to live in a high-rise apartment in Cabbagetown.

It was a big adjustment, one that tested my resiliency.  Among the many positive influences that helped ease this dramatic transition was a couple for whom I babysat. One of them was a journalist—a reporter with the Toronto Star—who encouraged me to write and to consider a career in journalism.

I was ambivalent about being a journalist. I wanted to be a novelist. After graduating from Carleton University with a degree in English, I ended up in New Brunswick, where I was recruited  by legendary newspaperman, George Cadogan. His passion for journalism was infectious and for the next 37 years, I loved my life as a journalist. It took me back to Toronto, then to Yellowknife, back to Newfoundland, back to Toronto, back again to Yellowknife and finally to Edmonton, where I got married and settled down.  Along the way, I’d worked in print, radio, television and management.

It was a wonderful career, the highlights of which thrill me to this very day.

One highlight was project managing CBC’s coverage of the referendum to divide the Northwest Territories and create the new territory of Nunavut.  I still get chills remembering how we shared the story of history unfolding with our live studio and TV audience.

Actually, I can still feel the excitement, and occasional terror,  of the many control rooms in which I produced live elections in Yukon, N.W.T., and Alberta. Democracy is exciting!

My experience as an executive producer brought me to Edmonton to produce CBC’s flagship morning show, Edmonton AM.  Next came the rush of live TV reporting, locally and sometimes for The National,  as well as CBC Newsnet. I had the privilege of creating documentaries to showcase Alberta stories to a national audience. Some of those documentaries won awards.

In 2005, I left reporting to become Managing Editor, leading a team of enterprising and investigative journalists whose numerous awards are a testament to exposing stories that powerful people wanted to keep hidden.

Five years later, I became Managing Director of CBC Edmonton, where I had the privilege of running CBC in  Northern Alberta, leading some of the most talented journalists in Canada and forging connections with the community.

When I retired in 2014, I began pursuing my lifelong dream of writing books. My husband, Ian, and I moved to New York for six months and I took a couple of creative writing courses at NYU.

Ian, a photographer and I, set up a little company telling stories through pictures and words, mostly for non-profits.

One day in 2018, a call out of the blue took my life in a new direction. It was from a former colleague, Michael Jorgensen, an Emmy-winning filmmaker. He was looking for an author to write a book. That book is The Fierce, of which I am so tremendously proud and honored to have written.


Judy Piercey
As a reporter for Canadian Press and later CBC, I travelled to Arctic assignments on helicopters, small planes and even dogsled.
Judy Piercey
A career highlight was my year at University of Toronto as a Southam Fellow in 1991-1992. From L-R, my fellow Southam fellows: David Prosser, Sandra Bartlett, Professor Abe Rotstein, me, Joe Sornberger, Sam Omatseye
Judy Piercey

My Chap Books about My Family

Beth's Story

Beth’s Story

Sarah Elizabeth Newhook was born July 18, 1918. Or so her mother said. The Newfoundland government disagrees. Officially, the records say Sarah Elizabeth Newhook was born on July 17, 1918.

Sarah Elizabeth only learned of the discrepancy when she was widowed on July 11, 1968, a week before her 50th birthday. As you can imagine, there wasn’t much of a birthday celebration that year, following the shock of her husband’s sudden death. But the next year, when Sarah Elizabeth’s family brought her presents and birthday greetings on July 18, she declared that they were a day late. Her birthday has passed the day before.

The Washstand's Journey

The Washstand’s journey

I am a Washstand.

And even though I have made much of my beginnings in Chicago at the World’s Fair of 1893, my true roots are most likely somewhere in the Caribbean. Genealogical research carried out on my behalf suggests that I am made of mahogany, a material that was imported from the Caribbean for furniture manufacturing. The beautiful dark wood that lends to my own beauty is of a style that itself became wildly popular at the Chicago World’s Fair. For now, I want to tell you about the significant events that took me to where I am today. I want to tell you about the people with whom I have shared this journey.

The Fierce

The Fierce

In 1975, Andrija Artuković was living a peaceful life with his family in the Los Angeles suburb of Surfside. Wanted in Yugoslavia for war crimes in the brutal murders of 700,000 during World War II, Artuković claimed political asylum after entering the U.S. illegally in 1948. After enlisting in an extremist group intent with plotting and executing acts of terrorism, David Whitelaw swore he would risk his life to ensure that Artuković was deported to stand trial as a war criminal.

What followed is the remarkable, untold story of the teenager who helped take down one of the most notorious mass murderers in history.

Judy Piercey

Documentaries and Specials

Barb Tarbox: The Final Act

This piece was written by Judy and presented on CBC’s The National.

The Gospel According to John

This piece was written by Judy and presented on CBC’s The National. “The Gospel According to John” won  Best Documentary from Alberta Motion Pictures Industry Association (AMPIA) in 2003.

Kendal’s Kids

This piece was written by Judy and presented on CBC’s The National.

Sisters’ Secrets

produced by Michael Jorgensen, was one of Judy’s first documentaries for CBC Edmonton.  It won a prestigious award, The Chris, from The Columbus International Film and TV Festival in 1999.