The former crime bureau chief of the Edmonton Journal, Jana previously worked at the Regina Leader-Post, the Medicine Hat News, the Prairie Post and the Interlake Spectator. She is also a sessional journalism instructor at MacEwan University and a presenter at Pandemic University Pop-Up School of Writing.
In 2020, Jana was chosen as the Minifie Lecturer at the University of Regina’s School of Journalism. Her lecture, entitled Give Me Rewrite: Drafting a New Future for Journalism, can be watched on video here, or read here.
Her story Fear on the Farm was named to Slate’s best crime writing 2013, and appeared in The Best American Sports Writing 2014 as a piece of Notable Sports Writing. In 2019, it was released in book form by Hingston & Olsen Publishing.
An annotated version of the story Street Fighter appears in Dan Rowe’s Feature Writing for Journalism and Media Students, a textbook published by Oxford University Press. She has won two first-place awards in the categories of Narrative Writing and Feature Specialty Writing Portfolio from the Society for Features Journalism.
One of her stories, Persepolis Found, became the loose inspiration for the Kevin Smith movie Yoga Hoser. You can hear an excerpt of Smith discussing the story through the Edmonton Journal, or listen to the whole episode, #288 Yoga Hoser, on Smith’s Smodcast.
In 2017, an Instagram-based feature. The Crichton Farm, won gold in two feature categories at the Digital Publishing Awards, and second place in Digital Innovation at the Society for Features Journalism.
Her 2018 feature After the Fire was named a Best Article on Longform, and was chosen as one of Longform’s best crime stories of 2018. The story also appeared as a top pick of 2018 in The Globe and Mail, and garnered a Citation of Merit in the Long Feature category of the National Newspaper Awards.
Jana has a Master of Fine Arts in nonfiction writing from Baltimore’s Goucher College. She is the founder of The Flat Worms Writing Studio, and was founder and co-host of The Bad Girls Movie Club at Metro Cinema.
Jana is a frequent presenter on issues related to journalism, nonfiction writing, and true crime reporting. Her Lougheed College Lecture, The Misery Beat: The Ethics of Reporting on Crime and Human Suffering, can be found here. It is also available in print from Hingston & Olson at Glass Bookshop.
Photos of Jana on this site are by Amber Bracken.
Contact Jana by email, email@example.com, follow her on Twitter @jana_pruden or read her work in The Globe and Mail.