Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio is a Toronto-based Filipina-Canadian author, public speaker, community worker, Little Manila tour guide, and the founder of “Filipino Talks” — an initiative that builds bridges between Canadian educators and Filipino families.
After completing her Masters in Immigration and Settlement Studies and working in settlement services, Jennilee began writing about the newcomers who kept her awake at night. She has attended the Humber Writing Workshop at the IFOA and Creative Writing by Correspondence at the Humber School for Writers, and the Emerging Writers Intensive: First Chapter Novel program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.
Her stories have been published by Geist, Guernica Editions, TAYO Literary Magazine, LooseLeaf Literary Magazine, and Akdang Dayo, and her articles have appeared in Wanderful, The Philippine Reporter, New Canadian Media, and Rabble.
She won an emerging author’s award from the Ontario Book Publishers Organization in 2017, and in 2019, she was shortlisted for the Room Short Forms contest. In 2021, she was a finalist for the Jim Wong-Chu Emerging Authors Award, and in 2022, she was longlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize and featured on CBC Metro Morning for her tour of Toronto’s Little Manila.
Her debut novel, Reuniting With Strangers: A Novel Told in Stories, will be published by Douglas & McIntyre in fall 2023.