Munroe Scott

Author Munroe Scott
Author Munroe Scott

Munroe Scott is among the most dedicated of freelance writers in this country. Born in Ontario he went to High School in Almonte, Ontario, graduated from Queen's University (B.A) and Cornell University (M.A) and in the early 1950's began his career as a staff writer with Crawley Films, Ottawa,. He has been freelance since 1957. Munroe is perhaps best-known as the biographer of Dr. Robert McClure but has been prolific as a writer for documentary films and public affairs television as well as drama for both TV and stage. He was writer and director of most of the acclaimed CBCTV series The Tenth Decade, and also wrote and directed CBC-TV's series First Person Singular (The Pearson Memoirs) and the series One Canadian (The Diefenbaker Memoirs). He wrote the prestigious Sound & Light Show for Parliament Hill, 1984-93. As an author his work has made the Best Seller list and the Book of the Month Club. He has won awards as both a playwright and a columnist. He is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada, the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the Writers' Union of Canada.

Notable Works by Munroe Scott


Always An Updraft:
a writer remembers
Always An Updraft

"In Always An Updraft, Munroe Scott takes us on a personal lifelong journey through the complicated terrain of a freelance writer in Canada. The vivid descriptions of his journey are full of factual eye-opening scenes, with roadblocks and successes—underscored with humour. It is a work of a highly accomplished story teller, writer-director of many hours of prime Canadian television , and an award-winning playwright.

"To aspiring future Film, Television and Theatre writers and directors Always An Updraft is an invaluable collection of lessons, learned in a hard-knocks school, and should be included in Recommended Reading lists for university students studying film-video, theatre and creative writing."
- Vincent Vaitiekumas, Professor Emeritus, Film & Video Department, York University

See More Comments About Always An Updraft

Published by Penumbra Press
To Order, Contact Penumbra Press

ISBN 1894131171
Hardcover, First Edition, 2005

The Carving of Canada:
A Tale of Parliamentary Gothic
The Carving of Canada

The Carving of Canada begins beside a small fire sparkling on the granite shore of a northern lake as the "Old One", a storyteller, challenges the listeners and readers to consider the possibility that a country is created by its artists. Old One's tale blends past and present into an ongoing pageant of Canadian history as it describes the work of Canada's former Parliamentary Sculptor, Eleanor Milne, and her associates as they created three impressive masterworks in the Centre Block of the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa - the Frieze of History, The Constitution Stones, and the House of Commons Stained Glass Windows. They toiled, usually at night, for more than thirty years while remaining virtually unknown and the storyteller suggests that anonymity is the price the artist pays for working within a Gothic whole.

The Carving of Canada intertwines the story of the Parliament Buildings and the story of Canada and its governing institutions with details of the sculptors' and glass crafters' arts and struggles. Like its subject it is multi-layered but never strays from the engaging style of "a tale told beside a campfire".

See Reviews and Excerpts

Published by Penumbra Press
To Order, Contact Penumbra Press

ISBN 0921254938
Softcover, 1999


The LiberatorsThe Liberators

It is the spring of 1838 as an innocent backwoods girl, full of primal evolutionary yearnings, sets out to liberate her fiancé from the Redcoats at Fort Henry and finds herself involved in a boisterous invasion of Upper Canada with as motley a crew of piratical patriots as ever prowled the Thousand Islands or graced the Canadian political scene. It is a small microcosm of the Upper Canada rebellion that takes place, fittingly enough after the Rebellion is already over.

"One of the finest recreations of the period immediately following the rebellions of 1837, The Liberators is told with verve and humour. As he has done throughout his career, Munroe Scott has opened a window on what otherwise might have remained an obscure part of Canadian history. No reader can fail to be impressed and delighted."
- Author / Historian R.B.Fleming, Ph.D.

Published by Penumbra Press
To Order, Contact Penumbra Press

ISBN 1894131215
Softcover, 2001

Waltz for a Pagan DrumWaltz for a Pagan Drum

In a story that oscillates between a colonial struggle in Africa and an alien invasion in Ontario, the principals find themselves wedged in a triangle between colonizers, natives, and misunderstood missionaries.

" odd combination but, surprisingly, one that works.....(T)he dilemma of the missionaries is not simple. This adventure story explores the complexity with verve and imagination."
- Joan Hind-Smith, The Canadian Churchman, Oct. '88

To order, Contact:


McClure: The China Years
(Vol.1 of a biography of Dr. Robert McClure)McClure1

Book of the Month Club Alternate Selection. National Best Seller.

"... a tremendously readable and illuminating story."
- Ottawa Journal

McClure: Years of Challenge
(Vol 2. of a biography of Dr. Robert McClure) McClure2

"When I reviewed The China Years, I said I couldn't wait to read the second volume. The sequel has more than justified that expectation."
- Tom Harpur, The Toronto Star


Oh, Vulgar Wind: a Sympathetic Overview of the Common FartOh, Vulgar Wind

Editor's Choice - "This witty grab-bag of scientific, literary and anecdotal lore is a breath of fetid air on a subject of universal interest."
- The Globe and Mail, May 21st,'94

" .... elegant language......Scott's unflagging joy in his subject and skill in its presentation make this a delightful little book."
- Dr. Douglas Waugh, Stitches, Oct. 94

For more information and to order, see

From Nation to Colony FRom Nation to Colony

"I suggest the reader accept these mini-essays as what they are -- passionately prejudiced. However, since the prejudice is for a humane, compassionate, egalitarian and evolving Canada that is greatly in peril, then the passion can only be applauded."
- Pierre Berton, 1988.

"Munroe Scott is one of Canada's best writers. Anything Munroe says merits attention, so please pay attention to this book."
- Larry Zolf

To order, Contact:

Full Length Stage Plays


A full length stage play for one actor and many characters based upon The China Years, Volume One of the playwright's biography of Dr. Robert McClure. It recreates the adventures of the charismatic Canadian missionary/surgeon who was not only a witness to but an active participant in much of the turbulent history of China during the first half of the 20th century.

"The play is humourous, witty, and startlingly dramatic, and swings rapidly from violence to tenderness, rage to compassion."
- Arnold Edinborough, The Financial Post, October 4, 1986

"Hamilton's regional theatre (Theatre Aquarius) scored an impressive hit this March... Not only were the reviews uniformly favourable, but it played to capacity audiences through most of its month-long run."
- Aadu Pilt, Performing Arts, July 1986

"... a brave and thoughtful piece of theatre."
- Hamilton Spectator, March 1986

To order, contact:


A full length, large cast play for an open stage in which a Confucian scholar in 1769 Taiwan, appointed to govern a head-hunting tribe, is faced with a cultural uprising in which the threat of violence is used for political blackmail.

"... an epic that would have done credit to a Chinese Bertolt Brecht... It is also sweeping, subtle, profoundly philosophical, immaculately constructed..."
- London Free Press, 1972, review of pre-production version published in A Collection of Canadians Plays, Vol.1.

"... a generous portion of humour, a touch or two of serene poetry and a measure of cool wisdom... it tells of an unequal struggle between logic and passion, civilization and paganism."
- Christopher Dafoe, The Vancouver Sun, Sept. 19, 1972, review of professional reading of pre-production version.

"Wu-Feng contains some fine moments of theatre."
- McKenzie Porter, The Toronto Sun, Oct. 24, 1974, reviewing production on main stage, St.Lawrence Centre, Toronto.

To order (Pre-production version), contact:
(Post Production version), contact:

Shylock's Treasure

Twenty years after the events in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice the principal characters have second thoughts. Shylock's trial is restaged, Antonio is convicted, and reconciliation is achieved.

"Scott has emulated the quick wit and verbal play of Shakespeare ... the language play makes this comedy a delight... Shylock has created his second chance and used it to its maximum."
- Geraldine Balzer, Canadian Drama, Vol.9, No.2,'83

To order, contact:

The Devil's Petition

A full length folk play based on an 1830 incident in Upper Canada in which the principal players were the Rev. John Ryerson (brother of the famous Egerton Ryerson) and Dr. John Rolph (later the founder of the University of Toronto's School of Medicine).

"Two men are accused of stealing an ox and one is sentenced to be hanged. His daughter, a young doctor and a young Methodist clergyman set out to save him....the play is funny, fascinating and reflects the thoughts and customs of early Ontario."
- Lindsay This Week, July 22, 1981

To order, contact:

Corpus Delectable

An aging, eccentric Canadian film pioneer is interviewed by a comely oral historian while each is planning a bloodless murder. A full length, two-act play for two actors.

"... a delectable feast... cooked to perfection... thoroughly enjoyable... Highly recommended."
- Stephen Beecroft, Stoney Creek News, March 1, 1995

To order, contact:

Contact Munroe Scott

Top of Page

Excerpts From Always An Updraft

Copyright © 2005
Created by