Books by Margaret Webb:
Older, Faster, Stronger: What Women Runners Can Teach Us All About Living Younger, Longer (Rodale Books, 2014) grew out of my midlife crisis. Forget the sports car, I wanted to achieve the seeming impossible: To enjoy the wisdom of a 50 year old but inside the body of a very fit 20 year old. So I set out on a quest to shake off my midlife malaise and get fitter after 50 than I was as a varsity athlete at university. My journey took me across North America to run with pioneers of the women’s running boom and uncover secrets as to how they manage to run well into their 70s, 80s and even 90s; to Africa to train with elite marathoners and reach back to the dawn of the human race to explore why women can live so strong and for so long; and, finally, to Europe where I tested myself in a race against some of the fittest 50 year olds on the planet. Along the way, I consulted with a team of experts, tapped the minds of leading researchers and delved into physiology and aging labs, all in my quest to understand how to live longer, younger and enter a glorious second act to my life.
Click here for more information and where to buy Older, Faster, Stronger.
Apples To Oysters: A Food Lover’s Tour of Canadian Farms (Penguin, 2008) won a Canadian Culinary Award silver for excellence in food writing and was shortlisted for an Evergreen Award by professional book lovers, aka librarians. During my quest to discover what makes food truly great, I went to sea to work on oyster and scallop farms, rounded up “green cows” on an Alberta ranch and plucked Yukon potatoes from the land of the midnight sun. I also cooked meals alongside farmers and some of Canada’s best chefs. 100-Mile Diet co-author J.B. MacKinnon, one of my favourite writers on the planet, called Apples to Oysters “the work of a sensual adventurer feasting her way across an edible landscape.”
Click here for more information and where to buy Apples To Oysters: A Food Lover’s Tour of Canadian Farms.
About Margaret Webb:
Under the over-arching term “Writer,” my CV has a crazy number of subheads: nonfiction author, magazine editor and writer, journalist, fiction writer, screenwriter for film and TV, playwright and even poet.
I have as much trouble pinning myself down to subject matter. I write about anything that interests me and looking back over my 25-year writing career that appears to be quite a lot: running, food, sports, adventure travel, health, farming, lifestyle, politics, gender issues, wine, business, education, personal memoir….
My lust for adventure started in childhood growing up on a family farm about 100 kilometres north of Toronto, Canada. I enjoyed a tomboy-fantasy upbringing – I had two horses, played softball, learned to play ice hockey on the pond with my two brothers and happily let my sister wear the crown of Beauty Queen while I drove very big tractors and trucks on the farm and secretly, madly wrote poetry.
I decided to become a writer sometime back in grade school and worked my butt off to win scholarships to attend the University of Toronto where I studied English, played varsity hockey and became sports editor then editor of The Varsity student newspaper.
After graduating, I somehow bounced my way from sports reporter at a community newspaper to senior editor/writer at a national business magazine then editor of a national travel magazine. Finally, I could afford the suits, the condo and even a sailboat, but I desperately missed the poetry of my career so I returned to school to do an MA in Creative Writing and English at Concordia University in Montreal. Then, for one incredibly “glamorous” year, I wrote poetry and plays while living in a basement apartment and suffering pneumonia for most of the winter. The play, Telepersonal, enjoyed a near sold-out run at Toronto’s Fringe Festival and the poetry appeared in two collections. (I’m the red wine in Desire, High Heels, Red Wine).
My adventures in writing then took me to the Canadian Film Centre (CFC) for residencies in film and TV. I was a neophyte in film and, after three years at grad school, absolutely broke. Unable to afford a car and an apartment during my first stint at the CFC, I hit on what I thought the perfect solution: I bought a second-hand van and lived in it.
In 1999, I won a Walt Disney Studios Screenwriting Award that took me to LA for a one-year screenwriting apprenticeship at the studio. I wrote two features for the studio, one they hated and one that they actually considered making. It was a heady time. You can read about that adventure here.
At the turn of the century, I went back to the farm, metaphorically anyway, writing a book on sustainable local foods and farming, Apples to Oysters. I followed that up with a nine-part investigative feature series in the Toronto Star called “Crisis on the Farm” and also spent a lot of time on the talk circuit giving speeches about the pressing need to transform our food system, for our health and the health of the planet.
My foodie pals were a little shocked when I embarked on my Older, Faster, Stronger adventure, but a book on running was the perfect antidote to eating my way across Canada twice, first researching then promoting Apples to Oysters.
Just before embarking on OFS, I co-wrote the feature film Margarita, which hit theatres in 2012, became a popular indie romantic comedy on Netflix in 2014 and has played at some 100 film festivals around the world, garnering nine awards.
Now all the meandering paths of my career have come full circle, to create a maze? I still multi-task as an author, screenwriter, fiction writer and journalist. After completing Older, Faster Stronger in 2014, I wrote six running columns for the Globe and Mail, and a one-hour TV pilot in collaboration with an LA production company. Currently, I’m at work on a novel and a new feature film for the Margarita team.
Beyond writing, there have been a few constants in my life: running, teaching a magazine writing course at Ryerson University, and my spouse, Nancy. I’m happy to report that we live in Toronto, in a house.