She was born and raised in Saskatoon. Since 1962, she has lived in Regina. Barclay served as president of the Saskatchewan Writers Guild and also was editor of Freelance, the Guild's newsletter, and fiction editor of Grain, its literary journal. She was founding editor of Transition, a magazine for the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association. She was also vice-chair of the Saskatchewan Arts Board.
Her works include:
- Summer of the Hungry Pup (1982), which received the Saskatchewan Culture and Youth First Novel Award
- The Last Echo (1983)
- Winter of the White Wolf (1985)
- From the Belly of a Flying Whale (1988)
- Crosswinds (1996), which won the Best Fiction category of the Saskatchewan Book Awards
- Searching for the Nude in the Landscape (1997)
- Girl at the Window (2004), which won the Readers' Choice Award of the Saskatchewan Book Awards
- The Forest Horses (2010)
She married Ronald Barclay and they have two children.
- Thompson, Christian. "Barclay, Byrna (1940–)". Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan.
- "A brief literary biography of Byrna Barclay" (PDF). Transition: 4. Winter 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- "Saskatchewan Order of Merit" (PDF). Government of Saskatchewan. 2004. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 6, 2014.
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