Writers’ Trust announces 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize finalists

Five Canadian authors shortlisted for $50,000 annual award

Toronto – September 26, 2018 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada today announced the finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, recognizing authors of this year’s best novel or short story collection. Each finalist receives $5,000 and the winner, announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony on Wednesday, November 7, 2018, receives a total of $50,000.

The five finalists are:

Craig Davidson for The Saturday Night Ghost Club, Knopf Canada

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, before moving to Toronto, Davidson, in his latest book, takes us to Niagara Falls, where a young boy is invited by his uncle to join the “Saturday Night Ghost Club,” a seemingly innocent project to investigate some of the city’s more macabre urban myths.

Esi Edugyan for Washington Black, Patrick Crean Editions

Originally from Calgary, Alberta, and currently living in Victoria, British Columbia, Edugyan won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and was shortlisted for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Half-Blood Blues. Edugyan’s third novel tells the story of George Washington Black, who starts his life as a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation and winds up seeing more of the world than he ever anticipated.

Rawi Hage for Beirut Hellfire Society, Knopf Canada

Hage was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and immigrated to Canada in 1992, settling in Montreal. This is his fourth nomination for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize. Beirut Hellfire Society tells the story of Pavlov, the son of an undertaker, who is drawn into a mysterious, anti-religious sect during the Lebanese Civil War.

Jen Neale for Land Mammals and Sea Creatures, ECW Press

Neale, who is from Vancouver, won the 2011 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for a short story that evolved into Land Mammals and Sea Creatures. The novel draws connections between man and nature while painting a descriptive picture of Canadian seaside life.

Kathy Page for Dear Evelyn, Biblioasis

Born in the UK, Page moved to Canada in 2001 and currently lives on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia. She is the author 10 previous books. Inspired by original love letters from the 1940s, Dear Evelyn is the tender and lifelong story of a couple that first meet in London at the onset of the Second World War.

The finalists were selected by a jury composed of authors Ann Y. K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, and Robert Wiersema. They read 128 books submitted by 54 publishers.

Past prizewinners include: Austin Clarke (1997), Alice Munro (2004), Lawrence Hill (2007), Miriam Toews (2008 and 2014), Emma Donoghue (2010), André Alexis (2015), Yasuko Thanh (2016), and David Chariandy (2017). The prize has been sponsored by Rogers Communications since its inception in 1997.

Finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize appear in conversation at the Toronto International Festival of Authors on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Event information is available at festivalofauthors.ca/events.

Additional prize information is available at writerstrust.com/fiction

The finalists were selected by a jury composed of authors Ann Y. K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, and Robert Wiersema. They read 128 books submitted by 54 publishers.

Past prizewinners include: Austin Clarke (1997), Alice Munro (2004), Lawrence Hill (2007), Miriam Toews (2008 and 2014), Emma Donoghue (2010), André Alexis (2015), Yasuko Thanh (2016), and David Chariandy (2017). The prize has been sponsored by Rogers Communications since its inception in 1997.

Finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize appear in conversation at the Toronto International Festival of Authors on Wednesday, October 24, 2018. Event information is available at festivalofauthors.ca/events.

Additional prize information is available at writerstrust.com/fiction

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through ten national literary awards, a portfolio of programs that include a fellowship, financial grants, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. More information is available at writerstrust.com.

About the Writers’ Trust Awards Ceremony
An annual event awarding more than $260,000 to Canadian writers, the Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony is one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada. Zoe Whittall, author of The Best Kind of People, will emcee this year’s event on Wednesday, November 7. In addition to the Rogers Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction, awards to be presented are:

For a single book:

  • Hillary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction   

For a single short story:

  • Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize

For a body of work:

  • Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize
  • Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
  • Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People
  • Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award

The Writers’ Trust Awards is made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Partners CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Indigo provide additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage.

Media contact
Megan Leahy
[email protected]
647-783-7668