WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2015 DANUTA GLEED LITERARY AWARD
>> From the Writers’ Union of Canada
TORONTO – The Writers’ Union of Canada announced this evening that Heather O’Neill is the recipient of the $10,000 first prize in the 19th annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award, recognizing the best first collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2015 in the English language.
Of Heather O’Neill’s book Daydreams of Angels (published by HarperCollins Canada), jury members Shauna Singh Baldwin, Barry Dempster and Dora Dueck said: “Gypsies, cherubs, androids, wolf boys and the Marquis de Sade are just a few of the characters who populate Heather O’Neill’s Daydreams of Angels, a fanciful, fantastical collection of post-modern fairy tales. Despite the sweetness at the core of almost every story, the book is filled with dark, often sticky, surprises. You’re guaranteed to come away from an O’Neill story both delighted and disturbed; she can go from the heights of glee to devilish anxiety in the space of a paragraph. Hers is a world of great imaginative alchemy. Whether she’s writing about shipwrecks, babies washed up on the beach or Rudolf Nureyev clones, she’s dead serious about her shape-shifting themes, fearless in the face of the wild and the absurd.”
Heather O’Neill is the author of The Girl Who Was Saturday Night, which was a finalist for the 2014 Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her first novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, won CBC Canada Reads and the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. It was also a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction and the Orange Prize. She was born in Montreal, where she currently lives.
Runners-up Andrew Forbes and Kevin Hardcastle will each receive $500.
Of Andrew Forbes’ What You Need (published by Invisible Publishing) the jury said: “Andrew Forbes’ stories in What You Need are plainly spoken, his characters ending up in bar fights, playing high school sports and building thermonuclear devices in their garages. He has a gift for balancing good old-fashioned narratives with surprising implosions of fate. Voice and details are his strong point. Whether they’re digging up a dead friend or puzzling over their daughter’s ability to walk through walls, his characters are easy to relate to, they are true to themselves and they engage the reader, who can’t wait to turn the page. What You Need is insightful and intelligent, sharp and deep as bone.”
Of Kevin Hardcastle’s Debris (published by Biblioasis) the jury said: “Debris is a spare and shadow-drenched book, the sentences well-wrought, the voice never less than distinctive. His characters include a cage fighter being tracked down by the Hell’s Angels, a night clerk at a seedy hotel who makes moonshine whisky and a gas contract salesman wearing out his shoes in a number of Alberta towns. These are tough-talking men who advertise their misery like a kind of nakedness. Strangely, the result of all this suffering and violence is a beauty that at times takes your breath away.”
The short list of five books was announced on May 10, 2016 and also included Gerard Beirne’s In a Time of Drought and Hunger (published by Oberon Press) and Hugh Graham’s Last Words (published by Exile Editions).
The Danuta Gleed Literary Award was created as a celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in December 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks. The award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed, in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.
The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada and promoting the rights, freedoms and economic well-being of all writers.
Leah Horlick wins the 10th Writers’ Trust Dayne Ogilvie Prize
Award for LGBT Emerging Writers to be presented at Canadian Writers’ Summit
>> From the Writers’ Trust of Canada
Toronto, ON – June 7, 2016 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced today that Leah Horlick is the winner of the 10th annual Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers. The $4,000 prize is presented annually to an emerging writer who identifies as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and whose published work demonstrates great literary promise. This year’s prize ceremony will take place at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre on June 18, as part of the Canadian Writers’ Summit.
In addition, honours of distinction will be given to Gwen Benaway and jia qing wilson-yang, who will each receive $250 in prize money.
Leah Horlick is a writer and poet who grew up in Saskatoon. She now lives in Vancouver, where she and Esther McPhee co-curate REVERB, a queer and anti-oppressive reading series. She has published two collections of poetry, Riot Lung, which was shortlisted for a ReLit Award and a Saskatchewan Book Award, and For Your Own Good, which received an honour from the American Library Association’s Stonewall Book Awards.
A jury composed of bookseller Anjula Gogia, poet Billeh Nickerson, and fiction writer Casey Plett selected the winner and honour of distinction recipients. Their citation on the winner reads:
Leah Horlick’s poetry harvests solace and beauty from lands often thought too dark to cultivate. Hers is a poetry of surviving and, indeed, thriving in the spaces where prairie meets ocean and where love can be complicated. Both Riot Lung and For Your Own Good are must reads. Rarely has a poet transformed silence and taboo into such potent epiphanies.
Gwen Benaway is a two-spirited poet of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She was born in Huron Country and currently lives in Toronto. Her first collection of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead, was published in 2013 and her second collection is forthcoming from Kegedonce Press this fall.
jia qing wilson-yang is a mixed race trans woman living in Toronto. Her debut novel, Small Beauty, was published by Metonymy Press this spring. Her writing has appeared in Room magazine and the anthology Letters Lived: Radical Reflections, Revolutionary Paths.
“For the past decade, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize has shone a light on the talented writers emerging from Canada’s LGBT community,” said Mary Osborne, executive director of the Writers’ Trust. “Recognition from the jury provides these writers an encouraging psychological boost and spurs them on as their careers develop.”
The prizewinner and honour of distinction recipients will be celebrated at a ceremony hosted by past prize honouree Brian Francis. This special event takes place during the Canadian Writers’ Summit on Saturday, June 18 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. The event is free to attend and all are welcome. Event details can be found at writerstrust.com.
About the Prize
Robin Pacific established the prize in 2007 to honour her late friend, Dayne Ogilvie, who was a respected editor, writer, literary manager, and passionate lover of all the arts.
Presented for the 10th year in 2016, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize rewards emerging writers whose body of work demonstrates great potential and who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. Past winners of the prize are Alex Leslie, Tamai Kobayashi, C.E. Gatchalian, Amber Dawn, Farzana Doctor, Nancy Jo Cullen, Debra Anderson, Zoe Whittall, and Michael V. Smith.
About the Writers’ Trust
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, a fellowship, financial grants, scholarships, 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. Information about the Writers’ Trust can be found at www.writerstrust.com.
>>From the Writer’s Union of Canada
THE WRITERS’ UNION OF CANADA LAUNCHES #WHYWRITERSMATTER CAMPAIGN
In conjunction with the inaugural Canadian Writers’ Summit taking place June 15-19, 2016 at Harbourfront in Toronto, The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is launching its#WhyWritersMatter Campaign.
Canadian writers play an essential and pivotal role in every aspect of our lives. The#WhyWritersMatter Campaign is designed to remind us of the value and importance of writers, and the role they play in our lives. TWUC is asking all Canadians why they think writers matter in today’s world.
The Union is honoured by the responses it has received to date:
Writers enhance our understanding of one another, fostering a sense of connectedness that nurtures a compassionate society. — Kathleen Wynne, Premier of Ontario
Writers matter because they preserve and strengthen culture and stories. — Waubgeshig Rice, Author and Journalist
Writers matter because we weave the narrative threads that connect us with each other and with shared place. — Heather Menzies, Chair, The Writers’ Union of Canada
Writers set off sparks in our minds and hearts, start wheels of empathy turning, shine rays of perspective. Writers leave readers transformed. — Gillian Deacon, CBC Host, Here and Now
Writers matter because they make things up which are true. — The Right Honourable Adrienne Clarkson
To understand, explore, lament, and glory in all that makes us human, we turn to stories, to writers. — Randy Boyagoda, President PEN Canada
Writers are the nearest we’ve got so far to inventing telepathy and time travel. — Emma Donoghue, author and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Room
Writers challenge the way things are by unravelling the stories of people and places that would otherwise remain unknown and strange to us. — Jael Richardson, Author and Artistic Director, The Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD)
Tell us why YOU think writers matter. Tweet using the hashtag #whywritersmatter.
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The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing more than 2,000 professional authors of books. The Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. www.writersunion.ca
For more information, visit the press release on the Writer’s Union of Canada website.
>>From the Editor’s Association of Canada
The Tom Fairley Award recognizes an editor’s outstanding contribution to a work published in Canada in English or French in the award year. The $2,000 grand prize will be presented at the awards banquet of the Editors Canada conference in Vancouver on June 11. Editors Canada is also pleased to announce that the three other finalists will each receive a cash prize of $500 in recognition of their exceptional editorial performance.
David Carpenter of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, for The Education of Augie Merasty: A Residential School Memoir by Joseph A. Merasty (University of Regina Press)
The panel was impressed with Carpenter’s patience, determination and respect as an editor. “Through his sensitive and supportive editorial skills he has enabled an author to reach an unprecedented readership,” said one judge. “In this relatively early phase of truth- and reconciliation-seeking in Canada, we have a tiny gem of a work, an important published contribution—more than a decade in the making—that helps us know differently what we think we already know intellectually. This is committed editing of the highest order.”
Maggie Langrick of Vancouver, British Columbia, for Shell: One Woman’s Final Year After a Lifelong Struggle with Anorexia and Bulimia by Michelle Stewart (Life Tree Media)
The author of this book died of complications from anorexia nervosa shortly before her family contacted Langrick to pull together and publish her story. “This is an example of excellence in editing under extreme circumstances,” said one judge. “Langrick’s sensitive editing enabled a nascent book to take shape, one that respects the voice of an author facing urgent and overwhelming challenges. This is sensitive, non-intrusive editing for an author’s legacy.”
Lesley Peterson of Florence, Alabama, for The Little Third Reich on Lake Superior: A History of Canadian Internment Camp R by Ernest Robert Zimmermann, Michel S. Beaulieu and David K. Ratz (University of Alberta Press)
The panel lauded Peterson’s advanced skill in managing conflicting expectations on a difficult work that blended memoir and scholarly research. “Peterson impressively demonstrates that while the work of an editor may be hidden, it can require advanced skills in tact, diligence and patience,” said one judge. “With many competing interests in the posthumous work, Peterson had to do far more than the thorough copy edit required. Peterson is patience with a capital P.”
Margaret Shaw of Coquitlam, British Columbia, for The Meter Socket Handbook by (Thomas & Betts Limited)
Shaw, an experienced technical editor, created The Meter Socket Handbook for an engineering firm by distilling technical information, editing and rewriting text, and researching and writing some new material. “Since the publication was intended to be a training manual for non-engineers, Shaw sought plain language in highly complex explanations,” said one judge. “She reorganized the presentation of the manual based on user needs. Because of her scrupulous attention in all areas of the project, the manual improved dramatically.”
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The judges for the 2015 Tom Fairley Award are respected Canadian editors. Kevin Burns is a writer, editor, researcher, and the former producer of The Arts Report for CBC Radio. He continues to create documentaries for CBC Radio’s Ideas. Lenore Hietkamp is a freelance editor specializing in fiction, technical and academic publishing, with a background in art and architectural history. She is also in her third year as chair of the Professional Editors Association of Vancouver Island. Stephen Kimber is the author of one novel and eight non-fiction books, including What Lies Across the Water and Loyalists and Layabouts. He is also a professor of journalism at the University of King’s College in Halifax.
For more information, visit the press release on the Editor’s Association of Canada website.