>>From the Writers’ Trust of Canada
Toronto – May 26, 2015 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced Alessandra Naccarato as the winner of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. The award spotlights Canada’s most talented developing writers, giving them much needed funding, exposure, and mentorship opportunities, and has a strong track record for discovering and promoting the brightest young writers in Canada.
Naccarato won the $5,000 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her poetry collection “Re-Origin of Species.” She has previously won the public vote for the 2014 CBC Poetry Prize and Event magazine’s 2014 Creative Nonfiction Award. Her writing has appeared across Canada and the United States, and she has toured nationally and internationally as a spoken word artist. She is currently completing an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
The award recognizes writers who are under 35 and unpublished in book form, and alternates each year between poetry and short fiction. It is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in up-and-coming artists to help build their professional careers. The award was presented at an event at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music hosted by author Tanis Rideout, who was a finalist for this prize in 2001.
A jury composed of poets Fiona Tinwei Lam, Rachel Rose, and Nilofar Shidmehr selected the winner from 136 submissions. Their full jury citation reads:
Alessandra Naccarato’s poems are visually powerful and sensually charged. Her imagery is as unexpected as it is memorable. These are poems adept at evoking the textures and sensations of place, even as they pay careful attention to sound, to the music of the line. Ranging from the sting of personal loss to navigating landscapes full of promise, Naccarato’s poetry interrogates the place where the personal meets the wild.
The winning and nominated poetry collections are available for free download on iBooks at iTunes.com/BronwenWallace.
“Alessandra Naccarato joins a stellar list of winners of an award known for identifying the upcoming stars of Canadian literature,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “We look forward to watching her career flourish and celebrating her future successes.”
“The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers provides unique opportunities for young writers to gain audiences, recognition, and mentoring support,” said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. “We are proud to support the Writers’ Trust of Canada through this award, and want to extend our sincere congratulations to all of the finalists, and to this year’s winner Alessandra Naccarato, on such a significant achievement early in her writing career.”
>>From PEN Canada
TORONTO, May 26, 2015 – Writer, artist and environmental activist Franke James will receive the inaugural PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize at PEN Canada’s Ideas in Dialogue event, June 2.
Introduced in 2014 in memory of Kenneth A. Filkow, member of PEN’s Canadian Issues Committee and former Chair of the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, the annual award is presented to an individual or institution in Canada who has shown courage in freeing information and ideas from restraint or interference.
James discovered she was under censure from the Canadian government while attempting a European tour of her visual essay on climate change. The Federal government cancelled her funding, and through freedom of information requests James was able to prove that the cancellation occurred because “the artists’ work dealt mostly with climate change, and was advocating a message that was contrary to the government’s policies on the subject.” James shared her story inBanned on the Hill: A True Story about Dirty Oil and Government Censorship (2013).
PEN Canada presents James with the inaugural PEN Canada/Ken Filkow Prize to reward her tenacity in uncovering an abuse of power, and commitment to fostering a national conversation in the face of censorship.
“James’ struggle shows what lengths the government will go to in order to suppress dissent on key policy issues,” said William Kowalski, chair of PEN Canada’s Canadian Issues Committee. “It shows what certain leaders will try to get away with when they think no one is watching, and it shows just how important one voice can be when it comes to speaking the truth.”
The award, valued at $1000, will be presented by Filkow’s son-in-law, Brian Borzykowski, and is funded by an endowment from Philip Slayton and Cynthia Wine.
>>From the Ontario Library Assocation
TORONTO, ON (May 13, 2015) – The votes are in! Over 250,000 children have participated in the Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) annual Forest of Reading program and have helped to choose the best Canadian authors and illustrators of our time. The awards were presented on May 12 and 13 at the Toronto Festival of Trees, a “rock star concert for authors” hosted at the Harbourfront Centre.
2015 FOREST OF READING WINNERS:
The 2015 Blue Spruce Award™ Winner: The Day My Mom Came to Kindergarten by Maureen Fergus, illustrated by Mike Lowery
The 2015 Silver Birch Express Award® Winner: Kung Pow Chicken #1: Let’s Get Cracking! by Cyndi Marko
The 2015 Silver Birch Fiction Award® Winner: The Night Gardener by Jonathan Auxier
The 2015 Silver Birch Non-Fiction Award® Winner: Annaleise Carr: How I Conquered Lake Ontario to Help Kids Battling Cancer by Annaleise Carr, Deborah Ellis
The 2015 Red Maple Fiction Award™ Winner: The Rule of Three by Eric Walters
The 2015 Red Maple Non-Fiction Award™ Winner: The Last Train: A Holocaust Story by Rona Arato
The 2015 White Pine Award™ Winner: Rush by Eve Silver
Lauréat du Prix Tamarac 2015: La plus grosse poutine du monde by Andrée Poulin
Lauréat du Prix Tamarac Express 2015: Guiby – Une odeur de soufre by Sampar
Lauréat du Prix Peuplier 2015: Le voleur de couche by Nadia Sévigny, AnneMarie Bourgeois
Every October, the Forest of Reading releases a nominated list of titles for each Forest of Reading award category. Children read the titles through their school library, public library, or on their own, and vote on their favourite titles in April. Through this unique program, children are inspired to read for the love it and are given the power to choose the best authors for their age group.
Congratulations to all our award recipients! To view a full list of the winners and honourable mentions, please visit www.accessola.com/forest.
>>From the Periodical Marketers of Canada
Toronto, May 5, 2015 – Five books are in contention to become the First Nation Communities Read community reading selection for 2015-2016. Five jury members from First Nation public libraries in Ontario made the shortlist selections. The title selection announcement for 2015-2016 will take place in Toronto on June 24 as part of National Aboriginal Day Celebrations. The selected title’s creator will be the recipient of the $5,000 Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award.
- Up Ghost River by Edmund Metatawabin and Alexandra Shimo. Penguin Random House.
- Dreaming in Indian edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Leatherdale. Annick Press.
- Rose’s Run by Dawn Dumont. Thistledown Press.
- Peace Pipe Dreams by Darrell Dennis. Douglas & McIntyre.
- All the Way: My Life on Ice by Jordin Tootoo. Penguin Random House.
First Nation Communities Read initially considered more than 19 submissions before settling on a long list of 17 titles from nine publishers.
Periodical Marketers of Canada Aboriginal Literature Award
The Periodical Marketers of Canada’s Aboriginal Literature Award is an award inspired by the goals of the First Nation Communities Read program. It will provide the creators of the First Nation Communities Read 2015-2016 title selection with a $5,000 prize. This is the second year the Periodical Marketers of Canada will present the Aboriginal Literature Award.
First Nation Communities Read is the Ontario First Nation Public Library Community’s contribution to the popular reading movement. Launched in 2003 by the First Nations Public Library Community in Ontario with support from Southern Ontario Library Service, it promotes a community-based approach to reading, FNCR:
- encourages family literacy, intergenerational storytelling, and intergenerational information sharing;
- increases awareness of the relevance and importance of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit writing, illustration, and publishing;
- promotes the publication, sharing, and understanding of First Nation, Métis, and Inuit voices and experiences;
- increases awareness and sales of the titles it honours.
The focus of the First Nation Communities Read program alternates annually between books for children and books for adults and young adults. The 2015-2016 First Nation Communities Read submissions call was for Young Adult/Adult books. The 2014-2015 selection was Wild Berries and Pakwa Che Menisu written and illustrated by Julie Flett and published by Simply Read Books (Vancouver).
>>From the Writers’ Trust of Canada
Toronto – May 5, 2015 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced the finalists for a literary award known for discovering and promoting the brightest up-and-coming young writers in Canada.
The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers rewards writers who are under age 35 and unpublished in book form. Alternating each year between poetry and short fiction, the award is given this year to the author of an exceptional collection of poetry. The $5,000 award is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in developing artists to help build their professional careers. The winner will be announced on May 26 at an event hosted by novelist and poet Tanis Rideout at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
A jury composed of poets Fiona Tinwei Lam, Rachel Rose, and Nilofar Shidmehr read 136 blind submissions to select three finalists:
- Irfan Ali for “Who I Think About When I Think About You”
- Ali is a free-verse poet and short story writer based in Toronto. His work has appeared in the anthologies Underground Inspirations and West of What We Know. Outside of his craft, Irfan keeps himself busy as a teacher, program manager, and DJ.
- Alessandra Naccarato for “Re-Origin of Species”
- A writer, performer, and teacher based in Vancouver, Naccarato is currently completing an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia. She has toured nationally and internationally as a spoken word artist and worked with youth across the country.
- Chuqiao Yang for “Roads Home”
- Yang is currently completing a doctorate in law at the University of Windsor. Her writing has appeared in Prism International, Contemporary Verse 2, Filling Station, Room, Grain, and on several CBC radio broadcasts. She is the recipient of two Western Magazine Awards.
Starting today, along with featured works of past years’ finalists, the nominated poetry by each finalist is available for free download exclusively on iBooks at iTunes.com/BronwenWallace.
The finalists will each receive $1,000 and the opportunity to be mentored by an established poet, including feedback on their writing and guidance on their career development.
“This award has a superb track record,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “For more than 20 years, it has singled out emerging writers who have regularly gone on to receive critical acclaim for their published books. We look forward to the future successes of these impressive new nominees.”
“The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers provides invaluable opportunities and opens many doors for young writers to network and establish relationships with mentors who can help launch their professional careers,” said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. “We are proud to support the Writers’ Trust of Canada through this award.”
About Bronwen Wallace
Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young writers as a creative writing instructor at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace felt that writers should have more opportunities for recognition early in their careers and so this annual award is given to a writer below the age of 35 who has published poetry or prose in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies, but has not yet been published in book form.
About the Award
Since it was established in 1994, the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award has distinguished 69 young writers with a nomination and many have gone on to receive literary acclaim. Past winners include Michael Crummey, Stephanie Bolster, Alissa York, Sonnet L’Abbé, Alison Pick, Jeramy Dodds, Marjorie Celona, Garth Martens, and, most recently, Erin Frances Fisher.