Winner of 2014 Forest of Reading Evergreen™ Award Announced

TORONTO, ON (November 7, 2014) – After weeks of voting, Ontarians have decided: Cathy Marie Buchanan’s The Painted Girls, the enthralling story of the two sisters living in 19th Century Paris, has won the Forest of Reading’s 2014 Evergreen Award.

“It is so very heartwarming to learn that Ontario public library patrons have selected The Painted Girls as the 2014 Evergreen Award winner,” says Cathy Marie Buchanan, author of The Painted Girls. “I’m deeply honoured to be part of this exemplary initiative to encourage reading.”

Through book clubs and other forums, over 60 Ontario libraries participated in this year’s Evergreen Award reading program. The reading program is designed for adults and comprised of the best titles in Canadian fiction and non-fiction. It is one of eight programs that form the Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Forest of Reading®, Canada’s largest recreational reading program of its kind.

“We’re thrilled that Buchanan’s The Painted Girls will now be joining the ranks of previous Evergreen Award winners, who include Terry Fallis, Linwood Barclay and Emma Donoghue,” says Catherine Coles, Chair, Evergreen Award Steering and Selection Committee.

The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators and encourages a love of reading in people of all ages. Over 250,000 readers participate annually through their schools or public libraries. All Canadians are invited to participate through their schools, local public libraries, literacy centres, or at home.

A committee of library professionals chooses the titles nominated for the Evergreen Award, which are announced every January. Votes are tallied for the award during Ontario Public Library Week (third week of October). Buchanan will accept the Evergreen Award at OLA’s annual Super Conference on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015.

Check out the Forest of Reading Facebook and Twitter pages, and use the hashtags #ForestofReading2015 and #Evergreen2014.

Congratulations, Cathy Marie Buchanan!

About The Painted Girls: Paris, 1878. Following their father’s sudden death, the Van Goethem sisters find their lives upended. Without his wages, and with the small amount their laundress mother earns disappearing into the absinthe bottle, eviction from their lodgings seems imminent. With few options for work, Marie is dispatched to the Paris Opera, where for a scant seventeen francs a week, she will be trained to enter the famous Ballet. Her older sister, Antoinette, finds work as an extra in a stage adaptation of Émile Zola’s naturalist masterpiece L’Assommoir. Marie throws herself into dance and is soon modelling in the studio of Edgar Degas, where her image will forever be immortalized as Little Dancer Aged 14. Meanwhile, Antoinette, derailed by her love for the dangerous Émile Abadie, must choose between honest labour and the more profitable avenues open to a young woman of the Parisian demimonde. Set at a moment of profound artistic, cultural and societal change, The Painted Girls is a tale of two remarkable sisters rendered uniquely vulnerable to the darker impulses of “civilized society.” In the end, each will come to realize that her salvation—her survival, even—lies with the other.

Canadian Children’s Book Centre announces winners of six English-language book awards

>>From the Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Toronto (November 7, 2014) – The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is thrilled to announce the winners of its six English-language children’s book awards. The TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award was given to author Kathy Stinson and illustrator Dušan Petričić, who took home the $30,000 prize for their picture book, The Man with the Violin (Annick Press); an additional $12,500 was divided between the winning book’s publisher and the other four nominees. Five other awards were given out:

  • How To by Julie Morstad won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
  • The Last Train: A Holocaust Story by Rona Arato won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
  • Graffiti Knight by Karen Bass won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction For Young People ($5,000)
  • Who I’m Not by Ted Staunton won the John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
  • Sorrow’s Knot by Erin Bow won the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy ($5,000)

The winners were announced last night at a gala event, hosted by the CBC’s Shelagh Rogers, at The Carlu in Toronto. The event marked the 10th anniversary of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards, and a total of $92,500 was given out. At a gala event in Montreal last week, the CCBC also awarded the $30,000 Prix TD de littérature canadienne pour l’enfance et la jeunesse to Andrée Poulin for La plus grosse poutine du monde (Bayard Canada), with another $12,500 divided between Poulin’s publisher and four other nominees. (Click here for more information.)

For the second year, TD Bank Group partnered with CBC Books to present the CBC Fan Choice Award. Young readers were asked to pick their favourite book from the shortlisted TD Award titles in an online poll. One lucky entrant, Jaxen Hartwig of Mitchell, Ontario, won a trip to Toronto to see the $5,000 CBC Fan Choice Award presented to Andrew Larsen and Dušan Petričić for their picture book, In the Tree House.

The gala also brought a long-awaited announcement from CCBC President Daryl Novak. In 2015, the CCBC will launch the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award, after a year-long fundraising campaign by volunteer Amy Mathers, who has been reading and reviewing a teen book every day since January. The new award will present $5,000 to the most distinguished Canadian teen book of the year.

Click here to download a PDF (or visit with the full list of prizes presented and comments from the jurors. Click here for the shortlist.

Writers’ Trust Awards $139,000 to Canadian Writers

>>From the Writers’ Trust of Canada

Toronto – November 4, 2014 – Tonight in Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio, the Writers’ Trust of Canada presented six awards for literary merit and $139,000 to Canadian writers. The Writers’ Trust Awards evening is one of the richest literary prize-giving events in Canada. The Writers’ Trust supports Canadian writers throughout the year through ongoing initiatives that include additional literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat.

Miriam Toews received the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for All My Puny Sorrows, a heart-wrenching and humorous novel about the loving bond of sisterhood and the tragedy of depression. Toews previously won the award in 2008 for her novel The Flying Troutmans.

The inaugural Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize, which awards $25,000 in recognition of a writer’s exceptional body of work in the field of poetry, was presented to Ken Babstock.

Three additional authors received awards for their contributions to Canadian literature through a body of work: Manitoba’s Joan Thomas, whose third novel,The Opening Sky, was recently nominated for a Governor General’s Literary Award, took home the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award; Haida Gawaii, British Columbia resident Susan Musgrave, whose writing career has spanned 30 years and 27 published books of poetry, nonfiction, fiction, and children’s literature, received the $20,000 Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life; and Cary Fagan, a prolific writer based in Toronto, whose body of work spans picture books, chapter books, and novels, won the $20,000 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People.

The $10,000 Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize went to Tyler Keevil for “Sealskin,” a short story set in a fish processing plant in the Burrard Inlet, British Columbia.

The event, which was attended by 300 guests from the literary, arts and media communities, was hosted by the arts editor of The Globe and MailJared Bland.

Find detailed information about each winner and award on the Writers’ Trust website.

Naomi Klein wins Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction

>>From the Writers’ Trust of Canada

October 14, 2014 – Toronto – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced tonight that Naomi Klein has won the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction for This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climatepublished by Knopf Canada. The prize is the richest annual literary award for a book of nonfiction published in Canada.

The prize was awarded by the Hon. Hilary M. Weston in Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario at a salon-style gathering of more than 200 members of the literary, philanthropic, and arts communities. Renowned Canadian performers enlivened the evening with dramatic readings of the nominated titles. The event was hosted by Shelagh Rogers, broadcast journalist and host of CBC Radio One’sThe Next Chapter. In addition to the $60,000 prize, Klein received a sculpture created by crystal artist Mark Raynes Roberts.

Prize finalists were selected by a jury composed of Charles Foran, whose biography Mordecai won the prize in 2011; Priscila Uppal, a writer and creative writing professor; and nonfiction writer Merrily Weisbord. In selecting the winner these jurors were joined by Peter Mansbridge, chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National; and Deepa Mehta, award-winning film director and screenwriter. Their citation reads:

This groundbreaking book’s exploration of climate change from the perspective of how capitalism functions produces fresh insights, and its examination of the interconnectedness between our relationship with nature and the creation of better, fairer societies presents a radical proposal. The author’s urgency and outrage is balanced by meticulous documentation and passionate argument. Heart and mind go hand in hand in this magisterial response to a present crisis.

OLA releases Forest of Reading nominees

>>From the OLA

TORONTO, ON (October 15, 2014) – The Ontario Library Association’s (OLA) Forest of Reading program presents this year’s English and French nominees for the Forest of Reading. Committees of library practitioners select the nominated titles, and readers vote for the winners in Spring 2015.


The Forest of Reading is an initiative of the Ontario Library Association and is Canada’s largest recreational reading program of its kind. There are eight award programs distinguished by age group and reading level: Blue Spruce, Silver Birch, Red Maple, White Pine, and Golden Oak. French literature is celebrated through the Le Prix Tamarac and the Le Prix Peuplier programs.

“Each reading list contains books that capture the imagination, provoke discussion, or just prompt laughing out loud,” says Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director, OLA. “All of the nominated titles introduce young readers to the talent and diversity of Canadian authors and illustrators.”

The Forest helps celebrate Canadian books, publishers, authors and illustrators and encourages a love of reading in people of all ages. Over 250,000 readers participate annually through their schools or public libraries. All Canadians are invited to participate via their schools, local public libraries, literacy centres or at home.

The winners of the 2015 Forest of Reading Awards will be announced live at the Festival of Trees™ in May 2015. “It’s the greatest author’s event in the world. The kids are great, enthusiastic,” Kevin Sylvester says,former Forest nominee and winner about the Festival. “You all do an incredible amount of work organizing a whole whack of stuff and it goes off without a hitch.”

Public Libraries across Ontario have the nominated titles and some offer a Forest of Reading® book club – visit your local library to start reading!

Check out the Forest of Reading Facebook and Twitter pages! #ForestofReading2015

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