Winners of CAA Literary Awards Revealed

The Canadian Authors Association (CAA) continued its long-held tradition of writers honouring writers and announced the winners of its 2011 Literary Awards competition on July 23, 2011 at the Leacock Summer Festival in Orillia, Ontario.

Shelagh D. Grant was awarded the Lela Common Award for Canadian History for Polar Imperative: A History of Arctic Sovereignty in North America (Douglas & McIntyre). The shortlist for this award included Ross King (Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven) and co-authors Stuart Houston and Bill Waiser (Tommy’s Team: The People Behind the Douglas Years).

Tom Rachman was named the recipient of the CAA Award for Fiction for his debut novel The Imperfectionists (Dial Press). This year’s fiction shortlist included television and film writer, producer and actor Ken Finkleman (Noah’s Turn) and multiple award-winning sci-fi author Robert J. Sawyer (Watch).

Julia McCarthy won the CAA Poetry Award for Return from Erebus (Brick Books). The 2011 poetry shortlist also included acclaimed poet, teacher and horse rancher Garry Gottfriedson (Skin Like Mine) and multiple award-winning poet and novelist Don Coles.

Titilope Sonuga was named the 2011 Emerging Writer for her collection of poems called Down to Earth.

The awards finalists were announced by CAA National President Matthew Bin at the association’s annual literary awards dinner, held this year in Swanmore Terrace at the Leacock Museum National Historic Site. “It is a privilege to present the awards at the Leacock Summer Festival,” said Bin. “What better way is there to celebrate our 90th anniversary than at a literary festival named in honour one of the association’s founders.”

During the evening, keynote speaker and renowned playwright and novelist Tomson Highway regaled the audience with a lively and anecdote-filled address on the beauty, rhythm and magic of the Cree language and on his lifelong dedication to using the language as a means of conserving the wisdom and lessons of the past to be shared with generations to come.

To find out more about the awards, visit


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