Writers’ Trust of Canada announces shortlist for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

>>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The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers rewards writers who are under age 35 and unpublished in book form.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.”

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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.

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