Great Canadian Book Awards

By / Food / October 15th, 2010 / Like

Not that you need an excuse to pour yourself a drink, munch on hors d’oeuvres and sit back with a good book, but if you do, here it is. The Writers’ Trust has announced the finalists for the 10th annual awards event. Nominees for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize, and the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for short fiction, were unveiled at Toronto’s Ben McNally Books. Nominees include a Man Booker Prize finalist, duelling brother and sister novelists, a husband and wife team and, a first for the Writers’ Trust, the nomination of a graphic memoir.

The winners of these awards along with four other prizes will be announced on November 2, 2010, at an awards ceremony in Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre, hosted by CBC Radio One broadcast journalist Shelagh Rogers. Total prize money awarded that evening to these Canadian writers will amount to $147,000, making it one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada.

Here’s the list:

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize ($25,000) sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc.

The jury consists of Lisa Moore, Andrew Pyper, and Eden Robinson. They read 143 titles submitted by 46 publishers. Each finalist for this prize receives $2,500.

• Trevor Cole for Practical Jean, McClelland & Stewart
• Emma Donoghue for Room, HarperCollins Publishers
• Michael Helm for Cities of Refuge, McClelland & Stewart
• Kathleen Winter for Annabel, House of Anansi Press
• Michael Winter for The Death of Donna Whalen, Hamish Hamilton Canada

The finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize will be invited to read from their books at the International Festival of Authors on October 27, 2010 in Toronto.

Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize ($25,000)

The jury of Hadani Ditmars, Sid Marty, and Michael Mitchell read 84 titles submitted by 44 publishers. Each finalist for this prize receives $2,500.

• James FitzGerald for What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son’s Quest to Redeem the Past, Random House Canada
• Ross King for Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, Douglas & McIntyre/McMichael Canadian Art Collection
• Sarah Leavitt for Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer’s, My Mother and Me, Freehand Books
• John Theberge and Mary Theberge for The Ptarmigan’s Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself, McClelland & Stewart
• Merrily Weisbord for The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das, McGill-Queen’s University Press

Writers’ Trust Of Canada/Mcclelland & Stewart Journey Prize ($10,000)

This prize was made possible by James A. Michener’s donation of his Canadian royalty earnings from his 1988 novel Journey. The Journey Prize recognizes the best short story or excerpt from a novel-in-progress by a new and developing writer that had its first publication in a Canadian literary journal in the previous year. The jury of Pasha Malla, Joan Thomas, and Alissa York read 74 stories submitted by 31 literary magazines. The journal that published the winning entry receives $2,000. McClelland & Stewart published a selection of this year’s entries in The Journey Prize Stories 22.

• Devon Code for “Uncle Oscar,” The Malahat Review
• Krista Foss for “The Longitude of Okay,” Grain Magazine
• Lynne Kutsukake for “Mating,” The Dalhousie Review

Four additional prizes for a body of work will be presented at the Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony:

• Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
• Vicky Metcalf Award for Children’s Literature ($20,000)
• Writers’ Trust Award for Distinguished Contribution
• Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award ($25,000)

Visit a bookstore and pick up some of these entries to judge for yourself and enjoy some great Canadian writing.


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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