Archives for posts with tag: writers trust

(l to r) Karen Solie, Deirdre Dore, André Alexis, Richard Wagamese, Jan Thornhill, Annabel Lyon. Photo credit: Tom Sandler

The Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony is easily one of my favourite literary events of the year. Over the course of an hour, the Writers’ Trust gives out six prizes for literary merit and $139,000 to Canadian writers. There are always some surprises and there are always some very excellent acceptance speeches. The 300-strong crowd is a who’s who of emerging writers, entry-level publishing staff, and the most experienced and respected publishers in the land.

Without a doubt, one of this years’ most memorable moments was the acceptance speech delivered by Richard Wagamese on accepting the Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life. Don’t believe me? Watch it here. It is well worth 4 minutes of your time.

The award recipients were:

Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize ($25,000)
André Alexis for Fifteen Dogs, published by Coach House Books

Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize ($10,000)
Deirdre Dore for “The Wise Baby,” published in Geist

Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People ($20,000)
Jan Thornhill

Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize ($25,000)
Karen Solie

Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award ($25,000)
Annabel Lyon

Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
Richard Wagamese

 


The crowd gathers at the 2015 Hilary Weston Prize presentation. Photo credit: Tom Sandler

At an elegant gathering of 200 well-heeled, literary-minded folk in the Art Gallery of Ontario’s Walker Court on October 6, the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction was awarded to Rosemary Sullivan for Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva.

Performers brought each of the nominated books to life throughout the party and awards show. Also present was the winner of this year’s Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Student Nonfiction Writing Contest, Nico Branham.

In her acceptance speech, Sullivan thanked her late mother, her “most persistent fan.”

The next morning, I dragged her out bright and early to do the media rounds. She was very nice about it.

A photo gallery of the night’s festivities can be viewed here on the Writers’ Trust Facebook page.

 

 

 

Anxious publishers and publicists and members of the media gathered at Ben McNally Books in downtown Toronto for the unveiling of the first fiction-prize shortlists of the fall 2015 literary season.

The finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize are:

The winner will receive $25,000 and each finalist $2,500.

The finalists for the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize are:

The winner will receive $10,000 and each finalist will receive $1,000.

In addition, the journal that first published the winning story will receive $2,000.

The winners of both prizes, along with four other awards for a body of work, will be announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony in Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on November 3.

 

 

After three years of swanky shortlist announcements alongside the cheese wall at Loblaws at Maple Leaf Gardens, this year’s shortlist for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction came via a very different delivery method.

On the morning of September 16, a few lucky publishers were greeted with a hand-delivered jigsaw puzzle when they arrived at work. “Gather your staff around,” they were told, “there’s good news in this box.”

A 70-piece physical puzzle was given to the nominated publishers and sent to each nominated author. A digital puzzle was also disseminated via email and social media. Along with a good, old-fashioned press release, of course.

Media and publishers alike responded with videos, images and animated gifs of them assembling the puzzle (watch the CBC Books team assemble it below).

This year’s shortlisted authors, in the running for $60,000, are:

  • Eliott Behar, Tell it to the World: International Justice and the Secret Campaign to Hide Mass Murder in Kosovo
  • Douglas Coupland, Kitten Clone: Inside Alcatel-Lucent
  • Dean Jobb, Empire of Deception: The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated the Nation
  • Lynette Loeppky, Cease: A Memoir of Love, Loss and Desire
  • Rosemary Sullivan, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Art Gallery of Ontario on October 6.

Photo at top courtesy of the Writers’ Trust.


Alessandra Naccarato, winner of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Photo credit Katrina Afonso.

 

On a hot and humid May evening in Toronto, the Writers’ Trust of Canada handed out its “thing in the spring,” the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. The winner was  Alessandra Naccarato for her poetry collection “Re-Origin of Species.”

The Bronwen Wallace Award recognizes emerging writers under 35 who have yet to publish in book form. Past winners include many then-unknown but now-familiar names, such as Michael Crummey, Alissa York, Alison Pick and Jeramy Dodds.

Host Tanis Rideout (another past winner) set the perfect tone: fun, celebratory, reverential. The crowd schmoozed to classical renditions of Top 40 songs (we were in the Royal Conservatory of Music, after all) in a stunning all-glass room with views of Philosopher’s Walk and the Royal Ontario Museum. The atmosphere was fun, lively, and distinctly emerge-from-hibernationy. This was, said Tanis “our thing in the spring.”

Alessandra Naccarato won $5,000. Her fellow nominees each won $1,000. They were: Irfan Ali for “Who I Think About When I Think About You,” and Chuqiao Yang for “Roads Home.”

Find out more about the prize and this year’s nominees here.

Read stories from CBC Books, the Toronto Star and Quill and Quire here, here and here.

And check out a Facebook photo gallery from the event courtesy of the Writers’ Trust here.

Here are the three nominees chatting with me and (via the magic of Periscope) the world on the pre-ceremony “red-carpet.”

Chatting to award finalists Irfan Ali, Alessandro Naccarato and Chuqiao Yang before the ceremony. Photo credit Katrina Afonso.

 

 

 

From left: Tony Clement, Megan Leslie, Stephen Maher, Tom Power, Richard Madan and Lisa Raitt perform Sweet Caroline at the Politics & the Pen gala

 

On Wednesday night, at the Politics and the Pen Gala in Ottawa, Joseph Heath was named the winner of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, Our Economy, and Our Lives.

The event, which is a fundraiser for the Writers’ Trust of Canada, was held at Ottawa’s Fairmont Chateau Laurier and attended by 500 guests from Canada’s political, literary and arts communities.

Highlights included a “Battle of the Bands,” which was kicked off by co-hosts Hon. Tony Clement and Tom Power and joined by MPs Lisa Raitt and Megan Leslie, journalist Stephen Maher, and broadcaster Richard Madan (pictured).

The event raised more than than $330,000 for the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

The five Shaughnessy Cohen Prize nominees were:

  • Joseph Heath for Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, our Economy, and Our Lives (winner)
  • Chantal Hébert with Jean Lapierre for The Morning After: The 1995 Quebec Referendum and the Day that Almost Was
  • Naomi Klein for This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs the Climate
  • John Ralston Saul for The Comeback: How Aboriginals Are Reclaiming Power and Influence
  • Graham Steele for What I Learned About Politics: Inside the Rise – and Collapse – of Nova Scotia’s NDP Government

View photos from the event and read party recaps at Globe & MailHELLO!, Hill TimesMaclean’s, Ottawa Citizen, Ottawa Magazine.

Listen to Joseph Heath talk to CBC As it Happens about his book and winning the prize here and read his interview with the Globe & Mail here.

 

Award winners (l to r) Joan Thomas, Cary Fagan, Miriam Toews, Ken Babstock, Susan Musgrave, Tyler Keevil

On November 4, 2014, Canada’s literary crowd got together for the night of warm fuzzy feelings that is the annual Writers’ Trust Awards.  Held at the Glenn Gould Studio in Toronto, the event was hosted by Globe & Mail Arts Editor Jared Bland, who shared literary anecdotes between emotional speeches from the winners. In total, $139,000 in prize money was awarded to Canadian writers. The night’s winners were:

  • Miriam Toews for All My Puny Sorrows, which won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
  • Tyler Keevil for “Sealskin,” which won the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
  • Ken Babstock, who won the inaugural Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize
  • Joan Thomas, who won the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award
  • Susan Musgrave, who won the Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
  • Cary Fagan, who won the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People.

Here’s some of the media coverage:

The books nominated for the 2014 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. cr. Tom Sandler

 

On October 14, at a salon-style gathering of more than 200 guests, the 2014 fall literary season shifted into high gear with the awarding of the $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction. The winner was Naomi Klein for her book This Changes Everything: Capitalism Vs. the Climate.

The other nominees, who each took home $5,000, were:

  • Susan Delacourt for Shopping for Votes: How Politicians Choose Us and We Choose Them
  • Charles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design
  • Paula Todd for Extreme Mean: Trolls, Bullies, and Predators Online
  • Kathleen Winter for Boundless: Tracing Land and Dream in a New Northwest Passage

Here’s a round-up of what the media said:

 

 

 

The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize and the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize now have shortlists! And this is my fifth year at the PR end of both prizes, which also deserves an exclamation mark >> !

As usual, the nominees were announced at a buzzing-yet-cozy event at Ben McNally Books in downtown Toronto. There were publishers, there was media, there were giant book covers printed on foam-core backing. There was coffee. There was also a vat of jam that was perhaps a joke on the part of the caterers…. Either way, it got good Twitter from the assembled coffee-and-pastry hungry crowd.

The Fiction Prize nominees were announced by Jan Innes, vice president, government affairs, Rogers Communications, and Helen Humphreys, a past winner of the prize and one of this year’s jurors.

The nominees are:

  • André Alexis for Pastoral, published by Coach House Books
  • Steven Galloway for The Confabulist, published by Knopf Canada
  • K.D. Miller for All Saints, published by Biblioasis
  • Carrie Snyder for Girl Runner, published by House of Anansi
  • Miriam Toews for All My Puny Sorrows, published by Knopf Canada

The Journey Prize nominees were announced by jurors Craig Davidson and Steven W. Beattie.

Those nominees are:

  • Tyler Keevil for “Sealskin”
  • Lori McNulty for “Monsoon Season”
  • Clea Young for “Juvenile”

Here’s a sampling of what people said about the announcement:

The winners will be announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards on November 4.

Covers of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize nominated books hang above the crowd at the Politics & the Pen Gala

At a black-tie dinner at Ottawa’s Chateau Laurier last week, Maclean’s political editor Paul Wells was named the popular winner (with many friends and colleagues among the 500 guests) of the $25,000 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing for his book The Longer I’m Prime Minister: Stephen Harper and Canada, 2006 –. You can read his acceptance speech on Macleans.ca, here.

The award is presented at the Politics & the Pen Gala, which raises in excess of $300,000 annually for the Writers’ Trust of Canada.

This year’s event was hosted (to a standing ovation after their opening skit) by Hon. Lisa Raitt, Minister of Transport, and Ms. Megan Leslie, Member of Parliament for Halifax and member of the Official Opposition. Next to the announcement of the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize winner, the co-hosts’ duet of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” with specially written lyrics about being a woman on Parliament Hill, was the highlight of the evening.

Paul Wells’ fellow nominees for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize were: Margaret MacMillan for The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914, Charles Montgomery for Happy City: Transforming Our Lives through Urban Design, Donald J. Savoie for Whatever Happened to the Music Teacher: How Government Decides and Why, and Graeme Smith for The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War in Afghanistan, which won the 2013 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction.

Media coverage for the five Shaughnessy Cohen Prize nominees included an interview series in the Globe & Mail (here) and an interview with juror Doug Saunders on CBC Radio One’s Ottawa drive-home show, All in a Day, as the Politics & the Pen gala was getting underway.

CTV Ottawa came to the cocktail reception (video clip here), and Paul Wells was dragged out of bed dark and early the morning after his win to appear on CTV Ottawa’s breakfast show, CTV Morning Live (video clip here).

If you’d like to see some photos from the night, you’re in luck, because there are LOTS.

Here’s a selection: