Leah Jane Esau, Erin Frances Fisher, and Jakub Stachurski
Writers’ Trust Announces Nominees for 20th Annual RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers
Award known for identifying future stars of Canadian literature celebrates landmark year
Toronto – April 29, 2014 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada is thrilled to announce the finalists for a literary award that is marking 20 years of discovering and promoting the brightest up-and-coming young writers in Canada.
Since it was conceived in 1994, the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers has rewarded writers who are under age 35 and unpublished in book form. Alternating each year between poetry and short fiction, the award will be given this year to the author of an exceptional short story. The $5,000 award is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in developing artists to help build their professional careers. Two finalists will each receive $1,000.
A jury composed of Michelle Berry, Diane Schoemperlen, and Tanis Rideout read 133 blind submissions to select three finalists. Each juror has committed to mentoring one of the finalists to offer feedback on their writing and guidance on their career development.
Leah Jane Esau for “Dream Interpretation”
Esau is a playwright and fiction writer based in Montreal. Her play Disappeared won the 2012 Pam Dunn Award as well as the 2012 Tom Hendry Award. In their citation, the Bronwen Wallace Award jurors call her nominated work “a story that will leave you both completely satisfied and wanting more.”
Erin Frances Fisher for “Girl”
Fisher’s stories have been shortlisted for and won prizes from The Malahat Review and PRISM International. She is an award-winning pianist and faculty member at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. The jurors described her shortlisted story as “a visceral tale guaranteed to make you shiver.”
Jakub Stachurski for “Screen Capture”
Stachurski is a freelance writer who divides his time between Montreal and Toronto. He is a graduate of the creative writing program at Concordia University, where he received the Irving Layton Award for poetry. The jurors said he “deftly explores our tangled digital lives” in his “concise and sharp” short story.
Starting today, the nominated stories by each finalist are available for free download exclusively on iBooks at iTunes.com/BronwenWallace.
On May 27, 2014, the winner will be announced at an event hosted by Michael Crummey, a novelist, poet, and the inaugural winner of this award. The prize founder, poet Carolyn Smart, will speak about Bronwen Wallace and the impact of the award established in her name. The event will be held in Toronto at the Royal Conservatory of Music.
“This award has honoured dozens of young writers who have gone on to receive wide critical acclaim for their published books,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “In this 20th anniversary year, we look forward to the future successes of three impressive new nominees, while we celebrate two decades of supporting Canadian writers in the early stages of their careers.”
“The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers not only provides financial support, but also invaluable opportunities for young writers to network and establish relationships with mentors who can help launch their professional careers.” said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. “We are proud to support the Writers' Trust of Canada, and congratulate the organization on the 20th anniversary of this award.”
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
In its 20-year history, 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’Abbe, Alison Pick, Jeramy Dodds, Marjorie Celona, Garth Martens, and most recently, Laura Clarke.
About RBC’s Commitment to Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada (RY on TSX and NYSE) is Canada's largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. For more information, please visit rbc.com. RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations.
RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, RBC contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at rbc.com/community-sustainability.
About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.
For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502