Writers’ Trust makes Room for year’s best Canadian books:
Emma Donoghue, James FitzGerald, Miriam Toews among winners


TorontoNovember 2, 2010 – Tonight in Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre, the Writers’ Trust of Canada announced winners of six literary prizes and presented $147,000 to authors at the 10th annual Writers’ Trust Awards, one of the richest literary prize-giving events in Canada.

London, Ontario, novelist Emma Donoghue was awarded the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Room, a story told from the perspective of a five-year-old boy who is held captive with his mother. James FitzGerald, a journalist from Toronto, received the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize for What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son’s Quest to Redeem the Past, an investigation of the author’s remarkable family and the dark secrets that haunted them. The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize went to Devon Code, the author of “Uncle Oscar,” a short story about a lonely boy’s longing for a male role model.

Three more authors received awards for their excellence in literature: novelist Miriam Toews, children’s writer Polly Horvath, and creative non-fiction writer Myrna Kostash. An additional award for volunteerism was presented to magazine editor and former Writers’ Trust Board Chair John Macfarlane.

The event was hosted by CBC Radio One broadcast journalist Shelagh Rogers.

“For the past ten years the Writers’ Trust Awards have identified and honoured the most gifted writers in Canada, and tonight is no different,” said Peter Kahnert, Writers’ Trust Chair and senior vice president, corporate communications and marketing, Raymond James Ltd. “We will continue to support and encourage the world-class talent that exists in all corners of this country and seek to make Canada the best place in the world for writers to write.”

Below are the prizes presented, with comments from the jurors. (Complete jury citations are available at writerstrust.com.)

ROGERS WRITERS’ TRUST FICTION PRIZE ($25,000)

Sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc.

Winner:

“Donoghue’s harrowing, stunningly crafted Room gripped this jury from the very first page and refused to let go.”

Finalists (each receives $2,500):

Jury: Lisa Moore, Andrew Pyper, and Eden Robinson

WRITERS’ TRUST NON-FICTION PRIZE ($25,000)

Winner:

“FitzGerald dares to stare unblinkingly into the sun and honestly examine the troubled father-son relationships that have plagued his family line.”

Finalists (each receives $2,500):

Jury: Hadani Ditmars, Sid Marty, and Michael Mitchell

WRITERS’ TRUST OF CANADA/McCLELLAND & STEWART JOURNEY PRIZE ($10,000)

Made possible by James A. Michener’s donation of his Canadian royalty earnings from his 1988 novel Journey.

Winner:

“By turns tense and tender, heartbreaking and hilarious, ‘Uncle Oscar’ is full of surprises, every one of which rings true.”

For publishing the winning entry, The Malahat Review receives $2,000.

Finalists:

Jury: Pasha Malla, Joan Thomas, and Alissa York

WRITERS’ TRUST ENGEL/FINDLEY PRIZE ($25,000)

Sponsored by the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Board of Directors.
Awarded to a writer in mid-career for a body of work.

Winner:

“The ease of Toews’s writing is beguiling.”

Jury: David Bergen, Eleanor Wachtel, and Michael Winter

VICKY METCALF AWARD FOR CHILDREN’S LITERATURE ($20,000)

Sponsored by the Metcalf Foundation.
Awarded to a writer of children’s literature for a body of work.

Winner:

“Horvath is a rare risk-taker in the realm of children’s literature.”

Jury: Deirdre Baker, Julie Johnston, and Judith Saltman

MATT COHEN AWARD: IN CELEBRATION OF A WRITING LIFE ($20,000)

Sponsored by an anonymous donor.
Awarded to a writer dedicated to writing as a primary pursuit, for a body of work.

Winner:

“Kostash has written some of the most powerfully evocative works of non-fiction in our literature.”

Award Committee: Patsy Aldana, Graeme Gibson, and Wayne Grady

WRITERS’ TRUST DISTINGUISHED CONTRIBUTION AWARD

Awarded to an individual or organization for long-standing involvement with the Writers’ Trust.

Winner:

“The Writers’ Trust would not be the organization it is today without the wise and focused guidance of Macfarlane. He exemplifies the spirit and value of volunteerism. He defines commitment. And he leads with resolve.”

The Writers’ Trust Awards are made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. The national print media sponsor, The Globe and Mail, provides additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Canada Book Fund. Partners supporting the program include Authors at Harbourfront Centre, Ben McNally Books, CBC Radio One, Ecentricarts, Push Design, Quill & Quire, Steam Whistle Brewing, Sutton Place Hotels, and The Walrus.

High-resolution images of the finalists and their nominated books are available for download.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that supports Canadian writers and writing through various programs, including literary awards, financial grants, workshops, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.


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For further information:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502, btoyne@writerstrust.com

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