Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People

Winner: $20,000
Sponsored by


2014 Winner


Cary Fagan



Organic prose and authentic dialogue are defining features of Cary Fagan’s prolific body of work, which covers the range of children’s genres from picture books to novels. With a kid’s eye-view Fagan navigates the ups and downs of life with genuine warmth and a wry sense of humour. His stories perambulate a landscape of small adventures, creating moments of epiphany for his characters that ultimately alter and shift their lens on the world. Magic animates his narratives and its transformative power is Fagan’s instrument for constructing a child’s imaginative space, allowing the reader to find themselves in the story. Nuanced and understated in both semantics and voice, Fagan’s stories are a perfect balance between the comic and the dramatic. Artfully rendered narratives and exquisite syntax make each of his tales pearls of meaningful simplicity. Fagan is a master storyteller.  

Selected Publications

I Wish I Could Draw (2014)
The Show to End All Shows
Danny, Who Fell in a Hole 
Oy Feh So?
The Boy in the Box
Dr. Zinger’s Hat
Ella May and the Wishing Stone
Banjo of Destiny
The Big Swim
Book of Big Brothers
Jacob Two-Two on the High Seas
Thing-Thing (
Ten Lessons for Kaspar Snit
Mr. Karp’s Last Glass
Directed by Kaspar Snit
My New Shirt
Ten Old Men and a Mouse
The Fortress of Kaspar Snit
Beyond the Dance: A Ballerina’s Life (with Chan Hon Goh)
Daughter of the Great Zandini
The Market Wedding
Gogol’s Coat

About the Author

Cary Fagan is an award-winning author for children. His kids' books include the popular Kaspar Snit novels, the two-volume Master Melville's Medicine Show, and the picture book Mr. Zinger’s Hat, for which he won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award and the IODE Jean Throop Award. He has won the Jewish Book Award, and been shortlisted for the Silver Birch Award (five times), the Rocky Mountain Book Award (twice), the Hackmatack Award (twice), the Norma Fleck Award, the Shining Willow Award, and others. Fagan is also the author of six novels and three short story collections for adults. He was born and raised in Toronto, where he lives with his family.

About the Prize

Vicky MetcalfThe Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People is awarded to the author of a body of work in children's literature. The winner is selected by a three-member, independent judging panel.

The recipient of the 2015 prize will be announced on November 3, at the Writers' Trust Awards.


About the Sponsor

The goal of the Metcalf Foundation is to enhance the effectiveness of people and organizations working together to help Canadians imagine and build a just, healthy and creative society. Vicky Metcalf created this award in 1963 to stimulate the writing of literature for Canadian children. She held a passion for storytelling and published several children’s books. The prize has been administered by the Writers’ Trust since 2002.


Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
Third Deadline

November 11, 2015
For books published between Sept 9 - Dec 31


Woodcock Fund




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