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Billie Livingston won the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award in 2017. Her first novel, Going Down Swinging, was published by Random House Canada in 2000. Nightwood Editions published her first collection of poetry, The Chick at the Back of the Church, the following year and it was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award. Livingston has since published three novels, including One Good Hustle, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and nominated for the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award; and The Crooked Heart of Mercy, published in 2016. Livingston won the CBC’s Bookie Award as well as the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2010 for her story collection, Greedy Little Eyes. One of her short stories (“Sitting on the Edge of Marlene”) has been adapted into a feature film and another (“You’re Taking All the Fun Out of It”) was published in This Magazine and included in The Journey Prize Stories 13. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Livingston grew up in Toronto and Vancouver, and has since lived in Tokyo, Hamburg, Munich, Los Angeles, and London. She now lives in Vancouver.

Award History

Jury Citation

“Billie Livingston is the real deal. Her prose stands up against this hard world and her clear vision is forgiving, furious, and tender. She understands her characters so well, and writes about vulnerability, poverty, and the profound compromises of family love with deep compassion. The children, especially, and all the criminals – con artists, thieves, and everybody hustling on the fringe — have unforgettable stories. Livingston’s writing is masterfully crafted, jammed with vivid detail, and strobed with flashes of real comedy. It emits a pure light that cuts through the darkness and leaves us laughing, mercifully, in the face of our most difficult truths.”
— 2017 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award Jury (Katherine Govier, Alexander MacLeod, Eden Robinson)

Works recognized by WT

Cease to Blush

The Chick at the Back of the Church

The Crooked Heart of Mercy

Going Down Swinging

Greedy Little Eyes

One Good Hustle

The Trouble with Marlene