Award History

Jury Citation

“Joan Thomas has a profound understanding of the human condition. She creates characters and relationships and turns these through many phases, illuminating for all of us, the small and large tragedies and joys of life. In her work, she is unafraid, and she is truthful. When she blends fiction with historical fact, she does so seamlessly — whether it is to call up the language of Darwinian times, or to describe a young Canadian’s Christmas in England during WWII. Thomas’s prose, limpid and sensual, has a lightning-bright intensity when exploring the relationships between mothers and daughters, or secret lovers, the beauty of prairie landscapes, sexual awakenings, religious zeal, those small vanities that undo us, those veins of bravery that sustain us. We, as readers, anticipate the richness of her future endeavors.”
— 2014 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award Jury (Frances Itani, Lisa Moore, Nino Ricci)

Program History

Writer in Residence

Berton House Writers' Retreat

Works recognized by WT


The Opening Sky

Reading by Lightening