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Wayne Johnston was born in Newfoundland. His fifth novel, The Colony of Unrequited Dreams, was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as one of the 10 best books of the year in 1999 and was nominated for 16 national and international awards. He currently lives in Toronto.

Award History

Jury Citation

“Wayne Johnston spins wonderful stories; he is a gather-you-round-and-I-will-enchant-you raconteur. He has absorbed the world around him — the tall tales, the history, the epic of a place — and adapted it to a narrative style that is clearly his own. His stories charm and beguile.
He writes about the ordinary and extraordinary people of Newfoundland with great empathy and without a shred of sentimentality. At the same time his fiction has a mythic quality: Smallwood walking across the island through drifted snow; a father and son surviving a long trek through winter woods by holding onto a horse and one another; an iceberg with the likeness of the Virgin Mary.

Wayne Johnston’s fiction is subtle, his passion understated, his humour underpinned by tragedy. All of his work, superbly written, is a powerful combination of insight, talent and revelation. It is made to endure.”

— 2011 Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award Jury (David Bergen, Joan Clark Miriam Toews)

1999 Finalist

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for Baltimore’s Mansion: A Memoir

1998 Finalist

Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
for The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

Works recognized by WT

Baltimore’s Mansion: A Memoir

The Colony of Unrequited Dreams

The Custodian of Paradise

The Divine Ryans

Human Amusements

The Navigator of New York

The Story of Bobby O’Malley

A World Elsewhere