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About the Award

Established in memory of writer Bronwen Wallace, this award has a proven track record of identifying future writing stars. In 2020, two $10,000 prizes will be given for outstanding works of unpublished poetry and short fiction.

The prize is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada. The winners will be announced at a special digital event on October 21.

2020 Winner

Short Fiction

Leah Mol

Six Things My Father Taught Me About Bears

Jury Citation

“'Six Things My Father Taught Me About Bears' features a child narrator as she describes life with her single father and the meaning of family. Leah Mol’s deceptively simple sentences brim with meaning and tenderness and brilliantly capture a voice caught in that fleeting moment between childhood and adolescence with great empathy.  This is a deeply moving snapshot of a family whose conditions are unstable but their love resilient."
— 2020 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award Short Fiction Jury (Kris Bertin, Djamila Ibrahim, and Carrianne Leung)

2020 Winner

Poetry

Alexa Winik

Selections from Winter Stars Visible in December

Jury Citation

"In a clever cross-pollination of astrology and literature, Winik’s poems make a disturbance on the page that dares to linger in the mind. She is an assured creator interrupting the neat contours of genre by weaving the dissonant dialectics of the confessional, historiographical, theoretical, and the memorial between the cosmos and the terrestrial. The collection here is realized in its emotional soundings, gesturing to, phrase by phrase, the fluid coordinates of chance that encompass living in a world of loss, inheritance, and artifice."
— 2020 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award Poetry Jury (Klara du Plessis, Benjamin Hertwig, and Canisia Lubrin)

2020 Finalists

Jury

Short Fiction
A jury composed of fiction writers Kris Bertin, Djamila Ibrahim, and Carrianne Leung read 148 anonymous submissions to select the finalists in the short fiction category.

Jury

Poetry
A jury composed of poets Klara du Plessis, Benjamin Hertwig, and Canisia Lubrin read 166 anonymous submissions to select the finalists in the poetry category.

About Bronwen Wallace

Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young authors as a creative writing instructor at Queen’s University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace's first book, Marrying into the Family, was published when she was 35 and she felt that writers should have more opportunities for recognition early in their careers. And so this annual award is given to writers below the age of 35 who have published poetry or prose in literary magazines or anthologies, but have not yet been published in book form.