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About the Prize

The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year’s best novel or short story collection as selected by a three-member, independent judging panel.

The prize has been sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc. since its inception in 1997. The winner is announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards in Toronto.

2018 Winner

Kathy Page

Dear Evelyn

Biblioasis

Jury Citation

"Kathy Page’s Dear Evelyn tells the tender and unsettling story of working-class Londoner Harry Miles and the ambitious Evelyn Hill who fall in love as the world around them goes to war. What initially begins as a familiar wartime love story morphs into a startling tale of time’s impact on love and family, as well as one’s complex search for personal meaning and truth. By integrating themes that are universally understood by readers and skillfully crafting endearing characters that surprise and delight, Page has created a poignant literary work of art. The result is a timeless page-turning masterpiece."

—2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Ann Y.K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, Robert Wiersema)

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Jury

2018 jurors Ann Y. K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, and Robert Wiersema read 128 books submitted by 54 publishers.

Jury Statement

"Our jury got a pretty fascinating read on Canada when we received, in three frighteningly giant boxes over six months, nearly one hundred and thirty of the country’s finest works of fiction written in a twelve-month period.

The phenomenal diversity of novels, short story collections, and books that bent the genres to be neither one nor the other, was somewhat expected by our jury of three. Less expected was the definite appearance of a few highly identifiable themes playing on the minds of Canadian writers from all sorts of different backgrounds. Canadian literary juries have joked, in the past, about the preponderance of trees, forests, and woodsy cabins by or in woods, but this year the type of nature written up again and again — wildly, poetically, and often with so much wonder and longing it could take on the feel of dreamscape — was less solid. Canadian writers had water on the brain, an inner life aquatic. There were books about fish, and books about whales, books about life-changing journeys by boat, and roiling seas, and spooky lakes, and ponds filled with water nymphs soaked in seaweed.

Also of note were the number of books about far-flung, closed-off, or somehow intentional communities, a theme that can almost be seen as a response to the aforementioned, oft-stormy waters — a will to protect, a battening of hatches. We were one judge in Montreal, one in Toronto, and one in Victoria, but this year’s shortlist is majority coastal, with three of the five shortlisted authors making their homes on the west coast. Though we worked tirelessly to champion our individual favourite books, ours was not a warring jury but a peaceful one, rife with consensus and admiration, almost from the start. We love the works of fiction we’ve chosen as Canada’s best of the year. We think they are some of the best books in the world now. And we hope you will too."

— 2018 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Jury (Ann Y.K. Choi, Mireille Silcoff, Robert Wiersema)

“For me, having recently arrived in the country, reading a spread of contemporary fiction gives me a better insight into the various facets of Canadian culture than any tour guide possibly could.”

— Zaneta Laurence, Supporter


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