Last night, at an event at CBC's Glenn Gould Studio, the Writers' Trust of Canada gathered authors, publishers, and readers together to present over $200,000 of prize money to the winners and finalists of seven literary prizes. Hosted by CBC's Tom Powers, it was a packed house.
The $60,000 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction went to Deborah Campbell (pictured, left), whose book A Disappearance in Damascus tells the harrowing true story of Campbell's experience searching for her "fixer", an Iraqi woman, who was arrested during Campbell's titular trip.
The Rogers Writers' Trust Prize was awarded to Yasuko Thanh. In 2009, Thanh won the Writers' Trust's short story prize, The McClelland & Stewart/Writers' Trust Journey Prize, making her Rogers win all the more meaningful, as the Journey Prize is meant to encourage and develop talented writers during the earlier stages of their careers.
This year's Journey Prize winner has an interesting story as well: Colette Langlois' winning story, "The Emigrants", was her first-ever published piece of short fiction, heralding great things ahead for the Edmonton-based author.
The body of work awards, presented to honour a writers' full output to date, are dedicated to poetry (the Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize), writing for children (the Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People), and to honouring a high achieving mid-career author (the Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award), respectively. In addition, the unique Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life honours a writer whose primary long-life occupation has been writing, and who has shown particular, note-worthy excellence in his or her form or forms.
Check out the full list of winners below. Congratulations to all the winners, nominees, and their publishers! If you want to see the awards ceremony, including acceptance speeches from the winners, you can check out video of the full event on the Writers' Trust website.
Full list of 2016 Writers' Trust Award winners:
Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction ($60,000)
Deborah Campbell for A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War (Knopf Canada)
Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize ($25,000)
Yasuko Thanh for Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains (Hamish Hamilton)
Latner Writers’ Trust Poetry Prize ($25,000)
Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award ($25,000)
Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People ($20,000)
Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize ($10,000)
Colette Langlois for “The Emigrants” (originally published in PRISM international)