2017 WGA Golden Pen Award and Youth/Emerging Writing Contest Winners Announced!

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta Announces Two Award Recipients

2017 WGA Golden Pen Award

The WGA Golden Pen Award is presented to acknowledge the lifetime achievements of an outstanding Alberta writer. Past recipients are Greg Hollingshead, Alice Major, George Melnyk, Fred Stenson, Aritha van Herk, Robert Kroetsch, Merna Summers, Myrna Kostash, Grant MacEwan, W.O. Mitchell, Rudy Wiebe, and Betty Jane Hegerat.

This year’s recipient is Candas Jane Dorsey.

Photo by Christian SuaveCandas Jane Dorsey (photo by Christian Suave) is known as a writer of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction. Ursula K. Le Guin has described Dorsey as “brilliant as William Gibson, as complex as Gene Wolfe, with a humanity and passion all her own.”  Quill & Quire contributor Greg Boyd remarked that “the best of her fictions are emotionally grounded in the Alberta landscape: its pure blue arch of sky is too expansive to enclose the imaginative spirit.”

Dorsey is the founding president of SF Canada, Canada’s National Association of Speculative Fiction Professionals. She is a founding partner of Wooden Door and Associates, a professional communications company. She co-founded the publishing company The Books Collective, which released more than one hundred titles in fourteen years. She has been an active member of the literary community and other arts communities in Alberta for more than forty years. Her work as a creative writing teacher, writer in residence, and mentor has influenced many students and emerging writers. She has been a member of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta for many years and previously served on the organization’s Board of Directors.

Congratulations, Candas!

The Golden Pen Award is supported by Aritha van Herk

Youth/Emerging Writing Contest Award

As well, The Writers’ Guild of Alberta continues to cultivate connections with emerging writers and the youth writing community of our province. This year, a generous donation from one of our members has allowed us to award a special one-time prize for a writer between eighteen and thirty years of age.

We are pleased to announce that Katie Bickell has won the Youth/Emerging Writing Contest for her short story “Angels in the Snow.”

Katie Bickell (katiebickell.com) lives in Sherwood Park with her husband and young daughters. Her work has been published in literary journals throughout North America and Great Britain, and won the 2015 Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story, the 2014 Alberta Views Fiction Prize, and the 2011 Voices of Motherhood Essay Prize. She is currently completing her first book with the support of an AFA literary grant.

Alberta Literary Awards Gala

The Golden Pen Award and the Youth/Emerging Writing Contest Award will be presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala on Saturday, June 10 at Lister Centre at the University of Alberta Campus. Awards will be given in eight other categories as well. Admissions for the Awards Gala can be purchased here through the Writers’ Guild of Alberta website.

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