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2019 Alberta Literary Awards and City of Edmonton Book Prize Shortlists Announced

For immediate release:

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is excited to announce the finalists for the 2019 Alberta Literary Awards and Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Each year, the Alberta Literary Awards and the City of Edmonton recognize and celebrate the highest standards of literary excellence from Alberta and Edmonton authors.

Winners will be announced and awards presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala on Saturday, June 8, 2019 at the Coast Edmonton Plaza Hotel in Edmonton in conjunction with the WGA annual conference, Writing Across Worlds.

The WGA would like to send our congratulations to those whose work is on this year’s Alberta Literary Awards shortlists! We look forward to celebrating your creativity and hard work, and we will do all we can to spread the word about the wonderful writing you did in 2018. Our awards celebration is not just one night; it is a full and robust season of honouring and “getting to know” these authors and their amazing work. Shortlist reading events will be held this spring in Edmonton on May 5 and in Calgary on May 15

Our juries deliberated on more than 190 submissions to select the following 24 finalists in eight categories. Finalists represent excellence in literary work written by Alberta authors and published or created in 2018. We encourage you to check out these fantastic titles!


The 2019 Alberta Literary Awards Shortlist


R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Picture Books)  
  • Jenny Keith (Edmonton) – Day Cat, Night Cat, Friesen Press
  • Mike Kerr (Calgary) – Crafty Llama, Bloomsbury/Raincoast Books
  • Nhung Tran-Davies (Calmar) – Ten Cents a Pound, Second Story Press
James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction
  • Wendy McGrath (Edmonton) – “Alterations,” Waiting: An Anthology of Essays, University of Alberta Press
  • Roberta Rees (Calgary) – “Bones, Honey,” Waiting: An Anthology of Essays, University of Alberta Press
  • Chris Turner (Calgary) – “Up in the Air,” Globe and Mail


Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story in Memory of Vanna Tessier
  • Rona Altrows (Calgary) – “To Jesus from Aristides de Sousa Mendes,” Now or Never Publishing
  • Richard Kemick (Calgary) – “Hello, Horse,” The Fiddlehead
  • Thomas Wharton (Sherwood Park) – “Fort Mac,” Agnes and True


Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry
  • A. B. Dillon (Calgary) – Matronalia, Thistledown Press
  • Anna Marie Sewell (Edmonton) – For the Changing Moon, Thistledown Press
  • Kelly Shepherd (Edmonton) – Insomnia Bird, Thistledown Press


Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award
  • Falon Fayant (Redwater) – “Sometimes, I’m Afraid”
  • Leslie Greentree (Edmonton) – “Pink Smock Stories”
  • Trina Moyles (Peace River) – “Herd Memory”


Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama
  • Collin Doyle (Edmonton) –  Let the Light of Day Through
  • David Gagnon Walker (Edmonton) – Premium Content
  • Cat Walsh (Edmonton) – Fetch


Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction
  • Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung (Edmonton) – Homes: A Refugee Story, Freehand Books
  • Marcello Di Cintio (Calgary) –  Pay No Heed to the Rockets, Goose Lane Editions
  • Shawna Lemay (Edmonton) – The Flower Can Always Be Changing, Palimpsest Press
Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction
  • Fran Kimmel (Lacombe) – No Good Asking, ECW Press
  • Clem Martini (Calgary) – The Comedian, University of Calgary Press
  • Joshua Whitehead (Calgary) – Jonny Appleseed, Arsenal Pulp Press


The 2019 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize Shortlist


  • Carissa Halton – Little Yellow House, University of Alberta Press
  • Alice Major – Welcome to the Anthropocene, University of Alberta Press
  • Kelly Shepherd – Insomnia Bird, Thistledown Press


Award Sponsors

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta gratefully acknowledges the supporters and sponsors of our 2018 Alberta Literary Awards:


  • Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
  • Stephan V. Benediktson
  • Under the Arch Youth Foundation


  • Vanna Tessier and Guy Tessier
  • Aritha van Herk
  • WGA Board of Directors

And thanks also to the sponsors of the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize:

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