Main

Menu

Meet the 2019 Alberta Literary Award and Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize Shortlist Authors

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is excited for 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.

Click on the tabs below to learn more about this year’s finalists!

More photos and bios will be added soon.

2019 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize

Welcome to the Anthropocene is ALICE MAJOR‘s 11th poetry collection. She has also published an award-winning essay collection on poetry and science. Alice is a long-time supporter of the literary community, who served as president of the Writers Guild along with many other arts organizations. As first poet laureate of Edmonton, she established the Edmonton Poetry Festival. She received the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Distinguished Artist Award in 2017.

KELLY SHEPHERD’s second full-length poetry collection, Insomnia Bird: Edmonton Poems, was published by Thistledown Press in fall 2018. Shift, his first collection, was published by Thistledown in 2016 and longlisted for the Edmonton Public Library’s People’s Choice Award in 2017. He has written six poetry chapbooks, and a seventh is forthcoming from the Alfred Gustav Press. Kelly is also the poetry editor for the environmental philosophy journal The Trumpeter. Kelly has a Creative Writing MFA from UBC Okanagan, and an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Alberta. Originally from Smithers, British Columbia, Kelly lives in Edmonton, and teaches English and Communications at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

CARISSA HALTON grew up in the Rockies where she learned everything she knows about romance from the Blairmore library. When she was 10-years old, she looked up from such a book and fell in love with a boy. Over time, they moved to Edmonton, then had three kids in a little yellow house in the inner city, about which she wrote her first book. Carissa’s writing about culture, politics and design has appeared in Today’s Parent, Alberta Venture, and Azure, among others. Her essays have been anthologized and have won an Alberta and National Magazine Award. She is currently writing a novel (it’s not a romance).

2019 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize Finalists

The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize is sponsored by the City of Edmonton, the Edmonton Arts Council and Audreys Books


2019 Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

CLEM MARTINI is an award-winning playwright, novelist, and screenwriter with over thirty plays, and twelve books of fiction and nonfiction to his credit, including the W.O. Mitchell Award-winning Bitter Medicine: A Graphic Memoir of Mental Illness,the recently launched The Unravelling, andThe Comedian. His texts on playwriting, The Blunt Playwright, The Greek Playwright, and The Ancient Comedians are employed widely at universities and colleges. He currently teaches in the School of Creative and Performing Arts at the University of Calgary.

FRAN KIMMEL is the author of two books. Her debut novel, The Shore Girl, was shortlisted for the BPAA’s Trade Fiction Book Award, named a CBC Top-40 Book, and won the Alberta Reader’s Choice Award in 2013. No Good Asking was released in Canada in 2018 and will hit bookshelves in Germany later this year. Fran’s short stories have appeared in literary journals from coast to coast and have twice been selected for The Journey Prize Stories anthology. Born and raised in Calgary, Fran now lives in Lacombe with her husband and overly-exuberant Labrador retriever.

JOSHUA WHITEHEAD is an Ojibwe-Cree, Two-Spirit member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry, and Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp) which was long listed for the Giller Prize and shortlisted for a Governor General’s Award. Currently he is a doctoral student at the University of Calgary (Treaty 7) where he teaches and focusses on Indigenous literatures.

2019 Georges Bugnet Fiction Award Finalists

The Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction is sponsored by the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity

2019 Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry

ANNA MARIE SEWELL is a multidisciplinary artist, primarily a writer, specializing in poetry. Sewell was Edmonton’s 4th Poet Laureate (2011-13). Her practice centres collaboration and exploration across cultural, language, and other borders. Recent collaborations include: Reconciling Edmonton, a multidisciplinary installation touring since 2015; Shumka’s Ancestors & Elders, a multidisciplinary dance production which debuted in 2018. Both projects address intersections between Indigenous and Immigrant cultures. Anna Marie’s latest poetry collection, For the Changing Moon (Thistledown Press, 2018) addresses the tidal nature of human life, and follows on from the critically acclaimed Fifth World Drum (Frontenac Press, 2009).

KELLY SHEPHERD’s second full-length poetry collection, Insomnia Bird: Edmonton Poems, was published by Thistledown Press in fall 2018. Shift, his first collection, was published by Thistledown in 2016 and longlisted for the Edmonton Public Library’s People’s Choice Award in 2017. He has written six poetry chapbooks, and a seventh is forthcoming from the Alfred Gustav Press. Kelly is also the poetry editor for the environmental philosophy journal The Trumpeter. Kelly has a Creative Writing MFA from UBC Okanagan, and an MA in Religious Studies from the University of Alberta. Originally from Smithers, British Columbia, Kelly lives in Edmonton, and teaches English and Communications at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

A.B. DILLON is a first-generation Canadian. Her parents emigrated from Ireland in 1959. She is by day, a ‘Defender of Dreams’ as a counsellor and educator for outreach students, and by night, a crafter of prose, poetry, and personal essay. She has written for Swerve, The Calgary Herald, Where Magazine, Avenue Magazine and Toque & Canoe. Her poetry has been published in Café Beano Anthologies and FreeFall Magazine, where she won third prize (2016). Her poem “Miss Mercy” was longlisted for the CBC Poetry Prize (2018). Matronalia is her first collection of prose poetry, published by Thistledown Press, 2018. She is currently working on her second book, Murmuration.

2019 Stephan G. Stephansson Award Finalists

The Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry is sponsored by Stephan V. Benediktson

2019 Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama

DAVID GAGNON WALKER is a playwright from Edmonton. His plays prioritize formal experimentation, integrating text-based drama with other modes of contemporary performance. Recent projects have focused on staging the complex intersections of human experience, technology, and the natural world. Plays include The Big Ship (winner of the 2018 Playwrights Guild of Canada RBC Emerging Playwright Award), Nothing but Flowers (Montréal 2019, New Words Festival), and Premium Content (Calgary 2018, Major Matt Mason Collective). David also works as a dramaturg, translator, performer, and educator. He is a graduate of the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada.

COLLIN DOYLE is an Edmonton based writer. His play The Mighty Carlins premiered at Workshop West in January of 2008. His play for teens Routes premiered in the fall of 2009 at Concrete Theatre. His play Let the Light of Day Through premiered at Theatre Network in April of 2013. In 2018, Collin had two new works produced: Shadow Theatre produced Slumberland Motel and Edmonton Actors Theatre produced Terry and the Dog. Collin’s plays have received Sterling Awards for Outstanding Production, Outstanding Production for Young Audiences, Outstanding Independent Production, and Outstanding Fringe Production. He is a three-time winner of the Alberta Playwriting Competition. Collin is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada.

CAT WALSH is an award-winning performer and playwright whose work has been seen across Canada. Her solo thriller eleven-oh-four received an Elizabeth Sterling Haynes nomination for Outstanding New Play at the Fringe, and Cat was awarded the Sterling for Outstanding Performance by an Actress at the Fringe. Most recently Cat’s play Do This In Memory of Me premiered last spring in a bilingual co-production by Northern Light Theatre and L’Unitheatre. It was also a finalist in the Alberta Playwriting Competition. Cat’s other plays include the gas station gothic The Laws of Thermodynamics (Theatre Yes – Sterling Nomination – Outstanding New Play) and the black comedy The Feast of All Saints. Her work has also been seen in the Sprouts Festival (Concrete Theatre), The Mommy Monologues (Skirts Afire) and in This is YEG: New Plays for a Changing City (Workshop West Playwrights’ Theatre). Fetch premiered at the 2018 Edmonton Fringe Festival in a production by Interloper Theatre. Cat is currently working on a new solo play. She is a graduate of the University of Ottawa.

The Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama is sponsored by Alberta Views

2019 Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story in Memory of Vanna Tessier

RONA ALTROWS writes fiction, essays, plays, and hybrid pieces. She has written the short story collections A Run on Hose and Key in Lock;  a children’s book, The River Throws a Tantrum;  and a book of fictional letters, At This Juncture. She has co-edited two theme-based anthologies— Shy, with Naomi K. Lewis, and Waiting, with Julie Sedivy. Among her awards are the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award. Rona has served as Writer in Residence for the Calgary Public Library and the Alexandra Writers’ Centre, and as a member of the WGA’s Equity Task Force.

THOMAS WHARTON’s novels, stories, and nonfiction have been published in Canada, the US, the UK, Italy, and other countries. His first novel, Icefields,received the 1996 Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in Canada and the Caribbean. His first collection of fantastical stories, The Logogryph, was shortlisted the International Dublin Literary Award. He has also published a YA fantasy trilogy, The Perilous Realm,which is currently in development for television. Wharton lives near Edmonton, Alberta and teaches creative writing.

RICHARD KELLY KEMICK is an award-winning Canadian poet, journalist, and fiction writer. He is the author of Caribou Run, a collection of poetry which was selected by CBC as one of the season’s Must Reads. Having published widely in all three genres, his work has been included in anthologies in Canada and the United Kingdom. Richard is the recipient of multiple prizes including two National Magazine Awards. He is from Calgary.

The Howard O’Hagan Short Story Prize in Memory of Vanna Tessier is Supported by Guy Tessier

2019 Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award

FALON FAYANT is a mother of three children, ages 11, 9, and 4, and lives in Redwater, Alberta. Her children inspire her ambition to follow her writerly dreams. Falon loves everything magical, focusing on middle grade, young adult, and adult speculative fiction. She also writes literary short stories and creative nonfiction. Her unpublished young adult novel Shadow of the Moon was a finalist in the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers 2017 Writing for Children Competition and in February 2019 she received the 2nd Annual Kemosa Scholarship. Recently, Falon enrolled in the University of Calgary’s online Creative Writing Certificate program.

LESLIE GREENTREE has published the award-winning short fiction collection, A Minor Planet for You and two poetry books: go-go dancing for Elvis and guys named Bill. Leslie has won several CBC fiction and poetry competitions, the 2013 Little Bird short fiction competition, and been shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize. She co-wrote the play Oral Fixations with Blaine Newton, which was staged in Red Deer in 2014. Her essay “Tom Petty just isn’t there for you,” appears in Waiting: an anthology(UAP, 2018). Leslie is currently finishing her fourth book, a short fiction collection titled This is not the apocalypse I was hoping for.

TRINA MOYLES is a writer, author, and fire tower lookout based in Peace River, Alberta. Her award-winning writing, often focused on environmental and social justice issues, has been published widely in the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Hakai Magazine, amongst other publications. Moyles is the author of Women Who Dig: Farming, Feminism, and the Fight to Feed the World, a travel narrative that explores the realities of female farmers across four continents. She is anticipating the forthcoming  publication of her second book, a memoir about her four summers working as a fire tower lookout in the rugged Canadian boreal forest. Moyles is currently an MA student in UBC’s creative writing program.

The Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize is supported by the WGA Board of Directors

2019 R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature

MIKE KERR illustrates, teaches, crafts, collaborates, curates, writes, and lately makes zines. He has illustrated for 25 years and taught illustration for nearly that long at the Alberta University of the Arts. He has recently written a book titled Crafty Llama published by Bloomsbury and illustrated by his wife Renata Liwska. You can see his work at randmcollective.com.

NHUNG N. TRAN-DAVIES is a physician and advocate for social justice through education. Her family came to Canada as refugees from Vietnam in 1979, and in 2013 Nhung founded the Children of Vietnam Benevolent Foundation. She spoke at the UN’s International Organization on Migration in Geneva as part of their “I am a Migrant” campaign to help reduce hate speech and promote tolerance. Nhung and her family live outside Edmonton, Alberta.

JENNY KEITH is a contemporary artist based in Edmonton, Canada. She is a graduate of the University of Alberta where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, specializing in painting and sculpture. Jenny’s body of work features acrylic and mixed media paintings.  Her work has been showcased in galleries and private collections across Canada and internationally. Often created by layering acrylic paint with etched beeswax, she creates whimsical and textured artwork.  Her subject matter often includes images of animals and natural curiousities, humans and abstract views of microscopic biology. 

2019 R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature Finalists

The R. Ross Annett Award is sponsored by the Under the Arch Youth Foundation at The Calgary Foundation

2019 Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction

SHAWNA LEMAY is the author of the novel Rumi and the Red Handbag and multiple books of essays and poetry, including The Flower Can Always Be Changing. She is interested in art, photography, flowers, still life, and the ordinary life.

MARCELLO DI CINTIO is the author of four books, including Walls: Travels Along the Barricades which won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the W. O. Mitchell City of Calgary Book Prize. His writing has appeared in publications such as The International New York Times, The Walrus, Canadian Geographic and Afar. Di Cintio has served as a writer-in-residence at the Calgary Public Library, the University of Calgary, the Palestine Writing workshop and, currently, Rosemont Elementary School.

ABU BAKR AL RABEEAH just graduated from high school in Edmonton. After almost five years of living in Canada, he enjoys his life here but he also dreams of a future where he can return to help rebuild Iraq and Syria.

WINNIE YEUNG has been an English Language Arts teacher for ten years. Homes, her first book, was a 2019 Canada Reads contender (and winner of the audience vote),  a finalist for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award for Nonfiction, and a finalist for the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing. It was also the April 2019 pick for OverDrive’s Big Library Read, the world’s biggest digital book club. She lives in Edmonton, Canada, with her black pug, Zoe.

2019 Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction Finalists



No comments yet.

Leave a Reply