The Writers’ Guild of Alberta administers the annual Alberta Literary Awards every year to recognize outstanding Alberta writing. We also administer several additional awards throughout the year. Visit each award’s page below for more information and submission guidelines.
Golden Pen AwardThe Writers’ Guild of Alberta Golden Pen Award is presented to acknowledge the lifetime achievements of outstanding Alberta writers. Past recipients are W.O. Mitchell, Grant MacEwan, Rudy Wiebe, Myrna Kostash, Robert Kroetsch, Merna Summers, Aritha van Herk, Fred Stenson, George Melnyk, Alice Major, Betty Jane Hegerat, and Greg Hollingshead.
The 2017 recipient is Candas Jane Dorsey. Candas 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.
The 2017 Golden Pen Award was presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala during our annual WGA Conference along with the rest of the Alberta Literary Awards on Saturday, June 10 in Lister Centre, University of Alberta in Edmonton.
The Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book PrizeThe Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize was established by the City Council in 1995 and is administered by the Writers' Guild of Alberta. Entries must deal with some aspect of the city of Edmonton : history, geography, current affairs, its arts or its people or be written by an Edmonton author. Entries may be fiction, non-fiction, poetry or drama written for adults or children, published in the preceding year. The winning author will receive a prize of $10,000. The prize is sponsored by Audreys Books and the Edmonton Arts Council. 2017 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize Shortlist:
- Lauralyn Chow, Paper Teeth, NeWest Press (WINNER)
- Katherine Koller, Art Lessons, Enfield & Wizenty
- Trent Portigal, A Floating Phrase, Roundfire Books
The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize
- Joan Crate for Black Apple (Simon & Schuster) (WINNER)
- Beth Everest for silent sister: the mastectomy poems (Frontenac House)
- Richard Harrison for On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood (Wolsak and Wynn)
Alberta Screenwriters Initiative
The Alberta Screenwriters Initiative (ABSI) was created in 2007 to facilitate the development of screenwriters in this province. The Initiative recognizes the importance of story in the creation of filmed entertainment and the necessity to actively encourage and develop the voices of Alberta writers in film. This annual prize awards avid Alberta screenwriters a first prize of $1000 and a professional workshop with a carefully matched experienced story editor or screenwriter. The 2nd and 3rd place winners receives story notes and $500.00 and $250.00, respectively. Due to a shortage in funding, the ABSI will not be offered in 2017. Past Winners of the Alberta Screenwriters Initiative
Sharon Drummond Chapbook PrizeAbout Sharon Drummond: Sharon Drummond lived in Calgary from 1976 until her death in 2005. She was dedicated to the craft of poetry. Her chapbook, Still the Rush, was published in 1999 and nominated for the Milton Acorn People's Poetry Award. Her first full-length book, Into This Room, was published in 2001. Her final book, Where it Began, was published posthumously by Black Moss Press in 2006. Sharon was a skilled writing instructor who taught at the Alexandra Writers' Centre and for the Calgary Board of Education. She was president of the AWCS and served on the executive of the Writers Guild of Alberta. Sharon is survived by writing friends and colleagues throughout the province, and by her 3 greatest fans -- her daughters.Past finalists and winners
How to enter: Submissions are now closed
Alberta Literary Awards
THE 2017 ALBERTA LITERARY AWARDS WINNERS
2017 Alberta Literary Award WinnersR. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Sponsored by the Under the Arch Youth Foundation)
- Georgia Graham (Lacombe) – Cub’s Journey Home, Red Deer Press
- Gisèle Villeneuve (Calgary) – Rising Abruptly, University of Alberta Press
- Sydney Sharpe and Don Braid (Calgary) – Notley Nation: How Alberta's Political Upheaval Swept the Country, Dundurn Press
- Vern Thiessen (Edmonton) – Of Human Bondage, Playwrights Canada Press
- Richard Harrison (Calgary) – On Not Losing My Father’s Ashes in the Flood, Wolsak and Wynn
- Austen Lee (Edmonton) – “Among Cougars and Men,” Glass Buffalo
- Laurie MacFayden (Edmonton) – “Haircut,” Alberta Views
- Rona Altrows (Calgary) – “Letter of Intent”
- Alberta Views
- Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
- Stephan V. Benediktson
- Under the Arch Youth Foundation
- Tony Johnson
- Vanna Tessier and Guy Tessier
- WGA Board of Directors
The Alberta Literary Awards were created by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta in 1982 to recognize excellence in writing by Alberta authors. Entries are judged by an independent jury recruited by the WGA. Submissions are evaluated on originality, creativity, and quality of writing, as well as appropriate fit within a category.Past finalists and winners of the Alberta Literary Awards History of the Alberta Literary Awards
The Writers' Guild of Alberta gratefully acknowledges the supporters and sponsors of our 2016 Alberta Literary Awards (listed below).
If you are interested in becoming an award sponsor, gala sponsor, or donor, please contact Ellen Kartz.