2019 WGA Golden Pen Award
The 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, Greg Hollingshead, Candas Jane Dorsey and Cecelia Frey.
This year’s recipient is Robert (Bob) Stallworthy.
WGA membership: 1985 to present
WGA Lifetime membership: 1988 to present
WGA Board member: 2003 – 2004
From 1985 – 1990 Bob travelled the WGA Book Display to teachers’ conventions and book fairs from Grande Prairie and Cold Lake to Lethbridge and Medicine Hat and places in between.
In 1988 he was a member of the Literary Festival connected with the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary.
In 1991 Bob established the WGA office in Calgary and ran it until 1996. During that time, the Calgary office organized a multitude of events including, a Calgary Stroll of Poets, Freedom to Read celebrations, hosted four visiting Russian writers, and was a member of the steering committee of WordFest in 1996.
Bob has four books of poetry published: Under the Sky Speaking, Snowapple Press, 1998; and From a Call Box, 2001; Optics, 2004; Things that Matter Now, 2009; each published by Frontenac House. Optics was short listed for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in 2004 and Things that Matter Now was short listed for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry in 2009.
1996 – First prize, Poetry (Adult category), Alberta Winter Games, Lethbridge, AB
2002 – Freedom of Expression Award, Calgary, AB
As well as the books, Bob has written book reviews for the Calgary Herald, magazine articles, the first three Teacher’s Guides for WordFest, an e-book, In Silhouette, Profiles of Alberta Writers, and a history of the first 30 years of the WGA.
Bob has given over 250 readings and workshops around Alberta in schools and libraries. He was a weekend Writer-in-Residence in Drumheller in 2005.
Bob and his wife, Marilyn, worked with Rose and David Scollard at Frontenac House for 10 years.
– “Thursday Night Poetry group” facilitated by poet/professor/ mentor, Richard Harrison.
– Writers’ Union of Canada
– When Words Collide, Board Member, 2011– 2016
Since 2013 he has been a Patient/Family Advisor, with the Kidney Health, Strategic Clinical Network, Alberta Health Services. He is also a caregiver for his wife who suffered traumatic kidney failure in 2013. He has completed a poetry manuscript entitled Impact Statement which deals with the issues of the five years between 2013 and 2018.
The Golden Pen Award is supported by Aritha van Herk
Alberta Literary Awards Gala
The Golden Pen Award will be presented at the Alberta Literary Awards Gala on Saturday, June 8 in Edmonton. 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.