Founded by Margaret Atwood, Pierre Berton, Graeme Gibson, David Young, and the late Margaret Laurence, the Writers' Trust of Canada was incorporated under a federal charter and registered as a national non-profit organization in 1976. A unique charitable organization, the Writers’ Trust provides a level of financial support to writers unmatched by any other non-governmental organization. Through its various initiatives, the Writers’ Trust celebrates and rewards the talents and achievements of Canada’s novelists, short story writers, poets, biographers, and other non-fiction writers.
The Trust oversees a number of literary awards. In addition to those listed below the Trust offers the Writers' Trust Award for Distinguished Contribution and Writers’ Trust Notable Author Award.
More note worthy for many of us than the Giller or The governor Generals Literary Award, The Writers' Trust of Canada prizes carry that extra cache inherent in being a peer award.
The Trust has just announced the finalists for the 10th annual Writers' Trust Awards.
Nominees for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, the Writers' Trust Non-Fiction Prize, and the Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, for short fiction.
The winners of these awards along with four other prizes will be announced on November 2, 2010, at an awards ceremony in Toronto's Isabel Bader Theatre, hosted by CBC Radio One broadcast journalist Shelagh Rogers. Total prize money awarded that evening to Canadian writers will amount to $147,000, making it one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada.
ROGERS WRITERS' TRUST FICTION PRIZE ($25,000)
Sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc.
The jury of Lisa Moore, Andrew Pyper, and Eden Robinson read 143 titles submitted by 46 publishers. Each finalist for this prize receives $2,500.
Trevor Cole for Practical Jean, McClelland & Stewart
Emma Donoghue for Room, HarperCollins Publishers
Michael Helm for Cities of Refuge, McClelland & Stewart
Kathleen Winter for Annabel, House of Anansi Press
Michael Winter for The Death of Donna Whalen, Hamish Hamilton Canada
WRITERS' TRUST NON-FICTION PRIZE ($25,000)
The jury of Hadani Ditmars, Sid Marty, and Michael Mitchell read 84 titles submitted by 44 publishers. Each finalist for this prize receives $2,500.
James FitzGerald for What Disturbs Our Blood: A Son's Quest to Redeem the Past, Random House Canada
Ross King for Defiant Spirits: The Modernist Revolution of the Group of Seven, Douglas & McIntyre/McMichael Canadian Art Collection
Sarah Leavitt for Tangles: A Story About Alzheimer's, My Mother and Me, Freehand Books
John Theberge and Mary Theberge for The Ptarmigan's Dilemma: An Exploration into How Life Organizes and Supports Itself, McClelland &
Stewart Merrily Weisbord for The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das, McGill-Queen's University Press
WRITERS' TRUST OF CANADA/McCLELLAND & STEWART JOURNEY PRIZE ($10,000)
Made possible by James A. Michener's donation of his Canadian royalty earnings from his 1988 novel Journey.
The Journey Prize recognizes the best short story or excerpt from a novel-in-progress by a new and developing writer that had its first publication in a Canadian literary journal in the previous year. The jury of Pasha Malla, Joan Thomas, and Alissa York read 74 stories submitted by 31 literary magazines.
The journal that published the winning entry receives $2,000. McClelland & Stewart published a selection of this year's entries in The Journey Prize Stories 22.Go
Devon Code for "Uncle Oscar," The Malahat Review
Krista Foss for "The Longitude of Okay," Grain Magazine
Lynne Kutsukake for "Mating," The Dalhousie Review
"The number one goal for the Writers' Trust is to encourage and support our Canadian writers and to underscore the fact that we have incredible world-class talent in all corners of the country," said Peter Kahnert, Writers' Trust Chair and senior vice president, corporate communications and marketing, Raymond James Ltd. "The future for Canadian literature is a bright one, and we are honoured to add this year's set of finalists to our ever-growing list of great Canadian authors who have earned recognition from the Writers' Trust."
Four additional prizes for a body of work will be presented at the Writers' Trust Awards ceremony:
Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life ($20,000)
Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature ($20,000)
Writers' Trust Award for Distinguished Contribution
Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award ($25,000)
2009 Finalists Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize Finalists
Nicole Brossard, Susanne de Lotbinière-Harwood (translator) Fences in Breathing, Coach House Books
Douglas Coupland, Generation A, Random House Canada
Annabel Lyon, The Golden Mean, Random House Canada - Winner
Alice Munro, Too Much Happiness, McClelland & Stewart: A Douglas Gibson BookAndrew Steinmetz, Eva’s Threepenny Theatre, Gaspereau Press
Winnipeg writer Miriam Toews received the $25,000 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for The Flying Troutmans, a comic novel about a young woman and her niece and nephew on a motel-hopping road trip in search of the children’s father.Montreal writer Taras Grescoe won the $25,000 Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize for Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood, an account of the global crisis of fisheries and its implications, as well as a practical guide to sustainable consumption.
Four authors received awards for their excellence in literature: Sylvia Fraser,Michael Kusugak,Saleema Nawaz,and MichaelWinter. Additionally, Rogers received an award for its long-standing support of the Writers’ Trust. Seven prizes were awarded with a combined value of $155,000, making the event one of the richest awards nights in Canada. The prize amounts of several awards have increased by up to $10,000 from last year, reaffirming theWriters’ Trust’s commitment to supporting Canadian writers
- Matt Cohen Prize - In Celebration of a Writing Life
- The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize
- The Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize
- The Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature
- The Writers' Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize
- Shaughnessy Cohen Award for Political Writing
- Timothy Findley Award
THE TIMOTHY FINDLEY AWARD ($15,000)
Sponsored by the Writers’ Trust of Canada.
Awarded to a male writer in mid-career for a body of work.
• Winner: Michael Crummey (St. John’s)
“Death haunts Crummey’s books. But so do love and desire, the human ferment that supplies his work with a
fundamental generosity, a glowing, wistful hopefulness.”
Jury: Joan Barfoot (London, Ontario), Douglas Glover (Gansevoort, New York), and Jack Hodgins (Victoria)
2007 Michael Crummey
2006 Douglas Glover
2005 Rohinton Mistry
2004 David Adams Richards
2003 Guy Vanderhaeghe
2002 Bill Gaston
Established in 2001 by the Writers' Trust of Canada and a group of anonymous donors, the Matt Cohen Award recognizes a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer, working in either poetry or prose in either French or English. Valued at $20,000, it is one of the richest literary awards in the country.
Matt Cohen died of cancer in December 1999, at the age of 56. His first novel was published in 1969 and during his writing career he published 34 books, including novels, short stories, poetry and books for children. Cohen also worked on behalf of Canadian writers through his long association with the Writers' Union of Canada. He was a founding member of the Writers’ Union, and served as an executive member for many years.
2008 Sylvia Fraser
2007 David Helwig
2006 Marie-Claire Blais
2005 Janet Lunn
2004 Howard Engel
2003 Audrey Thomas
2002 Fred Bodsworth
2001 Norman Levine
2000 Mavis Gallant