The Writers Guild of Alberta revealed the winners of the 2011 Alberta Literary Awards in Calgary on June 11, 2011 in conjunction with the Book Publishers Association of Alberta’s Alberta Book Publishing Awards. More than 200 writers attended the 2011 Alberta Book Awards Gala, part of The Writers Guild of Alberta’s “Writing the History, Inscribing the Future” 30th Anniversary Conference.

Highlights of the evening included:

  • Two time nominee, first time winner, Todd Babiak received the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction for his book, Toby: A Man.
  • Deidre Ann Martin’s first book, The Elegant Cockroach, received the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature.
  • Having recently won this year’s $10,000 City of Edmonton Book Prize, Myrna Kostash’s Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium received the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction.
  • The Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama went to Blood: A Scientific Romance by award-winning playwright, Meg Braem.
  • Edmonton’s first Poet Laureate and founder of the Edmonton Poetry Festival, Alice Major walked away with the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for Memory’s Daughter.
  • Fiction writer, essayist, poet and story teller, Margaret Macpherson won the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction for “A Thousand Years North of Dorothy.”
  • The Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story went to Rudy Wiebe’s “Shadow of a Rock” with was published in his short story collection, Rudy Wiebe: Collected Stories, 1955 – 2010.
  • The Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize went to Edmonton writer, Carolyn Hall for “A Pinch of Time.”

The Writers Guild of Alberta presented three Golden Pen Awards for Lifetime Achievement to Robert Kroetsch, Merna Summers, and Aritha van Herk.

This celebration marked the 29th anniversary of the Alberta Literary Awards and brought writers from across Alberta and Canada. The Book Publishers Association of Alberta also presented the winner of the highly anticipated Alberta Readers’ Choice Award to Helen Waldstein Wilkes for her book Letters from the Lost: A Memoir of Discovery.

The Alberta Literary Awards were created by the Writers Guild of Alberta in 1982 to recognize excellence in writing by Alberta authors. This year, jurors deliberated over 160 submissions to select 25 finalists in seven categories.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, the Writers Guild of Alberta is the largest provincial writers’ organization in Canada, and was formed in 1980 to provide a meeting ground and collective voice for the writers of the province. Its mission is to inspire, connect, support, encourage and promote writers and writing, to safeguard the freedom to write and to read, and to advocate for the well-being of writers.

For more information, please contact the Writers Guild of Alberta at (780) 422-8174 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting (780) 422-8174 end_of_the_skype_highlighting or visit www.writersguild.ab.ca.

 

2011 Alberta Literary Award Winners

 

The WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement

 

The WGA Golden Pen Award is presented to acknowledge the lifetime achievements of an outstanding Alberta writer. Past recipients include Myrna Kostash, Grant MacEwan, W.O. Mitchell and Rudy Wiebe. This year’s recipients are Robert Kroetsch, Merna Summers, and Aritha van Herk.

R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Sponsored by Young Alberta Book Society)

Deidre Ann Martin (Calgary)—The Elegant Cockroach, Uppercase Publishing

Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction (Sponsored by The Banff Centre)

Todd Babiak (Edmonton)—Toby: A Man, HarperCollins

Wilfred Eggleston Award for Nonfiction (Sponsored by Lokken)

Myrna Kostash (Edmonton)—Prodigal Daughter: A Journey to Byzantium, University of Alberta Press

Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama (Sponsored by Alberta Views)

Meg Braem (Calgary)—Blood: A Scientific Romance

Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry (Supported by Stephan V. Benediktson)

Alice Major (Edmonton)—Memory’s Daughter, University of Alberta Press

James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction (Sponsored by Western Financial Group’s West Magazine)

Margaret Macpherson (Edmonton)—“A Thousand Years North of Dorothy”

Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story

Rudy Wiebe (Edmonton)—“Shadow of a Rock” in Rudy Wiebe: Collected Stories, 1955-2010, University of Alberta Press

Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Prize (Supported by Vanna Tessier and Guy Tessier)

Carolyn Hall (Edmonton)—“A Pinch of Time”

Amber Bowerman Memorial Travel Writing Award (Supported by Ann Campbell)

No award in this category for this year.