The Writers’ Guild of Alberta (WGA) announced the winners of this year’s Alberta Literary Awards on May 23, during the Alberta Literary Awards Gala held in conjunction with the Words in 3D Conference for Publishers, Writers and Editors at the Chateau Lacombe in Edmonton. The largest provincial writers’ organization in Canada, the WGA created the Alberta Literary Awards in 1982 to recognize excellence in writing by Alberta authors. This year, jurors deliberated over 150 submissions to select 24 finalists in eight categories.
2015 Alberta Literary Award Winners:
- The Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature went to Edmonton’s Richard Van Camp for Little You (Orca Book Publishers), a tender board book for babies and toddlers that celebrates the potential of every child.
- The Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction went to Edmonton’s Rudy Wiebe for Come Back (Knopf Canada), a heartwrenching and emotionally honest portrayal of grief, loss and the surprising solace of everyday life.
- The Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction went to University of Alberta professor Ted Bishop for The Social Life of Ink: Culture, Wonder, and Our Relationship with the Written Word (Viking Canada).
- The Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama went to Calgary’s Cheryl Foggo for John Ware Reimagined, a play based on a true story of a black cowboy who arrived in southern Alberta on September 25th, 1882 and turned the world up-side down.
- The Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry went to Edmonton’s Sarah Lang, For Tamara (House of Anansi Press), a dystopian poem from a survival guide the poet writes for her daughter, Sarah, to ensure she survives the apocalypse.
- The James H. Gray Award for Short Non-Fiction went to Calgary’s Chris Turner for his long form journalism piece “Owen’s Ark” (The Walrus) based on his first hand account of the Calgary floods in 2014.
- The Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story went to Sherwood Park’s Katie Bickell for “But For the Streetlamps and the Moon and All the Stars” (Tahoma Literary Review).
- The Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award went to Calgary’s Kim McCullough for “Tributaries”
- And, the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement went to Calgary’s Betty Jane Hegerat.
Shelley Youngblutt, founder of Calgary Herald‘s successful Swerve magazine and currently GM for Calgary’s Wordfest, served as the MC for the night. She reminded us that Alberta is the home of many outstanding writers with a strong community of supporters, chief among them — the Writers Guild in Alberta. See more about the WGA at: www.writersguild.ab.ca and the 2015 Award Winners at: twitter.com/WritersGuildAB.
Next up in the literary awards landscape in Alberta are the Alberta Book Publishers Awards to be celebrated on September 18 at Fort Edmonton Park.