Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award

Winner: $25,000
Sponsored by Writers’ Trust Board of Directors, Pitblado Family Foundation, and Michael Griesdorf Fund

2017 Winner

Billie Livingston

Billie Livingston

Jury Citation

Billie Livingston is the real deal. Her prose stands up against this hard world and her clear vision is forgiving, furious, and tender. She understands her characters so well, and writes about vulnerability, poverty, and the profound compromises of family love with deep compassion. The children, especially, and all the criminals – con artists, thieves, and everybody hustling on the fringe – have unforgettable stories. Livingston’s writing is masterfully crafted, jammed with vivid detail, and strobed with flashes of real comedy. It emits a pure light that cuts through the darkness and leaves us laughing, mercifully, in the face of our most difficult truths.

– Jurors Katherine Govier, Alexander MacLeod, and Eden Robinson


The Crooked Heart of Mercy (2016)
One Good Hustle (2012)
Greedy Little Eyes (2010)
The Trouble with Marlene (2010)
Cease to Blush (2006)
The Chick at the Back of the Church (2001)
Going Down Swinging (2000)

Billie Livingston

About the Author

Billie Livingston is a fiction writer, poet, and sometime essayist.  Her first novel, Going Down Swinging, was published by Random House Canada in 2000. Nightwood Editions published her first collection of poetry, The Chick at the Back of the Church, the following year and it was a finalist for the Pat Lowther Award. Livingston has since published three novels, including One Good Hustle, longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and nominated for the Canadian Library Association’s Young Adult Book Award; and The Crooked Heart of Mercy, published last year. Livingston won the CBC’s Bookie Award as well as the Danuta Gleed Literary Award in 2010 for her story collection, Greedy Little Eyes. One of her short stories (“Sitting on the Edge of Marlene”) has been adapted into a feature film and another (“You’re Taking All the Fun Out of It”) was published in This Magazine and included in The Journey Prize Stories 13. Born in Hamilton, Ontario, Livingston grew up in Toronto and Vancouver, and has since lived in Tokyo, Hamburg, Munich, Los Angeles, and London. She now lives with her husband, actor Tim Kelleher, in Vancouver.

About the Jury

Katherine Govier has won the Marian Engel Award and the Toronto Book Award. She is the author of 10 novels, three short story collections, and two anthologies of travel writing. Her most recent novel is The Three Sisters Bar and Hotel. She has served as chair of the Writers’ Trust of Canada and president of PEN Canada, and currently directs The Shoe Project, a nationwide writing workshop for refugee and immigrant writers. Katherine was born in Edmonton and now divides her time between Toronto and Canmore, Alberta. 

Alexander MacLeod’s debut short story collection Light Lifting was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award, and the Commonwealth Prize, and won the Atlantic Book Award. He was born in Inverness, Nova Scotia and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary’s University.  

Eden Robinson is from the Haisla First Nation and is the recipient of the 2017 Writers' Trust Fellowship and the 2016 Engel/Findley Award. Her novel Monkey Beach was shortlisted for the Giller Prize and a Governor General’s Literary Award, and received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize. Robinson’s third novel, Son of a Trickster, was published in spring 2017. She lives in Kitamaat, BC.

About the Prize

Marian EngelTimothy FindleyThe Writers' Trust Engel Findley Award is given to a mid-career writer in recognition of a remarkable body of work, and in anticipation of future contributions to Canadian literature. Writers are judged on their body of work – no less than three works of literary merit which are predominantly fiction – rather than a single book. All Canadian writers are considered and no age or gender restrictions apply. The winner is selected by a three-member, independent judging panel. (Established in 2008, the Writers’ Trust Engel/Findley Award was created by merging two previously existing prizes: the Marian Engel Award for a female writer in mid-career, given from 1986-2007, and the Timothy Findley Award for a male writer in mid-career, awarded between 2002 – 2007.) 




Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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