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Writers’ Trust Rewards Amber Dawn with Prize for LGBT Authors: Vancouver Writer Wins Sixth Annual Dayne Ogilvie Prize

Toronto, ON – June 27, 2012 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced yesterday evening that Amber Dawn has won the $4,000 Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBT Emerging Writers.

Funded by an endowment established by artist Robin Pacific, the prize is given annually to an emerging gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender writer who demonstrates great literary promise through a body of work of exceptional quality. The winner was announced at an event at The 519 Church Street Community Centre hosted by Julie Wilson, (aka “Book Madam”) author of Seen Reading.

Amber DawnAmber Dawn is a writer, filmmaker, and performance artist based in Vancouver. She is the author of the Lambda Award-winning novel Sub Rosa (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2010), editor of Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2009), and co-editor of With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2005). Dawn has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Currently, she is the director of programming for the Vancouver Queer Film Festival.

A jury composed of authors Kamal Al-Solaylee, Ivan E. Coyote, and Michael V. Smith, who was the inaugural winner of this prize, selected Dawn as the winner. They said of her writing:

"Amber Dawn is an impressive, heart-stopping talent. Her debut novel, Sub Rosa, is a clear-eyed myth exploring the lives of young women at risk. Both fearless in its narrative and rich in its landscape of metaphor, Sub Rosa is a book that refuses to be overlooked. Dawn’s story is not just an attempt to hold the world’s darkness, but to find it some comfort too." 

The jury selected Mariko Tamaki to receive an Honour of Distinction for the prize in recognition of her body of work to date. She receives $500.

Mariko TamakiMariko Tamaki is a writer of books, comics, and plays. Her published work includes the graphic novel Skim (with Jillian Tamaki), which was nominated for the 2008 Governor General’s Literary Award in the category of children’s literature. Tamaki’s upcoming work includes a young adult novel (you) set me on fire, to be published by Penguin Canada in September 2012; and the comic book Awago Beach Babies (with Jillian Tamaki), to be published by First Second in 2013.

About Tamaki, the jury commented:

"Mariko Tamaki paints exquisite and highly perceptive portraits of life’s many collisions of identities and desires. In the heartbreakingly brilliant graphic novel Skim, Tamaki elevates teen angst to an epic tale of alienation and romance". 

"The Dayne Ogilvie Prize is the only program of its kind in Canada and it is having a measureable impact on LGBT writers,” said Don Oravec, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust. “The attention recipients receive puts them in the national spotlight and the money enables them to find the time to work on and publish new books.”

About the Prize

Established in 2007 as a grant and recently renamed, the Dayne Ogilvie Prize annually rewards emerging writers whose body of work demonstrates great potential. Canadian writers who identify themselves as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender, and who have published at least one title are eligible. Although the grant has no age restriction, it is intended to reward developing writers. Past winners are Michael V. Smith, Zoe Whittall, Debra Anderson, Nancy Jo Cullen, and Farzana Doctor.

About Dayne Ogilvie

Dayne Ogilvie was a highly respected freelance book editor, writer, and literary manager. A passionate lover of all the arts, he was the managing editor of Xtra magazine for several years. Ogilvie’s close friend Robin Pacific established the grant in his name after his death in 2006.

About the Writers’ Trust

The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.

Click here to see photos from the award presentation. 


For further information:
Don Oravec, Executive Director of the Writers' Trust of Canada
416.504.8222 x244

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