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2016 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award finalists Brendan Bowles, Allegra McKenzie, Hannah Rahimi

Writers’ Trust Commends Three Young Fiction Writers

Finalists Announced for RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Toronto – May 11, 2016 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced the finalists for a literary award known for discovering and promoting the brightest up-and-coming young writers in Canada.

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers rewards writers who are under age 35 and unpublished in book form. Alternating each year between poetry and short fiction, the award is given this year to the author of an exceptional short story. The $5,000 award is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in developing artists to help build their professional careers. The winner will be announced on June 8 at an event at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music.

A jury composed of fiction writers Eden Robinson, Johanna Skibsrud, and Michael V. Smith read 131 anonymous submissions to select three finalists:

Brendan Bowles for “Wyatt Thurst”
Brendan Bowles
for “Wyatt Thurst”

Brendan Bowles has won the Toronto Star Short Story Award, has been nominated for the Disquiet International Literature Award, and was longlisted in the Broken Social Scene Story Contest and for the CBC Short Story Prize. He was one of two writers nominated by PEN Canada for PEN International’s New Voices Award in 2013. Bowles lives in Toronto.


Allegra McKenzie for “This Monstrous Heart”
Allegra McKenzie
for “This Monstrous Heart”

Allegra McKenzie is a writer based in Wakefield, Quebec, in the Gatineau Hills. She placed first in the 2014 Quebec Writing Competition, and her short fiction has been published in Geist, Maisonneuve, and Salut King Kong: New English Writing from Quebec. McKenzie is co-owner of Point, a writing and editing business.

Hannah Rahimi for “With My Scarf Tied Just So”

Hannah Rahimi
for “With My Scarf Tied Just So”

Hannah Rahimi grew up in Toronto. She earned an MA from Concordia University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. She has published short fiction in Cosmonauts Avenue and Drain Magazine.

The finalists will each receive $1,000 and the opportunity to be mentored by an editor, including feedback on their writing and guidance on their career development.

Along with featured works of past years’ finalists, the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writersnominated short fiction by each finalist is available for free download exclusively on iBooks at

“Created to give young writers a boost early in their careers, this prize has honoured dozens of Canadian authors, many of whom have gone on to receive wide critical acclaim for their work,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director, Writers’ Trust of Canada. “We congratulate this year’s talented nominees on their inclusion on this impressive list, and look forward to reading the work they will produce in years to come.”

“Many young Canadian writers have gained national recognition by being named one of the finalists of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers,” said Valerie Chort, VP Corporate Citizenship, RBC. “We share the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s goal of nurturing the next generation of Canadian writing talent and we expect to be reading – and reading about – these three authors for a very long time.”

RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging WritersAbout Bronwen Wallace

Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young writers as a creative writing instructor at Queen's University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace felt that writers should have more opportunities for recognition early in their careers and so this annual award is given to a writer below the age of 35 who has published poetry or prose in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies, but has not yet been published in book form.

About the Award

Since it was established in 1994, the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award has distinguished 72 young writers with a nomination, many of whom have gone on to receive literary acclaim. Past winners include Michael Crummey, Stephanie Bolster, Alissa York, Sonnet L’AbbĂ©, Alison Pick, Jeramy Dodds, Marjorie Celona, Garth Martens, and, most recently, Alessandra Naccarato.

About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is Canada’s largest bank, and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. RBC is one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, and provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management, insurance, investor services, and capital markets products and services on a global basis. The company has over 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 16 million personal, business, public sector, and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S., and 37 other countries. For more information, please visit‎

RBC helps communities prosper, supporting a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments, sponsorships, and employee volunteer activities. In 2015, RBC contributed more than $121 million to causes around the world, including more than $4.3 million to 167 arts and cultural organizations supporting local, national, and international initiatives. More than 3,200 artists from many genres participated in the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which focuses on artists in the early stages of their careers.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada

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, a fellowship, 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.


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