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2016 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award winner Brendan Bowles

Writers’ Trust Names Next Star of Canadian Fiction

Brendan Bowles wins RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Toronto – June 8, 2016 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced that Brendan Bowles is the winner of this year’s RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. The award spotlights Canada’s most talented developing writers, giving them much needed funding, exposure, and mentorship opportunities, and has a proven track record for discovering and promoting the brightest young writers in Canada.

Bowles won the $5,000 award for his short story “Wyatt Thurst.” He has previously won the Toronto Star Short Story Award and he was one of two writers nominated by PEN Canada for PEN International’s New Voices Award in 2013. He currently lives in Toronto.

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award recognizes writers who are under 35 and unpublished in book form, and alternates each year between poetry and short fiction. It is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in up-and-coming artists to help build their professional careers. The award was presented at an event at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music hosted by Alissa York, who won the prize in 1999.

A jury composed of fiction writers Eden Robinson, Johanna Skibsrud, and Michael V. Smith selected the winner from 131 submissions. Their citation reads:

“Wyatt Thurst” is so lovingly polished it glows. Following two bull riders in the minors through their rodeo circuit, the electrifying and compulsively readable narrative whip snaps like your spine on an eight-second ride. What is left unspoken haunts the pages as much as the keenly observed details of the world that the author has built.

Prize money of $1,000 went to each of the two finalists: Allegra McKenzie for “This Monstrous Heart” and Hannah Rahimi for “With My Scarf Tied Just So.” Each of the nominated writers will receive a mentorship opportunity focused on writing feedback and career development from a senior editorial figure in the Canadian publishing industry.

The winning and nominated short stories, along with RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writersfeatured works of past years’ finalists and winners, are available for free download on iBooks at

“As the latest writer to be honoured by an award known for identifying the future stars of Canadian literature, Brendan Bowles is in impressive company,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director, Writers’ Trust of Canada. “We look forward to watching his career blossom and to celebrating his future successes.”

“So many talented young writers are looking for their words to be read and it can be a real struggle for them to take the next step to success,” said Valerie Chort, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC. “The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers and Writer’s Trust of Canada invest in and reward the next generation of writers with a program built to nurture and grow their literary career. Congratulations to this year’s winner, Brendan Bowles, and to all of the finalists on gaining this significant level of recognition for their talent.”

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’Abbé, 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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