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Laura Clarke
Winner Laura Clarke

Writers’ Trust Names Laura Clarke a Star of Tomorrow

Winner Announced for RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Toronto – May 28, 2013 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced this evening the winner of a literary award for emerging writers that identifies the future stars of Canadian literature. The award ceremony was held at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music and hosted by poet Jeramy Dodds, a previous winner of the award.

Laura Clarke, a 27-year-old graduate of the University of Toronto’s MA program in creative writing, won the $5,000 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for “Mule Variations,” a collection of poems. Clarke’s literary work has been published in The Antigonish Review, Grain, PRISM international, Qwerty, and Freefall.

The prize alternates between poetry and short fiction each year, rewarding writers under age 35 who are unpublished in book form. It is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in up-and-coming artists to help build their professional careers.

A jury composed of the poets Mary Dalton, Phil Hall, and Susan Holbrook selected the winner from 135 submissions. Here is their citation about the winning work:

Something both hip and ancient is given full rein in these poems: hard limits slurping in the sun, Aristotle and police reports, electric fences and pick-up lines, subway riders with donkey heads. These alternating voices speak without fluff. A washed-out sardonic tone delivers a sure push that is humane and celebratory.

Two finalists received $1,000 each:

Matwichuk, Laura
Laura Matwichuk of Vancouver 
for “Here Comes the Future”

Showler, Suzannah 
Suzannah Showler of Toronto 
for “The Reason and Other Poems”

Poetry by the award winner and finalists is available as a free download exclusively on Apple’s iBookstore at

Additionally, a print booklet featuring the young poets’ work was distributed at the prize ceremony, it is also available by request at

“I would like to congratulate our winner on this significant achievement early in her writing career,” said Shari Austin, Vice-President, Corporate Citizenship, RBC and Executive Director, RBC Foundation. “At RBC, we believe it is critical to identify, nurture, and reward the next generation of Canadian artists and are proud to support promising new Canadian writers such as Laura Clarke.”

“Over 19 years this award has developed a reputation for launching literary careers,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust. “Laura Clarke’s win will place her name alongside Jeramy Dodds, Michael Crummey, Alyssa York, and many other writers who have gone on to garner accolades and critical recognition since they received this award near the beginning of their careers.”

About 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 greater 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 RBC Emerging Artists Project

In 2012, RBC invested $6.2 million in programs that support Arts and Culture in Canada and around the world.The RBC Emerging Artists Project consists of support through sponsorships and donations to organizations whose programs bridge the gap from academic excellence to professional careers in all forms of art.

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, 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. For more information visit About Us.


For more information and interview opportunities, contact:

Mary Osborne, 416-504-8222 ext 244

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