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Writers’ Trust Announces Finalists for 20th Anniversary Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

New and veteran voices featured on landmark year’s shortlist

Toronto – September 21, 2016 –
The Writers’ Trust of Canada has revealed this morning the finalists for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, recognizing writers of the year’s best novel or short story collection. The prize is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year.

The five finalists are:

Michael Helm
Michael Helm
(Dundas, ON)
for After James, McClelland & Stewart

Anosh Irani
Anosh Irani
(Vancouver, BC)
for The Parcel, Knopf Canada

Kerry Lee Powell
Kerry Lee Powell
(Moncton, NB)
for Willem de Kooning's Paintbrush, Harper Avenue

Yasuko Thanh
Yasuko Thanh
(Victoria, BC)
for Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains, Hamish Hamilton

Katherena Vermette
Katherena Vermette
(Winnipeg, MB)
for The Break, House of Anansi

Each of the finalists will receive $2,500. The prizewinner will receive a total of $25,000. The finalists were selected by a jury composed of writers Lauren B. Davis, Trevor Ferguson, and Pasha Malla. They read 135 books submitted by 55 publishers. The prize has been sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc. since its inception in 1997.

Past prizewinners include: Austin Clarke (1997), Helen Humphreys (2000), Alice Munro (2004), Joseph Boyden (2005), Lawrence Hill (2007), Miriam Toews (2008, 2014), and André Alexis (2015).

“Canadian literature reflects and informs our national voice, history, and culture,” said Steve Maich, senior vice president, digital content and publishing, at Rogers Communications Inc. “As a Canadian communications company, Rogers is proud to have sponsored this prize for two decades: supporting Canadian voices, celebrating Canadian stories, championing the very best Canadian books.”

Finalists for the 20th anniversary Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize will appear at the International Festival of Authors in Toronto on October 25. A podcast of the 2016 prize jurors discussing their adjudication process is available here

The prizewinner will be announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards Ceremony in Toronto’s Glenn Gould Studio on November 2. See below for links to additional information, including jury citations, downloadable images, and a gallery of past winners.

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 that includes ten national 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.

About the Writers’ Trust Awards Ceremony

An annual event awarding $219,000 to Canadian writers, the Writers’ Trust Awards is one of the richest prize-giving nights in Canada. CBC Radio broadcaster and new host of q Tom Power will emcee this year’s event on November 2. In addition to the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, awards to be presented are:

For a single book:

For a single short story:

For a body of work:

The Writers’ Trust Awards are made possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual sponsors. Partners CBC Books, The Globe and Mail, and Indigo Chapters provide additional support. The project is partially funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian Heritage Book Fund.


For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Becky Toyne, 416-871-0502

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