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Sullivan and Ibbitson finalists for BC National Non-Fiction Award

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WCA is thrilled to announce that Rosemary Sullivan and John Ibbitson are finalists for the BC National Non-Fiction Award, one of the largest non-fiction book prizes in the country.

John Ibbitson is nominated Stephen Harper, and Rosemary Sullivan for Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva. Congratulations to Rosemary and John!

The finalists were chosen by an independent jury and the winner of the 2016 prize will be announced at a special presentation ceremony in Vancouver on February 4, 2016.

The finalists are described in the following citations from the jury panel:

John Ibbitson for Stephen Harper

“This book describes a contradictory prime minister in a contradictory country, and is narrated with great skill, executed with exacting even-handedness, and founded on detailed research that will tell most readers far more than they already know. Ibbitson describes the Harper we think we know – as mean, and as taking little pleasure in others. Then he tells us what we might not know – that Harper loves to talk to and play with children; that he favoured Israel in part to win the approval of his father, that despite ‘despicable acts’ that included a public scrap with Chief Justice Beverly McLaughlin and cancelling Statistic Canada’s long-form census, he handled the economy well (at least until oil prices plummeted). A more difficult biography to undertake would be hard to imagine, but John Ibbitson, Ottawa columnist for The Globe and Mail, has pulled off the near impossibility of a first rate biography of a man who inspired anger and fear, and whose departure from politics is little mourned.”

Rosemary Sullivan for Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva

“This comprehensive biography delivers sharply observed and meticulously researched revelations about Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Josef Stalin. Born in 1921, Svetlana defected from the USSR to the United States in her 40s – leaving her young son and daughter behind – but she was never able to escape her father’s brutal legacy or avoid being used by governments and others in furtherance of their own goals and ideologies. Sullivan draws from many sources, including KGB, CIA, and Soviet archives and Svetlana’s family and friends, to create an intimate portrait of a participant in and victim of some of the greatest geo-political upheavals of the 20th Century. This book provides unique insights, and deeply contributes to our understanding of many significant events of the past century.”

Richard Wagamese wins Matt Cohen Award and Banff Awards

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Richard-Wagamese_books-225x342Please join us in congratulating Richard Wagamese on being this year’s recipient of the Writer’s Trust Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life. The Award, which recognizes a lifetime of distinguished work by a Canadian writer, is a resounding acknowledgement of Richard’s dedication to and evolving mastery of his craft over thirty years.

Matt Cohen Selection Committee Citation:

Richard Wagamese is a member of the Wabaseemoong First Nation in northwestern Ontario. He was born near Minaki, Ontario, in 1955, and at the age of five was taken from his family by the Children’s Aid Society – an experience he describes as “baby-snatching” in his first novel, Keeper’n Me, published in 1994. When Richard ran away from his abusive adoptive home, becoming a street child, he became a reader and hence a writer by going into the St. Catharine’s public library. He began his stellar writing career as a columnist for the Calgary Herald – where he became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award. Richard has received numerous awards for his writing; he won the Alberta Writers Guild Best Novel Award for Keeper’n Me; the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature, for One Story, One Song; the Canadian Authors Association Award for Fiction, for Dream Wheels; and Canada Reads’ People’s Choice Poll for Indian Horse in 2012. He has also been awarded two Honorary Doctor of Letters degrees and in 2013 the Molson Prize. Over a career spanning more than 30 years and numerous honours, Richard Wagamese has become a vital voice in Canadian letters.

Banff Awards:

Richard Wagamese has also been awarded the Banff Mountain Fiction and Poetry Prize, as well as the Grand Prize (The Phyllis and Don Mundy Award) at the Banff Mountain Book Competition Awards for his latest novel, MEDICINE WALK.

“Medicine Walk tells an old kind of tale: a pilgrimage to a special place, powerful stories told along the way, the stitching-up of a ravelled relationship between father and son. In this novel the story is distinctively Canadian, yet relevant to so many mountain cultures, as it speaks of a first nations family – diverted and displaced by recent history – who must re-create a deep connection with one another and with home. That home in the Western Canadian mountains is a central character here. Richard Wagamese gives the rivers, the hillsides, the ridges and the valleys a powerful voice in his beautiful, tragic and hopeful story.

– Harry Vandervlist, 2015 Book Jury

 

 

Timothy S. Johnston nominated for The CYGNUS AWARDS

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Not one, but two of Timothy S. Johnston’s books have been shortlisted for The 2015 Cygnus Awards for Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction! Johnston’s books The Freezer and The Furnace are both on The Official Finalists Listing, which is comprised of entries that have passed the first three rounds of judging from the entire field of entrants. 

The CYGNUS First Place  Category award winners will compete for the CYGNUS Grand Prize Award for the 2015 Best Science Fiction and Speculative Fiction. Grand Prize winners, blue ribbons, and prizes will be announced and awarded on April 29, 2016. 

Elizabeth Hay a finalist for the 2015 Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize

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WCA is proud to congratulate author Elizabeth Hay, who was named a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for her new novel, His Whole Life. The jury citation calls it “a resonant and penetrating novel that explores the complex evolution of love and affection through a rich array of relationships.”

The Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize recognizes Canadian writers of exceptional talent for the year’s best novel or short-story collection as selected by a three-member, independent judging panel. The 2015 winner will be announced on November 3 at the Writers’ Trust Awards.

His Whole Life

WCA Authors nominated for Governor General’s Award

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WCA would like to congratulate Clifford Jackman, Dan Bar-el, Darren Groth, Susin Nielsen, and Kyo Maclear for their nominations for the 2015 Governor General’s Award.

We are so proud to have so many authors nominated this year in the following categories:

Fiction:

  • The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman (Penguin Random House Canada)

Children’s Literature (Text):

  • Audrey (Cow) by Dan Bar-el (Tundra Books)
  • Are You Seeing Me? By Darren Groth (Orca Books)
  • We Are All Made of Molecules by Susin Nielsen (Tundra Books)

Children’s Literature (Illustrated):

  • The Good Little Book by Kyo Maclear, illustrated by Marion Arbona (Tundra Books)

Each year, the Canada Council for the Arts honours the best in Canadian literature with its Governor General’s Literary Awards. The winners will be announced on October 28, 2015.

Sullivan wins Hilary Weston Prize

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WCA is thrilled to congratulate Rosemary Sullivan on winning the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction on October 6, 2015.

Sullivan won the $60,000 prize for her memoir, Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva, published by HarperCollins Canada. The Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction celebrates the best in Canadian nonfiction writing, from history to biography, essay to memoir, and commentary to criticism. The other finalists are listed here.

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Sullivan and Jobb nominated for Hilary Weston Prize

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WCA is extremely proud to announce that Rosemary Sullivan and Dean Jobb have been nominated for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction!

The Prize celebrates the best in Canadian nonfiction writing, from history to biography, essay to memoir, and commentary to criticism.

Sullivan is nominated for Stalin’s Daughter: The Extraordinary and Tumultuous Life of Svetlana Alliluyeva (HarperCollins Canada).

Jobb is nominated for his book about Leo Koretz, Empire of Deception: From Chicago to Nova Scotia – The Incredible Story of a Master Swindler Who Seduced a City and Captivated a Nation (Harper Avenue).

The prize winner will be announced at a gala presentation in Toronto on October 6.

Allan Levine’s TORONTO nominated for Heritage Toronto Awards

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Westwood would like to congratulate Allan Levine, whose beautiful book, Toronto: Biography of a City, published by Douglas & McIntyre, has been nominated for The Heritage Toronto Awards.

“In [his book]Allan explores four centuries of the city’s history through anecdotal vignettes addressing themes of politics, transportation, public health, ethnic diversity, and sports, and highlighting the interesting characters who inhabited and enlivened the city.”

The Heritage Toronto Awards recognize individuals and community organizations, as well as industry professionals and associations, for exceptional contributions in five categories:  Community Heritage, Media, Book, Short Publication and Architectural Conservation and Craftsmanship. A full list of nominees are here.

 

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Clifford Jackman’s WINTER FAMILY longlisted for Giller

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Westwood Creative Artists is so proud to announce that Clifford Jackman’s Western novel, The Winter Family, has been nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize this year.

The longlist was announced on Wednesday, September 9, 2015, at McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

The Winter Family is a bracing Western noir that traces a group of ruthless owutlaws from its genesis during the American Civil War all the way to a final bloody stand in the Oklahoma territories.

You can purchase Jackman’s debut novel directly from the publisher, Penguin Random House, here.

“Clifford Jackman’s novel somehow manages to be both traditional and eerily unique. Think of it as a combination of High Noon and The Shining.”

-Jeff Guinn, author of the novel Glorious, and the bestselling history The Last Gun Fight

winter family

hitchBOT USA tour comes to an early end

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Earlier his week we received a final thumbs up from our favourite hitchhiking robot, hitchBOT, who, despite being destroyed beyond repair, assured us that its “love for humans will never fade.”

hitchBOT’s road trip across the United States started on July 17th and ended two weeks later, in the early hours of August 1st, while it waited for its next ride in Philadelphia. The Canadian robot had successfully hitchhiked across Canada in 2014 and throughout Europe earlier this year.

“As researchers, we wanted to know, ‘can robots trust humans?’ and knew there would always be the possibility that hitchBOT would be damaged or stolen,” says Dr. David Harris Smith, assistant professor at McMaster University and hitchBOT co-creator, in a press release that discusses what’s next for the robot. hitchBOT fans are reassured that a future reboot is likely and a number of options are currently being considered for 2016.

A guestbook has been created and fans are encouraged to share their memories of hitchBOT here.

RIP Hitchbot

 

Cartoon from The New Yorker