Indigenous authors get the nod for Alberta Literary Awards

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020 5:44pm


Among the finalists named for 2020 Alberta Literary Awards are Billy-Ray Belcourt and Richard Van Camp.

Belcourt is a finalist for the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for his book NDN Coping Mechanisms (House of Anansi Press). Other finalists are Monica Kidd of Calgary for Chance Encounters with Wild Animals (Gaspereau Press) and Peter Midgley of Edmonton for Let Us Not Think of Them as Barbarians (NeWest Press).

Belcourt was also named to the 2020 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize Shortlist along with Marina Endicott for The Difference (Knopf Canada, Penguin Random House) and Audrey J. Whitson for The Death of Annie the Water Witcher by Lightning (NeWest Press).

Richard Van Camp (Edmonton) is a finalist for the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction for Moccasin Square Gardens (Douglas & McIntyre), as are Sharon Butala (Calgary) for Season of Fury and Wonder (Coteau Books) and Marina Endicott (Edmonton) for The Difference (Knopf Canada, Penguin Random House).

Each year, the Alberta Literary Awards and the City of Edmonton recognize and celebrate “the highest standards of literary excellence from Alberta and Edmonton authors,” reads a statement from the Writers' Guild of Alberta.

The juries deliberated on more than 200 submissions to select 27 finalists in nine categories. Finalists represent excellence in literary work written by Alberta authors and published or created in 2019.

The finalists for the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Chapter Books) are Natasha Deen (Edmonton) for In the Key of Nira Ghani (Running Press Kids), Sue Farrell Holler (Grande Prairie) for Cold White Sun (Groundwood Books) and Danielle L. Jensen (Calgary) for Dark Shores (Running Press Kids).

Finalists for the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction are Paulo da Costa (Calgary) for “Learning to Shave, Learning to Leave” (The Fiddlehead); Jennifer Bowering Delisle (Edmonton) for “Abracadabra” (The Forge) and Omar Mouallem (Edmonton) for “Billionaires, Bombers, and Bellydancers” (The Ringer).

Finalist for the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story are Ali Bryan (Calgary) for “The Big Man in Cargo Shorts” (Alberta Views), Tyler Hein (Edmonton) for “Don't Finish” (Funicular Magazine) and Joelle Tymchuk (Sherwood Park) for “Last Born” (The Fiddlehead).

Finalists for the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award are Jennifer Bowering Delisle (Edmonton) for “Premature Burial”, Rayanne Haines (Edmonton) for “This Is Normal” ad Julie Sedivy (Calgary) for “Telescoping”.

For the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama the finalists are Tara Beagan (Calgary) for Honour Beat, Elena Belyea (Edmonton) for Smoke and Christopher Duthie (Calgary) for A Dinner Party.

The finalists for the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction are Richard Kemick (Calgary) for I am Herod (Goose Lane Editions), Naomi K Lewis (Calgary) for Tiny Lights for Travellers (University of Alberta Press) and Sharon Wood (Canmore) for Rising: Becoming the First Canadian Woman to Summit Everest, A Memoir (Douglas & McIntyre).