Contests and Honours and Prizes, Oh My! With Anita Chong (M&S; The Journey Prize), Pamela Mulloy (TNQ), Emily Urquhart (WLU Edna Staebler-in-Residence), Janice Zawerbny (Biblioasis). Moderated by Susan Scott.
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The phrase “award-winning” might roll right off the tongue, but what does it mean—who benefits from accolades and laurels, and why should writers care? Is it worth submitting to a raft of contests and applying for residencies? What does a healthy/unhealthy adjudication process look like, and how transparent should that process be? What are the politics of who is asked to judge? Pitch your questions to our panelists, and we’ll all leave this morning’s session better informed about what’s at stake with competitions in the CanLit world.
Anita Chong is a Senior Editor at McClelland & Stewart, where she edits literary fiction, narrative nonfiction, and memoir. Notable titles include Sharon Bala’s #1 national bestseller, The Boat People; Rebecca Rosenblum’s So Much Love; Amy Jones’s We’re All in This Together; JJ Lee’s The Measure of a Man; and Stacey May Fowles’s memoir, Baseball Life Advice. Forthcoming titles include new fiction by Richard Wagamese, Saleema Nawaz, Amy Jones, Michael Christie, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Tanis Rideout, and debut novelist Reena Patel. Anita also manages the Journey Prize for emerging Canadian writers and its associated anthology, The Journey Prize Stories. Photo by Tyson Erb.
Pamela Mulloy is the editor of The New Quarterly and the creative director of the Wild Writers Literary Festival. She is also a writer with short fiction published in the UK and Canada. Her debut novel The Deserters was published by Véhicule Press in 2018. Photo by Ayelet Tsabari.
Emily Urquhart is a journalist with a doctorate in folklore and draws on both backgrounds in her writing. She won a National Magazine Award for her work, which has appeared in Azure, Hakai Magazine, Reader’s Digest and The Walrus. Her first book, Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and was shortlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. She lives in Kitchener, Ontario with her husband and two children. Photo by Andrew Trant.
Janice Zawerbny is a senior editor at Biblioasis and teaches editing at Ryerson University. She began her publishing career at Coach House Books, followed by positions at Lester Publishing and Descant magazine, Somerville House Books, Key Porter Books, Thomas Allen Publishers, and House of Anansi Press. Authors she has worked with include Katherena Vermette (Winner Amazon First Novel Award), Zoe Whittall (Scotiabank-Giller Prize finalist), Tamas Dobozy (Winner of the Writers’ Trust Award for Fiction), Irina Kovalyova (Winner of the KOBO Emerging Writer Prize), and Lynn Crosbie (Trillium Book Award finalist).
Susan Scott is the editor of Body & Soul: Stories for Skeptics and Seekers (Caitlin Press, 2019)—an anthology in celebration of all things edgy, iffy, unorthodox, and sublime in the lives of women writers. Susan serves as TNQ’s lead nonfiction editor and as associate director of the Wild Writers Festival. As of 2018, she stepped up to direct Write on the French River Creative Writing Retreat, another TNQ outreach venture. She is scouting for a home for Sainted Dirt, her reckonings with land, language, family, and imperfect teaware. Photo by Ron Grimes.