A Mind Spread Out on the Ground Voted as the 2020 Forest of Reading® Evergreen Award™ Winner

Readers across Ontario vote for the best Canadian fiction and non-fiction

October 22, 2020 – Toronto, ON: After months of reading the best in Canadian fiction and non-fiction for adults, readers from over 85 Ontario libraries have chosen Alicia Elliott’s A Mind Spread Out on the Ground (Doubleday Canada) as this year’s Evergreen Award winner.

A Mind Spread Out on the Ground is a “a bold and profound meditation on trauma, legacy, oppression and racism in North America from award-winning Haudenosaunee writer Alicia Elliott.”

“It is uplifting to know that A Mind Spread Out on the Ground was chosen as this year’s Evergreen winner,” says Erin Kernohan-Berning, chair, Evergreen Award Committee. “Alicia Elliott’s important work clearly connected with readers, and I hope that leads to continued learning, understanding, and positive change. I’m grateful to have Alicia Elliott added to the list of Evergreen Award winning authors.”

Readers participated in the Evergreen Award program through book clubs, their public libraries, and other community forums. The program is designed for adults and comprised of the best titles in Canadian fiction and non-fiction. It is one of ten programs that form the Forest of Reading, Canada’s largest recreational reading program of its kind.

A committee of library professionals chooses the titles nominated for the Evergreen Award that are announced every January. Votes are tallied for the award in the month of September and the award is announced during the kickoff event to Ontario Public Library Week.

About A Mind Spread Out on the Ground: In an urgent and visceral work that asks essential questions about the treatment of Native people in North America while drawing on intimate details of her own life and experience with intergenerational trauma, Alicia Elliott offers indispensable insight into the ongoing legacy of colonialism. She engages with such wide-ranging topics as race, parenthood, love, mental illness, poverty, sexual assault, gentrification, writing and representation, and in the process makes connections both large and small between the past and present, the personal and political—from overcoming a years-long battle with head lice to the way Native writers are treated within the Canadian literary industry; her unplanned teenage pregnancy to the history of dark matter and how it relates to racism in the court system; her childhood diet of Kraft Dinner to how systemic oppression is directly linked to health problems in Native communities. With deep consideration and searing prose, Elliott provides a candid look at our past, an illuminating portrait of our present and a powerful tool for a better future.


Cloud Lake Literary Celebrates Launch of Inaugural Volume as Canada’s Newest Literary Magazine

September 11, 2020 – Thunder Bay, ON: Whether you are in search of the next great read or ready to share your next amazing story, Canada’s newest literary magazine is providing an inclusive space for all readers and writers as it pushes off from shore into the vast Canadian literary landscape.

Cloud Lake Literary, headquartered in Thunder Bay, ON, is pleased to announce the launch of its inaugural volume on September 11, 2020. This digital publication proudly published eleven writers and four artists from across Canada.

“We are thrilled to showcase writers and artists from across the country with a wide range of themes and varying tones to their work. No two stories are alike which should make reading a surprising experience for our audience. You’re bound to find something you’ll love in our pages!” says Jodene Wylie, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cloud Lake Literary.

In the first issue, readers can expect to experience visits to the dentist (and the lengths we’ll go to avoid it), cycling through Montreal, the journey of a red ball, the adventures that come from raising a wild bear, the thrill of aging, and even something for fandom lovers. Meanwhile, its poetry reflects on music, on darkness, and on the light in the woods. While our artists show us landscapes and portraits that will capture you.

Cloud Lake Literary has received immense support from the writing community and publishers across Canada. Submissions are already being received for Volume Two, which closes on December 31st, 2020 with publication in March 2021. Meanwhile, readers are visiting their website for reviews and interviews with authors such as Mallory Tater (The Birth Yard) and Waubgeshig Rice (Moon of the Crusted Snow).

“We are eagerly diving into our next batch of submissions. Editors are gearing up for Volume Two and we can’t wait to read and see the stories, poetry, and art you have to share,” says Wylie.

Cloud Lake Literary is sharing its first volume free to all readers. Visit www.cloudlakeliterary.ca to read Volume One and to learn how you can submit your writing and your art for their next volume.

For more information or further questions, please contact Jodene Wylie at contact@cloudlakeliterary.ca.


Editors Canada announces 2020 national awards and scholarship recipients

June 22, 2020 – The Editors’ Association of Canada (Editors Canada) has presented 5 national awards, including $4,400 in prize money, to 11 recipients.

Editors Canada’s annual awards recognize exceptional editors for their talent and dedication. The association supports the professional development of editors throughout their careers, and is proud to honour the outstanding editors and students in its midst. The cash awards are made possible by Editors Canada and its generous donors.

Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence

Amanda Lewis (Vancouver, British Columbia) received the 2020 Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence. Lewis was awarded the $2,000 prize for her work on Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality by Bob Joseph with Cynthia F. Joseph (Page Two).


Michael Leyne (Vancouver, British Columbia)
People Among the People: The Public Art of Susan Point
by Robert D. Watt
(Figure 1 Publishing)

Adele Simmons (Calabogie, Ontario)
Walk the Green Fairways
by Katherine Stevenson Helleur
(Chestnut Lane Creative)

The finalists each received cash awards of $500 in recognition of their outstanding achievements.

Read more


Claudette Upton Scholarship

Naomi Racz (Markham, Ontario) received the 2020 Claudette Upton Scholarship. Racz, a student in the Ryerson University Publishing Certificate program and co-founder of Stonecrop Review, a literary journal of urban nature writing, art and photography, was awarded the $1,000 prize to help support her continuing professional development in editing.

Read more


Karen Virag Award

Greg Ioannou (Toronto, Ontario) received the 2020 Karen Virag Award. Ioannou received the $400 cash prize for “enriching the editing community in multiple ways for more than 40 years.” During this time he created the Editors’ Association of Earth (EAE) Facebook group, conceptualized the first international editors conference in 2015 and has taught hundreds of students. Ioannou donated the prize money back to Editors Canada.

Read more


Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year Award

The Editors Canada President’s Award for Volunteer Service recognizes outstanding service to the organization by member volunteers. From among the nominations received for the President’s Award, one nominee is selected to receive the Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year Award.

Alexandra Peace (Canning, Nova Scotia) was named the Editors Canada Lee d’Anjou Volunteer of the Year for serving as recording secretary for the association’s national executive council (NEC) from 2014 to 2019. She was recognized not only for her dedication to this important work, but for the innovative changes and processes she developed that have led to lasting efficiency and effectiveness for the NEC, and increased transparency to Editors Canada members.

Recipients of the 2020 President’s Award for Volunteer Service are as follows:

Maxie Bai Martin (Editors Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph)
Letitia Henville (Editors British Columbia)
Cathy McPhalen (Editors Edmonton)
Lynne Melcombe (Editors British Columbia)
Joanna Odrowaz (Editors Toronto)
Jim Taylor (Editors British Columbia)

Read more

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About Editors Canada

Additional information about Editors Canada awards can be found online.

Editors Canada began in 1979 as the Freelance Editors’ Association of Canada to promote and maintain high standards of editing. In 1994, the word “Freelance” was dropped to reflect the association’s expanding focus to serve both freelance and in-house editors. As Canada’s only national editorial association, it is the hub for 1,300 members and affiliates, both salaried and freelance, who work in the corporate, technical, government, not-for-profit and publishing sectors. The association’s professional development programs and services include professional certification, an annual conference, seminars, webinars, and networking with other associations. Editors Canada has five regional branches: British Columbia; Saskatchewan; Toronto; Ottawa–Gatineau; and Quebec, as well as smaller branches (called twigs) in Barrie, Calgary, Edmonton, Manitoba, Kitchener-Waterloo-Guelph, Hamilton/Halton, Kingston, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador.


Media contact
Michelle Ou
Senior Communications Manager
Editors Canada


ACP to honour publisher Margie Wolfe and bookseller Sharon Budnarchuk with annual award

June 22, 2020 – The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is pleased to announce that Margie Wolfe, president and publisher of Second Story Press, will receive the 2020 President’s Award. ACP is also delighted to award Sharon Budnarchuk, bookseller extraordinaire, with honorary lifetime membership in the association.

President’s Award recipient Margie Wolfe has worked in publishing for forty years. Along with three other women, Margie co-founded Second Story Press in 1988. Recognized for its foundational contribution to feminist-inspired works in social justice, human rights, equality, and ability issues for adults as well as young readers, Second Story’s authors and their publications have won innumerable awards and have been translated into more than fifty languages. In 2017, Margie was recognized by the Canadian Civil Liberties Association (CCLA) for her work in “building a vibrant and inclusive society.”

“Margie’s publishing vision over the past thirty plus years has been a force field for change,” said ACP president, Melissa Pitts. “She seeks out authors and takes on topics that result in new voices and histories storming bestseller lists, changing school curricula, and engaging a new generation of readers. She has given generously of her time to the Canadian publishing industry, not only in her past roles as president of the ACP and Ontario Book Publishers Organization (OBPO), but also through her tireless advocacy and committee work, talks and presentations, and mentorships. Margie’s influence on Canadian publishing has been transformative.”

A banner year, 1988 was also when Sharon Budnarchuk and her husband, Steve, took charge of Audreys Books, Edmonton’s oldest independent bookstore. Sharon, who began her book industry career in 1969, recognized the need for a bookstore to promote local authors. Over the years, Sharon built Audreys’ strong offering in Canadian regional history and fiction and the store quickly became not only a significant hub for works by Alberta writers, but also a reading and events venue where all writers and readers aspired to be.

ACP past-president Glenn Rollans, publisher at Brush Education in Edmonton, said, “I am so glad that we have this chance to honour Sharon’s extraordinary, generous, discerning, passionate and brave persistence as an independent bookseller during an era and in a city that have been very challenging for this most essential profession.  We owe her so much; we are grateful for her work, her generosity, her friendship, and her service to Canadian books and readers.”

The President’s Award is awarded to ACP members who have made a significant contribution to the Canadian publishing industry and to the ACP. Honorary lifetime membership in ACP is presented to an individual or group who is not a member of ACP, but has made a significant contribution to the association and to the Canadian publishing industry.

This year’s awards are being announced in conjunction with ACP’s 2020 Annual General Meeting, which will be held online on June 24, 2020. The association looks forward to presenting Margie and Sharon with their awards, and to celebrating their many achievements, at the earliest opportunity.


ACP is the national voice of English-language Canadian-owned book publishers. ACP contributes to the development and maintenance of vibrant, competitive book publishing companies in order to support and strengthen the contribution that Canadian books make to Canada’s cultural, economic, and educational landscape.
For more information contact:

Kate Edwards, Executive Director
kate_edwards@canbook.org (mailto:kate_edwards@canbook.org)
416-487-6116 x2340 (tel:(416)%20487-6116)


Access Copyright files Leave to Appeal application with Supreme Court of Canada

June 22, 2020 – On June 22, Access Copyright filed an application with the Supreme Court of Canada for leave to appeal the April 22, 2020 decision of the Federal Court of Appeal in the legal action between the organization and York University.

The Court of Appeal’s decision has the potential to irreparably harm creators and publishers by increasing the complexity and cost for them to receive compensation when their works are copied. Today, Access Copyright is seeking leave from the Supreme Court of Canada in the hopes of reversing that harm.

For over 30 years, collective licensing has facilitated the lawful copying and use by the education sector of text-based works created by Canadian creators and publishers, ensuring that they receive fair compensation when their works are copied and used.

When the Copyright Modernization Act expanded “fair dealing” in 2012 to include an exception for education, the majority of schools, colleges and universities across Canada outside of Quebec adopted self-defined “Fair Dealing Guidelines” that led to published works being copied and used without any payment to publishers and creators. As predicted, this uncompensated copying has had a devastating impact on their ability to make a living from their creative efforts and to continue chronicling the stories that speak directly to Canadians.

The Federal Court of Appeal confirmed the trial Judge’s decision that the “Fair Dealing Guidelines” adopted by York University were not fair and failed to meet the Supreme Court’s test for fair dealing. The Court disagreed with the lower Court by finding that tariffs approved by the Copyright Board are not binding against infringers, creating the kind of market failure that the implementation of the modern collective administration of copyright was designed to address.

The Court of Appeal decision undermines the role of collective societies by making tariffs approved by the Copyright Board optional for infringers. Instead of permitting creators and publishers to collectively address mass copying occurring across the entire education sector, through the enforcement of an approved tariff, the Court of Appeal decision leaves them on their own to pursue these infringers through individual infringement lawsuits. Creators and publishers will now face insurmountable obstacles in detecting and pursuing unauthorized copying activities occurring daily in the thousands of individual educational institutions in Canada. In most cases, the costs and complexity of those infringement proceedings will exceed the recoverable financial award.

“Today’s decision by Access Copyright to seek leave to appeal is an important step in upholding the rights of creators and publishers,” said Roanie Levy, CEO & President of Access Copyright. “The Federal Court of Appeal decision on the enforceability of tariffs, unless overturned, has far-reaching implications for the future of Canada’s creative community.”

York University has additionally filed a leave application with the Supreme Court of Canada.


About Access Copyright
For over 30 years, Access Copyright has facilitated content use for educational and professional purposes. Access Copyright has helped people make customized use of published materials combined with an assurance that the original creators and publishers also benefit, so that they can continue creating new and innovative works. This is vitally important to a strong Canadian culture and to all who rely on quality publications.

For general media inquiries:
Amy Cormier, Head of Communications and Marketing, acormier@accesscopyright.ca


2020 Forest of Reading® Winners Announced at Virtual Edition of the Forest of Reading Festival

Readers across the country voted for favourite Canadian titles in readers’ choice award program.

June 16, 2020 – The Ontario Library Association (OLA) and the Forest of Reading are excited to announce the winners of the 2020 Forest of Reading Awards, presented at the digital Forest of Reading Festival, a one-day, free event, in partnership with CBC Books.

The 2020 Forest of Reading Award Winners are:

  • Blue Spruce Award Winner: That’s Not Hockey by Andrée Poulin and illustrated by Félix Girard (Annick Press)
  • Silver Birch Express Award® Winner: Megabat by Anna Humphrey and illustrated by Kass Reich (Tundra Books)
  • Silver Birch Fiction Award® Winner: The Mystery of Black Hollow Lane by Julia Nobel (Sourcebooks)
  • Yellow Cedar Award: Too Young to Escape: A Vietnamese Girl Waits to be Reunited with Her Family by Van Ho and Marsha Forchuk Skrypuch (Pajama Press)
  • Red Maple Award Winner: No Fixed Address by Susin Nielsen (Tundra Books)
  • White Pine Award Winner: Sadie by Courtney Summers (St. Martin’s Press)

On Thursday, June 18, the winners of the French-language Forest of Reading programs (Le prix Peuplier, Le prix Mélèze, and Le prix Tamarac) will be announced, streamed on Curio in partnership with CBC Books.

Since October, over 270,000 children have read nominated books, which include Canadian fiction and non-fiction books by English and French-language authors, and almost 120,000 readers voted in the 2020 program.

The award winners are typically announced in-person at the Forest of Reading Festival in Toronto during May. Due to the challenges that faced the Ontario education sector this past year, all in-person Festival events were cancelled on March 6, 2020. Since then, the COVID-19 crisis ensued, and the OLA had the opportunity to partner with CBC Books to bring the award winner announcement portion of the Festival online.

The Forest of Reading consists of ten programs distinguished by age group and reading level, each with ten nominated titles. The English school-aged programs are Blue Spruce, Silver Birch Express, Silver Birch Fiction, Yellow Cedar, Red Maple, and White Pine. French literature is celebrated through the Peuplier, Mélèze, and Tamarac programs. The adult program, Evergreen, celebrates excellence in Canadian literature. There are 100 nominated titles with ten books in each program.

We recognize the major support from our sponsors Tinlids Inc., CBC Books, The Brandvan Initiative, Toronto Arts Council, First Book Canada, Telling Tales, and the Toronto International Festival of Authors.

Follow the conversation #ForestofReading and #IReadCanadian.

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About the Ontario Library Association: The Ontario Library Association (OLA) is a centre of excellence for the library and information sector, with 5,000 members who work in public, school, academic and special libraries. OLA enables members to advocate for the right of individuals to have free and equitable access to information. Our members research, develop and participate in educational programs designed to provide exemplary library services. Signature OLA events include the annual Super Conference and the Forest of Reading® program.

About CBC Books: Home to Canada Reads, Writers & Company with Eleanor Wachtel, The Next Chapter with Shelagh Rogers, Canada Writes and the CBC Literary Prizes, CBC Books connects Canadians with books, encouraging a shared love of reading and writing. For book news, writing challenges, reading lists, book recommendations and more, visit CBCbooks.ca.

About Tinlids: Tinlids Inc. is the official wholesaler for the 2020 Forest of Reading program.

Media and program contacts:

Meredith Tutching

Director, Forest of Reading

Ontario Library Association

416.363.3388 x222


Lauren Hummel

Manager, Marketing and Communications

Ontario Library Association

416.363.3388 x227


Denounce and Act Against Racism

June 6, 2020 – Canadian Authors Association (CAA) condemns the crimes and injustices committed against Black, Indigenous and other people of colour—all of which have their source in systemic racism. Writers have honed language skills that can be used to rally our communities to act. Those of us who are not BIPOC can listen to, learn from and support those who are; all of us can advocate for change; we can extend hope and stand with those calling for justice; we can solicit, gather and disseminate stories rooted in BIPOC experience; we can engage in difficult discussions about racism; and we can act with compassion and courage. We can help educate. As writers we can be a force for good.

CAA denounces hatred in any form, and to start, will provide communication tools that help combat racism. By reading, looking, watching and/or participating, we can gain greater understanding. To that end, we are preparing a list of reading and viewing material on the topics of racism and oppression for our website. And we are working on other meaningful initiatives that give voice to the BIPOC community. We invite your suggestions for these lists and initiatives by contacting us here.

To quote Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., speaking in 1963, “shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.” CAA seeks to be an agent of greater understanding.


Canadian Authors Call for Action to Stop Illegal Copying

May 4, 2020 – Canadian Authors Association (CAA) joins our fellow creator and publisher organizations in their reactions to the April 22, 2020 Federal Court of Appeal decision in the case of York University v. The Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency (Access Copyright).

In that recent decision, the higher federal court affirmed the lower federal court’s 2017 ruling that York University’s self-styled “fair dealing guidelines” are, in law, unfair. Since many learning institutions have adopted similar guidelines, the higher court’s ruling fortifies the position that the educational community must respect creator rights.

Educators cannot continue to copy illegally according to their own rules. CAA applauds that portion of the higher federal court decision since it balances the rights of users with those of creators. If creators are paid for their work, then users such as Canadian schools will continue to have access to high quality Canadian content.

In the same decision, however, the higher court ruled that Copyright Board-certified tariffs are not mandatory. The Copyright Board tariff process provides both educational institutions and collective societies – such as Access Copyright, in the case of writers and publishers – with a practical, effective method of establishing fair rates for use of creative works. Until now, tariffs were considered mandatory. The decision “deprives creators of fair and affordable payment Read more


Writers Demand Immediate Repair to a Marketplace Plagued by Illegal Copying

April 30, 2020 – The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) calls on the federal government to immediately implement Heritage Committee recommendations designed to repair the marketplace for Canadian creativity. Last week’s Federal Court of Appeal decision in legal action between Access Copyright and York University illustrates just how damaged and unfair the current legislative framework is for those making their living from authorship and other professional creative work in Canada.


The decision reaffirmed the lower court’s opinion that York University engaged in massive amounts of illegal copying, and that their so-called “fair dealing guidelines” are, in fact, unfair. However, at the same time, it gutted the authority of the Copyright Board, to which copyright collectives must turn when users refuse to license content. Absurdly, the appeal court declared that tariffs approved by the Copyright Board are not mandatory, calling into question the future of a regulatory mechanism purpose-built to protect the cultural marketplace.

Read more…


Canadian publishers call for copyright reform in the face of broken legal framework

April 29, 2020 – The Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP) is frustrated and disappointed by the Federal Court of Appeal’s April 22 decision related to the legal action between Access Copyright and York University. Though the Court confirmed the lower-court decision that fair dealing guidelines adopted by York do not meet the Supreme Court’s test for fair dealing, it did not uphold the decision that tariffs certified by the Copyright Board are mandatory. In essence, the decision reaffirms that the Canadian education sector has engaged in illegal and unfair copying on a systematic basis, and makes the prospect of enforcement for small-and medium-sized publishers impossible.

“Through Access Copyright, Canadian publishers have participated in the Copyright Board’s multi-year tariff process in good faith, and with an expectation of fair and reasonable compensation for the use of their content,” said ACP Executive Director Kate Edwards. “The Court of Appeal’s decision on mandatory tariffs makes future engagement in this process futile, and leaves small-and medium-sized rightsholders in the untenable position of pursuing compliance on their own, rather than through their collective.”

The appeal decision reinforces that Canada’s copyright framework is broken. Read more …


Federal Court of Appeal decision a mixed outcome for Canadian creators and publishers

TORONTO (April 24, 2020)The Federal Court of Appeal’s decision issued on April 22 related to the legal action between Access Copyright and York University presents a mixed outcome for Canadian creators and publishers.

In its ruling, the Court has confirmed the lower-court decision that the fair-dealing guidelines adopted by York do not meet the Supreme Court’s test for fair-dealing, and has not concurred with the finding that tariffs certified by the Copyright Board of Canada are mandatory.

The Court’s decision on fair dealing struck the right balance between the public good that is education and the need to reward creators so that teachers and students continue to be well supported by quality Canadian content.

Regretfully, this important win for creators and publishers starkly contrasts with the finding that tariffs are not mandatory. This is deeply detrimental to a well-functioning copyright regime by rendering the tariff process largely futile. It also deepens the challenges experienced by content creators and publishers to make a sustainable living from their work.

 Read more…


Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA) Announces New Director

On Friday, January 31, 2020, TIFA has advised that after an extensive global search, Roland Gulliver has been appointed as the new Director for the Toronto International Festival of Authors (TIFA).

An accomplished cultural leader and recognized internationally, Roland comes to TIFA after 12 years with the prestigious Edinburgh International Book Festival, where he exceeded the high expectations of international audiences, authors, the literary industry, public stakeholders and private sponsors.



RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writers Mentorship Program Returns

Launched to great success in 2018, the RBC Taylor Prize and the RBC Foundation today announced the return of this professional development program to support the next generation of Canadian writers.

Five emerging writers, selected from the nation’s many fine writing programs, will be paired with the finalists for the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize, an award that honours and celebrates the pursuit of excellence in literary non-fiction. The program is curated by Joe Kertes, Dean Emeritus of the Humber College School of Creative Arts & Performance.

Nadina Taylor, trustee of the Charles Taylor Foundation and daughter of the late Charles Taylor, is one of the main champions of the program. “The mentorship program has been so successful, giving aspiring writers the opportunity to learn from and make connections with the finalists, and indeed the microcosm of the publishing world that is the RBC Taylor Prize.”

“At RBC Wealth Management, we believe in supporting the next generation of Canadian artists who are helping to create change and shape our communities by telling our country’s unique stories”, said Vijay Parmar, President of RBC PH&N Investment Counsel. “That’s why we support programs like the RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Mentorship program, which provides an important platform to help advance emerging writers career trajectories.”

The five “emergent” writers, who each have an existing body of work, and a non-fiction manuscript close to completion, will correspond with their mentors prior to travelling to Toronto for the Prize weekend, Feb 27 through March 2. They will meet with their mentors, participate in an intensive day of professional development, accompany their mentors through media and events, and participate in the Awards Luncheon on Monday March 2nd.


The five Emergent Writers for the 2020 Mentorship Program are:

Martin Bauman — University of Victoria

Martin Bauman is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. As host of the Story Untold Podcast, he has interviewed some of Canada’s most notable figures, including Rick Hansen and Juno Award-winner Shad. A passionate speaker and mental health advocate, Bauman has been a youth panelist for the Canada-wide Spotlight on Invisible Disabilities Partnership and bicycled solo across Canada to raise funds for services in his hometown of Waterloo, ON. He is writing a memoir about men, depression, and the ways they cope with trauma – told through the 7,000 kilometres he spent on the road.


Sheima Benembarek — Dalhousie University / King’s College

Sheima Benembarek is a Moroccan Canadian writer and a magazine publishing professional. She has a Centennial College graduate degree in publishing and is completing a University of King’s College MFA in creative nonfiction. Her writing has appeared in the Literary Review of Canada, This, Maisonneuve, Torontoist, and Broadview. She writes about immigrant narratives and intersectional feminism. Her book, Unveiling, is a collection of accounts about the experiences of Muslim women reconciling sexual freedoms and Islam in North America. Are these women truly living in a country that separates church from state or have religious restrictions immigrated along with the community? Unveiling investigates this question.


Kate Black — University of British Columbia

Kate Black’s literary journalism has appeared in Eighteen Bridges, Glass Buffalo, New Trail and Maisonneuve, and has won an Alberta Magazine Award. Originally from St. Albert, AB, she now lives in Vancouver, BC. She’s completing an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia, where she’s writing a short story collection. During the RBC Taylor Prize mentorship program, Kate will be working on a series of essays exploring the social history of West Edmonton Mall and coming of age in suburban Alberta.


Simone Dalton — University of Guelph

Simone Dalton is a writer born in Trinidad-Tobago. She holds an MFA from the University of Guelph, where she received the Constance Rooke and Board of Graduate Studies Research Scholarships. Named by Room Magazine in 2018 as one of the “20 Black Writers to Read All Year Round,” her work has been published in The Unpublished City: Volume I, a 2018 Toronto Book Awards finalist, and in the anthology, Black Writers Matter. In 2019, her inaugural short play, VOWS, debuted at Soulpepper as part of RARE Theatre’s production, Welcome to My Underworld. She is now working on her first memoir.


Gillian Grant — Humber College

Gillian Grant completed the Humber School for Writers Graduate Certificate in Creative Non-Fiction with a Letter of Distinction in 2019. She was the featured student writer in the Black Box Session: Humber School for Writers, Love & Defiance Podcast at the Toronto International Festival of Authors in 2019. She has had a long career as a broadcast journalist including Mind, Body & Spirit on WTN, The Health Show and Living in Toronto, both on CBC TV. Gillian is currently working on her memoir: Living without Knowing. Life with cancer and the unexpected healing from a First Nations Leader. She lives in Toronto.


About RBC

Royal Bank of Canada is a global financial institution with a purpose-driven, principles-led approach to delivering leading performance. Our success comes from the 85,000+ employees who bring our vision, values and strategy to life so we can help our clients thrive and communities prosper. As Canada’s biggest bank, and one of the largest in the world based on market capitalization, we have a diversified business model with a focus on innovation and providing exceptional experiences to 17 million clients in Canada, the U.S. and 34 other countries. Learn more at rbc.com.

We are proud to support a broad range of community initiatives through donations, community investments and employee volunteer activities. See how at rbc.com/community-social-impact..


About the RBC Taylor Prize

Established in 1998 by the trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation and first awarded in 2000, 2020 marks the nineteenth, and final, awarding of the RBC Taylor Prize, which commemorates Charles Taylor’s pursuit of excellence in the field of literary non-fiction. Awarded to the author whose book best combines a superb command of the English language, an elegance of style, and a subtlety of thought and perception. All finalists receive $5,000, and the winner receives a further $25,000. All authors are presented with a custom leather-bound version of their shortlisted book at the awards ceremony. All finalists receive promotional support for their nominated titles.

The trustees of the Charles Taylor Foundation are Vijay Parmar, David Staines, Edward Taylor, Nadina Taylor, and Noreen Taylor. The Prize Manager is Sheila Kay.

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For further information:

Media contact: Stephen Weir & Associates

Stephen Weir: 416-489-5868 | cell: 416-801-3101 | stephen@stephenweir.com



Poetry Wins the Grand Prize at the 2019 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Awards Gala, with Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith Winning the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award

Toronto, Ontario, October 15, 2019 — The Canadian Children’s Book Centre (CCBC) is delighted to announce the winners of its English-language children’s book awards. Awarded tonight at a gala event in Toronto, Heather Smith took home the title of most distinguished children’s book of the year and $50,000 — the largest cash prize in Canadian children’s literature for her book, Ebb & Flow, a middle-grade novel in free-verse. The publisher, Kids Can Press, received $2,500 for promotional purposes. An additional $10,000 was shared among the four finalists for their contributions to Canadian children’s literature.

Groundwood Books won three awards out of an impressive total of seven nominations. Africville by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Eva Campbell, won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award; Turtle Pond by James Gladstone, illustrated by Karen Reczuch, won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction; and They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki won the CBC Fan Choice Award. Other winners include Christopher Paul Curtis, Courtney Summers and Michelle Barker.

Seven awards in total were given out:

  • Ebb & Flow by Heather Smith, won the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award ($50,000)
  • Africville by Shauntay Grant, illustrated by Eva Campbell, won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award ($20,000)
  • Turtle Pond by James Gladstone, illustrated by Karen Reczuch, won the Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children’s Non-Fiction ($10,000)
  • The Journey of Little Charlie by Christopher Paul Curtis, won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People ($5,000)
  • Sadie by Courtney Summers, won the John Spray Mystery Award ($5,000)
  • The House of One Thousand Eyes by Michelle Barker, won the Amy Mathers Teen Book Award ($5,000)
  • They Say Blue by Jillian Tamaki won the CBC Fan Choice Award ($5,000)

See the full media release here.



The Women’s Caucus of Playwrights Guild of Canada Announces the Recipient of the 2019 Bra d’Or Award

Toronto, Ontario, October 2, 2019 — The Women’s Caucus of Playwrights Guild of Canada (PGC) is pleased to announce Pamela Halstead as the winner of the 2019 Bra d’Or Award, which recognizes an individual for promoting and supporting the work of women playwrights in Canada.

PGC received ten nominations for the Bra d’Or Award this year: Andrea Donaldson (Nightwood Theatre), Karen Gross (2b Theatre), Pamela Halstead (PARC), Heather Inglis (Theatre Yes), Karen Jeffery (Sunset Theatre), Ruth Lawrence (Women’s Work Festival), Lisa O’Connell (Pat The Dog), Anna Pappas (Ergo Arts), Heidi Taylor (PTC), and Emma Tibaldo (PWM). All are incredible candidates! Read about these amazing women and their nominations HERE. While Women’s Caucus members put forth the nominations, all PGC members vote to pick the winner.

As the recipient of the 2019 Bra d’Or Award, Pamela Halstead will be celebrated at PGC’s annual Tom Hendry Awards, held Sunday, October 27th at the Toronto Arts and Letter Club. She will also be honoured at a local event in her own community later in the year, and at the annual conference of the Professional Association of Canadian Theatres (PACT) in Montreal in May 2020.



Announcing the 2019 GG Books Finalists

Ottawa, Ontario, October 2, 2019 — The Canada Council for the Arts revealed the 2019 finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Awards today.

The 70 finalists were selected by peer assessment committees from some 1,400 books in seven categories in both English and French.

See the full list of finalists here.

It’s a great time to update your reading list with our best books of the year!

Stay tuned—the winners will be revealed on October 29, 2019.

We are delighted to administer, fund and promote the Governor General’s Literary Awards, one of the oldest and most prestigious literary awards programs in the country. #GGBooks2019

[Editor’s note: A little known fact  — The GG Literary Awards were first created and administered by Canadian Authors Association.]



Announcing the 2019 Journey Prize Finalists

Toronto, Ontario, September 4, 2019 — The Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart #JourneyPrize recognizes developing writers for the best short story of the past year. The nominated works were first published in a peer-reviewed Canadian literary journal or anthology. The $10,000 winner will be announced at the annual Writers’ Trust Awards ceremony on November 5, 2019.

Read more about the 2019 Journey Prize finalists

Look for a copy of the The Journey Prize Stories 31 anthology, featuring all of the longlisted works, at your local bookstore starting September 24.