Slick Water is a true-life noir filled with corruption, incompetence, and, ultimately, courage. It is a deeply informative, disturbing, and important book.
-Elizabeth Kolbert, 2015 Pulitzer Prize Winning author of The Sixth Extinction
2016 Alberta Literary Award Winners Announced by Ellen Kartz, June 4, 2016, Writer’s Guild of Alberta
The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is pleased to reveal the winners of the 2016 Alberta Literary Awards. More than 120 attended the 2016 Alberta Literary Awards Wine and Cheese Gala, part of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s 2016 Calgary Conference, Creativity and Happiness.
This celebration marked the 34th anniversary of the Alberta Literary Awards and brought together writers from across Alberta.
The Alberta Literary Awards were created by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta in 1982 to recognize excellence in writing by Alberta authors. This year, jurors deliberated over 250 submissions to select 25 finalists in eight categories.
The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is the largest provincial writers’ organization in Canada, and was formed in 1980 to provide a meeting ground and collective voice for the writers of the province. Our mission is to inspire, connect, support, encourage, and promote writers and writing, to safeguard the freedom to write and to read, and to advocate for the well-being of writers.
Congratulations to all of this year’s winners! [Emphasis added]
2016 Alberta Literary Awards Winners
R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Supported by the Under the Arch Youth Foundation at The Calgary Foundation)
Kate Boorman (Edmonton) – Winterkill, Abrams/Amulet
Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction (Sponsored by The Banff Centre)
Bradley Somer (Calgary) – Fishbowl, St. Martin’s/Raincoast
Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction (Supported by Jane Stevens and the WGA Board of Directors) of $1,500
Andrew Nikiforuk (Calgary) – Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry, Greystone
Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama (Sponsored by Alberta Views)
Beth Graham (Edmonton) – The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, Playwrights Canada Press
Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry (Sponsored by Stephan V. Benediktson)
Marylin Dumont (Edmonton) – The Pemmican Eaters, ECW Press
James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction (Supported by Tony Johnson)
Jane Harris (Lethbridge) – “The Unheard Patient,” Alberta Views
Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story (Supported by Vanna Tessier and Guy Tessier)
Thomas Wharton (Edmonton) – “Filters,” FreeFall
Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award (Supported by the Friends of Frances – In Memory of Frances Hern)
Elizabeth Withey (Edmonton) – “O Brother, Where Art Thou?”
WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement (Supported by Aritha van Herk)
Bradley Somer, Andrew Nikoforuk among Alberta Literary Award winners by Eric Volmers, June 5, 2016, Calgary Herald
Bradley Somer’s quirky novel told from the point of view of a goldfish plummeting to his death and Andrew Nikiforuk’s environmental book about a David-and-Goliath battle over fracking were the Calgary winners at the Alberta Literary Awards on Saturday evening.
Nine awards were handed out at MacDonald Hall at SAIT as part of the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Calgary Conference.
They included the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction for Somer’s Fishbowl, the Calgary author’s critically acclaimed novel told through the limited lens of Ian, a goldfish who escapes his fishbowl and spends the entire book witnessing strange human behaviour as he plunges 55 floors to his doom.
Nikiforuk’s Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry picked up the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction. It tells the story of Albertan Jessica Ernst, who said her water turned into “flammable broth” due to fracking around her home.
Veteran novelist and short-story writer Greg Hollingshead, a longtime director of the Writing Studio at the Banff Centre and a professor emeritus at the University of Alberta, was given the WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Edmonton’s Kate Boorman won the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature for Winterkill; Lethbridge writer Jane Harris won the James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction for The Unheard Patient, which ran in Alberta Views; Edmonton’s Beth Graham won the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama for The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble; Edmonton’s Marylin Dumont won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for The Pemmican Eaters; Thomas Wharton of Edmonton won the Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story for Filters; and Edmonton’s Elizabeth Withey won the Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award for O Brother, Where Art Thou?
This is the 34th year the awards have been held by the guild, which was formed in 1980. Jurors deliberated over 250 submissions to select the 25 finalists.
Six Edmonton writers win Alberta Literary Awards by Edmonton Journal, June 5, 2016
Much-honoured Edmonton writer Greg Hollingshead added another prize to his trophy case when he won the WGA Golden Pen Lifetime Achievement award at the Alberta Literary Awards gala on Saturday.
Hollingshead was one of six Edmonton writers who were among the winners of the 2016 awards, handed out in Calgary. The awards were created in 1982 by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta to recognize excellent in writing by Alberta authors.
Hollingshead, a member of the Order of Canada, has published three novels and four short story collections. His 1995 collection The Roaring Girl won the Governor General’s Award for English language fiction and his 1998 novel The Healer won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
Edmonton writer Kate Boorman won the R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature for her debut book, the young-adult novel Winterkill. It was the first instalment of a trilogy by the University of Alberta English-drama graduate.
Cree-Métis writer Marilyn Dumont of Edmonton won the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry for The Pemmican Eaters, a collection of poems about the Riel Resistance period.
Edmonton actor/playwright Beth Graham won the Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama for The Gravitational Pull of Bernice Trimble, which had its Edmonton première two years ago at Theatre Network. It’s an exploration of a family dynamic splintering under the stress of alarming news.
The Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story went to University of Alberta English professor Thomas Wharton for his story Filters. Wharton has previously won the Commonwealth Writer’s Prize for Best First Book, Canada/Caribbean division for Icefields.
The Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award went to Elizabeth Withey, former Edmonton Journal feature writer and writer-in-residence at the Edmonton Public Library, for her essay O Brother, Where Art Thou?, about her homeless brother Graham.
Other winners included Bradley Somer of Calgary, who won the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction for Fishbowl, and Andrew Nikiforuk, also of Calgary, whose Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Prolific Industry, took home the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction.
Jurors considered 250 submissions to selection 25 finalists in eight categories for this year’s awards.
The 2016 Alberta Literary Awards Shortlist
Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction (Supported by Jane Stevens and the WGA Board of Directors)
Stephen Bown (Canmore) – White Eskimo: Knud Rasmussen’s Fearless Journey Into the Heart of the Arctic, Douglas & McIntyre
Will Ferguson (Calgary) – Road Trip Rwanda, Viking Canada (Penguin)
Andrew Nikiforuk (Calgary) – Slick Water, Greystone
Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction
This award was established in 1982 in honour of Wilfrid Eggleston (1901-1986). Eggleston’s family homesteaded near Manyberries, AB in 1909. He was a teacher with the Golden Prairie School District and later attended Queen’s University and became a journalist. His career included jobs with the Toronto Daily Star and the Reuters News Agency. He headed the school of journalism at Carleton University and was awarded the Order of the Empire in 1943. In addition to his career as a journalist, Eggleston published several non-fiction works, including his memoir Literary Friends (1980).
Snap of announcement by The Tyee