I got word yesterday, while travelling around Merseyside with family, that my first book, Debris (Biblioasis), was shortlisted for the Second Annual Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. It was chosen in the literary fiction category by Kobo’s bookseller team, along with books by Andrew Battershill, Irina Kovalyova, Sabrina Ramnanan, Tracey Lindberg, and Wendi Stewart. The eventual winner will be determined by acclaimed author Gail Anderson-Dargatz. If not, I hear it will be decided Highlander style…
Here’s some info about the prize, straight from Kobo:
“The award was created with the goal of kick-starting the careers of debut authors, with a $10,000 CAD cash prize awarded to a book in each of three categories: Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, and Genre Fiction (Romance). In addition, each winning author will receive promotional, marketing, and communications support through 2016.
“The shortlist, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers among traditionally and self-published titles—with book completion rates, customer ratings and reviews considered—comprises six books from each genre. The shortlist will now move on to the final selection process, led by top Canadian authors: Camilla Gibb for Non-Fiction, Gail Anderson-Dargatz for Literary Fiction, and Lynsay Sands for Genre Fiction (Romance), with winners announced on June 21.”
Thanks to all of the folks involved at Kobo for including this book, and to Gail Anderson-Dargatz for judging the finals. Also, congratulations to the other writers that got shortlisted, in every category. There are some real interesting and inventive books on the list, and not all of them might make a regular CanLit prize list (probably to their credit), so I am proud to have Debris on there.
Also, thanks to Biblioasis for publishing this thing, especially to my editor, John Metcalf, who I owe a bunch of phone calls after I get back, as well as another manuscript.
The last bit of news I have, that a bunch of people have probably gathered already, is that I was hired on as Assistant Editor for Open Book: Toronto. You might remember my stint as Writer-in-Residence there in November. Well, I got in as a columnist after that, until the editor position came up. Now I’ll be editing and posting those columns by some great local authors, and fouling up the social media for Open Book. Hardcastle style. Thanks to the other members of the small but mighty Open Book Team, Grace O’Connell and Holly Kent.
That’s all I got. I’m back to Canada in about a week, and will be at Authors for Indies on April 29th, appearing at Book City, Bloor West Village, from 4pm to 5pm. I’ll also be at Rowers Reading Series on May 2nd. Until then, take care and cheers to everyone who spread word about this Kobo news yesterday and other writing things. You are #1.