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Finalists for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award Announced

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The Writers' Trust of Canada has announced the finalists for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. Congratulations to finalists Shashi S. Bhat, Kilby Smith-McGregor and Claire Tacon. The winner will be announced on June 9th at the Toronto Reference Library. Keep reading for details.

From our friends at the Writers' Trust of Canada:

The Writers’ Trust of Canada has announced finalists for a literary award renowned for discovering the best up-and-coming young writers at work in this country.

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers is given this year to an author under the age of thirty-five for an unpublished short story. Now in its sixteenth year, the award is supported by the RBC Foundation through the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in young artists and helps them build their careers. The prize winner will receive $5,000 and finalists each receive $1,000.

These are the three finalists (with the jury’s comments).

Shashi S. Bhat for “Indian Cooking”
A twenty-six-year-old from Richmond Hill, Ontario, Bhat was nominated for the 2008 Pushcart Prize and has completed a master of fine arts degree at Johns Hopkins University.

Humour and horror combine in startlingly authentic ways in “Indian Cooking,” a moving story that makes brave choices in its characterizations and avoids sentimentality in its depiction of family tragedy.

Kilby Smith-McGregor for “The Bird in Hand”
A twenty-nine-year-old based in Toronto, Smith-McGregor has experience as a playwright, dramaturge, and graphic designer. Her fiction appeared in the winter 2010 issue of Brick and online in the Dublin Quarterly.

A girl assured of a golden future by her acceptance to Oxford discovers that being her father’s daughter confers responsibilities as well as privileges in “The Bird in Hand,” a beautifully crafted story that deftly suggests a world and a life beyond its few pages.

Claire Tacon for “Dumb Dog”
A thirty-year-old living in Guelph, Ontario, Tacon has had his writing published in The New Quarterly, subTerrain, and Room magazine.

“What you don’t know won’t hurt you” is the percolating theme in “Dumb Dog,” a finely honed examination of a man avoiding his own emotional interior while helping others remove the toxins hidden in their houses.

Finalists were selected by the jury of Trevor Cole, Susan Glickman, and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer. One hundred and thirty-two submissions were received.

“A nomination for this award attracts the attention of publishers and literary agents, and has often directly led to a writer’s first book contract,” said Don Oravec, executive director, Writers’ Trust of Canada. “The Writers’ Trust is committed to recognizing writers at an early stage in their career and is proud to partner with the RBC Foundation in this initiative.”

The award winner will be announced on June 9, 2010, at the Toronto Reference Library. A booklet featuring the three nominated short stories will be distributed at the event and will be available by mail or at Please contact the Writers’ Trust to receive a copy.

Bronwen Wallace was a mentor to many young writers and a creative writing teacher at St. Lawrence College and Queen’s University. She wrote four books of poetry and a collection of short stories before her death at age forty-four. Her close friend Carolyn Smart founded the award in 1994. The award alternates each year between poetry and short fiction. Past winners include Michael Crummey, Alissa York, and, most recently, Emily McGiffin.

About RBC Foundation
The RBC Foundation invested $52.6 million in charities in hundreds of communities worldwide in 2009. Its support of this literary award is one of thirty partnerships that constitute the RBC Emerging Artists Project, supporting talented young adults in their development of professional careers in the arts.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that supports Canadian writers and writing through various programs, including literary awards, financial grants, workshops, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat.

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