Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

Kilby Smith-McGregor Wins the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award

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Toronto-based writer Kilby Smith-McGregor has been named the winner of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her story "The Bird in Hand." The award is administered by the Writers' Trust and is given to a writer under 35 who doesn't have a published book or book contract. Judges Trevor Cole, Susan Glickman and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer chose Smith-McGregor's story from 132 submissions.

From the Writers' Trust:

The Writers’ Trust of Canada announces that Kilby Smith-McGregor has won an award renowned for identifying the most promising young writers at work in this country.

The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers is a $5,000 prize that is supported by the RBC Foundation. Alternating each year between short fiction and poetry, the award is given to a writer under the age of thirty-five who is unpublished in book form and without a book contract. The winner was announced [June 9th] at an event in the Bram & Bluma Appel Salon in the Toronto Reference Library.

Kilby Smith-McGregor, a twenty-nine-year-old writer who lives in Toronto, won the award for her short story “The Bird in Hand.” She is a graduate of York University’s Creative Writing Program and is currently pursuing a master’s of fine arts through the University of Guelph. Her writing has appeared in Brick, the Dublin Quarterly, and The Cyclops Review.

The jury of Trevor Cole, Susan Glickman, and Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer chose the winning story from 132 submissions. Of Smith-McGregor’s story, they wrote:

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.

Two finalists each received cash prizes of $1,000: Shashi Bhat of Richmond Hill, Ontario, for “Indian Cooking”; and Claire Tacon of Guelph, Ontario, for “Dumb Dog.”

“We believe this prize will draw the notice of the publishing industry and help these three exceptional talents land their first book contracts,” said Shari Austin, vice president and head, corporate citizenship, and executive director, RBC Foundation. “The RBC Foundation is committed to recognizing writers at an early stage in their career and is proud to include this prize with our other initiatives that assist artists to bridge the gap to a professional career in the fields of theatre, music, film, design, and dance.”

To receive a booklet featuring the nominated short stories of all three finalists visit or email a request to

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 her honour in 1994. 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, which invests in young artists and helps them to develop their professional careers.

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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