The Dirt on the $123,000 Writers' Trust Awards:

    Finalists include M.G. Vassanji, Anna Porter, Lawrence Hill, and
    Katherine Ashenburg

    TORONTO, Feb. 26 /CNW/ - Today the Writers' Trust of Canada announced the
finalists for literary awards in Canadian fiction and non-fiction. Eight
awards in total will be presented on Tuesday, April 1, in Toronto at the
seventh annual Writers' Trust Awards event, held in the Jane Mallett Theatre
at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. Total prize money awarded that night
to Canadian writers will amount to $123,000, making the event one of the
richest awards nights in Canada.
    This year's nominated titles take readers around the world, from a Sufi
shrine in India to the baths of the Roman Empire. The novels include an epic
tale of the eighteenth-century slave trade; the tragedy of the "Hiroshima
Maiden," a beautiful woman scarred by the atomic bomb; and a satire about a
lonely Torontonian who finds love on the Internet but inadvertently gets mixed
up with Chechen terrorists. The short list also includes biographical tales of
early Canadian adventurers, a vivid account of an unknown Holocaust hero, and
a passionate memoir about the decline of a West Coast fishing village.
    Book lovers have the chance to win a set of this year's nominated titles
by visiting

    Sponsored by Rogers Communications Inc.

    Jury: Kevin Major (St. John's), Kim Moritsugu (Toronto), and
    Madeleine Thien (Montreal)

    Each finalist for this prize receives $2,000.

      -  Lawrence Hill (Burlington, Ontario) for The Book of Negroes,
         published by HarperCollins
      -  Robert Hough (Toronto) for The Culprits, published by Random House
      -  Nancy Huston (Paris, France) for Fault Lines, published by McArthur
         & Company
      -  Shaena Lambert (Vancouver) for Radiance, published by Random House
      -  M.G. Vassanji (Toronto) for The Assassin's Song, published by
         Doubleday Canada

    Sponsored by Nereus Financial Inc.

    Jury: Greg Gatenby (Toronto), John Metcalf (Ottawa), and
    Aritha Van Herk (Toronto)

    Each finalist for this prize receives $2,000.

      -  Katherine Ashenburg (Toronto) for The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized
         History, published by Knopf Canada
      -  Tim Bowling (Edmonton) for The Lost Coast: Salmon, Memory and the
         Death of Wild Culture, published by Nightwood Editions
      -  Barry Gough (Victoria) for Fortune's a River: The Collision of
         Empires in Northwest America, published by Harbour Publishing
      -  Douglas Hunter (Georgian Bay, Ontario) for God's Mercies: Rivalry,
         Betrayal and the Dream of Discovery, published by Doubleday Canada
      -  Anna Porter (Toronto) for Kasztner's Train: The True Story of Rezso
         Kasztner, Unknown Hero of the Holocaust, published by Douglas &

    Made possible by James A. Michener's donation of his Canadian royalty
    earnings from his 1988 novel, Journey.

    The Journey Prize recognizes the best short story or excerpt from a
    novel-in-progress by a new and developing writer that had its first
    publication in a Canadian literary journal in the previous year.

    Jury: Caroline Adderson (Vancouver), David Bezmozgis (Toronto), and
    Dionne Brand (Toronto)

    The journal that published the winning entry receives $2,000.

      -  Craig Boyko (Victoria) for "OZY," published in PRISM International
      -  Krista Foss (Hamilton, Ontario) for "Swimming in Zanzibar,"
         published in The Antigonish Review
      -  Rebecca Rosenblum (Toronto) for "Chilly Girl," published in Exile

    Five additional prizes for a body of work will be presented at the
    Writers' Trust Awards event:

      -  Marian Engel Award
      -  Matt Cohen Award: In Celebration of a Writing Life
      -  Timothy Findley Award
      -  Vicky Metcalf Award for Children's Literature
      -  Writers' Trust Award for Distinguished Contribution

    The event will take place in the Jane Mallett Theatre at the St. Lawrence
Centre for the Arts in Toronto. The 2008 Writers' Trust Awards event is made
possible through generous support from corporate, foundation, and individual
sponsors. The national print media sponsor, The Globe and Mail, provides
additional support. The marketing and promotion of these awards is partially
funded by the Government of Canada through the Department of Canadian

For further information:

For further information: about the Writers' Trust and this year's
finalists, please visit For interview and photo
requests, please contact: Erin O'Reilly, Media Profile, (416) 342-1811 or; James Davies, Writers' Trust of Canada, (416) 504-8222,
ext. 245, or

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