Writers' Trust heralds new voice:


    TORONTO, April 2 /CNW/ - A literary award with a track record for
identifying some of this country's finest developing writers has been
presented to Emily McGiffin, a twenty-eight-year-old from Smithers, British
    The RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers is given this year to
a Canadian author under the age of thirty-five, not yet published in book
form, for a sample of poetry. Supported by the RBC Foundation, the prize
carries a cash value of $5,000. The prize was presented last night at an event
at Toronto's Royal Bank Plaza.
    Emily McGiffin studied biology and geography at the University of
Victoria and is currently working toward an MSc in rural development through
the University of London. McGiffin's poetry has been twice shortlisted for the
CBC Literary Awards and has appeared in The Malahat Review. Her non-fiction
appears regularly in Small Farm Canada magazine.
    "This award attracts the attention of publishers and literary agents, and
can often lead to a writer's first book contract," said Don Oravec, executive
director of the Writers' Trust of Canada. "We applaud the RBC Foundation for
getting behind writers at this stage of their career. Support like this helps
to develop and promote this country's next generation of great writers."
    Finalists were selected by a jury of Don Domanski, Jeanette Lynes, and
Anne Simpson. They received 135 submissions. Of McGiffin's poetry submission,
"Wokkpash and Other Poems," they wrote:

        These deeply resonant poems are perceptive, visceral, and steeped in
        lyrical wisdom. The linguistic orchestrations of this work inhabit a
        fully engaged intelligence and sensibility. There is heart-seeing
        here, expressed with an authentic strength and a luminous eloquence.
        This is poetry linked firmly to the invisible labouring of a raw
        faith, which has grown out of body and mind. The vision here is one
        aesthetically grounded in the world, a world that in turn is
        replenished by these poems, by this poet's beautifully cadenced work.

    Two finalists each received cash prizes of $1,000: Michael Johnson
(Vancouver) for "The Minnow and Other Poems" and Jeff Latosik (Toronto) for
"How the Tiktaalik Came onto Land and Other Poems."
    This prize was presented for the first time in 1994 and alternates each
year between poetry and short fiction. Past winners include Michael Crummey,
Alissa York, and, most recently, Marjorie Celona.
    Bronwen Wallace was a mentor for many young writers as well as a creative
writing teacher at St. Lawrence College and Queen's University in Kingston.
She was also the editor of Quarry Magazine, and during her editorship the
magazine gave many writers their first publication. Wallace wrote four books
of poetry and a collection of short stories before her death at age
forty-four. She felt strongly that unpublished writers should receive
recognition at an earlier age.
    The RBC Foundation invested $51.5 million in charities in hundreds of
communities worldwide in 2008. 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.

    For further information about the Writers' Trust and to receive a booklet
containing the submissions of this year's finalists, please visit

For further information:

For further information: photo requests, or interview opportunities,
contact James Davies at (416) 504-8222, ext. 245, or jdavies@writerstrust.com

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