Archive for May, 2013

Say what? A CBA Author of the Year Finalist?

Thursday, May 16th, 2013


I’m not quite sure how to process this, but it seems I’m a finalist for the Canadian Booksellers Association Author of the Year Libris Award. It’s an annual honour handed out by the independent booksellers to a “Canadian author of an outstanding literary work published in the previous year that makes a significant contribution to Canadian culture. The work must combine readability with strong sales. The author should be one who has offered strong support to the bookselling industry.” (There are lots of other Libris award categories but the graphic above just shows the first two.)

I certainly wouldn’t have thought I’d be a candidate for this, particularly when the other names in the running are Alice Munro, Will Ferguson, and Nancy Richler. (Since my great editor, Douglas Gibson, also edits Alice Munro, he’s quite excited about it all.) I have traveled the province, and sometimes the country, for readings, often supported by wonderful independent booksellers, but still, this is most unexpected. Needless to say, I’m shocked and thrilled at the same time. The awards are announced at a big dinner on June 3rd at the Toronto Congress Centre. I was actually the Emcee for this dinner last year. I don’t expect to be going anywhere near the stage this time around, but it sure is nice to be in such fine company on the shortlist. Perhaps I’ll get to meet Alice Munro. Now that would be cool…

Congrats to Cassie Stocks on her Leacock win

Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

I know how Cassie Stocks feels. Late last month, Cassie won the 2013 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour for her debut novel, Dance, Gladys, Dance. I was there, too. The look on her face when her name was announced from the podium was priceless, and confirmed that she had no expectation of winning. I’m thrilled for her. I know what winning the Leacock Medal can mean to a writer. I hope that it buoys her writing and her book sales and leads her to more literary recognition, because she deserves it. Dance, Gladys, Dance is a wonderful, warm, funny, and heartfelt novel that I think Leacock himself would have enjoyed.

I was honoured to be a finalist again this year for Up and Down. But I was very happy for Cassie Stocks. Write on, Cassie…