Miriam Toews, Ken Babstock winners at Writers' Trust Awards


Celebrated Canadian writers Miriam Toews and Ken Babstock are among the winners of this year's Writers' Trust Awards.

Manitoba-born author Miriam Toews has won the $25,000 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize for All My Puny Sorrows, her bittersweet novel about sisterhood, mental illness and assisted suicide.

Toews, who won the award in 2008 for The Flying Troutmans, was presented with the literary prize at an event in Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio on Tuesday evening. Her latest novel draws from personal experience, as her father and sister both committed suicide after struggling with depression. Toews spoke of her sister in particular at the award ceremony after being named the winner, saying "she fought a lot of battles for me in the past, and I hope this book fights one for her."

All My Puny Sorrows is also contending for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, which will be revealed on Monday, November 10.

The Writers' Trust of Canada also presented several other awards.

Acclaimed poet Ken Babstock received the inaugural Latner Writers' Trust Poetry Prize, which awards $25,000 to a writer with an exceptional body of work in the field of poetry. The Toronto-based Babstock won the Griffin Poetry Prize in 2012 for his collection Methodist Hatchet.

writers-trust-canada-200.jpgThe Writers' Trust Engel/Findley Award, a $25,000 prize given to a mid-career writer in recognition of a "remarkable body of work," went to Winnipeg's Joan Thomas. Thomas's published work includes Reading by Lightning (2008), Curiosity (2010) and her latest novel, The Opening Sky (2014), which is a finalist for this year's Governor General's Literary Award.

Prolific B.C. writer Susan Musgrave was honoured with the $20,000 Matt Cohen Award, to mark a writing career that has spanned 30 years and produced 27 published works of poetry, fiction, non-fiction and children's literature.

Toronto's Cary Fagan, who has been critically acclaimed for his work in adult fiction and children's books, received the $20,000 Vicky Metcalf Award for Literature for Young People.

Vancouver-born Tyler Keevil, who now lives in Wales, won the $10,000 Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for his short story Sealskin, which is set in a fish processing plant in the Burrard Inlet, B.C.

The Writers' Trust also helps to administer the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. This year's award went to Naomi Klein for her book about the climate crisis, This Changes Everything.