Michael V. Smith has been named the inaugural winner of an award for emerging gay writers.

The Dayne Ogilvie Memorial Grant, announced Thursday,is a $4,000 prize given to a gay writer, living anywhere in Canada, who is at the start of his or her career. It's named after the late Dayne Ogilivie, the former managing editor of Xtra!,a gay newspaper published in Toronto.

The Vancouver writer's debut novel, Cumberland, was nominated for the Books in Canada First Novel Award in 2002. Smith has also won a Western Magazine Award for Fiction, and been nominated for the Journey Prize.

Smith, who is also the author of the poetry collection What You Can't Have, has captured awards for his short films at Toronto's Inside Out festival.