Calgary's Tyler Trafford has won the 2014 Alberta Readers' Choice Award for his memoir, Almost a Great Escape.
In it, Trafford unravels the doomed love affair between his mother, a wealthy Montreal debutante, and Jens Muller, a Norwegian pilot who trained in Canada during the early days of the Second World War and who later became famous as one of only three prisoners to make it home after 'The Great Escape.'
The award, worth $10,000, is one of Alberta's richest literary prizes and was handed out Friday night at the Writer's Guild of Alberta's 2014 Calgary conference.
Trafford beat out other big names in the shortlist for the award, including: Todd Babiak's Come Barbarians, Diana Davidson's Pilgrimage, Michael Hingston's The Dilettantes and Theresa Shea's The Unfinished Child were also contenders for the prize.
Trafford also walked away with the Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Non-Fiction and the City of Calgary's W.O. Mitchell Prize for the memoir.
Calgary's Ali Bryan also walked away with an award for her work.
Her debut novel, Roost, won the George Bugnet Award for Fiction.
Local publisher Freehand Books was awarded the Publisher of the Year award.
Other Calgary winners were:
- Arun Lakra's Sequence - Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama
- Paul Zits's Massacre Street - Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry
- Kim McCullough's Night/light - John Whyte Memorial Essay Award