Tanya Tagaq, Kate Harris and Terese Marie Mailhot shortlisted for $10K Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

Posted: May 01, 2019
Last Updated: May 01, 2019

Tanya Tagaq, Kate Harris and Terese Marie Mailhot are among the authors shortlisted for the Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize. (Rebecca Wood, Piia Kortsalo, Isiah Mailhot)

Juno Award-winning Inuk singer Tanya Tagaq, RBC Taylor Prize winner Kate Harris and Terese Marie Mailhot are among the 18 writers shortlisted for the 2019 Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize.

Each year, the prize recognizes books by writers early in their careeers in three categories — nonfiction, literary fiction and genre fiction. A different genre fiction category is highlighted each year. In 2019, the category will recognize romance.

The winner in each category will receive $10,000.


Tagaq is a finalist in the fiction category for her debut, Split Tooth. Split Tooth was also longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and is currently a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Harris and Terese Marie Mailhot are both being recognized in the nonfiction category.

Harris is a finalist for her travel memoir Lands of Lost Borders, which won the 2019 RBC Taylor Prize for literary nonfiction

Mailhot is nominated for her memoir Heart Berries, which was also shortlisted for the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction and the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Mailhot also received the 2019 U.S. Whiting Award for emerging writers.


Other shortlisted titles include the memoir Son of a Critch by comedian Mark Critch and Ayesha At Last by Uzma Jalaluddin, which is a finalist in the romance category.

The shortlist was selected by a team of readers and booksellers at Kobo taking into consideration customer ratings and reviews as well as completion rates. 

Three judges, one for each category, will choose the winner.

Craig Davidson, author of novels such as The Saturday Night Ghost Club and Cataract City, will choose the winner in the literary fiction category.

Michael Harris, the author of the book The End of Absence, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction, is judging the nonfiction category. 


The romance category will be judged by Dale Mayer, the bestselling author of novels including Tuesdays Child and Heroes for Hire.

The winners will be announced on June 27, 2019.

The complete shortlists can be found below.

Literary fiction



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