André Alexis & Richard Van Camp among writers longlisted for 2020 Sunburst Award for Canadian fantasy writing

The Sunburst Awards annually give out two $1,000 prizes — one to a work of adult fiction and one to a YA book — as well as a $500 short story award.
André Alexis (left) and Richard Van Camp are among writers longlisted for 2020 Sunburst Award for Canadian fantasy writing. (CBC, William Au)

André Alexis and Richard Van Camp are two of the writers longlisted for the 2020 Sunburst Awards.

The Sunburst Awards annually give out two $1,000 prizes — one to a work of adult fiction and one to a YA book — as well as a $500 short story award.

Both Alexis and Van Camp were nominated in the adult fiction category. Van Camp is also nominated in the short story category.

Alexis is a finalist for the novel Days by Moonlight.

In Days by Moonlightbotanist Alfred Homer agrees to go on a research road trip with Professor Morgan Bruno, an old family friend, after his parents have died. As the sun sets, the two depart in search of an obscure, possibly dead poet named John Skennen and encounter a host of oddities in the gothic underworld of southern Ontario.

Days by Moonlight won the 2019 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize.

It is the fourth book in a planned quincunx. The previous titles were PastoralFifteen Dogs and The Hidden KeysFifteen Dogs won Canada Reads 2017 and the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2016.

Van Camp is nominated for his short story collection Moccasin Square Gardens and for the story Wheetago War II: Summoners, which can be found in Moccasin Square Gardens.

Moccasin Square Gardens is a collection of humorous short fiction set in Denendeh, the land of the people north of the 60th parallel. Richard Van Camp's stories involve extraterrestrials, illegal wrestling moves and the legendary Wheetago, human-eating monsters who have come to punish the greed of humanity. 

Van Camp is a prolific novelist, comic writer and children's book writer whose work includes The Lesser BlessedA Blanket of Butterflies and Little You.

You can see the full list of longlisted titles below.

Adult fiction:

YA fiction:

Short story:

  • Cleaning House in Ithaca by Leslie Brown, published in Tesseracts Twenty-Two Alchemy and Artifacts 
  •  When the White Bird Sings by K.T. Bryski, published in ​​​​​Augur Magazine
  • The Fourth Trimester is the Strangest by Rebecca Campbell, published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction
  • Roots and Shoots by Laura DeHaan, published in Augur Magazine
  • Florilegia by Amal El-Mohtar, published in The Mythic Dream
  • Cheating the Devil at Solitaire by Chadwick Ginther, published in On Spec: The Canadian Magazine of the Fantastic
  • Katabasis by Catherine George, published in Augur Magazine
  • The Brightest Lights of Heaven by Maria Haskins, published in Fireside Magazine 
  • Lake of Dreams by Brent Hayward, published in Broken Sun, Broken Moon 
  • The Inland Beacon by Kate Heartfield, published in Tesseracts Twenty-Two Alchemy and Artifacts
  • Revenge by Thomas Anguti Johnston, published in Taaqtumi: An Anthology of Arctic Horror Stories
  • The Hundred Gardens by Catherine Kim, published in Nat. Brut
  • The Stone Alphabet by Catherine MacLeod, published in Earth: Giants, Golems, and Gargoyles
  • Wheetago War II: Summoners by Richard Van Camp, published in Moccasin Square Gardens
  • How the Trick is Done by A.C. Wise, published by Uncanny Magazine

The shortlists will be announced in July and the winners will be announced in September.

The 2020 awards are being judged by Peter Darbyshire , Kristyn Dunnion, Omar El Akkad, Michelle Butler Hallett, John Jantunen, Michael Johnstone, Ursula Pflug and Sarah Tolmie.

Last year's winners were Andromeda Romano-Lax for her novel Plum Rains in the adult fiction category, Rachel Hartman for the novel Tess of the Road in the YA category and Senaa Ahmad for The Glow-in-the-Dark Girls in the short story category.

Other past winners include The Marrow Thieves by Cherie Dimaline, The Back of the Turtle by Thomas King and Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay.

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