Heather O'Neill wins Quebec's Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

The Montreal-born writer takes home the $2,000 prize for her novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel.
Heather O'Neill is the author of the novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel. (The Canadian Press)

Heather O'Neill has won the $2,000 Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction for the novel The Lonely Hearts Hotel at the 2017 Quebec Writers' Federation's (QWF) literary awards. The $2,000 annual prize honours fiction written by English-language writers from Quebec.

Montreal-based O'Neill is a novelist, poet, short story writer, screenwriter and journalist. Her debut novel, Lullabies for Little Criminals, won Canada Reads in 2007. 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel follows two Montreal orphans in the 1920s whose unusual magnetism and talent allow them to imagine a sensational future.

The remaining finalists were Cora Siré for Behold Things Beautiful and Kathleen Winter for Lost in September.

Five other prizes, all worth $2,000, were also awarded at the QWF awards gala, held in Montreal on Nov. 21, 2017.

Sandra Perron won the Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-Fiction for her book Out Standing in the Field, a revealing memoir which provides a glimpse into one woman's harrowing experiences as the first female officer in the Canadian Infantry. 

Erin Robinsong was awarded the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry for Rag Cosmology, a politically conscious and lyrically aware work.

Jocelyn Parr took the Concordia University First Book Prize for Uncertain Weights and Measures.

Writer Karen Nesbitt won the QWF Prize for Children's & Young Adult Literature for her book Subject to Change, a fictional story about a young teen coping with the divorce of his parents in small-town Quebec.

Translator Peter Feldstein won the Cole Foundation Prize for Translation for his English translation of Jean-Marie Fecteau's La liberté du pauvre


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