Kaie Kellough, Sean Michaels & Marie-Louise Gay among 2020 QWF Literary Award finalists

Prizes are awarded for first book, nonfiction, fiction, children's and YA literature, translation and poetry by writers from Quebec.
Kaie Kellough (left), Sean Michaels (centre) and Marie-Louise Gay are among the finalists for the 2020 QWF Literary Awards. (Melissa-Anne Cobbler, Julie Artacho, Groundwood Books)

Kaie Kellough, Sean Michaels and Marie-Louise Gay are among the finalists for the 2020 Quebec Writers' Federation's literary awards.

The QWF annually awards prizes across several literary genres to English-language writers from Quebec.

Prizes are awarded for nonfiction, fiction, children's and YA literature, translation, poetry and for a debut book. Each winner will receive $3,000.

Kellough and Michaels are finalists in the fiction category for Dominoes at the Crossroads and The Wagers, respectively.

Dominoes at the Crossroads is a short story collection that explores Canada's Caribbean diaspora, as they seek music and a connection to their past. It was also longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Kellough is also the author of the poetry collection Magnetic Equatorwhich won the 2020 Griffin Poetry Prize.

The Wagers is a novel that follows a Montreal grocer named Theo Potiris who works at his family's shabby supermarket by day and bikes to open mic nights at night, never telling the same joke twice. 

Michaels's first novel, Us Conductors, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2014. Michaels is also a music critic who founded the popular blog Said the Gramophone. 

Rounding out the fiction category are Home Game by Endre Farkas and Butterflies, Zebras, Moonbeams by Ceilidh Michelle.

Children's book creator Gay has two books nominated for the children's and young adult category: Fern and Horn and The Three Brothers.

Gay is a prolific picture book creator who has published more than 20 books. In 2005, she received the Vicky Metcalf Award for literature for young people, which recognizes a children's book author for their complete body of work. 

The third book nominated in the children's literature category is Pokko and the Drum by Matthew Forsythe.

The winners will be announced on Nov. 4, 2020.

The recipient of the 3Macs carte blanche Prize, which recognizes a Quebec writer for their outstanding submission to QWF's online literary journal carte blanche, and the recipient of the Judy Mappin Community Award, which recognizes a person who has contributed to the advancement of Quebec's English-language literary community, will also be announced on Nov. 4.

You can see all the finalists below.

Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction

Mavis Gallant Prize for Nonfiction

  • The Closet by Danielle Bobker
  • Possess the Air by Taras Grescoe
  • The Audacity of His Enterprise by M. Max Hamon

A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry

  • Eight Track by Oana Avasilichioaei
  • Pop by Simina Banu
  • The Headless Man by Peter Dubé
  • rushes from the river disappointment by stephanie roberts
  • A Common Name for Everything by Sarah Wolfson

QWF Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature

Concordia First Book Prize

Le Prix de traduction de la Fondation Cole/The Cole Foundation Prize for Translation

  • Catherine Égo for Noires sous surveillance (Policing Black Livesby Robyn Maynard
  • Catherine Égo for Zolitude by Paige Cooper
  • Benoît Laflamme for Éclipse électrique (The Knockoff Eclipse) by Melissa Bull

QWF Playwriting Prize

  • Alice and the World We Live In by Alexandria Haber
  • Albumen by Mishka Lavigne
  • Sania the Destroyer by Mona'a Malik
  • Instant by Erin Shields

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