Meet the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize readers

These 10 writers read the entries for the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize and selected the 29 longlisted writers from over 1400 entries.

There would be no CBC Literary Prizes without our readers. Every year, CBC Books enlists the help of established writers and editors from across Canada to read the thousands of entries submitted to our prizes. These readers compile the longlist, which is given to the jury. The jury then selects the shortlist and the eventual winner from the readers' longlisted selections.

Here are the 10 writers who served as readers for the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize. The winner of the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize will be announced on Sept. 19, 2017.

The winner of the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and have their story published on CBC Books and in Air Canada enRoute magazine. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have their story published on CBC Books.

If you are interested in entering the CBC Literary Prizes, the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize is open for submissions until Oct. 31, 2017.

Christian Fink-Jensen

Christian Fink-Jensen is the co-author of Aloha Wanderwell, a biography. (Maleea Acker)

Christian Fink-Jensen is a writer, researcher, publishing professional and creativity coach. His fiction, nonfiction and poetry have been published in books, newspapers, magazines, journals and anthologies in Canada, the United States, England and Singapore. His most recent book is the biography Aloha Wanderwell: The Border-Smashing, Record-Setting Life of the World's Youngest Explorer. He is currently at work on a novel and a book about creativity.

Danielle Daniel

Danielle Daniel is the author of The Dependent: A Memoir of Marriage & the Military. (Gerry Kingsley)

​Danielle Daniel is the author of The Dependent: A Memoir of Marriage and the Military, shortlisted for the 2017 Northern Lit Award. Her creative nonfiction has been published in Room Magazine, the 40th Anniversary Room Anthology and shortlisted for the 2015 Event Creative Non-Fiction writing contest. She is the author and illustrator of Sometimes I Feel Like a Fox, which won the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award, was a finalist for the First Nation Communities Read: Aboriginal Literature Award, the Blue Spruce Award and was one of New York Public Library's 2015 notable titles. This fall, she will release two titles: author and illustrator of Once in a Blue Moon  and illustrator for You Hold Me Up.

Melynda Jarratt

Melynda Jarratt is the author of Letters From Beauly: Pat Hennessy and the Canadian War Children of World War Two. (isabelle Hains)

​Melynda Jarratt is an historian and author who is internationally recognized as the leading expert on Canadian war brides of the Second World War. She is the author of five books, three of which deal with the history of war brides. Her most recent book,Letters From Beauly: Pat Hennessy and the Canadian Forestry Corps was nominated for the 2017 Writers' Federation of New Brunswick Book Award for Nonfiction. She is currently doing research for a new book on Canada's spiritualist movement.

Harold R. Johnson

Harold R. Johnson's book Firewater was a finalist for the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction. (Joan Johnson)

Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, Harold R. Johnson has had a variety of careers: marine engineer in the Canadian Navy, logger, miner, fisher, trapper, heavy equipment operator, mechanic, tree planter, lawyer and author. His published work includes five fiction and two nonfiction, all of which have been shortlisted for the Saskatchewan Book Awards.Two Families: Treaties and Government won a Saskatchewan Book Award for Aboriginal Publishing and The Cast Stone won the Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction.Firewater: How Alcohol is Killing My People (and Yours) was shortlisted for the 2016 Governor General's Literary Award for nonfiction.

Adnan Khan

Adnan Khan was awarded the 2016 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award. (Sara Jane Strickland)

Adnan Khan is a National Magazine Award nominated writer, who has published in VICE, the Globe and Mail, Hazlitt and others. In 2016, he won the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award.

Sonja Larsen

Sonja Larsen was shortlisted for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. (Emily Cooper)

Sonja Larsen's memoir Red Star Tattoo: My Life As A Girl Revolutionary was featured on the National Post and Now magazine's best books of 2016 reading list and shortlisted for the 2016 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction. Her work has been published in the Globe and Mail, Room, Descant and the anthology Flash 101: Surviving the Fiction Apocalypse. She lives in Vancouver, B.C., where she works with youth in the Downtown Eastside.

Philip Moscovitch

Philip Moscovitch was nominated for the 40th Anniversary National Magazine Awards for his feature "Small-Town Smackdown". (Eli Moscovitch)

​Philip Moscovitch is a regular contributor to Saltscapes, East Coast Living, Halifax Magazine and Atlantic Books Today. His character-driven radio documentaries — on subjects ranging from small-town professional wrestling to music education — have been broadcast nationally on CBC, and one of his short features for the Walrus was nominated for a 2017 National Magazine Award. He is currently working on a creative nonfiction book exploring how we see mental illness, how people experience psychotic disorders, and the shifting, blurred edges of sickness, health — and what defines them. He is currently writing a book about fermenting foods with traditional Nova Scotia ingredients.

​Jay Pitter

Jay Pitter is an author, teacher and placemaker who is passionate about creating more inclusive, safe and vibrant cities. (Asad Chishti)

Jay Pitter is an author and placemaker focused on spatial design and social justice. Most recently, she collaborated with Westbank to increase community engagement in the Honest Ed's redevelopment process, consulted on Edmonton's new heritage plan and co-edited Subdivided, an award-nominated anthology exploring inclusive city-building. Jay currently teaches an urban planning course at Ryerson University and is working on her second book, Where We Live.

Laurie Sarkadi

Laurie Sarkadi is the author of Voice in the Wild, a memoir about life off the grid in the Far North. (Angela Gzowski)

Laurie Sarkadi is an award-winning writer, producer and editor of EDGE YK magazine. She moved to Yellowknife as the Edmonton Journal's northern bureau chief then spent 16 years telling northerners' stories through CBC Radio and television. Her latest book is a memoir called Voice in the Wild.

Dorothy Williams

Dr. Dorothy W. Williams work focused on Black history within Canada. (David Anderson)

Dr. Dorothy W. Williams has authored three books and articles mainly focused on aspects of Black history within Canada.  She works for Desta, a nonprofit organization serving marginalized youth and runs her own company, Blacbiblio.com, Inc. which disseminates African-Canadian history and heritage through The ABCs of Canadian Black History Kit. Dr. Williams has received awards for her work, including being named a Quebec Laureate in 2002.


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