New award to recognize Yukon's literary community: The Borealis Prize

The inaugural award, which will recognize writers, volunteers, publishers and editors, will be presented in May 2020 at the Dawson Daily News Print and Publishing Festival.
Drone view of Dawson City, taken from a local hill called The Midnight Dome. In May 2020, Dawson City will host the Dawson Daily News Print and Publishing Festival where the inaugural Borealis Prize will be presented. (Ben Steffes-Lai)

A new literary award called The Borealis Prize will be dedicated to the Yukon's writer and literary community. 

The prize will be awarded to writers, volunteers, publishers, editors and literary community builders who work in Yukon, Commissioner Angélique Bernard said in a statement. 

The award will be administered by BC and Yukon Book Prizes. 

BC and Yukon Book Prizes currently administers 10 prizes for writing and publishing, including the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Literary Excellence and the Jim Deva Prize for Writing That Provokes.

Sean Cranbury — the executive director of BC and Yukon Book Prizes — says that the aim of The Borealis Prize is to recognise both the Yukon's best writing and the community that supports the region's literary talent. 

"[The] Yukon's writing community is a strong, multifarious, unique group that has a long and proud history," Cranbury said to CBC Books in an email. 

"They have long deserved a prize recognizing the work that gets done every year by valuable individuals to sustain, promote and build that community."

The prize will be adjudicated by three leading members of the Yukon writing and publishing community.

Winners will receive $500, a certificate and an original art piece. 

The Borealis will be awarded at the Dawson Daily News Print and Publishing Festival in Dawson City each year going forward. 

They are also planning an accompanying tour around the region. 

"We're just trying to stay a little bit ahead of the imminent Yukon Literary Renaissance," Cranbury said. "We hope to expand the tour stops to include places like Old Crow, Mayo and some of the more remote communities."

The inaugural award will be presented at the Dawson Daily News Print and Publishing Festival between May 28 and 31, 2020.

The deadline for nominations for The Borealis Prize is March 31, 2020.


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