Rawi Hage and Sina Queyras among finalists for Quebec Writers' Federation Literary Awards

The QWF Literary Awards annually honour the best books published by English-language writers and translators in Quebec in six categories.
Rawi Hage, left, and Sina Queyras are among the shortlisted authors for the 2022 QWF Literary Awards. (Madeleine Thien,

Rawi Hage, Gillian Sze, D.M. Bradford and Sina Queyras are among the shortlisted authors and translators for the 2022 QWF Literary Awards.

Established by the Quebec Writers' Federation in 1988, the QWF Literary Awards annually honour the best books published by English-language writers and translators in Quebec in eight categories. 

Hage's short collection Stray Dogs is nominated for the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. 

The characters in Stray Dogs are restless travellers, moving between nation states and states of mind, seeking connection and trying to escape the past. Set in Montreal, Beirut, Tokyo and more, these stories highlight the often random ways our fragile modern identities are constructed, destroyed and reborn. 

Stray Dogs is also on the 2022 Scotiabank Giller Prize shortlist. 

Hage is a Montreal-based writer. His books include De Niro's Gamewhich won the International Dublin Literary Award in 2008; Cockroach, which received the Hugh MacLennan Prize for fiction, was defended by Samantha Bee on Canada Reads in 2014, and was shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award; Carnivalwhich was a finalist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize; and Beirut Hellfire Society, which was on the shortlist for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction

Sze is shortlisted twice: her picture book You Are My Favorite Color is nominated in the Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature category and poetry collection Quiet Night Think is nominated in the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry category.

Sze is a Montreal poet originally from Winnipeg. She is the author of multiple poetry collections, as well as the children's book The Night is Deep and Wide

Bradford's poetry collection Dream of No One but Myself is nominated in both the A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry and Concordia University First Book Prize categories.

Dream of No One but Myself combines prose poems, verse and collages of family photos to describe what it was like to grow up in a troubled family. In Dream of No One but MyselfD.M. Bradford presents an unstable, frayed account of family inheritance, intergenerational traumas and domestic tenderness.

Bradford is a poet, editor and organizer based in Montreal. His work has appeared in The Capilano Review, The Tiny, The Fiddlehead, Carte Blanche and elsewhere. He is a founding editor of House House Press. 

Dream of No One but Myself was also shortlisted for the 2022 Griffin Poetry Prize and longlisted for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award.

    Rooms by Queyras is a finalist for Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction. 

    Book cover image of a blurry dark blue and black night's sky with hay at the bottom. White text overlaid.

    Thirty years ago, a professor threw a chair at Queyras after they submitted an essay on Virginia Woolf. In Rooms, they return to that first encounter with Virignia Woolf and blend memoir, tweets, poetry and criticism to reflect on how they found their way as a young queer writer from a life of chaos to a public life as a writer. 

    Queyras is a poet and novelist from Montreal. Their other books include My Ariel, the poetry collection Lemon Hound, which received the Pat Lowther Award and a Lambda Literary Award, and their debut novel Autobiography of a Childhood, which was shortlisted for the First Novel Award in 2011.

    Below is the shortlist for this year's awards. The winner for each category will receive $3,000:

    The Janet Savage Blachford Prize for Children's and Young Adult Literature is awarded in even-numbered years and recognizes a book for beginner readers, and in odd-numbered years to a book for middle grade or young adult readers.

    The finalists this year are:

    The First Book Prize is sponsored by Concordia University.

    This year's finalists are:

    The Cole Foundation Prize for Translation honours a English-French translator in even-numbered years and French-English translator in odd-numbered years.

    The finalists this year are:

    • Plus aucun enfant autochtone arraché by Nicolas Calvé
    • Le premier coup de clairon pour réveiller les femmes immorales by Jonathan Lamy
    • Fils d'un tout petit héros by Lori Saint-Martin and Paul Gagné

    The finalists for A.M. Klein Prize for Poetry this year are:

    The finalists for Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction this year are:

    • Spin Doctors by Nora Loreto
    • The Rebel Scribe by Christopher Neal
    • Rooms by Sina Queyras
    • Looking for Alicia by Marc Raboy

    The Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction is sponsored by Librairie Paragraphe Bookstore in Montreal.

    The 2022 finalists are:

    The QWF Prize for Playwriting is by Gabriel Safdie in conjunction with Infinithéâtre:

    • The Silent Woman by Alexandria Haber & Ned Cox
    • Beloved by Arthur Holden
    • Beautiful Man by Erin Shields
    • The Millennial Malcontent by Erin Shields

    New for 2022 is a spoken word category: the QWF Spoken Word Prize will be awarded to up to three Quebec-based spoken word, storytelling, or literary performance artists working primarily in English in any form of performative writing, including poetry, story, monologue, hip hop, dub, sound poetry, experimental or interdisciplinary work.

    Winners of the QWF Spoken Word Prize will receive a $1,000 cash prize and a featured spot at the 2023 Words & Music Show, Montreal's longest running spoken word poetry, literature and performance event

    The 2022 finalists are:

    • Deborah Braide
    • Liana Cusmano
    • Lucia De Luca
    • Roen Higgins
    • Erín Moure
    • Caitlin Murphy
    • Johanne Pelletier
    • Raïssa Simone

    The Quebec Writers' Federation is a non-profit organization that aims to support, connect and inspire English writers in Quebec. The winners will be announced at a gala event in Montreal on Monday, Nov. 14.

    Last year's winners included Love Like Water, Love Like Fire by Mikhail Iossel, Fighting for a Hand to Hold by Samir Shaheen-Hussain and Room for One More by Monique Polak.


    • This post was updated to reflect an author's change of name.
      May 18, 2023 12:18 PM ET

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