Books

Simone Dalton wins $10K RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award

The prize was established to recognize and help a published early career Canadian author who is working on a first draft of a new manuscript, preferably but not limited to literary nonfiction. 
Simone Dalton is a writer and social change communicator. (Danielle Jessamy)

Simone Dalton is the winner of the 2020 RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award.

The prize includes $10,000 and a mentorship from the current RBC Taylor Prize winner Mark Bourrie.

The RBC Taylor Emerging Writer Award was established to recognize and help a published early career Canadian author who is working on a first draft of a new manuscript, preferably but not limited to literary nonfiction. 

As the 2020 RBC Taylor Prize recipient, Bourrie chose this year's winner.

The Taylor Prize recognizes the best Canadian literary nonfiction. Bourrie won for his book Bush Runner, which is the story of explorer and Hudson Bay Company founder Pierre-Esprit Radisson. 

In a press release, Bourrie said he selected Dalton because her "experiences, so varied, adventurous and intense, give her the emotional depth to be a great writer. As well, her kindness, humour and open-mindedness will make her work so very readable."

Pierre-Esprit Radisson played a vital role in the creation of the Hudson Bay Company but according to author Mark Bourrie, the 17th century explorer was more hustler than hero. 27:58

Dalton, now based in Boston, debuted her inaugural short play, VOWS, at Soulpepper as part of RARE Theatre's production, Welcome to My Underworld.

Her work was featured in The Unpublished City: Volume I, and in the anthology, Black Writers Matter. The Trinidadian-Canadian writer is currently working on her first memoir. Dalton was a reader for the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

"I am humbled by this gift in a time when equity and precariousness in the arts are top of mind. Nothing prepares you to receive this kind of generosity, nothing but the stories you have the privilege to share as a writer," Dalton said in a press release.

Previous recipients of the RBC Taylor Prize Emerging Writer Award include Jessica J. Lee, who was selected by Kate Harris in 2019 and Alicia Elliott, who was selected by Tanya Talaga in 2018.

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