Susan Sanford Blades, Kristyn Dunnion & Simina Banu win 2021 ReLit Awards

The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses.

The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses

Books by Susan Sanford Blades, Kristyn Dunnion & Simina Banu were winners at the 2021 ReLit Awards. ( Nightwood Editions , Biblioasis, Coach House Books)

Susan Sanford Blades, Kristyn Dunnion and Simina Banu are the winners of the 2021 ReLit Awards.

The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses.

Blades won the novel category for Fake It So Real.

Fake It So Real is a novel set in the punk scene in 1980s British Columbia. In 1983, Gwen meets Damien, a leader of a band. They get together, but after having two kids and spending seven years together, Damien leaves Gwen, leaving her to raise their two daughters on her own.

Blades is a writer from Victoria. Fake It So Real is her first novel. It was also shortlisted for the 2021 Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

Dunnion won the short fiction category for Stoop City.

Stoop City is a short story collection about a cast of colourful characters that comprise a gritty, unique community. 

Dunnion is a writer and musician from Ontario. She is also the author of the novels The Dirt Chronicles and Tarry This Night.

Banu won the poetry category for Pop.

Pop explores love, and what comes after. Banu plays with structure, lyricism and visuals in this original and humorous collection.

Banu is a poet from Montreal. Pop is her first poetry collection.

The prize was first founded in 2000 by Newfoundland filmmaker and author Kenneth J. Harvey. The year 2017 marked the last year the prizes were previously awarded.

The ReLit Awards are now being managed by Harvey's daughter, Katherine Alexandra Harvey. 

To bring the awards up to date, the prizes will announce the shortlists and winners for 2018-2021 in April, with each week in the month being devoted to a single year.

Winners receive the ReLit Ring, which consists of four dials that are inscribed with the alphabet. However, Harvey says financial donations are needed to ensure this tradition continues.

The 2020 shortlist and winners will be the final set of announcements. The winners for 2018 and 2019 were announced earlier in April.

Past winners include Bill Gaston, Souvankham Thammavongsa, Lisa Moore, Ivan Coyote, Megan Gail Coles and Suzette Mayr.

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