Quarrington wins $20,000 Matt Cohen Award

Toronto writer and musician Paul Quarrington has won the Matt Cohen Award, a $20,000 prize awarded by the Writers' Trust of Canada.

Toronto writer and musician Paul Quarrington has won the Matt Cohen Award, a $20,000 prize awarded by the Writers' Trust of Canada.

The Matt Cohen Award — In Celebration of a Writing Life is presented to a Canadian for a body of distinguished work in poetry or prose. It is named for the late Canadian author Matt Cohen and has been awarded since 2000.

Quarrington, 56, is author of the novels Whale Music, King Leary and Galveston and his most recent, The Ravine, as well as screenplays for Whale Music and Perfectly Normal.

King Leary was awarded the Stephen Leacock Medal for Humour in 1987 and won CBC Radio's Canada Reads competition in 2008. Galveston was nominated for the Giller Prize in 2004.

Quarrington revealed in June that he is suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer.

This summer, he put his writing on hold while he toured the East Coast with his band, the Porkbelly Futures. Quarrington is a singer-guitarist with the blues-country group and recently recorded a solo album.

"I guess, to some extent, I'm just trying to get a lot in," Quarrington told CBC News in September. "One year isn't any less beautiful than 30 years."

He'll be presented with the Matt Cohen Award on Oct. 24 during  Paul Quarrington: A Life in Music, Words and on Screen, a program included in Toronto's International Festival of Authors.