Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Announcing the Short List for the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

The City of Calgary, the Writers Guild of Alberta and Uptown 17 BRZ are pleased to announce the short list authors for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, one of 17 awards presented as part of The Calgary Awards.

The three finalists include Betty Jane Hegerat for The Boy (Oolichan Books), Suzette Mayr for Monoceros (Coach House Books), and Cathy Ostlere for Karma  (Puffin Canada).

The 2012 W.O. Mitchell Book Prize will be presented at
The Calgary Awards June 13, 2012
In The Boy, Betty Jane Hegerat mixes fiction and non-fiction about a true-life murder case that took place in Alberta in the 1950s and the subsequent hanging of the son convicted of his father’s murder. Betty Jane is a social worker by profession, but for the past ten years has been involved in writing and teaching creative writing. This is Betty Jane’s fourth book.

Monoceros is Suzette Mayr’s tragicomic novel about the after-effects of the suicide of a 17 year old high school student. A story about love, death, unicorns and Wonder Woman drag Queens, Monoceros is a study of grief and unexpected joy. Suzette is the author of four novels and was born and raised in Calgary. She teaches creative writing at the University of Calgary.

In Karma, Cathy Ostlere tells the story of fifteen-year-old Maya, a young Hindu/Sikh girl traveling to India from Canada in 1984 with the ashes of her mother. The country is in turmoil, Indira Ganhdi has been assassinated, Maya becomes separated from her father throwing her life into chaos. Cathy Ostlere was born in Portage La Prairie, Manitoba and moved to Calgary in 1985. Karma is her first novel written for young adults.

The City of Calgary established the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in honour of the late Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors. The $5000 prize is awarded each year for an outstanding book published in the award year. The 2010 recipient was Clem Martini and Olivier Martini for Bitter Medicine.

The winner of The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize will be recognized at The Calgary Awards presentation on June 13, 2012. The Calgary Awards will be televised live on Shaw TV.

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