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Writers' Trust Names Future Star of Canadian Literature

 

Erin Frances Fisher wins RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

 

TORONTO, May 28, 2014 -  The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced last night the winner of the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, which shines the spotlight on some of Canada’s most talented emerging writers, giving them much needed exposure, funding and mentorship opportunities. The award has a track record for identifying some of this country’s finest developing writers.

Erin Frances Fisher, a 31-year-old from Victoria, B.C. won the $5,000 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her short story “Girl.” Her work has been published in Riddle Fence, Little Fiction, and Granta and she has previously won PRISM International’s fiction contest and The Malahat Review’s Open Season Award. She holds a BFA in writing and an MFA in fiction from the University of Victoria. Fisher is also a trained pianist who teaches at the Victoria Conservatory of Music.

The prize alternates between poetry and short fiction each year, rewarding writers under age 35 who are unpublished in book form. It is supported by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, which invests in up-and-coming artists to help build their professional careers. The award, which also celebrated its 20th anniversary, was presented at an event at Toronto’s Royal Conservatory of Music hosted by novelist and poet Michael Crummey, who won the inaugural prize in 1994.

Jurors Michelle Berry, Diane Schoemperlen, and Tanis Rideout selected the winner from 133 submissions. Of Fisher’s winning story they wrote:

    A visceral tale guaranteed to make you shiver, “Girl” reminds us of the truth that humans are more than blood and bone. With a surprising and perfect ending, flawless sentences throughout, and a consistently realistic tone, this short story is as vast and satisfying as a great novel. Erin Frances Fisher is a writer you will see again.

Two finalists received $1,000 each: Leah Jane Esau, a 28-year-old based in Montreal, for “Dream Interpretation” and Jakub Stachurski, a 30-year-old from Toronto, for “Screen Capture.” Each juror committed to mentoring one of the finalists to offer feedback on their writing and guidance on their career development.

The winning and nominated stories are available for free download on iBooks at iTunes.com/BronwenWallace (opens external website in new window).

“Erin Frances Fisher is the 20th winner of an award known for identifying the upcoming stars of Canadian literature,” said Mary Osborne, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust of Canada. “We look forward to watching her career flourish and celebrating her future successes.” "I would like to congratulate our winner, Erin Frances Fisher, on such a significant achievement early in her writing career," said Shari Austin, Vice President, Corporate Citizenship of RBC and Executive Director of the RBC Foundation. "We are proud to support the Writers’ Trust of Canada, and the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award, which helps to identify and profile talented emerging writers."

About Bronwen Wallace
Bronwen Wallace was a poet, short story writer, and mentor to many young writers as a creative writing instructor at Queen's University and St. Lawrence College in Kingston. This prize was established in her honour in 1994 by a group of friends and colleagues. Wallace felt that writers should have more opportunities for recognition early in their careers and so this annual award is given to a writer below the age of 35 who has published poetry or prose in literary magazines, journals, or anthologies, but has not yet been published in book form.

About the Award
In its 20-year history, the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award has distinguished 69 young writers with a nomination and many have gone on to receive literary acclaim. Past winners include Stephanie Bolster, Marjorie Celona, Jeramy Dodds, Alison Pick, and Alissa York.

About RBC’s Commitment to Community and Sustainability
Royal Bank of Canada is Canada's largest bank and one of the largest banks in the world, based on market capitalization. For more information, please visit rbc.com. RBC is recognized among the world’s financial, social, and environmental leaders and is listed on the 2014 Dow Jones Sustainability World Index, the DJSI North American Index, the Jantzi Social Index, and the FTSE4Good Index. RBC is one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, and one of Canada’s 50 Most Socially Responsible Corporations.

RBC supports a broad range of community initiatives through donations, sponsorships, and employee volunteer activities. In 2013, RBC contributed more than $104 million to causes worldwide, including donations and community investments of more than $69 million and $35 million in sponsorships. Learn more at rbc.com/community-sustainability.

About the Writers’ Trust of Canada
The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country. For more information, please visit writerstrust.com (opens external website in new window).

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For more information and interview opportunities, contact:
Mary Osborne (416-504-8222, mosborne@writerstrust.com)
Alicia DeBoer (416-974-2131, alicia.deboer@rbc.com)