We’re pleased to provide the photos and bios for our 2919 Writing Competition Judges below. WFNB thanks them for the time, energy and dedication they provide in their thoughtful review of our many submissions. We also express our gratitude to each for the rich diversity and creative spirit they contribute to the Canadian literary scene.

David Adams Richards Prize (fiction manuscript)

Judge: Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce is the author of over 96 books of literary fiction, poetry, creative nonfiction and young adult novels. He runs Pottersfield Press and has worked as editor with a wide range of Canadian authors.

Choyce has been teaching English and Creative Writing at Dalhousie and other universities for over thirty years. He has won The Dartmouth Book Award, The Atlantic Poetry Prize and The Ann Connor Brimer Award and has been short-listed for the Governor-General’s Award. He surfs year-round in the North Atlantic. Home: Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia

Alfred G. Bailey Prize (poetry manuscript)

Judge: George Elliott Clarke

The 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-15) and the 7th Parliamentary/Canadian Poet Laureate (2016-17), George Elliott Clarke is a revered artist in song, drama, fiction, screenplay, essays, and poetry. Born in Windsor, Nova Scotia, in 1960, Clarke was educated at the University of Waterloo, Dalhousie University, and Queen’s University. Clarke is also a pioneering scholar of African-Canadian literature.

A professor of English at the University of Toronto, Clarke has taught at Duke, McGill, the University of British Columbia, and Harvard. He holds eight honorary doctorates, plus appointments to the Order of Nova Scotia and the Order of Canada at the rank of Officer. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. His recognitions include the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Fellows Prize, the Governor-General’s Award for Poetry, the National Magazine Gold Award for Poetry, the Premiul Poesis (Romania), the Dartmouth Book Award for Fiction, the Eric Hoffer Book Award for Poetry (US), and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Achievement Award.

Clarke’s work is the subject of Africadian Atlantic: Essays on George Elliott Clarke (2012), edited by Joseph Pivato. Finally, though Clarke is racialized “Black” and was socialized as an Africadian, he is a card-carrying member of the Eastland Woodland Métis Nation Nova Scotia, registered under Section 35 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. He is, at last, a proud Afro-Métis Africadian.

Douglas Kyle Memorial Prize (single short fiction)

Judge: Linda Little

Linda Little’s most recent novel is Grist (Roseway 2014). Her first children’s picture book, Work and More Work, was published by Groundwood in 2015. Her previous work includes two award-winning novels: Scotch River (Penguin 2006) and Strong Hollow (Goose Lane 2001). She has published short stories in many reviews and anthologies, including The Antigonish Review, Descant, Matrix, The Journey Prize Anthology, and The Penguin Book of Short Stories by Canadian Women. She teaches seasonally at the Dalhousie University Agricultural Campus.

Dawn Watson Memorial Prize (single poem

Judge: Sara Tilley

Sara Tilley’s work bridges writing, theatre, and Pochinko clown. She’s published two award-winning novels: Skin Room (Pedlar Press, 2008), and DUKE, (Pedlar Press, 2015), and written/ co-created twelve plays. The French translation of Skin Room, Écorchée (Marchand des feuilles, 2016) was defended by Antonine Maillet on Radio Canada’s Combat des livres 2018.

Sara’s poem Things That Are Like How I Felt That Year was the winner of the 2017 Compton Poetry Prize, and was published in Riddle Fence. She lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Fog Lit Books for Young People Prize

Judge: Charis Cotter

Charis Cotter is an award-winning children’s author who grew up beside a cemetery and has been living with ghosts ever since. She studied English in university and went to drama school in London, England. Now she lives at the end of a road by the ocean in Newfoundland, where the landscape and plentiful supply of ghosts inspire her work.

Her spooky, suspenseful novel, The Swallow: A Ghost Story, won the Violet Downey Book Award. The Painting won the Ann Connor Brimer Award for Children’s Literature and her most recent book, The Ghost Road, was featured on the cover of Booklist Magazine.

Charis has worked in schools and libraries across Canada, using drama and storytelling to bring her books to life. She has taken her performances of Newfoundland ghost stories from Pouch Cove to Bonavista, and from Florida to Vancouver Island. Over the years, Charis has been encouraging Newfoundland children to collect traditional ghost stories from their communities. She has published two books of these ghost stories, written and illustrated by the students.

Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen Writers

Judge: Janet Barkhouse

Janet Barkhouse’s poems and stories have been shared on CBC and in such journals as CV2, TNQ, TDR, Riddle Fence, Room, and the Literary Review of Canada. Barkhouse taught high school English, including International Baccalaureate English, for more than a decade, and is the author of three children’s books, Sable Island—Imagine!, Keeper of the Light, and Pit Pony, The Picture Book (after the award-winning children’s novel by her mother, Joyce Barkhouse).

Her recent poetry collection, Salt Fires, follows on two chapbooks, Sable Island Fieldnotes (with photographs by Zoe Lucas) and Silence. In 2013-14 she was an Artist in Residence at Dalhousie’s Medical School, through their Humanities-HEALS program.

PWAC-Southwest NB Narrative Nonfiction Prize

Judge: Lorri Neilsen Glenn

Lorri Neilsen Glenn’s most recent book is Following the River: Traces of Red River Women (Wolsak and Wynn), an award-winning mixed-genre exploration of the lives of her Ininiwak and Métis grandmothers and their contemporaries. Author and editor of several collections of poetry and nonfiction, Lorri has worked with writers across Canada and in Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, Greece and Chile and has served on national and regional literary juries.

Her award-winning essays have appeared in The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire, Event, among other journals and anthologies. Former Halifax Poet Laureate, Lorri is a mentor in the University of King’s College MFA program in creative nonfiction and Professor Emerita at Mount Saint Vincent University.

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