We’re pleased to provide the photos and bios for our 2919/20 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: Donna Morrisey

Donna Morrissey  publishes through Penguin Canada and has written six nationally best-selling novels.  She has received awards in Canada, the U.S. and England and her novel, Sylvanus Now was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Prize. Donna’s fiction has been translated into several different languages. She was nominated for a Gemini for her script, The Clothesline Patch (which won a Gemini for best production).

Her latest novel, The Fortunate Brother, spent six weeks on the best seller list, and won the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel of 2017. Aside from mentoring with Humber College in Toronto, Donna teaches part-time at Dalhousie University,  and is eagerly at work on her seventh novel plus a memoir, both to be released by Penguin in 2020.

In her spare time she splays on the couch, watching Dr. Seuss with her grandson, Bentley.

Douglas Kyle Memorial Prize (single short fiction)

Judge: Ida Linehan Young

First and foremost, Ida Linehan Young is a grandmother to the most extraordinary little boys, Parker and Samuel, a mother to three adult children, Sharon, Stacey, and Shawna, and a wife to Thomas. By day she works in the information technology sector of the federal government and has recently forayed into learning the French language in the hopes of becoming bilingual.

Ida started writing several years ago and published her memoir, No Turning Back: Surviving the Linehan Family Tragedy, in 2014, followed by historical fiction novels, Being Mary Ro, in 2018 and The Promise in 2019. Influenced by her love of local history and the familial art of storytelling passed down by her father and her maternal grandfather, Ida writes stories about the history of her beloved province, Newfoundland and Labrador, and its people. She enjoys writing historical fiction to keep the past alive for generations to come and is currently working on her third novel. Find Ida on Facebook, Twitter, or instagram: @idalinehanyoung or on her website:  www.idalinehanyoung.ca 

Dawn Watson Memorial Prize (single poem

Judge: Barry Dempster

Barry Dempster, twice nominated for the Governor Generals Award, is the author of sixteen collections of poetry, his most recent being LATE STYLE, published by Pedlar Press; three volumes of short stories, the latest, TREAD AND OTHER STORIES , published in 2018;  two novels; and a children’s book. In 2010 & 2015, he was a finalist for the Ontario Premiers Award for Excellence in the Arts. He was also nominated for the 2014 Trillium Award for his second novel, THE OUTSIDE WORLD.  He lives north of Toronto in the marshlands of Holland Landing.

Fog Lit Books for Young People Prize

Judge: Jan Coates

Jan Coates lives in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, with her husband Don and dog, Charlie. Her kids, sadly, are both married and living in Ontario. Jan is the author of almost 30 books for young readers. Her books have been a finalist for several awards, including the Governor General’s Literary Award (Children’s Text), the Ann Connor Brimer (Atlantic Book) Award, The Lillian Shepherd Award, The Violet Downey Award, CCBC Best Books for Kids, Hackmatack and Willow Awards (young readers’ choice awards.) Other than writing, learning to illustrate, riding her bike and being outside, Jan loves visiting schools through the Writers in the Schools program as sponsored by the Nova Scotia Writers’ Federation.

Sheree Fitch Prize for Teen Writers

Judge: Heather Smith

Originally from Newfoundland, Heather Smith now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Her middle-grade novel, Ebb & Flow, was short-listed for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was the winner of the 2019 TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Heather’s young adult novel, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe, was named one of the Globe and Mail’s 100 Best Books of 2017 and was the winner of the 2019 White Pine award. Heather has also written three picture books: Angus All Aglow, A Plan for Pops, and The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden. Heather’s Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing..

Narrative Nonfiction Prize

Judge: Judy McFarlane

Judy McFarlane’s memoir, Writing with Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome, was published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2014. It was selected as an Editor’s Choice by Reader’s Digest and was shortlisted for the 2015 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Nonfiction.

A graduate of UBC’s MFA program, McFarlane’s writing has appeared in newspapers, anthologies and been reprinted in Reader’s Digest. She has produced radio documentaries for CBC and won awards for her fiction and non-fiction. In 2012 she was a finalist for CBC’s literary non-fiction prize. Currently she’s working on a nonfiction project in northern Ontario and a novel set in the near future.

Alfred G. Bailey Prize (poetry manuscript)

Judge: Mark Callanan was one of the founding editors of the St. John’s-based literary journal Riddle Fence, and a co-editor of The Breakwater Book of Contemporary Newfoundland Poetry (Breakwater Books, 2013). He currently hosts the yearly North Atlantic Poetry Series. Romantic, his third poetry collection, will be published in 2021. He lives in St. John’s with poet-critic Andreae Callanan and their four children.

Copyright © Dandelion by Pexeto