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Concordians win big at literary awards

Quebec Writers’ Federation prizes announced on Nov. 5
November 7, 2019
By Ian Harrison, BComm 00

Members of the Concordia community took home top honours at the 2019 Quebec Writers’ Federation awards last Tuesday. Held at Cabaret Lion d’Or, the event showcased Quebec’s rich English-language literary scene.

David Homel David Homel
Lindsay Nixon Lindsay Nixon
Susan Doherty Susan Doherty
Oana Avasilichioaei Oana Avasilichioaei
Maria Camila Arias Maria Camila Arias

Concordia alumni and faculty were well represented. Part-time Arts and Science instructor David Homel won the Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction for his seventh novel, The Teardown (Véhicule Press), about a middle-aged journalist mired in personal and professional crises.

Homel also won the MacLennan Prize in 2003 for his novel The Speaking Cure. His literary translations, often by Quebec authors, have garnered accolades as well, notably by the Governor General’s Literary Awards in 2001 and 1995.

The Concordia University First Book Prize, sponsored by the university, went to nîtisânak by Lindsay Nixon, BA 2016, MA 2018, a Cree-Métis-Saulteaux curator, editor and writer.

Publisher Metonymy Press describes Nixon’s work as a “ground-breaking memoir spanning nations, prairie punk scenes, and queer love stories.”

Susan Doherty, BSc 80, won the QWF’s Mavis Gallant Prize for Non-fiction for The Ghost Garden (Random House Canada), a work inspired by the writer’s first-hand experiences as a volunteer at the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

Oana Avasilichioaei, MA 2002, GrDip 2016, won the Cole Foundation Prize for Translation for The Faerie Devouring (Book*hug Press), her translation of Catherine Lalonde’s La dévoration de fées.

On Killing a Spider,” a work of fiction by Maria Camila Arias, BFA 2008, published in QWF’s online literary journal, carte blanche, was a finalist for the 3Macs carte blanche Prize.

Concordia student Curtis McRae was the 3rd place recipient of the QWF Prize for Young Writers for “We Should Change the Curtains,” a short story published in Soliloquies Anthology, Concordia’s undergraduate literary journal.

The QWF gala was hosted by Concordia grad Sonali Karnick, BA 00, host of All in a Weekend on CBC Radio. Winners each received a cash prize of $3,000.


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