Alberta Literary Awards

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Alberta Literary Awards

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The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is pleased to announce the winners of the 2020 Alberta Literary Awards and the Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. We are also thrilled to name the recipient of the 2020 Golden Pen Award for lifetime achievement. This year’s award winners were announced in an online video released on June 4, 2020. The video is available to watch on our Facebook page and YouTube channel.

This celebration marks the 38th anniversary of the Alberta Literary Awards and brought together writers from across Alberta. The Alberta Literary Awards were created by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta in 1982 to recognize excellence in writing by Alberta authors. This year, jurors deliberated over 220 submissions to select winners in the following eight categories.

The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is the largest provincial writers’ organization in Canada and was formed in 1980 to provide a meeting ground and collective voice for the writers of the province. Our mission is to inspire, connect, support, encourage, and promote writers and writing, to safeguard the freedom to write and read, and to advocate for the well-being of writers.

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The 2020 Alberta Literary Awards Winners

  • R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature (Sponsored by the Under the Arch Youth Foundation at The Calgary Foundation): Sue Farrell Holler (Grande Prairie) – Cold White Sun, Groundwood Books
  • Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction: Richard Van Camp (Edmonton) – Moccasin Square Gardens, Douglas & McIntyre
  • Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction: Naomi K. Lewis (Calgary) – Tiny Lights for Travellers, University of Alberta Press
  • Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama (Sponsored by Alberta Views) Tara Beagan (Calgary): Honour Beat, J. Gordon Shillingford Publishing
  • Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry (Sponsored by Stephan V. Benediktson) Billy-Ray Belcourt (Edmonton): NDN Coping Mechanisms, House of Anansi
  • James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction: Paulo da Costa (Calgary): Learning To Shave, Learning To Leave, The Fiddlehead
  • Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story (Sponsored by the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society): Ali Bryan (Calgary): The Big Man in Cargo Shorts, Alberta Views
  • Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award (Supported by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta Board of Directors): Julie Sedivy (Calgary), Telescoping
  • The 2020 WGA Golden Pen Award for Lifetime Achievement (Supported by Aritha van Herk): Vivian Hansen
  • The 2020 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize Winner: Marina Endicott – The Difference, Knopf Canada/Penguin Random House

The 2019 City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize Recipient

The winner of The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize will be revealed at a council meeting on Wednesday, June 15, 2020, at 9:30am alongside the full list of Calgary Awards recipients. These announcements will be live-streamed from

W.O. Mitchell award finalists include:

  • Sharon Butala for her story collection, Season of Fury and Wonder, published by Coteau Books (2019) + Freehand Books (2020 edition).
  • Naomi K. Lewis for her memoir, Tiny Lights for Travellers, published by the University of Alberta Press.
  •  Teresa Wong for her graphic memoir Dear Scarlet: The Story of my Postpartum Depression, published by Arsenal Pulp Press,

The City of Calgary established the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in honour of the late Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to celebrate literary achievements by Calgary authors. The $5,000 Book Prize is a partnership between the WGA and The City of Calgary.

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