Two lucky Ottawa writers will take home the prestigious Ottawa Book Award tonight for fiction and non-fiction books in English, with two more receiving the Prix du Livre d’Ottawa in the same categories in French.
Mayor Jim Watson will be presenting the awards at city hall at 7 p.m. The Ottawa Book Awards have been recognizing the city’s writers since 1986, marking 2016 as its 30th ceremony in a storied tradition of literary celebration.
English non-fiction finalists this year include Charlie Angus writing about Canada’s past mistreatment of First Nations children, Tim Cook penning “Fight to the Finish: Canadians in the Second World War, 1944-1945,” Norman Hillmer writing “O.D. Skelton: A Portrait of Canadian Ambition,” Roy MacGregor writing about the history of the canoe in Canada and Dan Rubinstein writing about the transformation of walking.
Fiction finalists are Nina Berkhout, who wrote “The Gallery of Lost Species,” Rhonda Douglas writing a short story collection about love and escape. Mark Frutkin wrote a book of poetry about a diverse range of subjects, Elizabeth Hay writing about a boy growing up and Nadine McInnis wrote poetry about how people accompany loved ones through the process of dying.
French non-fiction finalists are Jean Mohsen Fahmy, Jean-Daniel Lafond, Patricia Smart and Catherine Voyer-Léger. The fiction finalists include François Baril Pelletier, Pierre-Luc Bélanger, Pierre-Luc Landry, Gilles Latour and Michèle Matteau.
These authors have each received a $1,000 prize for being short-listed finalists, while each winner will receive a $7,500 prize. Copies of all the finalists’ books will be available at Perfect Books on Elgin Street.
In addition to these awards, the Archibald Lampman Award for Poetry, hosted by Arc Poetry Magazine will also be given out. The winner of this award will receive a $1,500 prize.
The application deadline for the 2017 Ottawa Book Award and Prix du Livre is Jan. 9, 2017 at 4 p.m.