This year’s Manitoba Book Awards were scheduled to be announced online at 11 a.m. June 11 and I was on that day camping at a nearby provincial park. Fortunately, the park had cell service so I spent the morning looking at my phone and refreshing the browser just in case the organizers released it early. At exactly 11 a.m. my whoop startled the wildlife. After a string of runner-up finishes for my first novel and my plays, I finally won something!
(My publisher – Five Star/Gale — is based in Maine and doesn’t have a lot of distribution in Canada. If you can’t pick up a copy in Winnipeg at McNally Robinson Booksellers, you can get it at this little online site named after a big South American river.
I’ll be taking part in an event this fall at the WInnipeg International Writers’ Festival with fellow Manitoba Book Award winners. Before that happens, I’ll be reading from my short story The Symbolic Cemetery, published recently in Prairie Fire Magazine, at an event June 28 at Little Brown Jug brewery. It’s the first in-person event Prairie Fire has held since the pandemic began.
For non-Canadian readers, Margaret Laurence was one of the founding authors in the establishment of Canadian literature in the 1960s and ’70s as a viable national literature. Her novels The Stone Angel and The Diviners, both set in Manitoba, were staples of high school and college English reading lists for decades.