Second annual Kobo Emerging Writer Prize shortlist announced

kobowritingprize2016-inE-book retailer Rakuten Kobo, in search of the best new books written by debut Canadian authors, has announced the shortlist for its second annual Emerging Writer Prize. The award was created with the goal of kick-starting the careers of debut authors with a $10,000 (CAD) cash prize awarded to a book in each of three categories – Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction and Genre Fiction (Romance). In addition, each winning author will receive promotional, marketing and communications support throughout 2016. The shortlist, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers among traditional and self-published titles, comprises six books from each genre. The shortlist will now move on to the final selection process, led by top Canadian authors Camilla Gibb for Non-Fiction, Gail Anderson-Dargatz for Literary Fiction, and Lynsay Sands for Genre Fiction (Romance). Winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. Below are the shortlisted writers along with their titles and publishers. We wish them all good luck!


  • Let the Elephants Run by David Usher – House of Anansi Press
  • Born to Walk by Dan Rubinstein – ECW Press
  • That Lonely Section of Hell by Lori Shenher – Greystone Books
  • The Right to Be Cold by Sheila Watt-Cloutier – Penguin Canada
  • The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew – Penguin Canada
  • Beyond the Pale by Emily Urquhart – HarperCollins Canada

Literary Fiction

  • Meadowlark by Wendi Stewart – NeWest Press
  • Pillow by Andrew Battershill – Coach House Books
  • Specimen by Irina Kovalyova – House of Anansi Press
  • Debris by Kevin Hardcastle – Biblioasis
  • Birdie by Tracey Lindberg – HarperCollins Canada
  • Nothing Like Love by Sabrina Ramnanan – Doubleday Canada

Genre Fiction (Romance)

  • Operation Wildcat by Megan Michelau – Self-Published
  • Fury’s Kiss by Nicola R. White – Strange Roads Press
  • Sway by Melanie Stanford – Samhain Publishing Limited
  • The Sisters of Versailles by Sally Christie – Atria Books
  • Kiss and Makeup by Taryn Leigh Taylor – Harlequin
  • No Conventional Miss by Eleanor Webster – Harlequin



Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.