Third Annual Kobo Emerging Writer prize winners announced

Rakuten Kobo (Toronto) has announced this year’s Emerging Writer Prize recipients. The best new Canadian writers of debut books in the Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and Non-Fiction categories each received a $10,000 (CAD) cash prize as well as promotional, marketing and communications support to help launch their careers.

And the winners are…..

Lynne Kutsukake.
Lynne Kutsukake.

The Literary Fiction prize was awarded to Lynne Kutsukake for The Translation of Love, published by Knopf Canada – an emotionally gripping portrait of postwar Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a classmate find her missing sister. Author Zoe Whittall, this year’s Literary Fiction judge, added: “The Translation of Love is a tremendously accomplished work, a propulsive and layered story, the scope of which is quite unusual for a first novel. I was gripped and often very moved while reading, and it stayed with me for weeks.”

Dee Willson.
Dee Willson.

The Speculative Fiction prize was awarded to Dee Willson for A Keeper’s Truth, published by Driven Press. Every one of us has a soul. Some are new, some old, and a few, The Dangerous, are lost. But only twelve know why we have a soul at all. Only twelve remember mankind’s forbidden past. Author Kelley Armstrong, this year’s Speculative Fiction judge, added: “A Keeper’s Truth strikes a fine balance for genre fiction, finding freshness within the conventions. The plot finds an equal balance between research and imagination, while never sacrificing characterization.”

Teva Harrison.
Teva Harrison.

The Non-Fiction prize was awarded to Teva Harrison for In-Between Days, published by House of Anansi Press. Harrison was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. In this brilliant and inspiring graphic memoir, she documents, through comic illustration and short personal essays, what it means to live with the disease. Author Ross King, this year’s Non-Fiction judge added: “In-Between Days is an absolutely mesmerizing read. Without ever becoming sentimental or self-pitying, Harrison explores an unbearable situation with honesty, courage, humour and heart-breaking poignancy. Her account of dealing with a terrifying cancer diagnosis ultimately becomes an uplifting celebration of living.”

More about the prize and Rakuten Kobo

The winners were selected from a shortlist of talented Canadian authors, chosen by Kobo’s team of booksellers – with book completion rates, customer ratings and reviews also taken into consideration. The Kobo Emerging Writer prize is eligible each year to Canadian citizens or legal residents of Canada who published debut books during the previous calendar year in the categories of Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (Speculative Fiction this year – a different genre is highlighted each year), or Non-Fiction.

All submitted books must be available at Kobo.com. Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s top eReading services, offering more than 5 million eBooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading, offering an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any reader’s style – including the Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE. Its eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world.

 

 

 

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Tony Curcio is the editor of Graphic Arts Magazine.