Newfoundland-based novelist and poet Michael Crummey has been named the first of three recipients of the Writers’ Trust of Canada’s new writing fellowship, launched to celebrate the nation’s 150th anniversary. Crummey was honoured with the $50,000 prize – which also includes a two-week self-directed writing residency at the lauded Banff Centre – at the Writers’ Trust gala at Toronto’s Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Nov. 25. The Bronwen Wallace Memorial and Timothy Findley Award–winning author has also been a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and, twice, the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, most recently for his 2014 novel, Sweetland. Crummey’s forthcoming poetry collection, Little Dogs, is due from House of Anansi Press in spring 2016.
“The Writers’ Trust Fellowship was so unexpected, so extravagant and unlikely, that I’m still in shock. It means time to work, of course, something all writers fight for,” Crummey said in a press release. “And, given the literary talent in this country, it’s a huge honour even to have been considered.”
The program aims to provide financial security to authors of poetry, fiction, literary non-fiction, or books for young people at any stage in their careers who exhibit extraordinary potential and creative ability in their work. The remaining two fellows will be announced over the next two years, as selected by a multi-tier process involving a panel of experts in Canadian literature and a final selection committee.