Jen Neale has won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers for her story “Elk-Headed Man.”
The Writers’ Trust of Canada presented the $5,000 prize to the 28-year-old Vancouver writer at a ceremony in Toronto on Wednesday evening. The award celebrates the work of authors under the age of 35, who have yet to publish in book form.
The jury — consisting of Alexander MacLeod, Johanna Skibsrud, and Madeleine ThÃen — describes Neale’s story as one that “has it all: pure imaginative power, sharp humour, emotional honesty and real insight. Throw in a hard-to-resist main character “ he’s the strong silent type “ and add a few flourishes of raw writerly style and you get a finely crafted story that re-plants the hot seed of Latin American magic realism into the cold heart of the Canadian wilderness.”
Other shortlisted stories included Dina Del Bucchia’s Under the ˜I’ and Kathy Friedman’s At the Bottom of the Garden. Both runners-up received $1,000.
All three shortlisted titles are available as free downloads through Apple’s iBookstore.