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Jillian Christmas wins $10,000 Dayne Ogilvie Prize

Jillian Christmas (K. Ho)

Vancouver writer Jillian Christmas has won the $10,000 Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ2S+ Emerging Writers.

Christmas is the spoken-word curator of the Vancouver Writers Fest and author of the poetry collection The Gospel of Breaking.

The award was presented in a virtual ceremony on June 23. In a release, Christmas said she was “so honoured to be a part of this lineage of LGBTQ2SIA+ writers who have created phenomenal and beloved works.”

In their citation, the jurors called Christmas “a writer of exceptional skill who circles back on memory and consciousness [and] challenges us, through her own compassion and vulnerability, to confront oppression and to imagine new possibilities for justice and belonging.”

Christmas was one of three finalists for the award. The other two finalists will each receive $1,000.

The finalists were chosen by a jury composed of authors Daniel Allen Cox, Eva Crocker, and Danny Ramadan. The award is presented to an emerging queer writer whose work shows “great literary promise.” Previous winners include Zoe Whittall, Kai Cheng Thom, and last year’s recipient Arielle Twist.