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Kobo announces finalists for $10,000 Emerging Writer Prize

Scaachi Koul (Barbora Simkova)

Rakuten Kobo announced finalists for its fourth annual Emerging Writer Prize on May 1. Six debut authors were selected in three categories: literary fiction; non-fiction; and genre fiction, with the 2018 Genre category spotlighting mysteries. The winner in each of the three categories will receive $10,000, plus promotional and marketing support.

The 2018 finalists are:


Literary fiction

  • The Church in the Wildwood, by Alanna Rusnak (Alanna Rusnak Publishing)
  • Death and the Intern, by Jeremy Hanson-Finger (Invisible Publishing)
  • American Warby Omar El Akkad (McClelland & Stewart)
  • Uncertain Weights and Measuresby Jocelyn Parr (Goose Lane)
  • The Last Wave, by Gillian Best (House of Anansi Press)
  • Dominion, by Shane Arbuthnott (Orca Book Publishers)


  • The Doll’s Alphabet, by Camilla Grudova (Coach House Books)
  • Our Little Secret, by Roz Nay (S&S Canada)
  • Full Curl, by Dave Butler (Dundurn)
  • The Lost Ones, by Sheena Kamal (HarperCollins)
  • Ragged Lake, by Ron Corbett (ECW Press)
  • The Twelve Man Bilbo Choir, by Peter Staadecker (Robert P. Staadecker)

Finalists were chosen by Kobo booksellers and readers, with book completion rates, customer ratings, and reviews factored into who made the shortlist. The winners will be chosen by established Canadian authors: novelist Lori Lansens for the literary fiction category, The Science of Why writer and scientist Jay Ingram for non-fiction, and popular mystery author Linwood Barclay for genre fiction.

The winners will be announced on the evening of June 19.