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Short fiction and poetry finalists announced for the 2020 Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers

Short-fiction finalists (l-r): Jamaluddin Aram, Leah Mol, and Omer Friedlander

The finalists have been announced for the 2020 RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. For the first time, both the short fiction and poetry categories will be presented simultaneously. The prizes for unpublished short fiction and poetry have previously been presented in alternating years.

The prizes are presented to authors under the age of 35 whose work has appeared in a literary publication or anthology but have yet to publish a book. Each finalist will receive $2,500 and a mentorship from an established editor. The winner in each category will receive $10,000.

Winners will be announced on October 21 as part of the Writers’ Trust Awards: Emerging Writers Edition. The virtual event will also include the winners of the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers and the Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. The shortlist for the Dayne Ogilvie prize will be announced on Aug. 25 and the shortlist for the Journey Prize will be announced on Aug. 26.

The Bronwen Wallace finalists – selected by jurors Kris Bertin, Djamila Ibrahim, and Carrianne Leung (fiction) and Klara du Plessis, Benjamin Hertwig, and Canisia Lubrin (poetry) – are listed below.

Short fiction

  • “This Hard Easy Life,” Jamaluddin Aram
  • “Palestinian Still Life,” Omer Friedlander
  • “Six Things My Father Taught Me About Bears,” Leah Mol


  • “c:ode,” nina jane drystek
  • “Selection from [CA$H4GOLD],” Zoe Imani Sharpe
  • “Selections from Winter Stars Visible in December,” Alexa Winik