Current Award Winners
The Canadian Authors Association (CAA), creator of the Governor General's medals for literature, continues its long tradition of honouring Canadian writers of various genres whose works have achieved excellence without sacrificing popular appeal.
The shortlist finalists for this year's competition were announced at the association's CanWrite! 2012 conference in Orillia, Ontario.
2012 Awards Readings & Dinner
The winners for each of the four categories were announced at the CAA Literary Awards Dinner on Saturday, July 28, 2012, during the Leacock Summer Festival held at the Leacock Museum National Historic Site in Orillia, Ontario.
Awards History & Guidelines
Follow the links within each of the awards listings for past winners and more information about the individual awards. Check the Award Guidelines for additional information about award qualifications for these winners.
The CAA Awards for Adult Literature
CAA Award for Fiction
For a full-length novel
The 2012 winner is Patrick deWitt, Portland, Oregon, for The Sisters Brothers (House of Anansi Press). Prize: $2000 and a silver medal.
Patrick deWitt was born on Vancouver Island in 1975. He is the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Sisters Brothers, which won the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son.
CAA/Lela Common Award for Canadian History
To recognize excellence in the writing of Canadian history
The 2012 winner is Richard Gwyn, Toronto, Ontario, for Nation Maker (Random House Canada). Prize: $2000 and a silver medal.
Richard Gwyn is an award-winning author and political columnist. He is widely known as a commentator for the Toronto Star on national and international affairs and as a frequent contributor to television and radio programs. His books include two highly praised biographies, Smallwood: The Unlikely Revolutionary on Newfoundland premier Joey Smallwood, and The Northern Magus on Pierre Elliott Trudeau. His book, Nationalism Without Walls: The Unbearable Lightness of Being Canadian, was selected by the Literary Review of Canada as one of the 100 most important books published in Canada. The first volume of Gwyn's biography of Macdonald was published in 2007, became a national bestseller and won the Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction.
The CAA Poetry Award
For a volume of poetry by one poet
The 2012 winner is Goran Simić, Edmonton, Alberta, for Sunrise in the Eyes of the Snowman (Biblioasis). Prize: $2000 and a silver medal.
Goran Simić was born in Bosnia in 1952 and has been living in Canada since 1996, mostly in Toronto. He has published eleven books of poetry, drama, and short fiction, including Immigrant Blues, From Sarajevo With Sorrow, Sunrise in the Eyes of the Snowman and Yesterday's People.
The CAA Emerging Writer Award
For the Canadian (or permanent resident) writer under 30 deemed to show most promise in the field of literary creation
The 2012 winner is Ryan Flavelle, Edmonton, Alberta, for Patrol (HarperCollins Canada Publishers Ltd.). Prize: $500.
Ryan Flavelle joined the Canadian Forces reserves as a signaller in 2001, and in 2008 he volunteered to go to Afghanistan. Upon returning, he enrolled in the graduate program at the Centre for Military and Strategic Studies at the University of Calgary. His research into battle exhaustion during the Second World War took first prize in the Journal of Military and Strategic Studies Awards for Excellence. Flavelle lives in Calgary with his family.
The Allan Sangster Award
For long and meritorious service to the Association
The Allan Sangster Award honours one of the CAA's own members for long and meritorious service to the Association. Learn more about this award and its history
The recipient of the 2012 Allan Sangster Award is Mae Denby, Secretary/Treasurer and Chair, Governance Committee on the CAA board of directors; former President of the Niagara Branch.
Mae Denby is a Manitoban who developed a love for reading and writing early in life. After a lengthy career as a teacher and an education administrator, she combined her two life-long passions, writing and teaching, by offering courses and workshops in memoir writing. These have been conducted in numerous communities, independently and within the Continuing Education program at Brock University. She has for several years taught English as a second language in Mexico. Her articles have appeared in various publications.
Years of leadership experience in not-for-profit organizations have allowed Mae to develop her expertise in governance. She has given workshops and seminars privately and through Niagara College for community leaders on matters related to Board structure, policy development, roles and relationships, and performance evaluation. As a private consultant she has guided a number of organizations through their own strategic planning process. She has continued to apply her understanding to strategic planning at the national level at CAA.
Mae lived with her artist husband in St. Catharines, Ontario, for over two decades; they recently moved back to Manitoba to be near kids, grandkids, and siblings.
- Anita Purcell
- Executive Director
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Winners of CAA Literary Awards Revealed (PDF – 71k)
Updated July 30, 2012