I’m thrilled and honoured to be awarded this year’s Writers’ Trust of Canada’s Dayne Ogilvie Grant for Emerging Gay Writer. From the WTC’s press release:
Writers’ Trust Identifies Farzana Doctor as Writer to Watch:
Toronto-based Activist to Receive Dayne Ogilvie Grant
Toronto, ON – June 1, 2011 – The Writers’ Trust of Canada announced today that Farzana Doctor will receive the fifth annual Dayne Ogilvie Grant at a special event on June 20, 2011. The $4,000 grant, funded by an endowment established by Robin Pacific, is given annually to an emerging gay or lesbian writer who demonstrates great literary promise through a body of work of exceptional quality.
Farzana Doctor is the author of two novels, Stealing Nasreen and Six Metres of Pavement. Doctor has also written on social work and diversity-related topics, and provides private practice consulting and psychotherapy services. She is a long-time activist in the queer and South Asian communities and is a co-curator of the Brockton Writers Series. She lives in Toronto.
The winner was selected by a jury composed of authors Jen Sookfong Lee, Jeffrey Round, and Zoe Whittall. They said of Doctor:
With her first novel, Stealing Nasreen, and now her discerning new novel, Six Metres of Pavement, it’s hard to imagine a gentler protestor than Farzana Doctor, but protest she does: racism, sexism, ageism, and homophobia all fall before her gentle yet powerful touch. She is a writer to cherish and reread when we feel the world lacks a moral centre.
The jury also selected two writers to receive an Honour of Distinction: Dani Couture and Matthew J. Trafford. Each writer will receive $250. Both recipients are eligible to receive the Dayne Ogilvie Grant in the future.
Dani Couture is the Toronto-based author of two poetry collections, including Sweet, which is nominated for the 2011 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Her first novel, Algoma, will be released this fall by Invisible Publishing.
Matthew J. Trafford’s debut story collection, The Divinity Gene, was released earlier this year. He has published fiction widely in magazines and anthologies, and won the Far Horizons Award for Short Fiction. Trafford lives in Toronto.
“The Dayne Ogilvie Grant is the only program of its kind in Canada and it is having a measureable impact on gay and lesbian writers,” said Don Oravec, Executive Director of the Writers’ Trust. “Past recipients, like Michael V. Smith and Zoe Whittall, have used the grant money to find the time and space to work on and publish new books.”
About the Grant The 2011 Dayne Ogilvie Grant will be presented at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre on June 20 at noon. Hosted by Julie Wilson of Book Madam & Associates, this free event will include a panel discussion featuring the winner and honour of distinction recipients, members of the jury, and the grant founder. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dayne Ogilvie was a highly respected freelance book editor and writer. His close friend Robin Pacific established this grant after Ogilvie’s death in 2006. Writers who identify themselves as gay or lesbian are eligible, and although the grant has no age restriction, it is intended to reward developing writers.
About the Writers’ Trust The Writers’ Trust of Canada is a charitable organization that seeks to advance, nurture, and celebrate Canadian writers and writing through a portfolio of programs, including literary awards, financial grants, scholarships, and a writers’ retreat. Writers’ Trust programming is designed to champion excellence in Canadian writing, to improve the status of writers, and to create connections between writers and readers. Canada’s writers receive more financial support from the Writers’ Trust than from any other non-governmental organization or foundation in the country.