Fourth Annual Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Shortlist Announced
Canada’s hottest new books have been selected in three genres: Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction and Mystery
Toronto, ON – May 1st 2018 – Rakuten Kobo, in search for the best new books written by debut Canadian authors, today announced the shortlist for its fourth annual Emerging Writer Prize. The award was created with the goal of kick-starting the careers of debut authors, with a $10,000 CAD cash prize awarded to a book in each of three categories: Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, and Genre Fiction (Mystery this year). In addition, each winning author will receive promotional, marketing, and communications support through 2018.
The 2018 shortlist, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers and booklovers—with book completion rates, customer ratings and reviews considered—comprises six books from each genre. The shortlist will now move on to the final selection process led by top Canadian authors: Lori Lansens for Literary Fiction, Jay Ingram for Non-Fiction and Linwood Barclay for Mystery. The winners will be announced on the evening of June 19th, 2018.
The Church In The Wildwood by Alanna Rusnak - Alanna Rusnak Publishing
Death and the Intern by Jeremy Hanson-Finger - Invisible Publishing
American War by Omar El Akkad - McClelland & Stewart
Uncertain Weights and Measures by Jocelyn Parr - Goose Lane Editions
The Last Wave by Gillian Best - House of Anansi Press
Dominion by Shane Arbuthnott - Orca Book Publishers
"The novel is beautifully poignant. Its emotional undercurrents are presented in a quietly powerful style, free of manufactured melodrama. Details are carefully chosen and breathe life into depictions of Dover and France. Martha’s myrtle bush, a plant usually found near the sea, is a lovely recurring symbol of the connections, however loose, that hold her family together. It takes on human form in Harriet’s daughter, Myrtle, an eager young swimmer who establishes a link between Harriet’s wife, Iris, and Martha."
By MEAGAN LOGSDON (March/April 2018)
To read more, click here.
At the Winter Institute, in Memphis, TN, I had the pleasure of meeting a lot of really cool, really interesting indie booksellers. Last weekend, I caught up with one of them: Ben Rybeck, of Brazos Bookstore (and himself an author), and had a nice chat about zombies, TV adverts, and The Last Wave.
Here's a wee extract:
“The sea,” author Gillian Best tells me, “is just like zombies. It’s everywhere, and it’ll kill you if you don’t pay attention.”
But I’ll get to that in a moment.
First, let me back up here and confess something: I write this article for BrazosBookstore.com with absolutely zero pretense toward anything resembling journalistic objectivity. I met Best in January, at the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute in Memphis, Tennessee—imagine summer camp, but for booksellers in the winter and with a lot more drinking—when I had dinner with her and her publisher, House of Anansi Press, a venerable Canadian publishing house with a connection to pretty much every major author from that country you can think of (including, yes, giants like Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje).
Press coverage of the option deal announced 20 March 2018.
The Bookseller "The novel by Bristol-based Best was published in North America by Canadian publisher by House of Anansi Press and has become a book club favourite, according to an Awesome spokesperson, “establishing its author as a bold new voice in literary fiction”.
The deal marks Awesome’s first literary acquisition since taking investment from global content company Kew Media Group in October last year. With Kew’s backing, Awesome is “ramping up its scripted development of book-based IP” according to a spokesperson."
TV Wise “Awesome is an author-founded company and we want to be the home for the world’s most creative storytellers”, Jeff Norton, executive producer and founder of Awesome said in a statement. “Gillian Best’s novel is heart-breaking yet ultimately heart-warming tale that is at once a feminist story, a novel about a marriage and a narrative about one woman’s self-empowerment and liberation from domestic life.”
Worldscreen "Norton said: “Awesome is an author-founded company and we want to be the home for the world’s most creative storytellers. Gillian Best’s novel is heart-breaking yet ultimately heart-warming tale that is at once a feminist story, a novel about a marriage and a narrative about one woman’s self-empowerment and liberation from domestic life.”
The Fan Carpet "Jeff Norton’s London-based company to develop book for television. Written by award-winning, Bristol-based Gillian Best and published by House of Anansi Press, ‘THE LAST WAVE’ won rave reviews in North America and has become a book club favourite, establishing its author as a bold new voice in literary fiction.
Awesome will immediately begin developing ‘THE LAST WAVE’ for television, with Norton and ex BBC Worldwide and ITV Studios executive Fraser Robinson attached as Executive Producers.
In truly exciting news, I'm thrilled to say that Awesome Media have optioned The Last Wave.
Awesome will immediately begin developing the book for television, with Jeff Norton and ex BBC Worldwide and ITV Studios executive Fraser Robinson attached as Executive Producers.
The deal marks Awesome’s first literary acquisition since taking investment from global content company Kew Media Group. With Kew’s backing, Awesome is ramping up its scripted development of book-based IP. Awesome previously optioned TV rights in Jay Gunn’s cult-hit graphic novel ‘Surface Tension’ and is co-developing that franchise with Wall to Wall Television (part of Warner Bros. UK).
Speaking on the association, Executive Producer Jeff Norton said, “Awesome is an author-founded company and we want to be the home for the world’s most creative storytellers. Gillian Best’s novel is heartbreaking yet ultimately heart-warming tale that is at once a feminist story, a novel about a marriage and a narrative about one woman’s self-empowerment and liberation from domestic life.”
To read more, please click here.
Here's an excerpt. The full review is available here.
"Best’s descriptive abilities are acute. She is able to convey to the reader the full passion of Martha’s swimming, from the physical sensations of the very act to the visceral release from the world on shore. Effective too is her description of dementia. John’s condition is portrayed thoroughly and accurately, but also sensitively, allowing his humanity to come through at the same time."
Review by Timothy Niedermann
It's a really special moment when you encounter a reader really understands your characters and your book.
This review by Rohan Maitzen is one of those: "Best tells a story of struggle and resistance with neither heroes nor villains—in which genuine errors, even ones that can’t be easily excused or forgiven, coexist with genuine virtues."
Read the full review here.
I'm really excited about attending the ABA's Winter Institute, and meeting some of the amazing people who run bookshops in the States. It's been ages since I've been to the US and I've never been to Memphis TN! So much to look forward to... except the 3.45am taxi pick up time, but never mind, you can't have everything.