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Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Fresh Fish Award

NLCU Fresh Fish Award 2022 Winner

(June 9, 2022) – The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador is ecstatic to share the winner of the 2022 Fresh Fish Award, presented annually by NLCU!

One of the country’s most lucrative literary awards for unpublished writers, the Fresh Fish Award provides emerging writers in the province with financial support, recognition, and professional editing services for a book-length manuscript in any genre.

This year’s Fresh Fish Awards ceremony was held on June 8, 2022 at The Fluvarium in St. John’s. It was an absolutely wonderful feeling to present these awards in-person and connect with the local writing community after two years of virtual/online programming. WANL wishes to thank everyone who came out and attended the 2022 Awards.

“NLCU has proudly sponsored the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers for more than a decade now. It’s a great award that offers encouraging recognition and support to a budding writer,” explained Glenn Bolger, CEO of NLCU.
When asked why NLCU decided to support this award, Bolger replied, “Writers and other artists hold a special place in Newfoundland and Labrador culture. They imagine, re-imagine, reflect, and share the stories of our people and our province. At NLCU, we can deeply appreciate that contribution because this is our home, too.
“Through this award, we hope to continue fanning the flames of creativity in the next generation of Newfoundland and Labrador writers.”

The 2022 NLCU Fresh Fish Award Winner is

Tia McLennan, author of Familiar Monsters of the Flood

Tia McLennan will receive a cash prize of $5,200 and $1,000 towards professional editing services for the winning manuscript.
From WANL and NLCU, a heartfelt kudos, Tia!

What the Jury said about Tia McLennan’s Familiar Monsters of the Flood:

Familiar Monsters of the Flood is a beautifully constructed book of poetry full of visceral imagery, whether it be a description of a coyote, an email, or a hospital. It utilizes forms to their optimal potential, one example of which is the sestina, which is complex and difficult to work with. The repetition of words and concepts in individual poems, and the book as a whole, subtly reveal and construct meaning for the reader, without becoming redundant.
Familiar Monsters of the Flood is simultaneously simple and complex, providing readers with an enjoyable, relatable, and engaging read.

Congratulations as well to our shortlisted authors, Santiago Guzmán and Khadija Rehma, who will each receive $1,200.
Cheers to you, on behalf of WANL and NLCU.

Read the jury comments below:

Urn by Santiago Guzmán
Urn is a tightly written family saga, rich with interpersonal struggle. The play tackles the insider/outsider dynamics of immigrating to Newfoundland from Mexico alongside issues of sexuality, language, identity, and the bonds that tie us to our families and communities.
The great skill of this work is its ability to capture the tension in the lives and experiences of its characters: it is full of humour and tragedy, love and rejection, prejudice and care. The voice does not shy away from struggle but shows instead the cracks we find through which to survive and to thrive. Urn will be a spectacular stage play and a beautiful book.

Dishonorable Daughters by Khadija Rehma
Dishonourable Daughters is an ambitious novel that boldly tackles difficult subjects – exploring violence, war, misogyny, trauma, class, and religion – without taking itself too seriously.
The narrative voice is fresh and lively. It doles out insight and humour but no easy answers or false resolutions. Instead, the book offers masterful prose, a massive, jostling, polyphonic cast, and an honest accounting of the fraught, hopeful, rebellious lives of women and girls.
This manuscript is an exciting early draft with great promise.

Thanks to the NLCU 2022 Fresh Fish Jury:

Sharon Bala
Sharon Bala’s bestselling debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2020 Newfoundland & Labrador Book Award and the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, was short listed for several awards, and is in translation in four languages. In 2017 she won the Writers’ Trust/ McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and had a second story on the long list. Sharon is a member of The Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. Visit her at: sharonbala.com

Carmella Grey-Cosgrove
Carmella Gray-Cosgrove is from Vancouver and has lived in St. John’s for twelve years. Her writing has appeared in Prism InternationalBroken PencilThe New Quarterly and elsewhere. Her debut short story collection Nowadays and Lonelier won the BMO Winterset Award and was shortlisted for the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. Carmella is the fiction editor at Riddle Fence.

Katie Vautour
Katie Vautour is a visual artist and writer who has participated in art residencies in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Banff Centre. She exhibits her mixed media work at Eastern Edge and the Craft Council in Newfoundland, has won several visual arts awards from Arts & Letters NL, and displays her paintings in galleries throughout Atlantic Canada. Katie’s first book of poetry was published by Breakwater in Spring 2019.
On behalf of The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and NLCU, congratulations to our longlisted authors – Cole Hayley, Willow Kean, and Jennifer Newhook, and thank you to everyone who applied for this year’s Fresh Fish Award.

WANL also wishes to thank NLCU for their continued support with this prestigious award. Thank you, NLCU, for supporting and believing in literary arts and artists!


The Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Fresh Fish Award 2022 Shortlist

(May 26, 2022) – The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce the shortlist finalists for the 2022 Fresh Fish Award, presented annually by the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union.

One of the country’s most lucrative literary awards for unpublished writers, the Fresh Fish Award provides emerging writers in the province with financial support, recognition, and professional editing services for a book-length manuscript in any genre.

The winning author will receive a cash prize of $5,200 and $1,000 towards professional editing services for the winning manuscript.
The runners-up will each receive $1,200.

This year’s shortlist finalists are:
(listed alphabetically by last name)

Urn – Santiago Guzmán  
Familiar Monsters of the Flood – Tia McLennan
Dishonorable Daughters – Khadija Rehma

2022 Fresh Fish Jury Comments:

Urn by Santiago Guzmán
Urn is a tightly written family saga, rich with interpersonal struggle. The play tackles the insider/outsider dynamics of immigrating to Newfoundland from Mexico alongside issues of sexuality, language, identity, and the bonds that tie us to our families and communities.
The great skill of this work is its ability to capture the tension in the lives and experiences of its characters: it is full of humour and tragedy, love and rejection, prejudice and care. The voice does not shy away from struggle but shows instead the cracks we find through which to survive and to thrive. Urn will be a spectacular stage play and a beautiful book.

Familiar Monsters of the Flood by Tia McLennan
Familiar Monsters of the Flood
 is a beautifully constructed book of poetry full of visceral imagery, whether it be a description of a coyote, an email, or a hospital. It utilizes forms to their optimal potential, one example of which is the sestina, which is complex and difficult to work with. The repetition of words and concepts in individual poems, and the book as a whole, subtly reveal and construct meaning for the reader, without becoming redundant.
Familiar Monsters of the Flood is simultaneously simple and complex, providing readers with an enjoyable, relatable, and engaging read.

Dishonorable Daughters by Khadija Rhema
Dishonourable Daughters is an ambitious novel that boldly tackles difficult subjects – exploring violence, war, misogyny, trauma, class, and religion – without taking itself too seriously.
The narrative voice is fresh and lively. It doles out insight and humour but no easy answers or false resolutions. Instead, the book offers masterful prose, a massive, jostling, polyphonic cast, and an honest accounting of the fraught, hopeful, rebellious lives of women and girls.
This manuscript is an exciting early draft with great promise.

Meet the 2022 Fresh Fish Jury:

Sharon Bala
Sharon Bala’s bestselling debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2020 Newfoundland & Labrador Book Award and the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, was short listed for several awards, and is in translation in four languages. In 2017 she won the Writers’ Trust/ McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize for her short story “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and had a second story on the long list. Sharon is a member of The Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. Visit her at: sharonbala.com

Carmella Grey-Cosgrove
Carmella Gray-Cosgrove is from Vancouver and has lived in St. John’s for twelve years. Her writing has appeared in Prism InternationalBroken PencilThe New Quarterly and elsewhere. Her debut short story collection Nowadays and Lonelier won the BMO Winterset Award and was shortlisted for the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers. Carmella is the fiction editor at Riddle Fence.

Katie Vautour
Katie Vautour is a visual artist and writer who has participated in art residencies in Oaxaca, Mexico, and the Banff Centre. She exhibits her mixed media work at Eastern Edge and the Craft Council in Newfoundland, has won several visual arts awards from Arts & Letters NL, and displays her paintings in galleries throughout Atlantic Canada. Katie’s first book of poetry was published by Breakwater in Spring 2019, with a second book being released in 2022.


The Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Fresh Fish Award 2022 Longlist

(May 13, 2022) – The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to announce the longlist finalists for one of the country’s most lucrative literary awards for unpublished writers, the Fresh Fish Award, presented annually by the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union. The Award, generously sponsored by NLCU, is intended to serve as an incentive for emerging writers in the province by providing them with financial support, recognition, and professional editing services for a book-length manuscript in any genre. The winning author will receive a cash prize of $5,200 and $1,000 towards professional editing services for the winning manuscript. The runners-up will each receive $1,200.

This year’s longlist finalists (listed alphabetically by last name) are:

Urn – Santiago Guzmán  
Unexpected Benefits of Fire – Cole Hayley
Eyes In Front When Running – Willow Kean
The Gulch – Jennifer Newhook
Familiar Monsters of the Flood – Tia McLennan
Dishonorable Daughters – Khadija Rehma

The shortlist for the 2022 Fresh Fish Award will be announced on May 26th, 2022

The Writers’ Alliance of NL would like to extend our congratulations to these fabulous emerging writers, and thanks to everyone who submitted.
Thank you as well to our esteemed jury members, who tackled the tough task of evaluating so many wonderful works by WANL Members.

The Shortlist Readings and Winner Announcement will take place on Wednesday, June 8, 2022 at 7 p.m. NST at The Fluvarium, located at 5 Nagles Place in St. John’s.

As an added delight for this year’s Fresh Fish Awards Ceremony, WANL is excited to offer attendees time for a private after-hours viewing of the Fluvarium, where folks can enjoy the many exhibits dedicated to environmental education and freshwater ecology with their friends and family in the local writing community. Refreshments will be provided.

WANL wishes to send thanks to The Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union for their continued support with this award. See you at the Fluvarium on June 8th!

Media Contact: Jen Winsor, Executive Director of WANL: director@wanl.ca


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: The NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers 2022

(February 11, 2022 – St. John’s, NL) The Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador (WANL) is pleased to announce the call for submissions for one of the country’s most lucrative literary awards for unpublished writers: the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers.

The Award, generously sponsored by NLCU, is intended to serve as an incentive for emerging writers in the province by providing them with financial support, recognition, and professional editing services for a book-length manuscript in any genre.

Chief Executive Officer Glenn Bolger spoke of NLCU’s commitment to the award: “NLCU has proudly sponsored this award since 2011. During that time we’ve witnessed the amazing impact it has had on the aspirations of many budding writers. Not only does this award spotlight exceptional new talent, it also helps to kick-start many successful writing careers.”

Since the inaugural year of the Fresh Fish Award in 2006, several careers have been launched and numerous manuscripts have been published from among the nearly 30 winning and shortlisted Fresh Fish writers.

Check out what our previous winner had to say about their Fresh Fish win:

“Having my collection of poetry, No Subject for the Inexperienced, shortlisted with Carmella’s and Olivia’s respective manuscripts (both since published), was a thrilling experience. Having the money to hire an editor to help with my manuscript gave me the confidence I needed to begin submitting my manuscript to publishers,” 2020 Fresh Fish winner Clay Everest shared.

“The Fresh Fish Award provided me with the motivation needed to finish my manuscript, the resources to prepare it for submission, and a wonderful opportunity to engage with the literary community.”

The winning author will receive a cash prize of $5,200; $1,000 towards professional editing services for the winning manuscript. The runners-up will each receive $1,200.

Submission deadline: March 25, 2022, at 5 p.m. NST
Send your submissions to info@wanl.ca


ELIGIBILITY RULES

  • Writers must be current members of WANL with a completed, unpublished manuscript in any genre. Writers may join WANL at the time of submission.
  • Writers must have lived in Newfoundland and Labrador for the 12 months immediately prior to the call for submissions OR must have lived in Newfoundland and Labrador in any combination of 36 of the last 60 months. Deceased writers are not eligible.
  • Writers are permitted to submit only one entry per year, in any genre.
  • Manuscripts must be single-authored. 
  • Manuscripts must be in English.
  • Manuscripts that contain other media in addition to writing (e.g., photos, CDs, graphics, illustrations) are eligible. However, the award will be given only to the author of the manuscript’s text and only for the writing.
  • Collected or selected works (e.g., poems, short stories) by a single author are eligible provided at least 50% of the text is previously unpublished material.
  • Manuscripts containing material not written by the author (e.g., letters, diaries, memoirs, blogs, oral histories, selected writings) are eligible provided at least 50% of the text is written by the author (e.g., introduction, exposition, commentary, reporting, narrative, footnotes, epilogue).
  • The following are not eligible for the Fresh Fish Award: anthologies with more than one author, audiobooks, textbooks, self-help or how-to books, manuals or guidebooks on any subject (e.g., travel, nature, cookbook), dictionaries, encyclopedias.
  • Writers with a published book in any genre on any platform or in any media, or a book accepted for publication at the time of submission, are NOT eligible.
  • The Fresh Fish Award will accept a manuscript that has been submitted once before. Entry forms for resubmitted manuscripts must identify the manuscript as such and must indicate the year it was first entered. Manuscripts submitted more than twice will not be accepted.

ASSESSMENT PROCESS

  • Assessment of all eligible submissions to the Fresh Fish Award will be adjudicated by an independent jury recruited and facilitated by the Writers’ Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • The independent jury will submit a shortlist of three books and a winning book from that shortlist.  
  • The paramount consideration is excellence in writing. Jurors should reflect on creativity, wordsmithery, and originality.
  • A juror must disclose any conflict of interest. WANL defines conflict of interest in terms of whether a juror stands to gain any financial benefit through association with a submitted manuscript, or if the juror stands to gain from any moral or intellectual rights, or if the juror has a significant personal relationship with the author of a submitted manuscript. If there is a conflict of interest the juror will be asked to step aside.
  • The decisions made by the Fresh Fish Award jury are final. 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

  • Each manuscript must be typed in 12 point font and double-spaced. Handwritten manuscripts will NOT be accepted. (Poetry manuscripts do not have to comply with the double-space requirement.)
  • Pages must be numbered. The title should appear on every page.
  • All Fresh Fish submissions must be anonymous — Please do not include your name anywhere in your submission.
  • Entries that do not adhere to these guidelines will be disqualified.

Submission deadline: March 25, 2022, at 5 p.m. NST

Send your submissions to info@wanl.ca

For a full list of past Fresh Fish Award winners and runners-up, click here.