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Open Book Celebrates Prizes, Dishes on Canada Reads and Gears up for Spring!

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Fresh & Local: Your connection to Toronto's vibrant literary scene

Dear Readers,

It's spring (or so we like to think!) and that means literary prizes! From non-fiction to short story, we're getting excited about celebrating great Canadian writers with the bevy of literary prizes in the mix right now. If you're looking for reading recommendations, this is a great place to start — considering the hundreds of books and stories prize juries work through, we know we're getting some awesome suggestions from these shortlists!

We've also got a terrific March writer-in-residence sharing tips for fantastic public readings, plus interviews with writers of all genres, and our comprehensive event listing — just in time for the spring thaw, you can get out in the sunshine, heading to amazing literary events!


In Canada, we are spoiled for literary riches, and we love to celebrate it. Open Book has got all your literary prize news:

Thomas King wins the 2014 RBC Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction
Canada Writes announces finalists for the CBC Short Story Prize announces shortlist for First Novel Award
One-woman play awarded Ukrainian-Canadian Kobzar Prize

Stay tuned to Open Book for more prize news in the weeks to come!


CBC Canada Reads has wrapped for another year, with Joseph Boyden's The Orenda scooping the big prize after an impassioned defence by broadcaster Wab Kinew.

Open Book was in-studio for the final day of the competition — don't miss our in-depth coverage of the exciting conclusion of Canada's favourite literary battle!


Priscila Uppal talks to Open Book about the process of adapting her hit memoir, Projection for the stage as Factory Theatre's 6 Essential Questions — but as a multi-genre writer, Priscila took the creative route and wrote a poem about the process! Don't miss this original piece from one of Canada's most exciting writers.

To see this moving family story brought to life, you can check out 6 Essential Questions, which runs from March 1-30, 2014 at Factory Theatre.


Our March writer-in-residence, Brian Panhuyzen,

has been hard at work, sharing his thoughts on research, television and more, but readers and writers alike will especially appreciate his most recent post. The subject? Best practices for writers giving a public reading.

From timing to delivery, this is an un-missable post for anyone who performs or attends readings!

And you can share your thoughts with Brian too — send your questions and comments for Brian anytime during the month of March to


Finalist David Stouck tells us about the fascinating subject of his biography, the brilliant and complicated Arthur Erickson

Finalist Graeme Smith talks about why making readers uneasy can be a good thing

Finalist J.B. MacKinnon tells us about the process of "re-wilding"

2014 winner Thomas King talks to editor Lily Gontard tells us (prior to his big win!) how he would celebrate his victory — let's hope he got the chance to do just that!

Feeling more theatrical? We've got playwright Jordi Mand! Jordi talks to us about freeing your characters from the restraints of a play and much more.


Here's a selection of great events happening over the next two weeks:

  • Friday, March 14, 2014 — 10:00pm:. Pages Festival + Conference: Sounding Off. Featuring Open Book columnist Dalton Higgins; writers and musicians discuss and demonstrate influence between genres. The Tranzac, 292 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto.
  • Thursday, March 20, 2014 — 7:00pm: What We Talk About When We Talk About Poetry: Biblioasis, Porcupine's Quill, and Palimpsest a conversation on reviewing and Canadian poetry. Ben McNally Books, 366 Bay Street, Toronto.
  • Sunday, March 23, 2014 — 4:00pm: HIJ House Reading Series #3 Featuring Pasha Malla and Jenny Sampirisi. Hosted by BookThug impresarios, Hazel and Jay MillAr, at their home. 260 Ryding Avenue, Toronto.

Go to Open Book's comprehensive Events Page for details and a full list of literary events. If you have an event you'd like listed on our site, please send the details to

We'd love to hear from you! Please send your questions, suggestions and comments to

All the Best,
Open Book

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