Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Congrats to the Fiction Winners of the 2013 John V. Hicks Award!

2013 John V. Hick Manuscript Award winner
Linda Biasotto  
© SB
Three great fiction writers — Linda Biasotto, Lisa Guenther and Marlis Wesseler — were honoured this weekend as winners of the 2013 Saskatchewan Writers' Guild's John V. Hicks Manuscript Awards.

(Past Hicks Awards have also honoured writers of poetry, memoir, drama and literary non-fiction.)

Jurors Christine Pountney and Trevor Cole awarded Regina's Linda Biasotto first place with her short story collection, Sweet Life, in recognition of what Pountney calls her "shining talent." Among the jurors' comments on Linda's manuscript:
  • Rare and startling (CP);
  • Flashes of brilliance (TC); 
  • A writer who can thoroughly perform the magic of fiction (CP); 
  • A deep empathy for marginalized characters (TC); 
  • The writing possesses the same anarchic energy and randomness of real events, and is at once perceptive and wise (CP); 
  • Stories that are surprising and illuminating on the level of the sentence, rich in images, and capable of offering compassionate insight into human psychology (CP). 
Linda Biasotto's collection, Sweet Life, has already been picked up by Coteau Books, and is slated for publication in Spring 2014. (Yeah, Linda!!!)

Lisa Guenther of the Turtle Lake area was selected for second place with her manuscript, Friendly Fire, and among the comments offered were the following: 
  • Intelligent, insightful work, providing a vivid description and realistic depiction of a small, rural community (TC); 
  • Steeped in the culture and geography of rural Saskatchewan, this novel impressed us with how well the story is sustain, with a consistency and believability that novels require (CP). 
And Marlis Wesseler, a Regina writer with four published books (Life and Skills, Imitating Art, Elvis Unplugged and South of the Border), in addition to short stories and plays, was selected in third place for the manuscript of her novel, Pleasant Manor, which is set in a seniors' home
  • A well-told story with scenes that feel true to the experience and mindset of the elderly residents of a nursing home (TC);
  • We found the setting of this novel to be ... compelling (CP); 
  • It provides great insights into the vulnerability and the feeling of powerlessness these residents must endure, and also to the complacency that ultimately envelops powerless people (TC).    
Congrats to all three talented Saskatchewan writers — Linda Biasotto, Lisa Guenther, and Marlis Wesseler! 

Lisa Guenther (centre) with Saskatchewan Writers Guild
Executive Director Judith Silverthorne (left) and Lisa Bird-Wilson (right) 

(just out of range, far right, SWG photographer, Danica Lorer...)  © SB

Marliss Wesseler (centre) with Saskatchewan Writers Guild
Executive Director Judith Silverthorne (left) and Lisa Bird-Wilson (right) © SB


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