Two Kootenay authors will share the 2016 Richard Carver Award for Emerging Writers, sponsored by the Nelson and District Arts Council and the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival. The jury elected to award the honour jointly to Kootenay Bay novelist Alanda Greene and Nelson memoirist Donna Macdonald.
The jury was charged with selecting an emerging writer with at least one published book who showed dedication to their writing practice. Additionally, the jury looked at ways in which the writers engaged with their communities.
Greene is a teacher, writer, illustrator, and author of the novel Napi’s Dance, published by Second Story Press. She’s at work on a second novel.
“Alanda has shown dedication to fostering many aspects of the creative spirit within her community. In her own writing she applied hard work and sensitivity to her research to produce her first novel,” said the jury in a written statement.
Greene was delighted to receive notification of the award. “To be acknowledged by writers and readers in my own geographic territory is quite uplifting,” she said. “I feel deep appreciation for this nomination.”
Macdonald’s memoir Surviving City Hall was released this spring, and she has two more writing projects on the drawing board. The jury recognized her “unwavering commitment to the arts, as she truly does embody the spirit of the Carver Award.”
Macdonald remembers Richard Carver, who served on the Arts Council, the Nelson Library board, and who was a regular at Nelson City Council meetings.
“Richard was such a force of creative energy — I could feel it while talking to him,” she said. “He was a unique and lovely man, and receiving this award in his name means a lot to me.”
Carver was a lover of the arts and the Kootenays, and he was invested in the community. After his death in 2009, the Nelson and District Arts Council created this award in his honour; the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival came on board in 2015. Past recipients were Darcee O’Hearne, Jane Byers, Susan Dancer, and Avi Silberstein.
Macdonald and Greene will receive their awards and read from their work at Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s 100-Mile Gala on Thursday, July 7 at 7:30pm at the Hume Room in Nelson’s Hume Hotel. The evening also features winners of the Kootenay Mountain Culture Magazine fiction competition, CBC personality and author Grant Lawrence, and children’s author and jazz chanteuse Jill Barber. Tickets are available at www.emlfestival.com.