This just in: Amber Dawn has been selected as this year’s Dayne Ogilive Prize winner, an annual prize given by the Writer’s Trust of Canada to an emerging LGBTQ writer. Congratulations to Amber Dawn, whose novel Sub Rosa was the very first work that I reviewed at Casey the Canadian Lesbrarian. I thought Sub Rosa was an amazing, important novel, and I’m so pleased that Dawn is being rewarded for her work. She’s also the editor of and contributor to the collection Fist of the Spider Woman: Tales of Fear and Queer Desire, a collection of horror and fantasty short stories, and co-editor with Trish Kelly of the anthology With a Rough Tongue: Femmes Write Porn–whose awesome title speaks for itself, I think. Dawn also has a fantastic essay/letter, “To All the Butches I Loved Between 1995 and 2005: An Open Letter about Selling Sex, Selling Out, and Soldiering On” in Persistence: All Ways Butch and Femme, edited by Ivan E. Coyote and Zena Sharman, a collection which will be reviewed here next week. I can’t wait to see what she does next; hopefully the $4000 prize money will allow her to have some creative freedom with whatever it is she’s working on!
Mariko Tamaki, the author, along with her cousin illustrator Jillian Tamaki, of the graphic young adult novel Skim was also honoured tonight at the reception in Toronto. Skim is a beautiful and moving account of a queer teenage girl who’s in love with her teacher. Tamaki received the honourable mention and a $500 prize. She has a young adult novel, (you) set me on fire coming out in the fall that I am eagerly anticipating, as well as a comic book called Awago Beach Babies scheduled for next year, on which she worked again with Jillian Tamaki. I can’t think of two more talented and deserving queer women artists to have received these awards! Make sure to check out their work!