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James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction

Alberta has just made my writing a little more visible by honouring me with another award for non-fiction.

Jury Remarks: “Enclosures” is a skilful study of the environment and the self as both manipulated and restricted by complex cultural expectations and the background of a fascist government. The elegant prose and moving scenes frame a beautiful story of struggling with the idea of freedom for humans and animals alike. The second-person narrative was an effective and touching way for Da Costa to expound his feelings about raising and eating animals all while dancing between history and tradition, childhood and adulthood, revolution and freedom.

My congratulations to Kyra and Marcello (who were also short-listed in this category), as well as to all the authors short-listed or awarded prizes this weekend at the WGA Gala in Calgary. The Alberta writing community is talented and strong. I extend this note of congratulations to the entire writing community in our province. Keep writing. Your turn in the limelight shall come!

Here is the list:


The Writers’ Guild of Alberta is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 Alberta Literary Awards. This year’s award winners were announced at and in-person gala in Calgary on June 3rd.

This celebration marks the 41st anniversary of the Alberta Literary Awards and brought together writers from across Alberta. The Alberta Literary Awards were created by the Writers’ Guild of Alberta in 1982 to recognize excellence in writing by Alberta authors.

For more information, please contact the Writers’ Guild of Alberta by email at

Our juries deliberated on more than 300 submissions to select winners in the following categories. Finalists represent excellence in literary work written by Alberta authors and published or created in 2021-22.

The winners of the 2023 Alberta Literary Awards are:

R. Ross Annett Award for Children’s Literature

(Sponsored by the Under the Arch Youth Foundation at The Calgary Foundation)

~ Dena Seiferling (Calgary) — The Language of Flowers (Tundra Books)

Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction

~ Suzette Mayr (Calgary) — The Sleeping Car Porter (Coach House Books)

Wilfrid Eggleston Award for Nonfiction

~ Brandi Morin (Stony Plain) — Our Voice of Fire (House of Anansi Press)

Gwen Pharis Ringwood Award for Drama

~ Caroline Russell-King (Calgary) — High and Splendid Braveries

Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry

(Sponsored by Stephan V. Benediktson)

~ Matthew James Weigel (Edmonton) — Whitemud Walking (Coach House Books)

Memoir Award

(Supported by Vivian Hansen)

~ Brandi Morin (Stony Plain) — Our Voice of Fire (House of Anansi Press)

James H. Gray Award for Short Nonfiction

(Supported by Marilyn and Bob Stallworthy)

~ paulo da costa (Calgary) — “Enclosures” (Reckoning)

Howard O’Hagan Award for Short Story

(Supported by the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society)

~ Lareina Abbott (Calgary) — “Ma Soeur Marie” (Prairie Witch Anthology)

Jon Whyte Memorial Essay Award

(Supported by the Haynes Family – In Memory of Dr. Sterling Haynes)

~ Kim McCullough (Calgary) — “Mare Tranquillitatis”

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