Calgary, AB,

The City of Calgary announces short list for W.O. Mitchell Book Prize

The City of Calgary, the Writers Guild of Alberta and the 17th Ave Retail Entertainment District are pleased to announce the short list authors for The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize, one of 17 awards presented as part of The Calgary Awards.

The three finalists are Marika Deliyannides for Bitter Lake, (Porcupine’s Quill); Joan Shillington for Folding the Wilderness Within, (Frontenac House); and Chris Turner for How to Breathe Underwater: Field Reports From an Age of Radical Change, (Biblioasis).

Marika Deliyannides’ debut novel, “Bitter Lake” tells the story of a pregnant thirty-something professional organizer who finds herself returning home to help her parent’s transition into a seniors’ home. Faced with her past, the main character must deal with guilty memories, a former lover and other complications which make for a page-turning read. Born and raised in Wetaskiwin, the author uses local landmarks from her hometown to depict the town of Concord in her book. Marika has worked as a business writer in Edmonton and Calgary and lives in Calgary.

“Folding the Wilderness Within”, by Joan Shillington, is her second book of poetry – a contemporary autobiographical exploration of how an individual navigates the wilderness within themselves and their family. Written near the bedside of her ailing mother, Joan continued to work on her book for a number of years before completion. It explores familial relationships based on her own memories. Joan is also a Poetry Editor with Freefall Magazine and currently lives in Calgary.

In “How to Breathe Underwater”, Chris Turner offers fifteen compelling essays or what he refers to as “field reports” or “long essays”, that interpret some of the massive changes we have experienced globally in the past 25 years. Chris explores subjects as diverse and provocative as the online gambling boom in the Caribbean, the fate of the Great Barrier Reef and Cuba’s economic limbo after the fall of the Soviet Union. He looks at the rise of the internet in the 1990s, analyzes the changing nature of the digital age, and how human industry is shaping the planet’s foundation. He captures our society in rapid flux through incisive essays and shrewd cultural criticism. He currently resides in Calgary.

The City of Calgary established the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize in honour of the late Calgary writer W.O. Mitchell to recognize literary achievement by Calgary authors. The $5,000 prize is awarded each year for an outstanding book published in the award year. The 2013 recipient was Tyler Trafford for “Almost a Great Escape: A Found Story”.

The recipient of The City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize will be recognized at the Calgary Awards presentation on June 10, 2015. The Calgary Awards will be televised live on Shaw TV.

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