Monday, December 4, 2023

Finalists Announced For the 29th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards

Hamilton Arts Council is thrilled to announce the shortlisted authors, and a return to an in-person ceremonial event, for the 29th annual Hamilton Literary Awards!

Attend on Monday, December 12, 2022, at 7:00PM (ET) at Theatre Aquarius’ Norman and Louise Haac Studio Theatre to enjoy readings from this years’ shortlist, and discover the awarded category winners. Following the premiere, on-demand viewing of the event will be available exclusively for Cogeco & Rogers television subscribers by Broadcast Sponsor, Cable 14.

In its 29th year, the Awards celebrate literary excellence in works published in the calendar year of 2021 from the Greater Hamilton Area and Six Nations of the Grand River. Authors will be recognized in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and the Kerry Schooley Book Award.

This year’s Awards Ceremony will be hosted by Anuja Varghese, a Hamilton-based QWOC writer, editor, and experienced arts administrator who is passionate about building an inclusive cultural landscape. Anuja’s debut short story collection titled Chrysalis, exploring South Asian diaspora experience through a feminist, speculative lens, will be released in 2023. 

“We are thrilled to have Anuja Varghese as the Awards’ Host this year. Anuja brings literary excellence through her own work, and a sincere appreciation for Hamilton Literary Communities” says Megan Divecha, Program Coordinator for Hamilton Arts Council. “We anticipate an enriching evening for authors, publishers, local booksellers and book enthusiasts.”

The shortlisted authors for each category are:


Gary Barwin for Nothing the Same, Everything Haunted 

Pasha Malla for Kill the Mall 

Joe Ollmann for Fictional Father 


Denise Davy for Her Name Was Margaret 

Dawn Cheryl Hill for Memory Keeper 

Jolie Phuong Hoang for Three Funerals for My Father: Love, Loss and Escape from Vietnam

Margaret Nowacyzk for Chasing Zebras 

Bernadette Rule for Dark Fire 


Jaclyn Desforges for Danger Flower 

Michael Mirolla for At the End of the World 

John Terpstra for Call Me Home 

Kerry Schooley Book Award

Denise Davy for Her Name Was Margaret 

Pasha Malla for Kill the Mall 

Margaret Nowaczyk for Chasing Zebras

For more information about the Hamilton Literary Awards, including tickets to attend the December 12th Ceremony, visit: 

The Kerry Schooley Book Award, named in honor of the late Kerry J. Schooley (1949-2010), recognizes books that are most evocative of the city of Hamilton and the surrounding area. Schooley was a Hamilton-born poet, teacher, publisher, editor and noir-fiction writer. Schooley was an important and influential contributor to the Hamilton Literary Community and Hamilton Arts Council continues to honour him in this 29th year of Literary Awards. 

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