HarperCollinsCanada, UBC, The Cooke Agency announce shortlist for Best New Fiction

Annual prize marks second year

TORONTO—HarperCollinsCanada, The Cooke Agency and the University of British Columbia announced today the shortlist for the annual HarperCollinsCanada/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction.

The prize is a collaboration of HarperCollinsCanada, The Cooke Agency and the University of British Columbia, and is open to currently enrolled students and previous graduates of the UBC Creative Writing Program. The annual winner of the prize will be offered literary representation by The Cooke Agency and an advance and a contract to be published by HarperCollinsCanada.

The shortlisted works are:

IN THE PLACE OF SILENCE, by Seattle author Chelsea Bolan, is a richly woven contemporary novel set in Mexico about a young girl's banishment from the family home and her older sister's search to find her;

AT THE TOP OF THE WALL, ALIGHT, by Sudbury author Natalie Morill, is a sweeping epic of the Second World War, following the life a Viennese Jew, his family and the close friend who aided them despite his position in the Nazi party;

GOTH GIRLS OF BANFF, by Toronto author John O'Neill, is a polished collection of short stories that touches on themes of loneliness, loss and the unexpected discoveries that can lay latent in life.

"This is an exciting and diverse shortlist of talented new writers, chosen from a very strong pool of submissions," said Iris Tupholme, Executive Publisher, Vice President and Editor-in-Chief at HarperCollinsCanada.  "We are very pleased to be working with UBC's Creative Writing Program and The Cooke Agency for the second year of this important award."

"The number of submissions we received this year increased by thirty percent and we were pleased and impressed by the outstanding quality of the writers and work coming out of UBC's Creative Writing Program," said Dean Cooke of The Cooke Agency. "This presented the best possible challenge for our panel of five readers who read every one of the manuscripts submitted."

"The UBC Creative Writing program is thrilled at our ongoing partnership with HarperCollinsCanada and The Cooke Agency.  This competition provides an excellent launching point for the work of our many fine graduates.  We extend our sincere thanks to the judges, administrators, and especially the entrants," said Steven Galloway, Acting Chair, UBC Creative Writing.

The winner of the 2015 HarperCollinsCanada/UBC Prize will be announced Friday, October 24th, 2014 at the Vancouver Writers Fest party hosted by UBC Creative Writing at the Dockside Lounge, Granville Island Hotel.

The inaugural winner of the prize was Karim Alrawi for his novel THE BOOK OF SANDS, which will publish in May, 2015.

HarperCollinsCanada imprints include HarperCollinsPublishers, HarperAvenue, HarperPerennial, Collins, HarperTrophyCanada, HarperWeekend and Patrick Crean Editions. These imprints publish the finest writers from Canada and around the world, including such fiction authors as Nancy Richler, Dianne Warren, Dan Vyleta, Emma Donoghue, Lawrence Hill, Shilpi Somaya Gowda, Cathy Marie Buchanan, Barbara Gowdy, Thomas King, Dennis Bock, Heather O'Neill, Hilary Mantel, Richard Ford, Amy Tan, Shaena Lambert, Anne Giardini, Michael Cunningham, Kenneth Oppel, Natalee Caple, Rachelle Delaney, Jackie Baker, Paul Harding, Robert J. Wiersema, among many others. HarperCollins is committed to publishing new writers and to building authors' careers. HarperCollinsCanada published the first books by UBC MFA graduates Michael Christie and Kelli Deeth and as well as debut short story writers and novelists Ayelet Tsabari, Janie Chang and Rebecca Silver Slayter. HarperCollinsCanada publishes fiction, non-fiction, reference books and books for children.

The Cooke Agency is one of Canada's largest and most successful literary agencies.  It is over 20 years old and represents more than 150 clients who have been published in territories all around the globe – many of them bestselling authors who have won and/or been nominated for the most prestigious awards in the English language. 

The UBC Creative Writing Program is Canada's oldest and largest teacher of writers.  It has fostered the talents of hundreds of notable Canadian writers, and remains at the forefront of literary training. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the program, which was founded in 1963 by Earle Birney.