AWARDS: Jury Announced and Call for Submissions Issued for the 24th Annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award

From the Writers’ Union of Canada:

The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Gleed family are pleased to announce the jury for the $10,000 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, Canada’s pre-eminent award for the best first Canadian collection of short fiction in the English language, now celebrating its 24th year.

This year’s jury comprises authors Lisa Bird-Wilson, Ian Colford, and Zalika Reid-Benta.

A short list will be announced in early May 2021, with the winner and two finalists being named in early June 2021. The winner receives $10,000 and each of the two finalists is awarded $1,000.

To be eligible, books must be first collections of short fiction written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and published in Canada in the English language in the 2020 calendar year. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2021. Eligible titles may be submitted by publishers according to submission guidelines available at


Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Métis and nêhiyaw writer whose work appears in literary magazines and anthologies across Canada. Her fiction book, Just Pretending (Coteau Books, 2013), won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including 2014 Book of the Year, and was the 2019 One Book, One Province selection. Bird-Wilson’s debut poetry collection, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions, 2016), is inspired by family and archival sources and reflects on the legacy of the residential school system and the fragmentation of families and histories. She is the current prose editor for Grain magazine. Her new novel, Probably Ruby, will be published by Doubleday Canada in August 2021.

Ian Colford’s short fiction has appeared in EventGrainRiddle FenceThe Antigonish Review, and other literary publications. His books are EvidenceThe Crimes of Hector TomásPerfect World, and A Dark House. His work has been shortlisted for the Thomas H. Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, the Relit Award, the Journey Prize, the Alistair MacLeod Prize, and the Danuta Gleed Literary Award. He lives in Halifax.

Zalika Reid-Benta is a Toronto-based writer. Her debut short story collection, Frying Plantain, won the 23rd annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award, recognizing the best first collection of short fiction. Frying Plantain also won the 2020 Kobo Emerging Writer Prize in literary fiction, was shortlisted for the 2020 Trillium Book Award, was longlisted for the 2019 Scotiabank Giller Prize, and was nominated for the 2020 Forest of Reading Evergreen Award presented by the Ontario Library Association. Frying Plantain is currently a finalist for the 2020 Toronto Book Award. Zalika is also the winner of the 2019 Byblacks People’s Choice Awards for Best Author.


The Danuta Gleed Literary Award was created as a celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks. The Award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.


The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,200 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers’ collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information. TWUC believes in a thriving, diverse Canadian culture that values and supports writers.

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