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Fifth Annual Rakuten Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Shortlist Announced

May 01, 2019

18 of Canada’s hottest debut books have been selected in three genres: Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction and Romance

Toronto, ON – May 1st, 2019 – Rakuten Kobo, in search of the best new books written by debut Canadian authors, today announced the shortlist for its fifth annual Emerging Writer Prize.

The award was created with the goal of kick-starting the careers of debut Canadian authors, with a $10,000 CAD cash prize awarded to a book in each of three categories: Non-Fiction, Literary Fiction, and Genre Fiction (Romance this year). In addition, each winning author will receive promotional, marketing, and communications support through 2019.

The ​2019 shortlist​, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers and booklovers—with book completion rates, customer ratings and reviews considered—comprises six books from each genre. The shortlist will now move on to the final selection process led by top Canadian authors: Craig Davidson for Literary Fiction, Michael Harris for Non-Fiction and Dale Mayer for Romance. The winners will be announced on the evening of June 27th, 2019.

Literary Fiction
Summer Cannibals
​by ​Melanie Hobson, Penguin Canada
The Philistine​ ​by Leila Marshy, Linda Leith Publishing
Searching for Terry Punchout
​by ​Tyler Hellard, Invisible Publishing
The Dictionary of Animal Languages​ b​y ​Heidi Sopinka, Penguin Canada
Split Tooth​ ​by Tanya Tagaq, Penguin Canada
How Far We Go and How Fast
​by ​Nora Decter, Orca Book Publishers

Non-Fiction
The Fruitful City​ ​by ​Helena Moncrieff, ​ECW Press
Heart Berries​ b​y Terese Marie Mailhot, Doubleday Canada
Son of a Critch
b​y ​Mark Critch, Penguin Canada
Lands of Lost Borders
by Kate Harris, Knopf Canada
The Measure of My Powers
​by ​Jackie Kai Ellis​, Appetite by Random House
The Boy on the Beach
​by ​Tima Kurdi, Simon & Schuster

Genre Fiction (Romance)
Ayesha At Last​ b​y ​Uzma Jalaluddin, ​HarperCollins
Steeped in Love
b​y ​Julie Evelyn Joyce, Julie Evelyn Joyce Doner
My Dear One​ ​by ​Deborah Small, Deborah Small
The Long Weekend
​by ​Mimi Flood, Dreamy Morning Publishing
The Reluctant Traveler
​by ​Corinne Aarsen, Corinne Aarsen
Archibald Full Frontal ​by ​Kasey Goldstraw, Iguana Books

Rakuten Kobo’s team now turns over the difficult task of choosing just one winner per category from these lists of great books. Here is who takes the challenge to the next level:

Craig Davidson, Literary Fiction

Craig Davidson was born and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, near Niagara Falls. He has published four previous books of Literary Fiction, including ​Rust and Bone, which was the inspiration for a Golden Globe-nominated feature film of the same name; and the Scotiabank Giller Prize-nominated novel ​Cataract City​. His bestselling memoir, Precious Cargo,​ about his year spent driving a school bus for children with special needs, was a finalist for Canada Reads in 2018. His most recent novel, ​The Saturday Night Ghost Club,​ was shortlisted for the Writers Trust Fiction Prize. Davidson lives in Toronto with his partner and child.

Michael Harris, Non-Fiction

Michael Harris is the author of Solitude and The End of Absence​, which won the Governor General’s Literary Award. He writes about media, civil liberties, and the arts, for dozens of publications, including ​The Washington Post, Wired, Time, Salon, Discover, The Huffington Post​, and ​The Globe and Mail.​ His books are available in ten languages and have been nominated for the RBC Taylor Prize, the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the Chautauqua Prize and the CBC Bookie Award. He lives with the artist ​Kenny Park​ in Vancouver, Canada.

Dale Mayer, Genre Fiction (Romance)

Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her ​Psychic Visions, Family Blood Ties​ ​series and of course her thrilling military romance​ SEAL​ series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion, her thrillers will keep you guessing, and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling. To find out more about Dale and her books, visit her ​website​, Twitter @DaleMayer or Facebook @DaleMayer.author.

The winners of the fifth annual Emerging Writer Prize will be announced live on June 27th. ​Media are invited to attend and can register for the event by using the contact information below​.

About Rakuten Kobo Inc.

Owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten and headquartered in Toronto, Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s most innovative eReading services offering more than 6 million eBooks and audiobooks to millions of customers in 190 countries. Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides people with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders to suit any reader’s style including the Kobo Clara HD, Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, Kobo Aura ONE and Kobo Forma; along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading and audiobook listening app for iOS® and Android®. Kobo’s award-winning eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit ​www.kobo.com​.

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Media Contact
Sinead McElhinney
Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Senior Manager, Public Relations
416 977 8737 ext.3382
Sinead.McElhinney@rakuten.com

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