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Second Annual Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Shortlist Announced

April 19, 2016

Toronto, ONApril 19, 2016 – Rakuten Kobo, in search for the best new books written by debut Canadian authors, today announced the shortlist for its second annual Emerging Writer Prize. The award was created with the goal of kick-starting the careers of debut 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). In addition, each winning author will receive promotional, marketing, and communications support through 2016.

The shortlist, selected by Kobo’s team of booksellers among traditionally and self-published titles—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: Camilla Gibb for Non-Fiction, Gail Anderson-Dargatz for Literary Fiction, and Lynsay Sands for Genre Fiction (Romance), with winners announced on June 21.


Literary Fiction

  • Meadowlark by Wendi Stewart - NeWest Press
  • Pillow by Andrew Battershill - Coach House Books
  • Specimen by Irina Kovalyova - House of Anansi Press
  • Debris by Kevin Hardcastle - Biblioasis
  • Birdie by Tracey Lindberg - HarperCollins Canada
  • Nothing Like Love by Sabrina Ramnanan - Doubleday Canada

Genre Fiction (Romance)

For more information, please visit:


Camilla Gibb – Author Judge – Non-Fiction\

Camilla Gibb is the author of a memoir called This Is Happy, as well as four novels – Mouthing the Words, The Petty Details of So-and-so's Life, Sweetness in the Belly and The Beauty of Humanity Movement. She has been the recipient of the Trillium Book Award, the City of Toronto Book Award and the CBC Canadian Literary Award, and shortlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the RBC Taylor Prize for Non-Fiction. In addition to her books, Camilla has written a variety of essays, articles and reviews published in top publications such as The Guardian, Toronto Life, and The Globe and Mail, among others. She has a Ph.D. from Oxford University and is an adjunct faculty member of the graduate creative writing programs at the University of Toronto and the University of Guelph-Humber. Camilla is currently the June Callwood Professor in Social Justice at Victoria College, University of Toronto. For more information, please visit

Gail Anderson-Dargatz - Author Judge – Literary Fiction

Gail Anderson-Dargatz’s newest novel, The Spawning Grounds, is slated for release in September and is her first since the 2007 bestseller Turtle Valley. Her novels have been published in several languages worldwide; her first novel, The Cure For Death By Lightning, met with terrific acclaim and garnered her the UK’s Betty Trask Award and a nomination for Canada’s Giller Prize. A Recipe for Bees soon followed with nominations for the Giller and the IMPAC Dublin Award. A Rhinestone Button was a national bestseller in Canada and her first book, The Miss Hereford Stories, was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour. After nearly a decade of teaching within the optional-residency creative writing MFA program at the University of British Columbia, Gail now mentors writers around the world through her own on-line forums. She also hosts the Providence Bay Writers' Camp for adults on Manitoulin Island, Lake Huron, Ontario. For more, please visit Gail’s website:

Lynsay Sands - Author Judge – Genre Fiction (Romance)

Lynsay Sands is the bestselling author of the Argeneau/Rogue Hunter vampire series, as well as numerous historical romances and anthologies. She’s been writing since grade school and considers herself incredibly lucky to be able to make a career out of it. Her hope is that readers can get away from their everyday stress through her stories, and if there are occasional uncontrollable fits of laughter, that’s just a big bonus. Please visit her on the web at


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René d’Entremont

Rakuten Kobo Inc.

Director, Public Relations

416.977.8737 x 3587

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