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Third Annual Kobo Emerging Writer Prize Winners Announced

June 28, 2017

Toronto, ONJune 28, 2017 – Last night Rakuten Kobo announced this year’s Emerging Writer Prize recipients. A winner in each of the Literary Fiction, Speculative Fiction, and Non-Fiction categories received a $10,000 CAD cash prize as well as promotional, marketing, and communications support to help kick off their burgeoning careers.

Winners of the Kobo Emerging Writer Prize

The Literary Fiction prize is awarded to Lynne Kutsukake for The Translation of Love, published by Knopf Canada

About the book: An emotionally gripping portrait of postwar Japan, where a newly repatriated girl must help a classmate find her missing sister.

Author Zoe Whittall, this year’s Literary Fiction judge, says: “The Translation of Love is a tremendously accomplished work, a propulsive and layered story, the scope of which is quite unusual for a first novel. I was gripped and often very moved while reading and it stayed with me for weeks.”

The Speculative Fiction prize has been awarded to Dee Willson for A Keeper's Truth, published by Driven Press

About the book: Every one of us has a soul. Some are new, some old, and a few, The Dangerous, are lost. But only twelve know why we have a soul at all. Only twelve remember mankind’s forbidden past.

Author Kelley Armstrong, this year’s Speculative Fiction judge, says: “A Keeper’s Truth strikes a fine balance for genre fiction, finding freshness within the conventions. The plot finds an equal balance between research and imagination, while never sacrificing characterization.”

The Non-Fiction prize has been awarded to Teva Harrison for In-Between Days, published by House of Anansi Press

About the book: Teva Harrison was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer at the age of 37. In this brilliant and inspiring graphic memoir, she documents through comic illustration and short personal essays what it means to live with the disease.

Author Ross King, this year’s Non-Fiction judge says: “In-Between Days is an absolutely mesmerising read. Without ever becoming sentimental or self-pitying, Teva Harrison explores an unbearable situation with honesty, courage, humour, and heart-breaking poignancy. Her account of dealing with a terrifying cancer diagnosis ultimately becomes an uplifting celebration of living.”

More about the prize

The winners were selected among a shortlist of talented Canadian authors, chosen by Kobo’s team of booksellers, with book completion rates, customer ratings and reviews taken into consideration.

Shortlist (announced May 1, 2017):

Literary Fiction

The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake - Knopf Canada
Kay's Lucky Coin Variety by Ann Choi - Touchstone
Middenrammers by John Bart - Freehand
School of Velocity by Eric Beck Rubin - Doubleday Canada
The Clay Girl by Heather Tucker - ECW Pres
Girl Mans Up by M-E Girard - HarperCollins Canada

Genre Fiction (Speculative Fiction)

The Life Engineered by Jean-Francois Dubeau - Inkshares
Three Years with the Rat by Jay Hosking - Penguin Canada
A Keeper's Truth by Dee Willson - Driven Press
The Darkhouse by Barbara Radecki - Cormorant Books
GREY by Kade Cook - Theo & Quinn Creative Works
The Alchemists’ Council by Cynthea Masson - ECW Press


Dark Ambition by Ann Brocklehurst - Penguin Canada
Closer by Sarah Barmak - Coach House Books
In-Between Days by Teva Harrison - House of Anansi Press
100 Million Years Of Food by Stephen Le - HarperCollins Canada
The Elephants in My Backyard by Rajiv Surendra - Random House of Canada
Fearless as Possible (Under the Circumstances) by Denise Donlon - House of Anansi Press

The Kobo Emerging Writer prize is eligible to Canadian citizens or legal residents of Canada who published debut books during the 2016 calendar year in the categories of Literary Fiction, Genre Fiction (Speculative Fiction this year; a different genre is highlighted each year), or Non-Fiction. All submitted books must be available at

For more details:

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 5 million eBooks 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 Aura, Kobo Aura H2O, and Kobo Aura ONE. Along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple®, BlackBerry®, Android®, and Windows®, Kobo ensures the next great read is just a page-turn away. Kobo’s award-wining eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit


Media Contact
René d’Entremont
Rakuten Kobo Inc.
Director, Public Relations
416.977.8737 x 3587

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