Last week, on November 18, I posted a review of Michael Crummey’s latest novel, Sweetland, in honour of his 50th birthday.
This week, on November 25, Mr. Crummey won the inaugural Writers’ Trust Fellowship valued at $50,000. On being named, he responded humbly: "'The Writers' Trust Fellowship was so unexpected, so extravagant and unlikely, that I'm still in shock,' said Crummey in a news release. 'It means time to work of course, something all writers fight for. And, given the literary talent in this country, it's a huge honour even to have been considered'" (http://www.cbc.ca/books/2015/11/michael-crummey-wins-inaugural-50k-writers-trust-fellowship.html).
The Writers' Trust Fellowship was established to celebrate Canada's sesquicentennial anniversary in 2017. Two more fellowships will be awarded in the next two years so a total of $150,000 will be given to Canadian writers in celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary. The money is “intended to free writers substantially from financial concerns and provide a window in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible.” Each fellowship will be awarded “to a writer who has demonstrated exceptional creative ability by producing an outstanding body of literary work and displayed the promise to add to that work” (http://www.writerstrust.com/News/News-(1)/Press-Release-Archive/Press-Releases/WT-Fellowship-(Nov-16-15).aspx). Writers in various genres will be considered, including fiction, literary non-fiction, poetry, and young adult literature.
Congratulations, Mr. Crummey! What a wonderful way to celebrate the end of your first half-century and the beginning of your second.