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Two Books, Two Major Awards

Nicholas Herring Wins Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for Some Hellish

“What Cormac McCarthy did for cowboys and horses, Nicholas Herring does for fishermen and boats in his novel Some Hellish. With a deep knowledge of the Island and a passion for the language of work, Herring’s voice is droll and philosophical, ribald and poetic. The age-old story of humans versus nature finds a fresh cadence as Herring trawls the seas for body and soul. There is a dark beauty within this story, and it will make the reader’s heart sing.” — Jury Citation

Nicholas Herring author photoSome Hellish book cover

Congratulations to Nicholas Herring on winning the $60,000 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize for his debut novel, Some Hellish. The award was presented at the 2022 Writers’ Trust Awards on Wednesday, November 2. The livestream was recorded and is available for viewing online.

Named in honour of Writers' Trust co-founders Margaret Atwood and Graeme Gibson, the Atwood Gibson Prize recognizes writers of exceptional talent for the best novel or short-story collection of the year. This award is generously funded by Canadian businessperson and philanthropist Jim Balsillie.

“I wanted to write something that was entertaining; something that was beautiful and truthful and difficult. I really wanted to write something that was kind of like life — as I see it at this moment in time.” — Nicholas Herring, The Next Chapter.

Get your own copy of Some Hellish at your local bookstore or at

Kazim Ali Wins the Banff Mountain Book Award for Environmental Literature for Northern Light

Northern Light is the story of a queer Muslim poet, son of political refugees from India, who travels back to his childhood home in northern Manitoba to revisit the Pimicikamak people whose way of life was ravaged by the dam his father helped build. . . .The result is a book which manages to bridge difficult gaps: a story that is equal parts sobering and inviting, prosaic and poetic, devastating and subtly optimistic. Everything about the book feels brave, as author Kazim Ali resolves to expose and celebrate the light in places where, all too often, the prevailing cultural narrative sees only darkness.” — Jury Citation 

Kazim Ali author photoNorthern Light book cover

Congratulations to Kazim Ali on winning the $2,500 Banff Mountain Book Award for Environmental Literature for his book Northern Light on Thursday, November 3.

An international literary competition, the Banff Mountain Book Competition celebrates mountain literature in all its forms. Every year, more than $20,000 is awarded across eight awards selected by an international jury of writers, adventurers, and editors.

“In Northern Light there were two things I wanted to contend with. One was to write about my own experiences as a settler, as a young boy growing up on unceded land. I wanted to deal with this national story, the story of Canada . . . I’ve always felt a certain level of honor and respect for the role my father played in bringing electricity to the province; it was difficult to learn that it came at a cost for so many people. So I wanted to subvert that narrative.” — Kazim Ali,

Get your own copy of Northern Light at your local bookstore or at

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