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Shortlist announced for Hamilton Literary Awards

Hamilton Arts Council will present the 30th annual recognition of writing excellence on Dec. 14.

The Hamilton Arts Council has revealed the shortlisted authors for the 30th annual Hamilton Literary Awards, which recognizes and celebrates literary excellence in the Greater Hamilton Area and Six Nations of the Grand River. 

The Dec. 14 awards ceremony will be hosted in partnership with Hamilton Public Library and sponsors Epic Books, and A Different Drummer Books.

Ceremony attendees will hear readings from the shortlisted authors. 

The awards recognize outstanding works published in 2022 across five categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, children's books, and the Kerry Schooley Book Award. The Kerry Schooley Book Award honours the book that most vividly evokes the essence of Hamilton and its surrounding areas. 

Anuja Varghese will return as the host for this special occasion. She is a distinguished Hamilton-based QWOC (queer woman of colour), writer, editor, and recipient of the 2023 Governor General's Literary Award in Fiction for her debut short story collection Chrysalis

“The 30th anniversary of the Hamilton Literary Awards is a testament to the vibrant and thriving community of writers, readers, publishers, editors, and booksellers who have continuously contributed to Hamilton's cultural legacy,” the Hamilton Arts Council said in a press release. 

“The awards have played a crucial role in shaping Hamilton's identity as a culturally enriching and inspiring city.” 

A limited number of tickets for the awards ceremony are available here.

The shortlisted authors for each category are: 


Ainslie Hogarth for Motherthing 

Robert McGill for A Suitable Companion for the End of Your Life 

Sheila Murray for Finding Edward


David J. Forsyth for Alice and the Machine Gunner

Joyce Grant for Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts

Rollie Pemberton for Bedroom Rapper: Cadence Weapon on Hip-Hop, Resistance and Surviving the Music Industry 

Carl Watts for I Just Wrote This Five Minutes Ago 


Gary Barwin for The Most Charming Creatures 

Fareh Malik for Streams that Lead Somewhere 

Chris Pannell for The Fragmentarium and Other Poems 


Joyce Grant for Can You Believe It? How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts

Lawrence Hill for Beatrice and Croc Harry

Sylvia McNicoll for What the Dog Knows 


Darrell Epp for Permanent Smoke 

Carrie Snyder for Francie’s Got a Gun 

Brent van Staalduinen for Cut Road