Past Judges


Judges

2021

Emma Donoghue

Emma Donoghue – Guest Adult Judge

Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge, England, before moving to Canada’s London, Ontario. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical (The Wonder, Slammerkin, Life Mask, The Sealed Letter) to the contemporary (Akin, Stir-Fry, Hood, Landing). Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and was a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth and Orange Prizes; her screen adaptation, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, was nominated for four Academy Awards. Her 2020 novel, Pull of the Stars, set in the maternity ward of a Dublin hospital during the great flu epidemic if 1918 was longlisted for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and appeared on many Best Books of 2020 lists. View her website

Heather Smith

Heather Smith – Youth Judge

Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Her middle-grade novel, Ebb & Flow, was short-listed for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was the winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her picture book, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, was recently named the winner of the 2019 Freeman Book Award for Children’s Literature. Heather has written several other books for young people including the award-winning, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe. Heather’s Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing. www.heathertsmith.com

2020

Jane Urquhart

Jane Urquhart – Guest Adult Judge

Jane Urquhart was born in the far north of Ontario. She is the author of eight internationally acclaimed novels, among them The Underpainter, winner of the Governor General’s Award and a finalist for the Orange Prize; Away, winner of the Trillium Book Award; and The Stone Carvers, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Governor General’s Award and the Man Booker Prize. Her work, which is published in many countries, has been translated into numerous languages. Urquhart has received the Marian Engel Award and the Harbourfront Festival Prize. She is a chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in France and is an Officer of the Order of Canada. Her most recent novel, The Night Stages, was published in 2015. Urquhart lives in southeastern Ontario with her husband, artist Tony Urquhart.

Heather Smith

Heather Smith – Youth Judge

Heather Smith is originally from Newfoundland and now lives in Waterloo, Ontario. Her middle-grade novel, Ebb & Flow, was short-listed for the 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award and was the winner of the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award. Her picture book, The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, was recently named the winner of the 2019 Freeman Book Award for Children’s Literature. Heather has written several other books for young people including the award-winning, The Agony of Bun O’Keefe. Heather’s Newfoundland roots inspire much of her writing. www.heathertsmith.com

2019

Nino Ricci 

Nino Ricci – Guest Adult Judge

Nino Ricci’s first novel was the internationally acclaimed Lives of the Saints. It spent 75 weeks on the Globe and Mail‘s bestseller list and was the winner in Canada of the F.G. Bressani Prize, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction, and in England of the Betty Trask Award and Winifred Holtby Prize. In the U.S. it was shortlisted for the Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction and was a New York Times Notable Book, and in France it was an Oiel de la lettre Selection of the National Libraries Association.

Nino Ricci’s first novel, Lives of the Saints, garnered international acclaim, appearing in 17 countries and winning a host of awards, including the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.  It formed the first volume of a trilogy that was adapted as a miniseries starring Sophia Loren.  

Ricci is also the author of the novels Testament, winner of the Trillium Award, and The Origin of Species, which earned him a second Governor General’s Award, and of the biography Pierre Elliott Trudeau, part of Penguin’s Extraordinary Canadians series. His most recent novel is Sleep, winner of the Canadian Authors’ Award for Fiction.

Ricci holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Windsor and is a past president of PEN Canada. In 2011 he was appointed a member of the Order of Canada. He has taught at institutions across North America, including Colorado College and Princeton University, and is currently the inaugural holder of Western University’s Alice Munro Chair in Creativity.

Marthe Jocelyn

Marthe Jocelyn – Youth Judge

Marthe Jocelyn is the award-winning author and illustrator of over thirty-five books for babies, kids and teens. Her illustrated books have been shortlisted for both the Governor General’s Literary Award and the Marilyn Baillie Picture Book Award. In 2009 she was the recipient of the prestigious Vicky Metcalf Award for her body of work. Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Marthe settled in Stratford after a thirty-year stretch in New York. For more information, visit www.marthejocelyn.com 

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