The maxim “good things come in threes” rings especially true for the English department after three of its own received nominations for literary awards.
UWindsor creative writing graduate Kaitlin Tremblay, creative writing master’s graduate Shawna Diane Partridge and professor Susan Holbrook have each been shortlisted for different awards.
Tremblay was nominated for a 2016 Shirley Jackson Award for coediting Those Who Make Us: Canadian Creature, Myth, and Monster Stories. The anthology features 18 authors and takes the reader on a journey ranging from an encounter with the Metis creature Rugaru to trolls dissatisfied with modern life in Toronto.
The Shirley Jackson Awards are presented for outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction. Winners will be announced in July.
Partridge’s novel Rule of Seconds was shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award and began as her creative writing master’s thesis at the University of Windsor.
“As a first-time author I was a bit stunned,” said Partridge, who now lives and works in Sudbury. “The book is inspired by my great-grandmother who ran an illegal bar in her three-storey boarding house in Sault Ste. Marie.”
Partridge said she was captivated by these stories growing up and chose them as the focus of her creative writing master’s thesis.
The novel follows the 26-year-old protagonist Sheila as she digs into her family’s past in hopes of uncovering the cause of her epilepsy.
Partridge, who has had epilepsy since she was 13, describes the novel as “a fiction that has flashes of truth.”
Sunday marked the first anniversary of the book’s release and Partridge said she’s already started to work on the sequel.
“Rule of Seconds covers four generations of my family and so my plan is to write a series focusing on each of the women,” she said.
The winners of the Northern Lit Awards will be announced during the Ontario Library Service – North annual conference in September.
Finally, Dr. Holbrook’s Throaty Wipes has been nominated for Ontario’s highest literary achievement — the Trillium Book Award. The collection of poetry had received a previous nomination for a Governor General’s Award and presents a mash-up of consumer society filled with Disney princesses, Barbie dolls, biblical myth and the hard work of birthing.
"I feel really grateful to have had the support of the English department in the students and colleagues," Holbrook said.
"The editor of the book was one of my colleagues Nicole Markotic and so she is a big part of the book's success."
The announcement of the Trillium Book Award winners will take place on June 20 in Toronto.