Jen FergusonUWindsor creative writing grad Jen Ferguson won a Governor General’s Literary Award for her young adult novel, “The Summer of Bitter and Sweet.”

Creative writing alumna wins Governor General’s Literary Award

University of Windsor alumna Jen Ferguson (MA 2010) won the Governor General’s Literary Award in Young People’s Literature – Text for her latest novel The Summer of Bitter and Sweet, published by Heartdrum imprint of HarperCollins.

The award’s peer assessment committee — Michael Hutchinson, Sharon Jennings, and Wesley King — described Ferguson’s work as a timely novel that flows from the author’s Métis and Canadian roots.

The Summer of Bitter and Sweet features vibrant prose, real family conflict, and a raw and evocative commentary on the struggles of being different in a small-town, prairie setting. Touching on subjects that speak to today’s challenges for 2SLGBTQI+ youth, the complex story delivers an emotional impact,” the committee wrote. “The recipe notes about ice cream add a scoop of sweetness to level out Lou’s sometimes bitter realities.”

The award winners are deemed the 14 best books published in Canada in 2022 by selection committees that chose them from among 70 finalists in seven categories, in both English and French.

The awards were announced on Nov. 16 by the Canada Council for the Arts.

—Susan McKee