Established by noted (and amazing) Canadian author Kenneth J. Harvey, and viewed by many as Canada’s “pre-eminent literary prize recognizing independent presses,” the ReLit honours novels, short fiction collections, and poetry from across the land. Past winners include Tony Burgess, Lisa Moore, Jonathan Goldstein, Bill Gaston, Peter Darbyshire, Gil Adamson, and Suzette Mayr, among many others.
This year, I’m delighted and appalled to find myself next to some amazing work; delighted for obvious reasons, and appalled because it doesn’t seem fair to taunt me by lumping me in with such astonishing peers. I find myself in direct competition to friends such as Joey Comeau (The Complete Lockpick Pornography, terrific), James Marshall (Ninja Versus Pirate Featuring Zombie, wonderful), and Barry Webster (The Lava in My Bones, my favourite novel of 2012), as well as a few others now automatically on my TBR list. Branching out to the other fields, I’m gratified to see buds Cliff Burns, Erin Moure, and Jason Heroux on the poetry list, and Julie Wilson, Trevor Clark, Elisabeth De Mariaffi, and Ian Rogers being singled out for their short story collections.
Will I win? All signs point to possible!