Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Longlist Announced for Leacock Medal

The longlist for the 2017 Leacock Medal (in alphabetical order by author surname) is:
  • John Armstrong for A Series of Dogs, New Star Books.
  • Mona Awad for 13 Ways of Looking at a Fat Girl, Penguin Canada.
  • Gary Barwin for Yiddish for Pirates, Random House Canada.
  • Judy Batalion for White Walls, New American Library/Random House Canada.
  • Lesley Crewe for Mary, Mary, Nimbus Publishing.
  • C. P. Hoff for A Town Called Forget, Five Rivers Publishing.
  • Marni Jackson for Don’t I Know You, Flatiron Books.
  • Amy Jones for We’re All in This Together, McClelland & Stewart.
  • Jack Knox for Hard Knox: Musings from the Edge of Canada, Heritage House Publishing.
  • Noah Richler for The Candidate: Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, Doubleday Canada.
  • Drew Hayden Taylor for Take Us to Your Chief And Other Stories, Douglas & McIntyre.

From the Stephen Leacock Associates Press Release:

This year’s longlist will be narrowed down to three Leacock Medal finalists, who will be announced in Orillia on Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

The final winner, who also receives a $15,000 prize supported by TD Bank Financial Group, is to be announced on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at a gala award dinner at Geneva Park Conference Centre, just outside Orillia, Ontario. The gala dinner is open to the public, and limited tickets are on sale exclusively through the Stephen Leacock Museum in Orillia.

In announcing the list, Taylor described the submissions this year as of exceptionally high quality. The judges and readers recommend all the longlisted books as entertaining Canadian works, worthy of consideration for this prestigious and unique literary humour award in Canada’s sesquicentennial year.

All the staff at Essential Edits are thrilled to see C. P. Hoff's A Town Called Forget on the longlist.

The novel follows the adventures of a young girl, sent without explanation to live with the eccentric aunt she didn't even know she had. As she tries to solve the mystery of her banishment, she slowly comes to terms with her aunt's skewed view of the world, and the exceedingly odd townsfolk of Forget.

From the moment we first saw the early drafts, we knew this novel was something special.

C.P. Hoff had already been working with Elizabeth McLachlan and had gone through several revisions before the Essential Edits group was formed. Recognizing Hoff's exceptional talent ("quirky" is the word Elizabeth uses to describe Hoff's writing), Elizabeth introduced the manuscript to Robert Runté, Senior Editor at Five Rivers Publishing.

Lesley Little, who had also reviewed the manuscript, told Robert, "You'll like it. It's really different. Quirky."

Robert passed it on to publisher Lorina Stephens, who at once recognized the manuscript's potential and personally took on the substantive editing of A Town Called Forget. Lorina calls Hoff "a unique, new voice", and when asked to describe Connie's style, replies with: "quirky".

Before it was sent off for copy editing, Robert line edited A Town Called Forget, and found it simultaneously hilarious and touching. "Hoff has created a narrative that is screwy and yet somehow completely credible—in a word: quirky!"

The entire Essential Edits team has its fingers crossed for the win.

This brings to three the number of books edited by Essential Edits staff that have been shortlisted for national awards, and the fourth for Five Rivers Publishing.

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