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If you are looking for your next great read, look no further than this year’s W.O. Mitchell Book Prize finalists:

  • The Bittlemores by Jann Arden
  • Cantata and The Extinction Therapist by Clem Martini
  • It Begins in Salt by Natalie Meisner

Each spring The City of Calgary and the Writers’ Guild of Alberta celebrate Calgary’s thriving and diverse writing community through the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize.

Established in 1996, the W.O. Mitchell Book Prize honours Calgary’s beloved storyteller W.O. Mitchell, author of many short stories, plays and books including Who Has Seen the Wind, which sold close to a million copies.

The prize is part of the annual Calgary Awards, honouring incredible Calgarians in 13 categories. The final recipient will be announced June 12, 2024, during the Calgary Awards ceremony.

There were 56 submissions for the prize. Jury members considered visual style, depth, storyline structure, ability to engage the reader, and themes that resonate with the audience.

The three finalists will provide a reading from their book and discuss the background and cultural context of their writing at a public reading April 10, 7 p.m., at Shelf Life Books, 1302 4 Street S.W.

More information on the finalists can be found below and at the The Calgary Awards website. Information on the reading is available at the Writers’ Guild of Alberta.

The Bittlemores, Jann Arden 

Sean Chu

Sean Chu arrived in Calgary from Taiwan in 1985 speaking not a word of English, and within 7 years he was a sworn officer with the Calgary Police Service. From that point on Sean worked with the Calgary Police Service as on Officer for 21 years in a number of roles until 2013.

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