In February 2015, we launched our inaugural Kobo Emerging Writer Prize, designed to kick-start the careers of debut Canadian authors. More than 140 entries were received from 40 different traditional publishers, and from more than 45 self-published authors. The best debut writers in Canada have been chosen and awarded a $10,000 cash prize, as well as promotional, marketing, and communications support. Here are the winners!


Literary Fiction WinnerCircus by Claire Battershill



Miriam Toews

Here’s what judge Miriam Toews had to say about Circus:

 “Claire Battershill has a great style. She writes in a plain-spoken way, with precision and such economy, while at the very same time expertly weaving layers and more layers of depth and detail and comedy and pathos. The characters are tormented and big-hearted and odd and so finely drawn, and the sentences sing out with intelligence and confidence. We’re so lucky to have this fresh, robust and utterly compelling voice in our midst.”



Mystery Winner – Last of the Independents: Vancouver Noir by Sam Wiebe2014_12_19T10_10_19_Z_9781459709508


Ian Hamilton

Here’s what judge Ian Hamilton had to say about Last of the Independents:                                 

“Sam Wiebe’s Last of the Independents is a well-crafted homage to the age of crime noir combined with a thoroughly modern sensibility. Sam’s characters were engaging and tightly drawn. His dialogue was especially effective and rang true to the ear. Lastly, his plot was well thought-out and sustained. His competition for this first Kobo Emerging Writer Award was formidable, and that is a further compliment to the quality of Sam’s work.”


Non-Fiction Winner – Crazy Town: The Rob Ford Story by Robyn Doolittle



Charlotte Gray


Here’s what judge Charlotte Gray had to say about Crazy Town:

“Robyn Doolittle has done an excellent job in narrating the Rob Ford story, and describing the role of an investigative reporter in today’s media world. Her careful sourcing of facts, and her skill in shaping the drama, makes this much more than a barebones account of a drug-addicted local politician and his toxic family.”



Kobo announced the winner at an event in the Hôtel Le Germain in downtown Toronto. It was a great evening with the judges, shortlisted authors, publishers and Kobo folk in attendance. Congratulations to the winners! We look forward to doing it again next year.


Kobo President Michael Tamblyn announces the winners


A packed house, waiting for the winners to be announced


Literary Fiction Winner: Claire Battershill


Mystery Winner: Sam Wiebe

The three winning titles.

The three winning titles

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