ANDREAS SCHROEDER RECEIVES THE GRAEME GIBSON AWARD
Author Andreas Schroeder was presented with the Graeme Gibson Award by The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) at its Annual General Meeting on May 26, 2012. Established by the Union in 1991 for “varied and remarkable contributions to improve the circumstances of writers in Canada,” the award was first given to Graeme Gibson. In 1992 it was given to Pierre Berton and in 2011 to Heather Robertson. Andreas Schroeder is its fourth recipient.
Andreas Schroeder was the Chair of The Writers’ Union in 1976/77 and was instrumental in creating Canada’s Public Lending Right (PLR), which came into existence in 1986. The Public Lending Right provides for a modest but critical annual payment to Canadian book authors whose works are available in Canadian libraries for lending. As early as 1972 writers including Marian Engel began lobbying for a Public Lending Right in Canada. Andreas got involved in earnest in 1975, and it took 11 more years of effort before the Public Lending Right Commission (PLRC) came into being, when Matt Cohen was TWUC Chair. Andreas then became the PLRC’s Founding Chair (1985-1988) and continued to serve on its Board from 1988 to 2008. By PLR’s 25th anniversary in 2011, it was mailing cheques totalling $9.9 million to 17,487 Canadian authors.
“Every Canadian writer has Andreas to thank, as one who worked so hard over the years to make PLR happen and to make it work,” said Greg Hollingshead, Writers’ Union Chair. “It’s been a wonderful legacy for a quarter century of Canadian writing.”
Andreas Schroeder is the author of 23 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry including Renovating Heaven, Shaking It Rough, Dustship Glory, and File of Uncertainties. His books have been finalists for the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Sealbooks First Novel Award, the Arthur Ellis Award for Non-Fiction, and the BC Book Prize Ethel Wilson Fiction Award. He has won the Ontario Library Association Red Maple Award twice for young-adult nonfiction. His work as a journalist has earned him a National Magazine Award, a Stephen Leacock Award, and a Canadian Association of Journalists’ Best Investigative Journalism Award. He has long been a mentor to young writers and currently holds the Rogers Communications Chair in Creative Nonfiction at the University of British Columbia. Andreas Schroeder lives in Roberts Creek, on British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast.
The Writers’ Union of Canada is our country’s national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers.
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