The Writers’ Union of Canada and the Gleed family are pleased to announce the jury for the $10,000 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, Canada’s pre-eminent award for the best first Canadian collection of short fiction in the English language, now celebrating its 23rd year.

This year’s jury comprises authors Lesley Choyce, Norma Dunning, and Djamila Ibrahim.

A short list will be announced in early May 2020, with the winner and two finalists being named in late May 2020, in conjunction with The Writers’ Union of Canada’s OnWords Conference and Annual General Meeting. The winner receives $10,000 and each of the two finalists is awarded $500.

To be eligible, books must be first collections of short fiction written by a Canadian citizen or permanent resident and published in Canada in the English language in the 2019 calendar year. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2020. Eligible titles may be submitted by publishers according to submission guidelines available at writersunion.ca/danuta-gleed-literary-award.


Lesley Choyce is a novelist, poet, surfer, broadcaster, publisher, musician, and teacher in Lawrencetown Beach, Nova Scotia. He is the author of 99 books for adults, teens, and children, and teaches in the English department and Transition Year Program at Dalhousie University. He is a year-round surfer and founding member of the 1990s spoken word rock band, The SurfPoets. Choyce also runs Pottersfield Press, a small literary publishing house, and hosted the national TV show Off The Page for many years. His books have been translated into Spanish, French, German, Danish, Swedish, and Slovenian and he has been awarded the Dartmouth Book Award and the Ann Connor Brimer Award.

Dr. Norma Dunning is an Inuit writer, scholar, researcher, and grandmother. Her short story collection, Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, challenges readers’ perceptions about Inuit people. It won the 2018 INDIE Book of the Year Award (Short Stories) and the 2017 Danuta Gleed Literary Award. Her short story “Elipsee” won the Writers’ Guild of Alberta’s Howard O’Hagan Award. The collection was also shortlisted for the 2018 Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Book Prize. Her first collection of poetry, titled Eskimo Pie: A poetics of Inuit Identity (BookLand Press Inc.), is scheduled for release in December of 2019. Her second collection of short stories is slated to launch in October 2020 and a book of nonfiction concerning assimilative practices experienced by Inuit Canadians is scheduled for release in September of 2021 (both books through Douglas & McIntyre).

Djamila Ibrahim was born in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and moved to Canada in 1990. Her stories have been shortlisted for the University of Toronto’s Penguin Random House Canada Student Award for Fiction and Briarpatch Magazine’s creative writing contest. Her first collection of short stories, Things Are Good Now, was shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Award in 2019. She was formerly a senior advisor for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. She lives in Toronto.


The Danuta Gleed Literary Award was created as a celebration of the life of Danuta Gleed, a writer whose short fiction won several awards before her death in 1996. Danuta Gleed’s first collection of short fiction, One of the Chosen, was posthumously published by BuschekBooks. The Award is made possible through a generous donation from John Gleed in memory of his late wife, and is administered by The Writers’ Union of Canada.

The Award was first given in 1998 for books published in 1997.


The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,100 members strong, TWUC promotes the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. TWUC believes a lively and diverse literary culture is essential in defining Canada and its people.

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For additional information:
John Degen, Executive Director
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416-703-8982 x 221

DATE: November 11, 2019