So, I won York’s President’s Creative Writing award in the Screenplay category (honourable mention). President’s award “recognizes excellence in short fiction, poetry, screenplay and stage play.” Awards like this are always encouraging. But I wanted to see if that meant something more, so I searched previous winners from the screenplay and similar categories. Where are they now? Here they are and what they do:
Madeleine Patton was nominated this year for the WGC award (The Writers Guild of Canada); she wrote for CBC, Nickelodeon, TVO, and HBO Max; Olivia Loccisano is a writer and director; Luke Reece is Associate Artistic Director at Soulpepper Theatre Company and one of Toronto’s most decorated slam poets; Rodrigo Herrara, the first winner in the screenplay category from 2013, is VP of Scripted Acquisitions and Co-Productions at Red Arrow Studios International. Melanie White is a scriptwriter for Goalcast; Matthew Walsh was shortlisted for Trillium Book Award; Mark Jordan Manner published short stories in many magazines; Sara Flemington published a book last year…
Of course, this could mean everything and nothing. I was recently at a round table with publishers – Alana Wilcox (Coach House Books), Canisia Lubrin (McLelland & Stewart), and Leigh Nash (Publisher House of Anansi) – and learned more about publishing in Canada: to succeed as a writer requires more than talent. Producer Laura Friedmann mentioned how the community is essential for writers and artists on another round table. At the award ceremony, we heard the same thing from David Goldstein, Creative Writing program coordinator and book author. They meant community as people around you that you write with and the ones that support what you do – writers’ community. The award ceremony in the Private Dining Room at Schulich Executive Learning Center exemplifies a community gathering. It felt like home.
See the past winners here.