The Koffler Centre of the Arts has announced the 2020 Vine Awards Shortlist, which includes  BROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer and AGNES, MURDERESS by Sarah Leavitt! The Vine Awards honors the best Canadian Jewish literature in four categories: Fiction, History, Non-Fiction, Young Adult/Children’s literature, and Poetry.

AGNES, MURDERESS by Sarah Leavitt (Freehand Books) has been nominated in the Fiction category. This is what the award jury had to say about the graphic novel:

“Sarah Leavitt delivers a most powerful story, artfully tying together the engaging voice of her protagonist with well-timed ellipses and magical drawings that are the hallmark of the successful graphic novel.”

Sarah Leavitt is the author of Tangles: A Story of Alzheimer’s, My Mother, and Me and Agnes, Murderess. Tangles was published in Canada, the US, the UK, Germany, France, and Korea, and was a finalist for the Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize in 2010. It is currently in development as a feature-length animation. Leavitt teaches comics classes at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. Sarah is represented by Samantha Haywood.

BROKEN STRINGS by Eric Walters and Kathy Kacer (Penguin Random House Canada Young Readers) is nominated in the Young Adult/Children’s literature category and here’s what the jury had to say:

“Broken Strings seamlessly blends themes of young love, artistic identity, 9/11, grief, and the Auschwitz orchestra into a moving and insightful young adult novel.”

Eric Walters is one of Canada’s best-known and most prolific writers of fiction for children and young adults. His books have been translated into thirteen languages and have won over 120 awards, including thirteen separate children’s choice awards, as well as the Africana Children’s Book Award, the UNESCO Award for Literature in Service of Tolerance and The Christopher Award. He lives in Guelph, Ontario, and is the co-founder of Creation of Hope, a charity that provides care for orphans in the Mbooni district of Kenya. In 2014 Eric was named a Member of the Order of Canada

Kathy Kacer’s award-winning list of Holocaust fiction and non-fiction for young readers includes The Secret of Gabi’s Dresser (winner of OLA Silver Birch Award), The Diary of Laura’s Twin (winner of the National Jewish Book Council Award [US] as well as the Canadian Jewish Book Award), Hiding Edith (winner of the OLA Silver Birch Award; the Sydney Taylor Book Award [Association of Jewish Libraries], Notable Book for Older Readers; and the Yad Vashem Award for Children’s Holocaust Literature [Israel]), and To Look a Nazi in the Eye (a Sydney Taylor Honor Book for Teens). Her books have been published and translated in twenty countries. She is the child of Holocaust survivors, and the parent of two actors and musical theater performers.

Both Eric and Kathy are represented by Amy Tompkins.

The Vine Awards winners will be announced this year at an online Awards Ceremony on November 18, 2020.

See the full list of honorees here: