We are proud to share that titles from two Transatlantic clients have been shortlisted for the 30th Annual Hamilton Literary Awards!

Started in 1993, the Hamilton Literary Awards (HLA) is an annual program presented by Hamilton Arts Council (HAC) to recognize and celebrate published authors from the Greater Hamilton Area and Six Nations of the Grand River.

Awards are presented for books that demonstrate literary excellence in the categories of Fiction, Non-Fiction, Poetry and the Kerry Schooley Book Award, which is to be given to the book that is most evocative of the City of Hamilton and/or the surrounding area. The Kerry Schooley Book Award is named in honour of the late, Kerry J. Schooley, who was a tireless advocate for literary arts in Hamilton. 

Presented in partnership with Hamilton Public Library, the winners will be announced on  Thursday, December 14th, 2023, during the live Ceremony!

To buy tickets or to view the other shortlisted titles, click here: https://www.hamiltonartscouncil.ca/literary-awards

More about the shortlisted titles:

In the Poetry Category: THE MOST CHARMING CREATURES by Gary Barwin

With uncanny wit, inventive beauty, and numinous surprise, THE MOST CHARMING CREATURES explores the contemporary and its language, considering our wonder, sorrow, bewilderment, anxiety, and tenderness. While these poems energize and connect and “turn the parentheses inside out so that we mean everything,” they are also alive to the alluring complicity of language and its duplicity and deceptions. “This is the way the world ends.  Not with a bang but while we watch.”

A follow-up to the award-winning author’s acclaimed selected poems, this new collection continues Barwin’s examination of the possibilities of the poem: a celebration, a story, an investigation, a riff, a word machine, a parable, a transformation. But what are the “most charming creatures” of the title? In 1862, scientific illustrator Ernst Haeckel termed radiolarians (ancient single-celled organisms with mineral skeletons) “the most charming creatures,” but here Barwin turns the microscope around to consider something just as strange and mysterious: language, our culture, and the self. From microorganisms, onion rings, grief, and Gerard Manley Hopkins to beetles, neoliberalism, sandwiches, Martin Luther, and stand-up comedy, he offers: “it’s a miracle that we’ve survived / it’s a miracle that we’ve survived at all.”

The bestselling author of 26 books of fiction and poetry, Gary Barwin has won the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour, the Canadian Jewish Literary Award, and has been a finalist for the Governor General’s Award and the Scotiabank Giller Prize. He lives in Hamilton, ON.

Gary’s novels are represented by Evan Brown and Samantha Haywood

In the Children’s Book Category: WHAT THE DOG KNOWS by Sylvia McNicoll

Naomi’s dog Diesel returns from the afterlife with one mission — can he save her?

It’s Naomi’s worst summer ever. Her dog, Diesel, died. Dad lost his job. Mom and Dad split up. The family is broke, and Naomi is stuck babysitting when she planned to take swimming lessons. Then Naomi’s sometime-friend Morgan convinces her to jump off a dock. On July 1 at precisely 4:30, when Naomi drowns, destiny shifts.

Naomi awakes a week earlier to Diesel talking to her. Through his canine counsel, he wants to show her how to fix things. “I can save you,” he barks. But no matter how often Naomi resets her watch, the time and date keep flipping back to July 1 at 4:30, which makes her wonder: Is my time running out?

Sylvia McNicoll has written over thirty-five novels for young audiences, including Body Swap and the Great Mistake Mystery series, inspired by her own errors and dog walks with her grandchildren. What the Dog Knows is a tribute to the many dogs she’s loved. She lives in Burlington, Ontario. 

Sylvia is represented by Amy Tompkins.

Congratulations to the shortlisted authors!