MFA Grad Up for Writing Award

March 26, 2009 - News Release

One of the first graduates of the University of Guelph-Humber's creative writing MFA program has been shortlisted for a prestigious prize for up-and-coming writers.

Jeff Latosik, 28, is one of three finalists for the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers. The prize, which alternates annually between poetry and fiction, is awarded to a writer under 35. This year's finalists were selected from a national pool of 135 nominees. The winner receives $5,000; finalists $1,000. Results will be announced April 1.

"It's a huge honour to be nominated," said Latosik, who enrolled at Guelph-Humber in 2006 and earned his MFA last August. "If you look at the history of this award, you'll find a very special list of names attached — the first of which, of course, is Bronwen Wallace."

Wallace was a creative writing teacher at St. Lawrence College and Queen's University and was known for mentoring young writers. She was the editor of Quarry Magazine and wrote four books of poetry and a collection of short stories before her death at age 44 in 1989.

The prize was established by her close friend Carolyn Smart as a tribute to Wallace and other young writers. The award has a proven track record of identifying young developing writers. Many past finalists have gone on to become household names in Canadian literature.

"Bronwen had a gift for showing us that there is no 'ordinary' experience — that all of it is extraordinary, that all of it opens up," Latosik said. "The award is part of her legacy, and I'm proud to be included in that."

Latosik received the P.K. Page Award in 2007 and captured first place in This Magazine's Great Literary Hunt in 2008. He's currently working on his first book.

He and the other two finalists will give readings April 1 at 1:30 p.m. at the Toronto Reference Library. The public event will also include interviews with the three finalists and will be hosted by Tina Srebotnjak, who anchored the TVOntario program Imprint and worked for CBC television and radio. The winner will be announced at a 6:30 p.m. event.

Now in its 15th year, the Bronwen Wallace award is supported by the RBC Foundation as part of its Emerging Artists Project.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, Ext. 53338,, or Barry Gunn, Ext. 56982,

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