Jaclyn Desforges wins RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award
Jaclyn Desforges has won the RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award for unpublished writers aged 17-30. The award, generously funded by the RBC Emerging Artists Project, includes a $2,000 cash prize and mentorship from a prominent Canadian writer.
Desforges is the third Canadian writer to receive the New Voices Award since RBC began its partnership with PEN in 2016. Jurists Emily Keeler, David Bezmozgis, and Elizabeth Ruth selected her work from a record number of submissions. “Desforges’ story is an artful accomplishment; the author braids Aristotle, botany, and fairy tales into a story of remarkable subtlety. The ambitious and sophisticated structure of the work results in moments of brilliant and unusual interplay between its different parts,” said the jury.
Desforges is a Hamilton-based writer and the founder of Nest & Story, which offers writing workshops and coaching in-person and online. Her writing has a ppeared in Mortar Magazine, Literary Mama, Peregrine and is forthcoming in Minola Review. She is currently completing her MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia.
“I am so grateful to have been chosen for the award. I’m honoured to be connected to this incredible organization and thrilled that the judges enjoyed my story,” said Desforges. “I love that PEN Canada not only advocates for established writers who have been silenced but also supports emerging writers as they work to find their authentic voices.”
The RBC Emerging Artists Project provides financial support to organizations like PEN Canada to develop young talent. 2017 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices Award winner, Mikko Harvey’s debut collection of poetry, Unstable Neighbourhood Rabbit, is forthcoming from Anansi and the 2016 winner, Toronto-based writer Laura Legge, went on to win the 2016 PEN International New Voices Award, secure representation by a literary agent, and is now writing her first novel.