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Call for Nominations: Carver Emerging Writers Award

By Contributor
March 16th, 2021

The Nelson and District Arts Council and Elephant Mountain Literary Festival request assistance in nominating emerging writers in West Kootenay communities for the 9th Annual Carver Award.

The award, which comes with a $500 cash prize, will be presented at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival in July 2021.

Nominations must be for writers just starting in their careers who have had one to two books published, or an equivalent body of work published in anthologies or literary journals.

The work must be creative, literary writing, including fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and writing for children and teens. Self-published authors are eligible.

Nominees, who must reside in the West Kootenay, are judged using three criteria: quality of work, strength of nomination, and community engagement.

Nominations must include name and contact information for both the nominator and the nominee, writing discipline (fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, teen, children’s, etc), titles of published works and their publishers, and a paragraph outlining the reason for the nomination.

Richard Carver was a lover of the arts and the Kootenays, and he was invested in the community. He was a mover and shaker on the board of the Nelson and District Arts Council, the primary sponsor of this award named in his honour. His daughter Jocelyn Carver, an arts lover herself, has continued the family’s generous support of this award.

“Richard believed in creative endeavour for its own sake,” says friend and EMLF committee member Anne DeGrace.“He believed in the process, and he was always generous with his encouragement.”

After Richard passed away in 2009, the Arts Council founded this award, which has been awarded eight times. Children’s author Darcee O’Hearne was the recipient in 2013, followed by poet Jane Byers in 2014. In 2015 the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival became a partner in the award, which that year was split between two deserving authors, Susan Dancer and Avi Silberstein.

The recipients in 2016 were Donna Macdonald and Alanda Greene. In 2017 the recipient was Diana Morita Cole. In 2018 the Carver Award honoured longtime literary advocates Morty Mint and Ernest Hekkanen, and 2019 the award returned to recognition of an emerging writer, poet Rayya Liebich. In 2020 author Danielle LaRocque was honoured.

For full information please visit the Nelson and District Arts Council website at

Nominations and inquiries may be sent to: with “Carver Award” in the subject line.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, April 19th 5 p.m. 2021.

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