Today’s Poll

Calling emerging writers for the 10th annual Richard Carver Award

By Contributor
May 9th, 2023

The Nelson and District Arts Council and Elephant Mountain Literary Festival request assistance in nominating emerging writers in West Kootenay communities for the 10th Annual Carver Award.

The award, which comes with a $500 cash prize, will be presented at the Elephant Mountain Literary Festival in Sept 2023.

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, the 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. 

“Last year I received the Richard Carver Award for being a local emerging writer,” said The 2022 recipient Zaynab Mohammed.

“Well, I have emerged! This award was like a set of wings for me to take flight. Since receiving this award, my career as a performance poet and writer propels me to new heights as each season passes. I’m thankful for my community, for the arts and for what is possible when we explore expression in thoughtful and creative ways.”

After Richard passed away in 2009, the Arts Council founded this award, which has been awarded nine 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, in 2021 writer Sarah Beauchamp, and in 2022 poet Zaynab Mohammed was chosen by an arms-length jury to receive the award.

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

Inquiries may be sent to: with “Carver Award” in the subject line.

The deadline for nominations is Monday, June 26th, 5 p.m. 2023.

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