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Thornton wins $15,000 award

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 1/7/2011 (2243 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Winnipeg young-adult writer Duncan Thornton is one of seven recipients of the 2011 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Awards from the Canada Council for the Arts.

"I received this completely by surprise," says Thornton. "It's not an award you apply for."

Duncan Thornton

Duncan Thornton

The annual awards, worth $15,000 each, recognize outstanding mid-career artists in seven funded disciplines.

Thornton's 1999 fantasy novel Kalifax, the first in its eponymous trilogy, was nominated for a Governor General's Literary Award. His next novel is a stand-alone story set in the "real world" -- the "scariest, spookiest" place he could think of, which was Winnipeg in 1975.

The author hopes to have the book, tentatively titled Transactions of the Society, finished this summer; he confides his diagnosis with multiple sclerosis in 2009 had been "a blow to getting work done," until he underwent a balloon angioplasty procedure in Poland last year. He says he continues to feel well.

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Until Sept. 10, readers can vote for their favourite of four finalists for the Winnipeg Public Library's provincewide reading initiative On the Same Page, now in its fourth year.

This year's finalists include three novels: David Arnason's Baldur's Song, J. R. Léveillé's The Settling Lake Sun -- the first appearance of the author's work in English -- and Craig Russell's YA tome Black Bottle Man.

"It's been such a thrilling year," says Russell, a lawyer based in Brandon. Black Bottle Man was nominated for two 2011 Manitoba Book Awards, and was shortlisted last month for the 2011 Prix Aurora Award for best English novel, presented by the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association.

Russell, who's received invitations for readings from as far as Calgary and Toronto, will sign copies of the book on July 16 at McNally Robinson.

The only non-fiction nominee is Winnipeg 1912, by former Manitoba Historical Society president Jim Blanchard.

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Broadsheet Magazine, Toronto's newest literary publication, intends to promote Canadian fiction by combining old and new media.

A free prototype edition will feature six to eight short stories as well as comic strips, reports Canadian literary trade magazine Quill & Quire. The volume is set to appear in time for Toronto's Word on the Street festival on Sept. 25, and will exist simultaneously as newsprint and as a downloadable online edition.

The pilot issue will have a print run of 10,000 copies; beginning in spring 2012, monthly editions with print runs of 40,000 are to be produced. All contributors are Canadian, with authors being approached for contributions.

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Graham Chapman, deceased former member of legendary British comedy troupe Monty Python, is to be the subject of a 3-D animated biopic, based on his 1980 memoir A Liar's Autobiography: Volume VI.

The film will blend contributions from surviving Python members John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam with existing audio of Chapman reading from his book. Chapman died of cancer in 1989.

Also featuring segments produced by 15 separate animation houses, the film is set for a U.K. release next spring, reports The Guardian in England.

Read more by Kenton Smith.


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