Major New Canadian Literature Prize Unveils Shortlist


HAMILTON, ON – The brand new Ross and Davis Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing has unveiled its first shortlist of entrants. A panel of judges, including 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate George Elliott Clarke and former PEN Canada President Randy Boyagoda, reviewed work from 250 entries. They selected the following group of Canadians as finalists for the prize’s two categories:

Short Story
Tendisai Cromwell (Edmonton, AB) – The Common Believer
Susan Fish (Waterloo, ON) – Easter Water
Fraser Tingle (Calgary, AB) – Home
Brandon Trotter (Calgary, AB) – Saint 148
Jessica Walters (Langley, BC) – Glass Jars

Poetry Suite
Yuliya Barannik (Toronto, ON) – Ramadan Letters
Wanda Campbell (Gaspereau, NS) – The Book of Hours
Sarah Klassen (Winnipeg, MB) – Rise and Go<
Rowda Mohamud (Oakville, ON) – Please Find Yourself a Space
Shane Neilson (Oakville, ON) – Loss Sonnets

The prize will award a total of $25,000 for faith-themed writing – $10,000 to the winner and $2,500 to the runner-up in each category.

“It’s so exciting to be part of something new that will enrich the breadth of Canadian literature, celebrate diversity, and promote new voices,” said Doug Sikkema, project lead for the Mitchell Prize. “Faith is an important part of Canadian literature, and we want to really take the time to celebrate and encourage that in a unique way.”

Judging the short story category are:

  • Dr. Randy Boyagoda, Principal and Vice President of the University of St. Michael’s College, University of Toronto
  • Susan Lynn Reynolds, award-winning writer and novelist
  • Dr. David Staines, Professor of English at the University of Ottawa

Judging the poetry suite category are:

  • George Elliott Clarke, 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate (2016-17) and 4th Poet Laureate of Toronto (2012-2015)
  • Dr. Deborah Bowen, Professor Emerita of English at Redeemer University
  • Dr. Todd Swift, Writer-in-residence for Pembroke College, University of Cambridge, England

The winners and runners-up will be announced on October 30th at a reception in Toronto’s Aga Khan Museum with authors, judges, and members of the Mitchell family in attendance. The reception will be open to the public and media. Tickets for the reception are available for purchase.

Members of the media may request a media pass by contacting Daniel Proussalidis, Cardus – Director of Communications at or 613-241-4500 x508.

For further contest details, please, visit the Faith in Canada 150 website.


About Cardus

Cardus is a non-partisan, not-for-profit public policy think tank focused on the following areas: education, family, work & economics, social cities, end-of-life care, and religious freedom. It conducts independent and original research, produces several periodicals, and regularly stages events with Senior Fellows and interested constituents across Canada and the U.S. To learn more, visit: and follow us on Twitter @cardusca.

About Faith in Canada 150

Faith in Canada 150 is a program of Cardus that exists to celebrate the role of faith in our life together during Canada’s anniversary celebrations in 2017. For more than 450 years, faith has shaped the human landscape of Canada. It has shaped how we live our lives, how we see our neighbours, how we fulfill our social responsibilities, and how we imagine our life together. To learn more, visit: and follow us on Twitter @FC150.


Cardus is a non-partisan think tank dedicated to clarifying and strengthening, through research and dialogue, the ways in which society's institutions can work together for the common good.