COCKTAIL shortlisted for the Danuta Gleed Literary Award!

We’re pleased to share that this morning, The Writers’ Union of Canada announced the shortlist for the 2023 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which includes Cocktail by Lisa Alward (Sep 12, 2023)! Check out the full shortlist announcement here.

About Cocktail, the jury praised:

“Lisa Alward’s Cocktail is skilful in its ability to capture the nuance and details of daily life in a way that is striking and deeply felt. With beautiful, precise descriptions and expert pacing, she effortlessly reveals tensions that feel both classic and utterly her own. Exploring the emotional and sexual tensions of couples and families in the Sixties and Seventies, these narratives bring the reader to the core of those unspoken moments, leaving us unsettled. The clarity of sound in Lisa Alward’s sentences—word after word after word—makes it impossible to turn your ear away. This is a quiet voice that booms.”

The 27th annual Danuta Gleed Literary Award recognizes the best first collection of short fiction by a Canadian author published in 2023 in the English language. The Award consists of cash prizes for the three best first collections, with a first prize of $10,000 and two additional prizes of $1,000 each.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, June 11th at noon EDT on Facebook Live on The Writers’ Union of Canada’s page.

Grab your copy of Cocktail here!


Longlisted for the 2024 Carol Shields Prize for Fiction • Shortlisted for the New Brunswick 2023 Mrs. Dunster’s Award for Fiction • One of the Globe and Mail’s “Sixty-Two Books to Read This Fall” • Listed in CBC Books Fiction to Read in Fall 2023 • A Miramichi Reader Best Book of 2023 • A Tyee Best Book of 2023

“A writer to watch.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

A girl receives a bedtime visit from a drunken party guest, who will haunt her fantasies for years. A young mother discovers underneath the wallpaper a striking portrait that awakens inconvenient desires. A divorced man distracts himself from the mess he’s made by flirting with a stranger. These intimate, immersive stories explore life’s watershed moments, in which seemingly insignificant details—a pot of hyacinths, a freshly painted yellow wall—and the most chance of encounters come to exert a tidal pull. Set in the swinging sixties and each decade since, Cocktail reveals the schism between the lives we build up around us and our deepest hidden selves.

Credit: Maria Cardosa-Grant


Lisa Alward’s short fiction has appeared in The Journey Prize and twice in Best Canadian Stories. She has won the Fiddlehead Prize as well as the Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award, has been a finalist for The Malahat Review’s Open Season Award, an honourable mention in the Peter Hinchcliffe Award, and been featured on numerous other long lists, including for the CBC Story Prize and Prism International’s Jacob Zilber Prize (three times). She was born and grew up in Halifax and completed an English degree at the University of Toronto and an MA at Queen Mary College in London, England. In the eighties and early nineties, she worked in book publishing in Toronto, before moving with her young family to Vancouver and ultimately to Fredericton, New Brunswick, where at fifty she began to write stories. Cocktail (Biblioasis), which received a starred review in Kirkus Reviews, is her debut collection.

STOOP CITY Wins ReLit Award!

Stoop City coverWe’re thrilled to announce that Stoop City by Kristyn Dunnion has won the 2021 ReLit Award in the short fiction category!

Founded in 2000, The ReLit Awards are awarded annually to book-length works in the novel, short-story and poetry categories, and are considered the preeminent literary prize in independent Canadian publishing.

Stoop City was selected from a shortlist which also included Here The Dark by David Bergen (Biblioasis), Seeking Shade by Frances Boyle (Porcupine’s Quill), The Swan Suit by Katherine Fawcett (Douglas & McIntyre), The End Of Me by John Gould (Freehand), Swimmers in Winter by Faye Guenther (Invisible), Permanent Tourist by Genni Gunn (Signature Editions), Czech Techno by Mark Anthony Jarman (Anvil Press), Dominoes At The Crossroads by Kaie Kellough (Esplanade), Paradise Island and Other Galaxies by Micheal Mirolla (Exile Editions), and Goth Girls Of Banff by John O’Neill (NeWest Press).



Welcome to Stoop City, where your neighbours include a condo-destroying cat, a teen queen beset by Catholic guilt, and an emergency clinic staffed entirely by lovelorn skeptics. Couples counseling with Marzana, her girlfriend’s ghost, might not be enough to resolve past indiscretions; our heroine could need a death goddess ritual or two. Plus, Hoofy’s not sure if his missing scam-artist boyfriend was picked up by the cops, or by that pretty blonde, their last mark. When Jan takes a room at Plague House, her first year of university takes an unexpected turn—into anarcho-politics and direct action, gender studies and late-night shenanigans with Saffy, her captivating yet cagey housemate.

From the lovelorn Mary Louise, who struggles with butch bachelorhood, to rural teens finding—and found by—adult sexualities, to Grimm’s “The Golden Goose” rendered as a jazz dance spectacle, Kristyn Dunnion’s freewheeling collection fosters a radical revisioning of community. Dunnion goes wherever there’s a story to tell—and then, out of whispers and shouts, echoes and snippets, gritty realism and speculative fiction, illuminates the delicate strands that hold us all together.


Kristyn Dunnion grew up in Essex County, the southernmost tip of Canada, and now lives in Toronto. She is the author of six books, including Tarry This Night and The Dirt Chronicles, a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Her short fiction is widely published, most recently in Best Canadian Stories 2020FoglifterOrca: A Literary Journal, and Toronto 2033. Dunnion works supporting homeless adults with serious mental illness, and has been a healthy food advocate for marginalized communities in Davenport-Perth, where she resides.


Order your copy from Biblioasis, or from your local bookstore!