The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild congratulates Arthur Slade on receiving the 2019 Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence

The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild was proud to host the luncheon award ceremony for the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence on September 10, 2019 at the German Cultural Centre, 160 Cartwright St. East, Saskatoon. Jillian Bell, President of SWG, emceed the event and Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg presented the award to Arthur Slade. His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, brought greetings and congratulations, as did City Councillor Cynthia Block on behalf of the City of Saskatoon. Arthur Slade gave a short thank you speech and a short reading of his work.

The award honours a Saskatchewan writer who has written a substantial body of acclaimed literary work. It carries a prize of $10,000 and a framed limited edition print of a painting by Saskatchewan artist Dorothy Knowles.

Jury Citation: “The winner of the 2019 Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence is Arthur Slade. Critically acclaimed and lauded in multiple venues around the world, Arthur Slade’s writing is doing the very important work of inspiring future writerly generations by engaging young readers of today. With cutting-edge graphic novels and gripping fantastical fiction, not to mention a robust online presence, Slade is extending the expectations of literary genres and placing Saskatchewan on a growing international stage of young-adult literature.

His remarkable body of work includes Young Adult Fiction, Middle Grade Fiction, and graphic novels. Slade won the Governor General's Award for Children's Literature for Dust, a book that Publisher's Weekly says "sustains the hallucinatory, off-kilter tone of a prolonged nightmare..." Kids and teens alike love Arthur Slade's books because through them they are invited into his aptly named "Worlds of Wonder & Imagination." More importantly, Slade's writing, by turns gripping, lively, funny, and weird, is a gateway for thousands of young people into a lifelong love of and engagement with books and reading. Among Arthur Slade's other awards are the TD Canadian Children's Literature Award, the Mr. Christie's Book Award, and the prestigious Grand Prix de l'Imaginaire for speculative fiction.

Too often, in English Canada, we discount the literary merit and hard work of full-time writers, especially those who work in the mode of "genre literature," or what used to be called "pulp fiction." So, how good it is to be able to recognize the achievement of Arthur Slade, the author of a dozen and a half Young Adult novels, mainly with a Fantasy theme. A finalist for umpteen awards, there is a lot to be said for an author who has received a Governor-General's Award for Children's Literature and a Mr. Christie Book Award, not to mention a prize for the French translation--in France--of one of his signature titles. Arthur Slade's name deserves to be spoken in the same breath as so many other Saskatchewan-born and/or based great writers, such as other Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence recipients, such as Yann Martell and Sandra Birdsell.”

Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg, lawyers by profession, but philanthropists at heart, established this prestigious award in May 2010. The three Honorary Patrons of the Award are His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, His Worship Charlie Clark, Mayor of the City of Saskatoon, and Dr. Peter Stoicheff, President of the University of Saskatchewan.

The Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence is one of the most lucrative provincial awards in Canada.

Winner Biography:

Arthur Slade was raised on a ranch in the Cypress Hills. He graduated with honours from the University of Saskatchewan and is the author of over twenty novels for young readers. His books includeThe Hunchback Assignments, which won the prestigious TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award and the Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire (France), and Dust, winner of the Governor General’s Award for Children’s Literature. His work has been published in multiple languages around the world and he divides his time between writing, giving presentations to students, and his family. He lives in Saskatoon, Canada. 

For more information, please contact Program Manager Yolanda Hansen at 306-791-7743 or