The SWG is pleased to announce the winners of the 2023 John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards in Literary Nonfiction:   


First place: Jeanette Lynes for Apron Apocalypse: Lyric Essays

Jeanette Lynes' third novel, The Apothecary's Garden (HarperCollins Canada) was a finalist for a High Plains Book Award and two Saskatchewan Book Awards. Her fourth novel is forthcoming from HarperCollins Canada in 2025. Jeanette is also the author of seven books of poetry. She directs the MFA in Writing at the University of Saskatchewan. 










Second place: Judy McCrosky for Long Shadows: A Holocaust Family History and Memoir

Judy McCrosky has had six books published and many short stories have appeared in magazines and been broadcast on CBC radio.  Her published genres include literary, romance, nonfiction, science fiction, and fantasy. 

Judy taught Creative Writing at the University of Saskatchewan for over two decades. She’s spoken at conferences across Canada and in the USA, and has taught at schools and libraries.  She’s given workshops to writing groups, and to kids ranging from kindergarten to senior citizens.  She likes talking about what she does and she especially likes teaching people how to write.  Judy loves to teach because she always learns something.





Third place: Michael Trussler for Zigzag: Or There’s Been a Murmur in My Head

Michael Trussler writes primarily poetry and creative non-fiction. His work has been anthologized both domestically and internationally. He has received Saskatchewan Book Awards for poetry, non-fiction and short stories. His memoir concerning mental illness, The Sunday Book, was published by Palimpsest Press in 2022. Two poetry collections have recently appeared: Rare Sighting of a Guillotine on the Savannah (Mansfield Press, 2021) and The History Forest (University of Regina Press, 2022). Icehouse Press will be releasing another poetry collection, 10:10 in 2024. All of his work engages with the beauty and violence of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, though his most recent writing specifically explores what it means to be alive at the beginning of the Anthropocene.



Honourable Mention to dee Hobsbawn-Smith for Giving Up the Garden: On Loss and Letting Go.


Our jury consisted of acclaimed Canadian nonfiction writers Marsha Lederman and Jenny Heijun Wills:


Marsha Lederman is an award-winning journalist and author. A staff columnist with The Globe and Mail, she was previously The Globe’s Western Arts Correspondent. Her memoir Kiss the Red Stairs: The Holocaust, Once Removed was published by McClelland & Stewart in 2022. Born and raised in Toronto, Marsha now lives in Vancouver.


Jenny Heijun Wills is the author of Older Sister. Not Necessarily Related (McClelland & Stewart/Penguin Random House Canada, 2019). It won the 2019 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the 2020 Eileen McTavish Sykes Prize for Best First book. Wills is Professor of English at the University of Winnipeg. She has a book of creative essays forthcoming.



The awards will be officially presented at the John V. Hicks Long Manuscript Awards in Literary Nonfiction event at the SWG Conference at the ParkTown Hotel in Saskatoon on Saturday, October 21, 2023 at 7:00 pm. This is a free public event: all are welcome. The three winners receive awards of $1,000, $650, and $350, respectively and will read from their winning manuscripts. More information about our conference is available here:


The SWG congratulates the winners of this year’s Awards, and thanks all of our submitting writers.