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Bruce Serafin
Bruce Serafin

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Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Bruce Serafin wins 2008 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction

Mar 20/09| For Immediate Release

Contact:

Dr. David Docherty, Dean of Arts
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3690 or ddocherty@wlu.ca

or 

Kevin Crowley, Associate Director
News and Editorial Services
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or kcrowley@wlu.ca

WATERLOO – Editor and essayist Bruce Serafin has been posthumously awarded the 2008 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction for Stardust, a collection of essays by the author published in June 2007.

Serafin’s award will be celebrated at an event hosted by Wilfrid Laurier University and Serafin’s publisher New Star Books. The event will take place Friday, April 24, 2009 at Pulpfiction Books, 2422 Main St., in the author’s hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia.

“I’m very honoured to accept this award on Bruce’s behalf,” said Sharon Esson, Serafin’s wife. “Creative non-fiction is a special type of writing and there’s no doubt that Bruce was good at it, but he always felt his writing needed to make its own way in the world. I know this recognition would mean so much to him; he worked very hard to finish this book before he passed away.”

Esson plans to use the $10,000 award to prepare for publishing another book that Serafin was working on at the time of his death.

The essays in Stardust range from the author’s experiences as a post office employee to commentary on literary and intellectual luminaries such as Roland Barthes and Northrop Frye. The title essay, “Stardust,” offers a personal perspective on the late 1960s student counterculture.

“This eclectic collection of essays, ranging from the literary to the personal to the contemplative, never ceases to inform with the understated rhetoric of a natural teacher and astute observer,” said Laurier English professor Dr. Tanis MacDonald, a member of the judging panel which also included well-known members of Canada’s literary community Russell Smith and Arlene Perly Rae.

“Serafin’s narrative voice has the quiet confidence and an analytical acumen of someone who respects the effort of writing and the value of storytelling.”

Best known for founding and running the arts and culture magazine Vancouver Review, Serafin most recently taught substantive editing at Douglas College in New Westminster, Britsh Columbia. He is also the author of Colin’s Big Thing, a memoir that the Globe and Mail named one of the 100 best books of 2004.

The short list for the 2008 Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction also included: Baptism of Fire: The Second Battle of Ypres and the Forging of Canada, April 1915 by Nathan M. Greenfield; French Kiss: Stephen Harper’s Blind Date with Quebec by Chantal Hébert, and; The Red Wall: A Woman in the RCMP by Jane Hall.

The Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction is supported by an endowment established by author and award-winning journalist Edna Staebler, who died in 2006 at the age of 100. The award was established 17 years ago to recognize a beginning Canadian writer publishing a book with a Canadian subject or location. It is administered by Wilfrid Laurier University, the only university in Canada to bestow a nationally recognized literary award.

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