The 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize Announces its Shortlist

Oct 5, 2010 | Corporate Member News

Today, in a morning press conference that drew over 100 media and members of the publishing industry, the Scotiabank Giller Prize announced its 2010 shortlist. The five finalists were selected by an esteemed jury panel made up of Canadian broadcaster and journalist Michael Enright, American writer and professor Claire Messud and award-winning UK author Ali Smith. The shortlist was chosen from 98 books submitted for consideration by 38 publishing houses from every region of the country.

The 2010 Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists are: 

  • David Bergen for his novel THE MATTER WITH MORRIS, published by Phyllis Bruce Books/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
  • Alexander MacLeod for his short story collection LIGHT LIFTING, published by Biblioasis
  • Sarah Selecky for her short story collection THIS CAKE IS FOR THE PARTY, published by Thomas Allen Publishers
  • Johanna Skibsrud for her novel THE SENTIMENTALISTS, published by Gaspereau Press
  • Kathleen Winter for her novel ANNABEL, published by House of Anansi Press

The winner of this year’s Scotiabank Giller Prize will be announced on November 9th at Toronto’s Four Seasons Hotel at a gala black tie dinner and award ceremony.

Hosting this morning’s press conference was CTV’s Seamus O’Regan, who is confirmed to reprise his role as host for the Scotiabank Giller Prize this year. Jack Rabinovitch, founder of the Giller Prize, spoke at the event as did Duncan Hannay, Senior Vice-President Marketing, Scotiabank. Two of the three-member jury panel of the Scotiabank Giller Prize, Michael Enright and Claire Messud, announced the finalists and read their citations. 

CTV Broadcast 

CTV is proud to confirm its continued relationship as the official media partner of the Scotiabank Giller Prize gala for a sixth consecutive year. CTV’s Seamus O’Regan will host the gala broadcast for the fifth time. THE SCOTIABANK GILLER PRIZE will be broadcast live on Bravo! and with the CTV network premiere the following day, Wednesday, November 10, 2010. Subsequent encore broadcasts and complete broadcast details to be announced soon. CTV will once again support the broadcast with a dedicated website,

Scotiabank Partnership 

In September 2005, Jack Rabinovitch announced that Scotiabank would become the first ever co-sponsor of Canada’s richest literary award for fiction. Under the agreement, the prize became known as the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Last year, through Scotiabank’s involvement, the prize purse was increased to $70,000, awarding $50,000 to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $5,000 to each of the four finalists.

Guess the Giller 

The ninth annual “Guess the Giller” contest runs from September 24th through November 9th, giving participants the chance to win a VIP trip for two to Toronto to attend the 2011 Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala. This Grand Prize package includes airfare to and from Toronto, invitations to the Scotiabank Giller Prize Gala to see the 2011 Prize Winner, accommodations at the Four Seasons Hotel, $1,000 in spending money, an autographed set of the 2010 shortlisted books, an Amazon Kindle(TM) eReader and a $50 Kindle(TM) store gift card. “Guess The Giller” was launched in 2003 together with the Toronto Public Library. This year, nearly 30 public library systems, 150 bookstores, 33 post secondary schools and 1,010 Scotiabank branches from across Canada are promoting the contest to Canadian readers. For more information visit

International Festival of Authors (IFOA), Harbourfront Centre 

For the seventh year in a row, the Scotiabank Giller Prize finalists will read from their nominated books at IFOA’s Closing Night event on Saturday, October 30 at 8:00 p.m. For more information, please visit

The Scotiabank Giller Light 

For the ninth year in a row, Frontier College will host the Scotiabank Giller Light Bash – the alternative Giller party of the year – on the same evening as the Scotiabank Giller Prize. This year’s event returns to last year’s venues, the historic Berkeley Church in Toronto, and McNally Robinson Booksellers at Grant Park in Winnipeg. To date the Scotiabank Giller Light has raised over $150,000 for Frontier College, Canada’s original literacy organization. For information and tickets, go to and

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad. Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for its charitable donations and philanthropic activities, in 2009 the bank provided about $39 million in sponsorships and donations to a variety of projects and initiatives, primarily in the areas of healthcare, education, social services and arts and culture. Visit us at

CTV, Canada’s Olympic Network(, is also Canada’s largest private broadcaster. Featuring a wide range of quality news, sports, information, and entertainment programming, CTV is Canada’s most-watched television network. CTV Inc. also owns radio stations across the country and owns or has interests in leading national specialty channels, featuring news, sports, factual, arts, entertainment, music, youth and fashion programming. Official broadcaster of the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games and London 2012 Games of the Olympiad, CTV Inc. is owned by CTVglobemedia Inc.(, Canada’s premier multi-media company, which also owns Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail( More information about CTV may be found on the network’s website at

The Scotiabank Giller Prize awards $50,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel or short story collection published in English and $5,000 to each of the finalists. The Scotiabank Giller Prize is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller and was founded in 1994 by her husband Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch. 

Please visit us at: 


 David Bergen


 Phyllis Bruce Books/HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

  Jury Citation:

“David Bergen’s new novel is the portrait of a middle-aged man in crisis and in search of his own soul. Deft and understated, the novel grants Morris his full complexity: he has the epistolary ire of Bellow’s Herzog and the goatishness of Roth’s Zuckerman, but Morris is more tender and bemused than they, clear-eyed in his failings and wistful in his losses. Bergen has given us a wise, ironic portrait of our present, of the agonized dis-ease of one successful, thoughtful, liberal late-baby-boomer upon whom war and uncertainty have fallen late in life.”


David Bergen won the 2005 Scotiabank Giller Prize for his novel The Time In Between. He is also the author of four other novels: The Retreat, winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction; The Case of Lena S., winner of the Carol Shields Award; See the Child, and A Year of Lesser, winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award and a New York Times Notable Book. The recent winner of the Writers’ Trust Award for a writer in mid-career, David Bergen lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

Alexander MacLeod



Jury Citation:

“Rarely does fiction inhabit the body – the moving, athletic body – as fully as in Alexander MacLeod’s debut story collection. Whether describing what it is to run track, to swim against a current, to build cars or to haul bricks, MacLeod brings into vivid concrete language the physical experiences that mark us as profoundly as any thought. His stories are a careful marriage of the lyric and the narrative: each unfolds around a resonant, ineffable moment, replete with history and emotion, a Gordian knot comprised of all the strands that lead up to and away from it. Sensitive and subtle, MacLeod is a writer through whose deliberately partial and quotidian pieces shimmers life’s unspoken complexity.”


Alexander MacLeod was born in Inverness, Cape Breton and raised in Windsor, Ontario. His award-winning stories have appeared in many of the leading Canadian and American journals and have been selected for The Journey Prize Anthology. He holds degrees from the University of Windsor, the University of Notre Dame, and McGill. He currently lives in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia and teaches at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax.

Sarah Selecky


Thomas Allen Publishers

Jury Citation:

“Dry and funny, exact and exacting, the 10 short stories in This Cake is for the Party elevate economy of expression itself to an art. Story after story in this resonant and quietly apocalyptic collection deliver a sharp analysis of contemporary surreality and the madness of modern homogeneity. Its stories are tender, broken, deceptively unassuming then unexpectedly breathtaking. It holds its delicate oppositions numbness and    understanding, smartness and tragedy with discipline and flair, and marks the arrival of a gifted writer.”


Sarah Selecky grew up in Northern Ontario and Southern Indiana. Her stories have been published in The Walrus, Geist, Prairie Fire, The New Quarterly, and The Journey Prize Anthology. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia and has been teaching creative writing in her living room for the past ten years. She currently lives in Toronto.

Johanna Skibsrud


Gaspereau Press

Jury Citation:

“The Sentimentalists charts the painful search by a dutiful daughter to learn – and more importantly, to learn to understand – the multi-layered truth which lies at the moral core of her dying father’s life. Something happened to Napoleon Haskell during his tour of duty in Vietnam that changed his life and haunted the rest of his days. At the behest of his     daughters, he moves from a trailer in North Dakota to a small lakeside town in Ontario where his family can only watch as his past slips away in a descending fog of senility. The writing here is trip-wire taut as the exploration of guilt, family and duty unfolds.”


Johanna Skibsrud’s first poetry collection, Late Nights With Wild Cowboys, was published in 2008 by Gaspereau Press and was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Award. Originally from Scotsburn, Nova Scotia, Skibsrud now lives in Montreal.

Kathleen Winter


House of Anansi Press

Jury Citation:

“Annabel is a beautifully told, fully-realized tale of a mysterious child gifted or cursed by a rare condition at birth. Though his name is Wayne, he is neither fully boy nor girl. There are only three people privy to the secret of his birth which engenders conflicts and contradictions about whom or what Wayne really is. An examination of human nature abounding with insight into the nature of gender, the spare, elegant prose compels the reader to engage utterly with the material. It is a startling first novel that is by turn touching, inventive and ultimately brave.”


Kathleen Winter has written dramatic and documentary scripts for Sesame Street and CBC Television. Her first collection of short stories, boYs, was the winner of both the Winterset Award and the 2006 Metcalfe-Rooke Award. A long-time resident of St. John’s, Newfoundland, she now lives in Montreal.

For further information: Elana Rabinovitch, 416.934.0755

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