The University of Victoria, on behalf of The Malahat Review, is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction is Anna Smith of Dublin, for her short story “The Score Diary of Billy Bishop,” which appeared in The Malahat Review’s Winter 2009 issue (169). Smith’s story was chosen for this prestigious award by Linda Rogers.
Established in honour of the celebrated Victoria novelist’s contribution to Canadian letters and to the University of Victoria, the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction recognizes the excellence of The Malahat Review’s contributors by awarding a prize of $1000 to the author of the best short story or novella to have appeared in the magazine’s quarterly issues during the previous calendar year. The winner, to be chosen by an outside judge, will be announced annually just prior to the publication of The Malahat Review’s Spring issue.
Of Smith’s story, Rogers says “The Score Diary of Billy Bishop" by Anna Smith is a perfect coincidence of sex and death, where testosterone-filled Billy Bishop "replaces sex with kills" and only the skillful writer and her directed readers know the nouns are interchangeable. Billy, the infant womanizer, has been erasing souls all along, wherein lies the oxymoron ‘war hero.’ Smith has the Swiftian eye for ugly detail and the restraint to use it with subtle psychological effect in building the story of a ruined boy.”
Anna Smith is a graduate of the University of Victoria's creative writing program and is currently pursuing a master's degree at Trinity College Dublin. When not writing, Anna fences foil for Canada and Ireland.
Linda Rogers has an M.A. from the University of British Columbia, and in addition to writing poetry and fiction, she writes and performs songs for children. She also is a reviewer for The Vancouver Sun, The Victoria Times-Colonist, Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, interviewer for CBC, Shaw Cable (hosts Bookshelf), and teaches at University of Victoria and Writers in Electronic Residence. She will serve as Victoria’s Poet Laureate until November, 2011.
Jack Hodgins was born in Comox on Vancouver Island in 1938, and raised in the logging community of Merville. After graduating from the University of British Columbia, he moved to Nanaimo, where he taught high school English until 1979. He has been a writer-in-residence at Simon Fraser University and the University of Ottawa, and taught fiction in the Department of Writing, University of Victoria, from 1983 to 2004. His first collection of stories, Spit Delaney’s Island (1976) established him as a presence in Canadian writing, bringing his distinctive perspective on Vancouver Island to readers in book after book. His third, The Resurrection of Joseph Bourne (1979), won the Governor General’s Award for Fiction in 1980. His other books include The Honorary Patron (1987), Innocent Cities (1990), A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction (1993), The Macken Charm (1995), Broken Ground (1998), and Damage Done By the Storm (2004). He is a recipient of the Eaton’s BC Book Award, the Gibson’s First Novel Award, the Commonwealth Literature Prize, the Canada-Australia Prize, the Terasen Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Literary Excellence.
For more information about the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction and how you may support it through a donation, please email The Malahat Review.