The David H. Walker Prize

The Department of English is proud to announce this year's winner of the David H. Walker Prize for Fiction, Katherine Murray for her short story "A Compassionate Retelling."

The judges were impressed by the range and quality of the submissions for the prize this year. Of the winning story, judge John C. Ball had this to say: 

"Katherine Murray's award-winning story, 'A Compassionate Retelling,' exhibits many of the same qualities that made Shadow Self Portrait, the novel she wrote for her MA thesis, so outstanding. She renders dysfunctional families and darkly troubled psyches with unflinching insight and compassion. The penetrating observational skills and intellect that inform her work are manifest in a wonderfully understated and controlled ironic tone. She is a gifted writer with a strong, original vision and a promising future."

The David H. Walker Prize is given each year to the best story published by an English student at UNB. 

The prize is in honour of the powerful and prolific writer David H. Walker. He was born in Scotland, but eventually settled in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, with his wife Willa.  He published a number of books, including The Storm and the Silence (1949); Geordie (1950); Digby (1953); Harry Black (1956); Sandy was a Soldier’s Boy (1957); Where the High Winds Blow (1960); Storms of Our Journey (1962); Dragon Hill (1962); Winter of Madness (1964); Mallabec (1965); Devil’s Plunge (1968); Big Ben (1969); Pirate Rock (1969); The Lord’s Pink Ocean (1972); Black Dougal (1973); Ash (1976); Pot of Gold (1977); and his autobiography Lean, Wind, Lean (1984).

The prize has been won by a number of writers who have gone on to great success, including Craig Davidson, Emily Ruskovich, Darryl Whetter, Sue Sinclair, Erin Knight, Catherine Greenwood, and Adam Dickinson.  

The only two-time winner of the Walker Prize was Craig Davidson, who went on to a two-book deal with Penguin, publishing Rust and Bone, and the Fighter. Recently his Walker Prize stories were used as part of the making of the film De Rouille et d’os, directed by Jacques Audiard and starring Academy-Award winner Marion Cotillard and Mathias Schoenaerts.

Emily Ruskovich has just signed a two-book deal with Random House New York for a collection of stories and a novel. 

Darryl Whetter has published two books of fiction with Goose Lane Editions, the collection of stories A Sharp Tooth in the Fur and the novel The Push and The Pull

Tony Antoniades received honourable mention for The Fiddlehead Fiction Prize. Marla Becking had a story dramatized by the CBC. 

Sue Sinclair, Adam Dickinson, Danny Jacobs, Erin Knight, and Catherine Greenwood have turned their attentions to poetry. Sinclair has published four books of poetry, Dickinson two and a third forthcoming, Knight two, Greenwood one with a second forthcoming, and Jacobs was a winner of the 2009 Short Grain Contest.