THE 2018 MENTORSHIP PARTICIPANTS



RECOGNISING THE IMPORTANCE of Canada’s non-fiction writers, the RBC Taylor Prize has matched this year’s shortlisted authors with five of the top emerging voices in the genre of literary non-fiction.
     The five inaugural participants are:

CHRISTOPHER BROWN
MENTOR: STEPHEN R. BOWN
Born and raised on the Prairies, Brown is pursuing his PhD in English Literature. His intimate family history, linked to the Canadian North, has led to an interest in the spectre of the Indian Agent, the Hudson Bay Company, the RCMP, and the impact and aftermath of the Residential School system. His most recent writing can be found in The Feathertale Review and Road Maps & Life Rafts Lit Magazine, and his current project seeks to interrogate Indian Affairs archival documentation from the ‘50s and ‘60s through the space of the lyric essay.

ANTONIO MICHAEL DOWNING
MENTOR: MAX WALLACE
Antonio Michael Downing grew up in southern Trinidad, Northern Ontario, Brooklyn and Kitchener. He is now a musician, writer and activist based in Toronto. His 2010 debut novel, Molasses, was published to critical acclaim. His nonfiction manuscript, Buttahfly, is a memoir of his obsession for radical identity transformations and how a tragic fire forced him to invent his '"baddest, boldest self: John Orpheus"

GENA ELLETT
MENTOR: JAMES MASKALYK
Ellett’s writing has appeared across North America including Malahat Review, Slice, Canthius, EVENT and SubTerrain. She won the 2015 EVENT NonFiction Prize and was nominated for a 2016 National Magazine Award for Personal Journalism. Her work-in-progress, The Backroads, is an essay collection that explores the finite years of young-adulthood as characterised by first encounters with death, loss, relationships, identity. She lives and writes in Vancouver

STEPHANIE HARRINGTON
MENTOR: TANYA TALAGA
Harrington has worked as a journalist in Canada, Hong Kong and Australia, and recently completed an MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Victoria. Her manuscript in progress, Four Blows, explores the effect of a violent crime from the perspective of the accused’s family. The incident landed her brother in prison and displaced her family, prompting them to leave their home in Hamilton, ON. Her brother later successfully appealed his conviction, pleaded guilty to a lesser charge and was released. She asks, “What do we do as a society with violent people?”

MARTHA ROBERTS
MENTOR: DANIEL COLEMAN
Having grown up in Kingston, Roberts has an MA in sociology from Queens, specializing in crime & research methodology. She now lives in North Central Regina, which Maclean’s labeled Canada’s Worst Neighbourhood in 2007. The article inspired her to undergo a sobering re-examination of her home. Her manuscript, “Wounded” details the historical and social forces that have shaped the neighbourhood, the relationships she developed with 5 Indigenous residents whom she followed for two years and ultimately, her understanding of herself as a non-Indigenous Canadian.