It was a great night for Vanier College at the 2011 Quebec Writers’ Federation Literary Awards, held on November 22. The exciting moment came when the 2011 Mavis Gallant Award for Non-fiction went to Vanier grad Joel Yanofsky for Bad Animals: a Father’s Accidental Education in Autism published by Viking Canada. This is the second year in a row that this award goes to a Vanier graduate.

Vanier encouraged Joel Yanofsky to become a writer
The Mavis Gallant Award for Non-fiction is sponsored by the five English Cegeps, Champlain, Dawson, John Abbott, Heritage and Vanier Colleges. Vanier’s Marguerite Corriveau presented the award on behalf of the Cegeps. In accepting his prize, Joel thanked Vanier in particular for encouraging him to become a writer.

A writer and a literary journalist
Joel Yanofsky has worked as a literary journalist and writer for 16 years. He currently writes a book column for the Montreal Gazette, and has written for other publications including The Globe and Mail, Chatelaine, The Village Voice, Reader’s Digest, and Quill and Quire. He is the author of the novel Jacob’s Ladder and a book of humor, Homo Erectus.

Vanier College very involved with QWF Gala
Vanier College was represented in other ways during the evening. Vanier Humanities own Maggie Kathwaroon was on the 2011 Gala Committee, retired Vanier English teacher, Denis Sampson, was a member of the jury, and entertaining the crowd before the awards ceremony began was a quartet assembled by Vanier’s Nick Di Tomaso, that included students from the Professional Music and Song Techniques Program, guitarists, Evan MacDonald and Sam Kirmayer, drummer, Stuart Asprey and bass player, Levi Dover.

QWF Literary Awards
The Quebec Writers’ Federation holds an annual juried competition for published books by Quebec authors in six categories: fiction, non-fiction, poetry, first book, translation, and children’s and young adult literature. The other two finalists in the non-fiction category were Merrily Weisbord for The Love Queen of Malabar: Memoir of a Friendship with Kamala Das, McGill-Queen’s University Press and Roméo Dallaire for They Fight Like Soldiers, They Die Like Children, Random House Canada.

Joel Yanofsky a Vanier grad is 2011 Mavis Gallant Award winner

Joel Yanofsky a Vanier grad is 2011 Mavis Gallant Award winner FR

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