Contact person: Ian Shaw, Frank Hegyi Award Coordinator, communicationsoiw@gmail.com



Ottawa, Ontario (September 26, 2018): The winner of the Frank Hegyi Award for Emerging Authors (non-fiction) is Sharon Butala for Where I Live Now, published by Simon and Schuster. 


The jury was moved by the on-going reciprocity between historical research and personal development in Sharon Butala’s Where I live Now. There is new information that extends our knowledge back in time, and new information that comes from questioning oneself in the present; and, in this compelling work, each informs the other. The very satisfying coherence of the whole is rooted in an ever-expanding landscape of both place and time, within which the love of a specific couple and the death of a partner find an honoured place. This is a mature and finely crafted work, large and lyrical while, equally, particular and known. The contrast of scale is wonderfully handled and always convincing. From the first page to the last we trust Butala’s perceptions and are anxious to follow on her path.


We would also like to thank the other finalists below for their outstanding works of non-fiction: 



Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel by David Leach (ECW Press)



Run Hide Repeat: A Memoir of a Fugitive Childhood by Pauline Dakin (Penguin Random House Canada)


The Patch: The People, Pipelines, and Politics of the Oil Sands by Chris Turner (Simon & Schuster)


Unearthed: A Memoir by Alexandra Risen (Penguin Random House Canada)



The jurors for the 2018 award were:


Gerry Fostaty a fiction and non-fiction writer 

Gerry is the winner of the 2016 Whistler Independent Book Award for Crime Fiction and the author of As You Were: The Tragedy at Valcartier (Goose Lane Editions) and Stage Business (Deux Voiliers Publishing). He is also a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.


Michael Mirolla is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, playwright, and poet

Michael is the winner of the 2016 Bressani Literary Prize for his short story collection Lessons in Relationship Dyads (Red Hen Press, 2015). In 2010, with business partner Connie McParland, Michael took over the reins at Guernica Editions, one of Canada's thriving independent presses.


Michael Springate a novelist, playwright and screenwriter

He is the author of The Beautiful West & The Beloved of God (Guernica Editions), also published as L’engrenage des apparences (Les Éditions Sémaphore). His produced writing for theatre includes Historical Bliss, Dog and Crow, The Consolation of Philosophy, The Geese Sonnets, Freeport Texas, and Kut: Shock and Awe. His feature screenplay Bella Ciao! will premiere in Canada in late 2018.


The Frank Hegyi Award is sponsored by OIW (Ottawa Independent Writers). Named after long-time OIW member and former treasurer, Frank Hegyi, the award carries a cash prize of $500 for the winner and two years of free OIW membership. Finalists will receive a year's free membership in the OIW. The Frank Hegyi Award is offered on an annual basis and alternates between fiction and non-fiction. The 2018 award is for non-fiction. The 2017 award was for fiction. The award is open to all Canadian citizens living anywhere or permanent residents of Canada or authors of any nationality whose submitted books had been first published by a Canadian publisher, and who had not already won a major national or provincial literary award.


For more information on the Frank Hegyi Award, please visit the OIW website at:




sharon butala.jpg
 Where I live now Author_ Sharon Butala