Short story collection hooks Fresh Fish Award

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Literature

Dave Andrews' short story collection "West Orange" was named winner of the 2009 Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers Monday night at The Ship. It marks the first time the award has been presented to the author of a short story collection.

Before Andrews' name was called, he read the title story from his collection to the 50 or so people in attendance. Fellow award finalists Danielle Devereaux and Andreae Callanan also read from their nominated works. Devereaux read from her manuscript of poetry "The Chrome Chair" and Callanan from a poetry collection entitled "sparrows, sparks."

Writer and musician Dave Andrews took home the Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers Monday night at The Ship in St. John's. Andrews was honoured for his short story collection "West Orange." - Photo by Gary Hebbard/The Telegram

Dave Andrews' short story collection "West Orange" was named winner of the 2009 Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers Monday night at The Ship. It marks the first time the award has been presented to the author of a short story collection.

Before Andrews' name was called, he read the title story from his collection to the 50 or so people in attendance. Fellow award finalists Danielle Devereaux and Andreae Callanan also read from their nominated works. Devereaux read from her manuscript of poetry "The Chrome Chair" and Callanan from a poetry collection entitled "sparrows, sparks."

The president of the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador and author of "Scrabble Lessons," Leslie Vryenhoek, presented the award, valued at $5,000 ($1,000 in editing services and a $4,000 monetary prize).

The award is a joint recognition from The Writers' Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador. Created in 2006, it acknowledges the work of an emerging writer not yet published in book form, someone who is also a resident of this province.

The contest was judged this year by Sara Tilley, Stephen Rowe and JoAnne Soper-Cook. In a joint judges' statement, the trio of published writers said in reviewing Andrews' work, the reader could not help but be "struck by the intensity of the present."

"This is the work of a writer who approaches the page with confidence," the judges said.

While he gave no remarks in accepting the award from Vryenhoek, Andrews did speak briefly with The Telegram shortly after the applause died down.

"I'm delighted," said Andrews. "You spend a lot of time at home in a room and you lose all objectivity, I guess. So something like this really helps out."

All three nominated authors said they will make some changes to their manuscripts before submitting them to publishers.

afitzpatrick@thetelegram.co

Organizations: Literary Arts Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador, The Ship, Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador

Geographic location: West Orange

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