TORONTO — Author Eden Robinson says she may do a little less writing at 4 a.m. now that she's won the Writers' Trust Fellowship.
The $50,000 fellowship was established in 2015 as a way to free a writer from financial concerns so they can focus on creative work. It's granted to a writer of fiction, non-fiction, poetry or children's literature, at any stage in their career, as long as they have demonstrated strong literary skill and continue to show promise.
Robinson, who received the honour at a charity gala event in Toronto on Tuesday night, said she was shocked to be chosen.
"I was just stunned, and then a little overwhelmed," said Robinson, the author of "Son of a Trickster" and "Monkey Beach."
"And then I was screaming and hopping around."
The cash award does make a huge difference, even to an established writer, she said.
"Usually I freelance and I teach, and it takes a lot of time," she said. "I'm used to squeezing my writing in between four and five in the morning, before I start marking."
But writing in the wee hours of the morning isn't always a bad thing, she added.
"It's a little crazier, because you don't have enough consciousness to censor anything."
Robinson said she would even recommend it to other writers who feel stifled by self-criticism.
"If you can't shut off your inner editor, pick a time when you're very tired. Your inner editor is still sleeping," she joked.
"Being able to sleep in will be really nice. Unless the muse doesn't like it, and then I'll just get up at 4. But then I can just take naps."
Robinson's magic-tinged coming-of-age novel "Son of a Trickster," which is shortlisted for the Giller Prize, is the first in a planned trilogy. The second book will be out next October.
The Writers' Trust jury praised Robinson for her "razor-sharp precision, madcap humour, and a preternatural gift for dialogue," adding that her characters are "magnetic, resilient, and spirited, even when they might be a bit twisted."
Robinson said she'll likely hold off on celebrating the fellowship until her birthday in January.
"I'm turning 50, so I'm going to get a very large birthday party," she said. "Just start the next half of life with a big celebration."
Maija Kappler, The Canadian Press