RELEASE: Finalists announced for 2023 BMO Winterset Award

Mar 1, 2024


March 1, 2024 (St. John’s, NL) – ArtsNL is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2023 BMO Winterset Award, celebrating excellence in Newfoundland and Labrador writing.

Readings by the finalists will take place at The Rooms Theatre on Wednesday, March 13, 2024, at 7:00 p.m. The winner will be announced on March 14 at Government House.

The three finalists are:

Michael Crummey
The Adversary
(Knopf Canada, ON)


William Ping
Hollow Bamboo
(HarperCollins, ON)


Holly Hogan
Message in a Bottle: Ocean Dispatches from a Seabird Biologist
(Knopf Canada, ON)


The winner will receive a prize of $12,500 and each of the two finalists will receive $3,000.

A total of 49 entries were submitted by publishers from across the country. All genres were represented by Newfoundland and Labrador authors (native-born or resident), including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, and children’s books.

The BMO Winterset Award honours the memory of Sandra Fraser Gwyn O.C.—St. John’s-born social historian, prize-winning author, and passionate promoter of Newfoundland and Labrador arts. Named for the historic house on Winter Avenue in St. John’s where Sandra grew up, the BMO Winterset Award was established in 2000 by her late husband, journalist and author, Richard Gwyn O.C..

This year’s jury members were Mark Callanan, Shelly Kawaja, and Karen Levine.

“It’s excruciating to choose between books of excellence, but we have settled on three books that speak directly to where we are right now,” said the jury members. “Each of these books has a warning for the present and a vision for the future.”

“BMO continues to be a proud sponsor of the BMO Winterset Award—an honour designed to recognize distinction in all genres of writing,” said Dean Holloway, Regional Vice President, Personal Banking, Newfoundland and Labrador. “Supporting, encouraging, and celebrating the immense talent of both emerging and distinguished writers living in Newfoundland and Labrador reflects how BMO brings to life its Purpose to Boldly Grow the Good in business and in life.”

The BMO Winterset Award is managed by ArtsNL and is made possible through the generous support from BMO Financial Group, in partnership with the Sandra Fraser Gwyn Foundation.

About BMO Financial Group
Serving customers for 200 years and counting, BMO is a highly diversified financial services provider—the 8th largest bank, by assets, in North America. With total assets of $1.14 trillion as of October 31, 2022, and a team of diverse and highly engaged employees, BMO provides a broad range of personal and commercial banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, BMO Wealth Management, and BMO Capital Markets.

Media enquiries:
Charlene Jackson
Communications Officer, ArtsNL
(709) 726-2212 ext. 3

Marie-Catherine Noël
Media Relations, BMO Financial Group (Atlantic)
(514) 877-8224









The Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council (ArtsNL) is a non-profit Crown agency created in 1980 by The Arts Council Act. Its mission is to foster and promote the creation and enjoyment of the arts for the benefit of all Newfoundlanders and Labradorians. The Council is governed by a volunteer board of 13 appointed by government, reflecting regional representation of the province. This includes 10 professional artists who provide sectoral representation of the arts community; two community representatives (with an interest in the arts); and one representative of the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts and Recreation (non-voting). ArtsNL receives an annual allocation of $5.2 million from the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador to support a variety of granting programs, program delivery, office administration, and communications. It also seeks support from the public and private sector. It supports the following artistic disciplines: dance, film, multidiscipline, music, theatre, visual art, and writing.


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