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BMO Winterset Award

Winterset Award
2016 Award Winner


  1. Paul Rowe - "The Last Half of The Year"


  1. Robert Chafe - "Two-Man Tent"
  2. Michael Crummey - "Little Dogs"

About the Award

Winterset Award The BMO Winterset Award, a related but quite separate entity from the Festival, was established in 2000 by Richard Gwyn, OC, to commemorate his late wife, Sandra Fraser Gwyn, OC.

A native of St. John's, Sandra was a summer resident in Eastport and a tireless promoter across Canada of the arts in Newfoundland. A distinguished journalist and a prize-winning social historian, she is known best for her books The Private Capital and Tapestry of War.

The name Winterset is taken from the house on Winter Avenue in St. John's where Sandra grew up. Built circa 1830, this would have been the oldest residential property in the city except that it was torn down and replaced by a 1950's bungalow shortly after Sandra's mother left Newfoundland.

Originally named just the Winterset Award, the prize is now known as the BMO Winterset Award as a result of the entry of the Bank of Montreal Financial Group as a full partner in the project, together with the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council and the Sandra Fraser Gwyn Foundation. The unchanged purpose of the annual award is to celebrate and support excellence in Newfoundland writers and writing. Entrants must be either native-born Newfoundlanders or residents of the province. All published literary works are eligible: novels, poetry, non-fiction, collections of essays, works of drama and books for children and young adults. The only criterion for the content of the published work is literary excellence. Each year some 35 to 45 works are entered into the competition.

The Award is presented at a ceremony at Government House in St. John's, usually in March. The winning author receives a prize of $12,500, and the finalists receive prizes of $3,000 each. The Award is thus among the largest regional literary awards in Canada. The award is administered by the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts Council; more information on the award can be found at

Past Winners & finalists

2015 Award Winner


  1. Sara Tilley - "Duke"


  1. Stan Dragland - "Strangers & Others"
  2. Leslie Vryenhoek - "Ledger of the Open Hand"