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Prince George fiction writer wins award for story of veterinarian life in northern B.C.

Gillian Wigmore recognized for her book ‘Night Watch: The Vet Suite’
Prince George author Gillian Wigmore won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, which recognizes the best debut short fiction collection by a Canadian author in English. (Photo courtesy Emily Jane Photography)

Prince George poet and fiction writer Gillian Wigmore has won the runner-up prize for the 2021 Danuta Gleed Literary Award for her book Night Watch: The Vet Suite.

The award recognizes the best debut short fiction collection by a Canadian author, in English.

“It’s such an honour to get noticed nationally,” said Wigmore. “Especially when you’re writing about the rural and the local, it’s really nice to know that people from a wider range will read.”

Full of empathy and humour, Night Watch collects three novellas inspired by her rural upbringing as the child of a veterinarian.

“Writing about it was a way to go back to it and spend some time with my dad in my mind, ” she said. “It was extremely hard work and we got to see some amazing things along the way.”

Originally from Vanderhoof, Wigmore works full-time in healthcare as a community liaison officer in Fort St. James and Prince George.

Awards like these are important for rural authors, she said, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled and delayed book launches.

“You gain a readership you might not otherwise have and that’s never a guarantee,” she said.” There were many wonderful books on this shortlist, so it was quite an honour.”

Wigmore will continue to write more novellas — which she calls her “wheelhouse”.

READ MORE: B.C. author’s ‘Ghost Forest’ wins Amazon Canada First Novel Award

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