Kate Cayley (BAH ‘01) is the winner of the 2015 Trillium Book Award. Her first collection of short stories, entitled How You Were Born, beat out works from a roster of established writers including Margaret Atwood and Thomas King.
"Winning the Trillium Book Award has been a huge surprise and delight, especially since this is my first collection”, says Cayley. “I am still not quite able to believe it."
Cayley graduated from King’s with a Combined Honours in Contemporary Studies and Theatre. She has worked in many different media, including historical fiction novel The Hangman in the Mirror, which won the Geoffrey Bilson Award for Historical Fiction for Young People in 2012, and When This World Comes To An End, a 2013 collection of poetry. She is also currently playwright-in-residence at Toronto’s Tarragon Theatre.
She explains what drew her to the short story this time around: “I love the short story form, both as a reader and as a writer. It is so spare and elegant, but with the capacity for compassion and reflection, which is what I hope for in fiction. I'm happy to see this sometimes overlooked form honoured as well."
How You Were Born, published by Pedlar Press, is described as “a collection of stories that investigate the bizarre, the tragi-comic and the unbelievable elements that run through human lives”.
The Ontario government established the Trillium Book Award in 1987 “to recognize excellence, support marketing and foster increased public awareness of the quality and diversity of Ontario writers and writing.” This prestigious award is the province’s leading award for literature.
In winning the award, Cayley will receive $20,000, and the publishers will receive $2,500 for the marketing and promotion of the titles.