Women Writers From Quebec
Quebec Women Authors
Marie-Claire Blais is a French-Canadian author and playright from Quebec City, Quebec. She published her first novel, La Belle Bête (“Mad Shadows”) when she was only 20 years old. Since then, she has written more than twenty novels, as well as poetry, plays, and newspaper articles. Marie-Claire is considered a “revolutionary talent on the Quebec literary scene,” and has won a number of different literary awards, including the Matt Cohen Prize, which is presented annually to a Canadian writer who has provided a “distinguished lifetime contribution to Canadian literature.” Learn more about Marie-Claire on her Facebook page or browse her written works on Amazon.
Nicole Brossard is a French-Canadian poet and novelist who currently lives in Outremont, a borough of the city of Montreal, Quebec. Her poetry reveals her strong belief in feminist ideals, and she also founded a feminist newspaper called Les têtes de pioches. She believes that “before [she] became a feminist… [she] was an angel, a poet, a revolutionary.” Since her first publication in 1965 (when she was 22 years old), Nicole has written over thirty novels and poetry collections, many of which have been translated into English. One of her most popular novels is called The Blue Books, which includes three stories of postmodernism and feminism. Her other works can be found on Amazon.
Chrystine Brouillet is one of Quebec’s most famous novelists. She writes for both children and adults, specializing in historical fiction and thrillers. Her French novels have been translated into many languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Italian, Icelandic, and Arabic. Thirteen of her children’s books were adapted for a television series called Les aventures de la courte échelle, and her first novel, Chère Voisine, was made into a movie called Good Neighbors, which was presented at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2010.
Throughout her lifetime, Chrystine has received a number of awards and honors, including the “Prix du Signet d’or” for being voted the most popular children’s author in 1993 and 1994, and the “Grand Prix littéraire Archambault” in 2004 for her novel Indésirables. This award is reserved for French authors who are living in Quebec, and the winner receives a $10,000 cash prize. Her hometown, Loretteville, also honored Chrystine by renaming their public library after her. Learn more about Chrystine on her Facebook page, or browse her novels on Amazon.
Quebec Literary Awards
The Cole Foundation Prize for Translation is an annual literary award presented by the Quebec Writers’ Foundation (QWF). Each year, it honors a book that has been translated with excellent skill. The languages for translation change every other year, so the 2012 award will be given to an author who has performed an English-to-French translation, while the 2013 prize will be awarded to a French-to-English translation. In 2008, Lori Saint-Martin (in collaboration with her husband, Paul Gagné) won the prize for their English-to-French translation of the novel Big Bang by Neil Smith, which tells the story of an eight-year-old girl named Eepie, who suffers from a fictitious disease that causes her to age one month with each day that passes. Together, Lori and Paul have translated a number of other novels, and Lori has published short story collections and scholarly papers on Quebec literature and women’s studies. Currently she is a Literary Studies professor at The University of Quebec at Montreal. Although Lori does not have a website of her own, you can learn more about her on the UQAM page. To view a list of past winners of the QWF translation prize, visit their website.
Quebec Literary Magazines
Room Magazine is Canada’s oldest literary journal written by and about women, whose mission is to showcase “thought-provoking works that reflect women’s strength, sensuality, vulnerability, and wit.” They have published short fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, reviews, and artwork submitted by approximately 3,000 women since their launch in 1977. The journal is published quarterly by an all-volunteer, all-female staff, and can be checked out at libraries or purchased in independent book and magazine stores across Canada. Out of the four issues per year, two of them have specific themes that are chosen in advance by the editors, and the other two are comprised of the best submissions they receive from poets, writers, and artists. Published contributors are paid for their work, and receive two free copies of the issue in which they were published, as well as a free year’s subscription to the magazine. In addition, Room holds an annual writing contest for fiction, creative nonfiction, and poetry submissions, awarding $2,250 in cash prizes to the six lucky winners. Learn more about Room on their website.
Cahoots is an alternative, online-only Canadian magazine founded in 2005 by writer Carla Atherton. Its mission is to provide an opportunity for women to write about things that are important to them (work, home life, world affairs, physical health issues, the environment, and many more) while promoting “diversity, critical thought, and engaging conversation.” In addition to original articles and essays, Cahoots includes a selection of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and artwork. Although they do not pay cash for submissions, each contributor that is published will have their biography and author photo added to the Cahoots Contributor page. Cahoots will also include an ad on their website if the author has a business or website they wish to promote. This is designed to provide a wonderful opportunity for female Canadian writers to network with each other! Learn more about Cahoots on their website, or subscribe to the magazine for free.
Page compiled by Victoria Shockley on July 4, 2012. Victoria is the Assistant Editor for Women Writers, Women Books, as well as a freelance writer and editor. She’s currently in her sophomore year at North Carolina State University in Raleigh and is majoring in English with a concentration in language and writing.
Visit Victoria’s website at http://victoriashockleywrites.wordpress.com/.
Follow Victoria on Twitter: @Victoria_Writes.