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Ian Williams

Luke Khomeriki/Writers' Union of Canada

Toronto author Ian Williams is the 2011 winner of the Danuta Gleed Literary Award, given annually by the Writers' Union of Canada to the author of the best first English-language collection of short fiction published in a calendar year. Williams took the $10,000 prize, awarded Thursday, for Not Anyone's Anything, published by Freehand Books/Broadview Press. A teacher at Fitchburg State University in Mass., Williams was lauded by the WUC's three-person jury for being "fresh, funny and intelligent," with a knack for crafting "gripping, convincing dialogue."

Williams' collection was one of five titles short-listed for the prize, now in its 15th year. Two runners-up were named, each of whom receives $500:  Victoria's Daniel Griffin (for Stopping for Strangers) and Jessica Westhead of Toronto (And Also  Sharks). The award is named after an Ottawa short-story writer who died in 1996.

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