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.