Two local authors pick up Schemenauer awards

A pair of local authors have been awarded cash prizes as part of the annual Dr. Robert and Elma Schemenauer Writing Awards.

Alex McGilvery won in the category Writing with a Kamloops and Area Theme for Tranquille Dark, while Brittany van der Merwe won in the category Writing Showing an Appreciation of Nature with her poem The Storm.

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McGilvery moved to Kamloops in 2017 to be closer to his grandchildren, quickly joined the Interior Authors Group and now serves as the group's president. He started as a critic and reviewer before becoming an editor. He published his first book in 2010.

Tranquille Dark is based on McGilvery's own experience and on his experience with the HomeFree Lived Experience Committee, a homelessness action group.

Van der Merwe, 34, writes poetry and short stories, the latter of which started out intended only for her children before she began actively pursuing publication.

Judges praised van der Merwe's poem for its vivid imagery and innovative use of language.

The awards have been given annually for the past five years and are sponsored by Dr. Robert and Elma Schemenauer. To be eligible, authors must be members of the Interior Authors Group of Kamloops.

The winning entries can be read online at

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