A University of Guelph graduate has won a 2017 Trillium Book Award, considered Ontario’s premier literary prize.

Melanie Mah

Melanie Mah was named the winner in the English-language category for her novel The Sweetest One, a coming-of-age tale about a teenage girl’s connection to her hometown. The book was based on her MFA thesis while at U of G.

MFA student Danila Botha and grad Leesa Dean were also finalists in the English-language category. Botha was nominated for For All the Men (and Some of the Women) I’ve Known, and Dean for Waiting for the Cyclone.

Meaghan Strimas, formerly the program administrator for U of G’s MFA in creative writing, won the $10,000 Trillium Book Award for Poetry. MFA graduate Laurie Graham was one of the three finalists.

Established in 1987, the Trillium Book Awards recognize excellence and support the quality and diversity of Ontario writers. Previous winners include U of G professor Thomas King as well as Margaret Atwood, Michael Ondaatje, Timothy Findley and Anne Michaels. The Trillium Book Award for Poetry, created in 2003 for new and emerging poets, was won last year by U of G graduate Soraya Peerbaye.