June was an eventful month for us. Two Metonymy authors were honoured with major literary awards.
Congrats to Kai Cheng Thom, who received the 2017 Writers’ Trust of Canada Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. Kai Cheng was presented with the award at a ceremony on June 4 in Vancouver, BC. Below is an excerpt from her acceptance speech:
It strikes me as both a lovely and painful thing to be a winner of this prestigious award—lovely because it is no small thing to be a published racialized trans woman winning a prize, and painful for the same reason. I am thinking about all the brave and brilliant trans women of colour—true artists, all—who are not winning awards, who are not recognized, who have come and fought before and died without recognition. I wonder why I am here, still alive, when they are not; and receiving this prize, when others are not. And I wonder what this means.
And I try to remember that sometimes, our bodies are beginnings, and so are our words, and so too are books. It is my hope that my body, and my words, and my books, are part of a beginning of a time when a trans girl of colour writer might receive an award for her work and not have to wonder anymore.
Less than two weeks later, jia qing wilson-yang’s Small Beauty won the 2017 Lambda Literary Prize for Transgender Fiction. Metonymy was well-represented in the category (there were three finalists in total, with Kai Cheng’s Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars also nominated alongside If I Was Your Girl, by Meredith Russo). jia qing also accepted her award with gracious and moving words, a shaky iPhone video of which you can see on our Instagram profile.
We never doubted the quality and importance of both these Metonymy titles, and we’re thrilled others are recognizing this too.