Announcing the finalists for the QWF Prize for Playwriting

Posted on: 16 October, 2020

Category: QWF Awards

Today, we announce the finalists for the QWF Prize for Playwriting, sponsored by Gabriel Safdie, in conjunction with Infinithéâtre. The prize is awarded every two years to a play that was published or produced during the last two years. In addition to a monetary prize of $3,000 for the playwright, the winning play will be given a reading as part of Infinithéâtre’s “Pipeline” series.

The jury was composed of playwrights Pablo Felices-Luna of Winnipeg, Jackie Maxwell of Toronto, and Djanet Sears of Toronto.

The four finalists in the category are:

Alexandria Haber for Alice and the World We Live In

Produced by Centaur Theatre

From the jury: “This exquisitely enchanting play is a fierce examination of love and grief, and their relationship to memory and time.… Haber’s ability to invoke richly nuanced symbols, and to investigate the very nature of memory and time, is surprising, exciting and draws the audience even further into the story.”

Mishka Lavigne for Albumen

Produced by TACTICS Ottawa and performed at Arts Court Theatre

From the jury: “Albumen is a fascinating evocation of a contemporary landscape with three characters who are both recognizable but very specific. The style, tone and structure of the piece perfectly unite to create a memorable and affecting piece of theatre.”

Mona’a Malik for Sania the Destroyer

Produced by Theatre New Brunswick

From the jury: “A wonderfully touching and imaginative story of 14-year-old Sania, a Canadian South Asian Muslim girl who is being brought up as the only child of her widowed father in St. John, Newfoundland… This well-conceived story for young audiences, combines strong themes, carefully crafted characters, an engaging plot, and a whole lot of WWE style fun.”

Erin Shields for Instant

Produced by Playwrights Canada Press

From the jury: “Right from the start, Erin Shields puts on a virtuosic display of rhythm as the play flows back and forth from overlapping monologues to scenes in order to advance each story thread…. The play was unafraid to move into the dark when called upon. And yet, Instant also embraces the importance of hope, of leaving young audiences with a possible way out of that same darkness.”

Congratulations to all the finalists and their publishers!

Be sure to tune in to QWF’s YouTube page, or visit our website, at 11:00 am every day from October 13-19 to discover the finalists in all of the categories, as they too are announced. Visit the page now and set your reminders!

You can buy copies of the shortlisted works by visiting Paragraphe Bookstore’s website. Paragraphe has a special page dedicated to the QWF Awards finalists with all titles available at a discount.


The winners of this year’s prizes will be announced during a special celebratory video broadcast Gala at on Wednesday, November 4th. Watch the video with the rest of the community as it premieres at 7:00 pm on QWF’s YouTube page.

For those of you who want even more interaction, we invite you to take part in the QWF Red Carpet, taking place in the half hour before the Gala airs. Beginning at 6:30 PM, take a picture of your at-home gala garb and post in on either our Facebook page or on Instagram and Twitter using #QWFGala2020. All who do will be entered into a draw to win a collection of the award-winning books.

Also, immediately following the Gala broadcast, the QWF will be hosting a Zoom After Party. This will give everyone a chance to rub virtual elbows and connect on what would normally be the social event of Quebec’s English-language writing community. Check back to, or QWF’s Facebook page at a later date for the URL.

Let us know you are attending the Gala by RSVPing on Facebook: