June Park wins the Max Margles Fiction Prize 2022

Posted on: 28 March, 2022

Category: Max Margles Writing Residency, QWF News

The Quebec Writers’ Federation is delighted to announce that the recipient of the first-ever Max Margles Fiction Prize is June Park. The prize is awarded to a writer of prose fiction who is a resident of Quebec and whose writing practice is primarily in English. The award of $8,500 is designed to enable one writer to work on a specific solo writing project between April 1 and October 31, 2022.

June Park is a writer, editor, arts consultant, and cultural connector. She was born in Korea and has lived across Canada from Vancouver to Tiohtiá:ke/Montreal, where she is currently based. She studied literature at the University of Calgary (BA) and the University of Toronto (MA).

The jury, composed of Caroline Adderson, Meenakshi Alimchandani, and Eddy Tan Boudel, had this to say about June’s submission:

“We’re pleased to present the Max Margles Fiction Prize to the author of What Beauty Remains, a novel about the Korean ‘comfort women’ who were exploited by the Japanese military during the dark days of WWII. Following one woman’s journey, the brutality of war and sexual coercion come to life through poetic prose and raw, unflinching emotion. Though the story reflects on a time and place that may feel far away, urgency instills the narrative, at once a reckoning of the past and a warning for our turbulent present. We are eager to see her succeed.”

Upon learning that she had won, June wrote:

“The Max Margles Prize fortifies my resolve to share the voices of women who were silenced through shame, were lost, or did not have an opportunity to speak. The years of wading through layers of grief, the inconsistencies of history, and the embodiment of memory have made for a relatively solitary, detour-filled journey of writing in between the edges of everyday life. This extraordinary, generous prize bestows a sense of confidence and affirmation, and provides essential support for which I am profoundly grateful.”

The QWF is grateful to Mrs. Roslyn Margles for her generous sponsorship of the Prize. She writes:

“I am very pleased that this first Max Margles Fiction Prize has been awarded to June Park, a talented and promising aspiring writer, deserving and persevering.  She has worked diligently, fact-finding and analyzing, and has clearly produced an impressive first version of What Beauty Remains. It is a pleasure to offer this support to help June bring her novel from infancy to maturity. “

More information about the Max Margles Fiction Prize can be found here.

The Jury

Caroline Adderson is the author of five novels, two collections of short stories, as well as many books for young readers. Her work has received numerous award nominations including the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, two Commonwealth Writers’ Prizes, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Rogers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and the Scotiabank Giller Prize longlist.  Winner of three BC Book Prizes and three CBC Literary Awards, Caroline is also the recipient of the Marian Engel Award for mid-career achievement. 

Toronto based literary consultant Meenakshi Alimchandani specializes in South Asian literature and authors. She has curated the  South Asian Segment of the Toronto International Festival of Authors and The  Toronto International Book Fair, as well as the Tartan Turban Secret Summer Readings. Meenakshi consults for Canadian publishers and promotes well-known authors like William Dalrymple, Gurucharan Das, Amitava Ghosh, M.G Vassanji, Anar Ali Lisa Ray, and Ruby Lal. She was a moderator at JLF Toronto in 2019 and 2021 as well as at the author evenings at the Aga Khan Museum. Meenakshi has also been a speaker at Jaipur Bookmark and the Apeejay Kolkata and Kerala Litfests. Meenakshi is a co-coordinator of Books that Bind, a book club that focuses on diverse and multicultural authors.

Eddy Boudel Tan is the author of two novels: After Elias, a finalist for the ReLit Awards and the Edmund White Award for Debut Fiction, and The Rebellious Tide (Dundurn Press). In 2021, he was named a Rising Star by the Writers’ Trust of Canada. His short stories can be found in Joyland, Yolk, Gertrude Press, and The G&LR, as well as forthcoming anthologies from Arsenal Pulp Press and Wolsak & Wynn. He lives in Vancouver with his husband.