Appointment to the Order of Canada

Thanks to the Governor General of Canada and the Carol Shields Prize for celebrating me today. Congratulations to my fellow recipients.

Toronto, ON — Susan Swan, award-winning author, journalist and professor, has been appointed as Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General Mary Simon. Established in 1967, the Order of Canada is one of the country’s highest honours and was conferred upon Swan for her contributions to Canadian literature and culture, and for her mentorship of the next generation of writers.

“Receiving the Order of Canada is thrilling for me as a writer and as a Co-Founder of the Carol Shields Prize for Fiction. Women writers hold up half the sky, sometimes even all the sky and the Milky Way too,” shared Swan.

“The Staff and Board of The Carol Shields Prize Foundation are proud of Co-Founder and Board Director Susan Swan. The Order of Canada is a distinguished honour, and Susan is the most deserving recipient not only for her writing, but for her decades of passionate and dedicated work in the service of literature and writers in Canada,” said Alexandra Skoczylas, CEO of The Carol Shields Prize for Fiction.

A prominent figure in Canadian literature, Swan has made significant contributions to the creative industries as an author, journalist, novelist, activist and teacher. Her critically acclaimed works have been published in twenty countries and received numerous honours. These include The Wives of Bath, a finalist for the Guardian Fiction Prize and the Trillium Award, later adapted into a feature film, and The Biggest Modern Woman in the World, which was a finalist for Canada’s Best First Novel Award and the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.

As a former Associate Professor of Humanities at York University, Swan has held a variety of esteemed positions, including Millennial Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies and Chair of The Writers’ Union of Canada.

Since 2012, she has worked towards launching a major prize celebrating women writers, which culminated in the inaugural Carol Shields Prize for Fiction announced in 2020. The inaugural Prize was awarded on May 4, 2023. By putting the work of women writers in the spotlight — and by creating charitable grants and mentorships for marginalized and underrepresented writers — this new annual literary award acknowledges, celebrates and promotes fiction by a wider, more diverse and inclusive group of women and non-binary writers.

Earlier this month, Swan received a lifetime membership in The Writers’ Union of Canada “in recognition of extraordinary contributions to the Union and the lives of Canadian writers.”

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