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6 nominees vie for $60K Amazon Canada First Novel Award

The First Novel Award was established in 1976. Six writers are vying for this year's award. Credit: The Walrus

An aspiring viking’s quest to write her own legend is among the debut titles that have been shortlisted for this year’s Amazon Canada First Novel Award.

Edmonton-raised Andrew David MacDonald’s When We Were Vikings, published by Simon & Schuster, is one of six novels in the running for the $60,000 honour.

Tehran-born, Vancouver-based novelist Nazanine Hozar is nominated for Aria, published by Knopf Canada, about an orphan’s girl rags-to-riches trajectory set amid the Iranian Revolution.

Halifax author James Gregor is a finalist for his book about a bisexual love triangle, Going Dutch, from Simon & Schuster. Toronto-based Victoria Hetherington is also a contender for Mooncalves, from Now Or Never Publishing, about the implosion of a Quebec cult.

Rounding out the short list are Stephane Larue’s class-conscious portrayal of Montreal’s fine dining scene in The Dishwasher, published by Biblioasis, and Kingston, Ont.-based writer Nancy Jo Cullen’s time-jumping queer tale The Western Alienation Merit Badge, published by Buckrider Books.

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Each of the finalists receive $6,000. The winner will be announced virtually on June 25.

Established in 1976, previous winners of the First Novel Award include Michael Ondaatje, W.P. Kinsella, Nino Ricci, David Bezmozgis, Andre Alexis and Madeleine Thien.

READ MORE: Michael Ondaatje on confidence and his novel ‘The Cat’s Table’ 

The prize is co-presented by Amazon and the Walrus Foundation.

Watch below: Some Global News videos about awards for writing.