Kwantlen alumnus receives Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished first novel

Thu, Jun 21, 2012



For immediate release

June 21, 2012

Kwantlen alumnus receives Arthur Ellis Award for best unpublished first novel

(Metro Vancouver, BC) – Kwantlen Polytechnic University alumnus Sam Wiebe is this year's winner of the Unhanged Arthur (best unpublished first novel) for his crime fiction piece - Last of the Independents. The Crime Writers of Canada (CWC) named Sam the recipient of this award during the Arthur Ellis Award Banquet last month in Toronto.

Sam graduated from Kwantlen in 2008 with a bachelor of arts, double minor in English and history, and continued studying at Simon Fraser University, finishing with a master's degree in 2010.

"I had a great experience at Kwantlen," says Sam. "I still think about concepts I learned in Neil Kennedy's Shakespeare class and Cecilia Martell's class on aboriginal literature. Those two really encouraged me, and are two of the reasons I'm now a teacher myself.  At Kwantlen, there's a level of interaction with faculty that you don't get anywhere else."

"As an English instructor, I try to instill in students the importance of doing three things to achieve success: read regularly, make writing part of your routine, and use your instructors as resources," says Cecilia Martell, Kwantlen Polytechnic University. "Sam is an excellent example of the student who took these things to heart. Reading and writing are his passions, and this award is certainly well-deserved. I'm thrilled for Sam, and wish him every success in the future!"

Sam says he's always had an interest in the crime genre because it allows him to write about "the real world—problems of social justice, bureaucratic ineptitude, the plight of the disenfranchised, and failures of compassion and decency—without being a crushing bore." He says the award is important to him because it is recognition from other crime writers and like-minded industry people, and it also means that his novel has a chance of finding the right audience.

The Arthur Ellis Awards, established in 1984 and named after the nom de travail of Canada's official hangman, are awarded each year by the CWC. The awards are for crime writing and genres include crime, detective, espionage, mystery, suspense, and thriller writing, as well as fictional or factual accounts of criminal doings and crime-themed literary works. For more information about the CWC and the Arthur Ellis Awards please visit:

To learn more about Sam Wiebe please visit:

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