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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

Love letters

After making a name for herself in literary iction, Sarah Henstra returns to YA – with a gay epistolary romance set in Minneapolis
RACHEL IDZERDA

When Sarah Henstra was notified about winning the Governor General’s Literary Award for her adult iction debut, The Red Word, she had to apologize for her reaction. “Those of us shortlisted had been told the winner would receive a call in the week after Thanksgiving,” says Henstra, who was spending that time in New York City writing and meeting with her U.S.publisher. “Tuesday afternoon came and went and then Wednesday. I thought there’s no way they’re going to make ive writers wait any later in the week.” So she put the award out of her mind, stopped checking her phone, and got down to work. “I’m good at siloing one set of concerns to carve out space for another set of concerns.” On Friday, Henstra got the call. “Even though I saw the 613 number, it didn’t register,” she says. “I had talked myself out of the possibility. The woman [from the Canada Council] said, ‘I have good news: you’ve won the Governor General’s Award.’ And I said, ‘Why didn’t you call me sooner?’ [I was] so rude.”

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