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Sharon Bala

Sharon Bala

Her bestselling debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2019 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, was a finalist for Canada Reads 2018, the 2018 Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the 2019 Margaret and John Savage First Book Award, and the 2019 Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award, and was longlisted for the Aspen Words Literary Prize.

Published in January 2018, it is available worldwide with translations on the shelves or forthcoming in French, German, Arabic, and Turkish. The unpublished manuscript won the Percy Janes First Novel Award (May 2015) and was short listed for the Fresh Fish Award (October 2015).

In 2017, Sharon won the Journey Prize and had a second story long-listed in the anthology. A three-time recipient of Newfoundland and Labrador’s Arts and Letters award, she has stories published in Hazlitt, Grain, Maisonneuve, The Dalhousie Review, Riddle Fence, Room, Prism international, The New Quarterly, and in an anthology called Racket: New Writing From Newfoundland (Breakwater Books, Fall 2015).

Sharon is a member of the Port Authority writing group. They can be found every second Thursday swapping fiction in the closet of a store room on Memorial University’s campus.

In her past lives, she worked in PR, event planning, and enjoyed a brief stint as a British housewife. Today, she earns her bread with words. She’s available for speaking engagements, to write articles and essays, adjudicate competitions, teach workshops, for manuscript evaluations, and editorial aid.

Sharon was born in Dubai, raised in the 905, and lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland with her husband, the mathemagician Tom Baird.

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Guest Appearances
August 28, 2019

Debut novelist’s tale of Sri Lankan refugees wins the Harper Lee Prize

Sharon Bala talks about her fictional novel and the true stories behind it, as well as what "To Kill a Mockingbird" means to her.