Sharon Bala

Sharon Bala (born April 3, 1979) is a Canadian writer residing in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador.[1]

Sharon Bala
Sharon Bala at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 2018
Bala at the Eden Mills Writers' Festival in 2018
BornDubai, UAE
Alma materQueen's University
University of Toronto
Notable awardsJourney Prize (2017)

Her debut novel, The Boat People, won the 2015 Percy Janes First Novel Award for unpublished manuscripts,[2] and was published by McClelland and Stewart and Doubleday in January 2018.[3] The book was internationally publicized as part of Penguin Random House's One World, One Book campaign.[4]

The book was selected for the 2018 edition of Canada Reads, where it was defended by Mozhdah Jamalzadah.[5] It also won the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction, was a finalist for the 2018 First Novel Award,[6] and was shortlisted for the 2015 Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers[7] and the 2019 Thomas Head Raddall Award.[8]

Bala was the winner of the 2017 Journey Prize for her short story "Butter Tea at Starbucks",[9] and was longlisted for the 2017 National Magazine Award for fiction for her short story "Miloslav".[10] Her short fiction has appeared in Hazlitt, Grain, The Dalhousie Review, Riddle Fence, Room, Prism International, Maisonneuve, Joyland, and The New Quarterly, and in an anthology called Racket: New Writing From Newfoundland.[11]



  • The Boat People (2018)


  1. ^ "Story is a Partnership: Interview with Sharon Bala". Prism International. December 18, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  2. ^ "Author Sharon Bala launches first novel “The Boat People” in St. John's Thursday night". The Telegram, January 16, 2018.
  3. ^ "How Pier 21 in Halifax helped inspire Sharon Bala to write 'The Boat People'". CTV News. March 7, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  4. ^ "Sharon Bala's debut novel, The Boat People, selected for PRH's international One World, One Book campaign". Quill & Quire. December 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Meet the Canada Reads 2018 contenders". CBC Books, January 30, 2018.
  6. ^ "Sharon Bala, Omar El Akkad among finalists for $40K First Novel Award". CBC Books, April 28, 2018.
  7. ^ "Eva Crocker, Sharon Bala, and Susie Taylor Shortlisted for the $5,000 Fresh Fish Award". The Overcast. October 9, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  8. ^ "St. John's women all up for lucrative Atlantic fiction award". The Telegram. June 4, 2019.
  9. ^ a b "Hilary Weston Writers' Trust award winners announced at Toronto gala". The Globe and Mail. November 14, 2017. Retrieved January 30, 2018.
  10. ^ "National Magazine Awards: Fiction".
  11. ^ "Lisa Moore writing students create Racket". CBC News Newfoundland and Labrador. October 20, 2015. Retrieved January 30, 2018.