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Book prize for Sudbury author's dive in Great Lakes swimmers

Laura Young offers a slightly different take on typical Canadian sports writing

Sudbury author Laura Young recently won the Prix Louise de Kiriline Lawrence Award for non-fiction at the Ontario Library Services Northern Lit Awards.

She was presented with the award at a Sept. 21 dinner in Sudbury for her 2014 book, Solo Yet Never Alone: Swimming the Great Lakes.

“I was surprised and really happy,” said Young, a freelance journalist, Cambrian College public relations instructor and lifeguard. “It's always nice to get recognized for your writing and the work everybody around you helps put into it.”

Amy Jones of Thunder Bay won the fiction award for her novel We're All In This Together.

As its name would suggest, Solo Yet Never Alone: Swimming the Great Lakes is about the 70 people who have swam across at least one of the Great Lakes.

“I wanted to fill a gap in Canadian sports writing and in writing about swimming,” said Young. “There's been a lot of books written about swimming the English Channel. I think I even saw a book on swimming in South Africa.

“I just thought swimming the Great Lakes is just an incredible accomplishment, and I wanted to get the stories out there. The more I explored, the more I found there was some really great stories, not just about the icons like Marilyn Bell and Vicki Keith, but just regular people that went and did it.”

The author was nominated for the award by Latitude 46 Publishing, a Sudbury publishing company that launched last year.

“Solo Yet Never Alone: Swimming the Great Lakes” was originally published by Scrivener Press, a now-defunct Sudbury publishing company that went out of business in 2015.

Latitude 46 has taken on the selling and marketing of books written by several authors, including Young, that were “orphaned” when Scrivener closed.

While non-fiction is her comfort zone because of her roots as a journalist, Young said she's currently working on a fiction novel that's getting close to being ready for editing.


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