low-grade serous ovarian cancer woman Amy MacRae playing with her daughter Evie

International writing award honours Amy MacRae

Ovarian cancer woman Amy MacRae has inspired the creation of an international memoir writing award. Amy began to explore her voice as a writer after her diagnosis with low-grade serous carcinoma. Amy’s piece “Take a Photo Before I Leave You” was shortlisted for the CBC Non Fiction writing prize in 2020, shortly after her passing.

The award is the creation of Alison Wearing, a best selling writer, playwright and performer. In 2019 Amy travelled from Vancouver to Paris for a memoir writing retreat in France led by Alison.

“Amy MacRae was a dazzling woman, a magnificent writer and teacher and a bursting-with-love wife and mother

Amy’s work was spectacular…. Amy has taught me to see every grey hair as a privilege, every interaction as an opportunity for kindness, and every morning an offering, even in the midst of a lockdown.

This award has been created in celebration of Amy’s life, and in support of her living legacy to improve the outcomes of women with ovarian cancer.”

Alison Wearing, Award Creator

To honour her memory Alison has created a literary contest in Amy’s name with proceeds donated to her living legacy fund for low-grade serous ovarian cancer research.

Garreth MacRae is grateful his wife’s memory and legacy will continue with the International Amy MacRae Memorial Award.

“I felt absolutely thrilled to learn that Alison Wearing would be honouring Amy’s memory and her writing … This represents another amazing chapter in Amy’s legacy that we can share with my daughter as she grows older and wants to know more about the unique and talented person her mother was.”

Garreth MacRae, Amy’s Husband

Amy established her living legacy shortly before her death and to date it has raised an incredible $80 000 for researchers working to improve survival rates for her cancer. Amy loved life and wanted so much to have extra time with her husband and beautiful little girl. Instead her generosity and kindness will help ensure that other women in the future get more time with their loved ones.

The International Amy MacRae Memoir Award

The award is open to writers anywhere in the world. The prize is US$1000 with a further US$1000 towards a Mindful Memoir Writing Retreat in Southern France. The 2021 edition of the prize is accepting submissions until June 1, 2021. You can find out more at Wearing’s website.