A University of Guelph graduate student and alumna are finalists the 2015 Governor General’s Literary Awards.

Bryden MacDonald, a theatre studies master’s student, is shortlisted the English-drama category for his play Odd Ducks. It’s a comedy about four middle-aged, eccentric characters who live outside the societal norm.

MacDonald is a Nova Scotian playwright and director, and was the 2014 Writer in Residence for Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, which was co-founded by U of G Prof. Sky Gilbert, its former artistic director.

MacDonald was also a Writer in Residence at The National Theatre School, Playwrights Workshop Montreal, Mulgrave Road Theatre, Neptune Theatre, and The Stratford Festival.

Liz Howard, a 2014 graduate of the master of fine art program is a finalist in English-poetry for Infinite Citizen of the Shaking Tent. It’s her first poetry collection and was her thesis project at U of G.

“Once again, U of G’s creative writing and arts programs are front and centre on the national stage,” said Ann Wilson, acting dean of the College of Arts.

“Bryden and Liz are wonderful examples of the quality and depth of our student talent. We are delighted that their achievements are being recognized through their nominations for these prestigious national awards.”

Finalists in seven categories in both English and French were announced Wednesday by the Canada Council for the Arts.

This year’s award recipients will be announced Oct. 28. Winners will receive $25,000, and finalists will be awarded $1,000.

The Governor-General’s Literary Awards have been handed out since 1937. This year, 970 titles in the English-language categories and 559 in the French-language categories were submitted.