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Announcing the Recipient of the 2020 Elizabeth R. Epperly Award for Outstanding Early Career Paper

...And that person is BRENTON DICKIESON for his paper on "Making Friends with the Darkness: L.M. Montgomery's Popular Theodicy in Anne's House of Dreams."


Selection Process

A panel of four judges (Lesley Clement, Kate Scarth, Bonnie Tulloch, and Emily Woster), appointed by the LMMI Management Committee, received six very strong papers. representing a diverse range of disciplines, from six different counties (three continents).

Given the unique circumstances of 2020 and the cancellation of the onsite June conference, early career presenters were asked to submit papers prepared for journal publication, rather than for presentation at the conference as they would normally have done. The judges then decided which of the six papers best demonstrated "both thoughtful engagement with past Montgomery scholarship and an original, compelling argument."


A Sampling of the Panel's Comments

  • "This paper related to the theme of vision through its exploration of the significance of darkness and light in Montgomery's Anne's House of Dreams. The author made a notable effort to engage with a substantial corpus of Montgomery scholarship and positioned the essay in dialogue with Elizabeth Epperly's ideas in particular."
  • "Beautifully written, scholarly informed reflection on Anne's House of Dreams drawing on a tension central to Montgomery between darkness and light."
  • "The argument flows nicely...asking pertinent and engaging questions along the way."
  • "Beautifully argued, a unique reading of Anne's House of Dreams with a nicely contextualized final argument/conclusions that invite comment and conversation going forward - just what an essay like this should do!"


About Brenton Dickieson

Brenton grew up on his family's farm on the north shore of Prince Edward Island. He completed a PhD in 2020 at the University of Chester on spirituality in C.S. Lewis' literature. He is a sessional instructer at UPEI and teaches virtually at various other North American postsecondary institutions.

His article "Rainbow Valley as Embodied Heaven: Initial Explorations into L.M. Montgomery's Spirituality in Fiction" was recently published in the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies. Brenton is also the host and founding producer of The MaudCast: The Podcast of the L.M. Montgomery Institute. His popular blog,, explores the intersections of faith, culture, and fiction. 


More to come

Keep watching for new content that the 2020 Vision Forum on the Journal of L.M. Montgomery Studies website will be posting over the next year.



Congratulations, Brenton.

Submitted by Lesley Clement, Visiting Scholar, L.M. Montgomery Institiute