Erin Soros' "Please Don't Do This To Me" Wins $2,500 Prize — The Writers' Union of Canada's 30th Annual Short Prose Competition

The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers' Union of Canada is pleased to announce that Erin Soros has won the $2,500 cash prize for its 30th annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers, for the best story under 2,500 words, with her piece “Please Don’t Do This to Me.” In addition, the Union will submit the winning story and the eleven other shortlisted stories to three Canadian magazine publishers for their consideration.

“Please Don’t Do This To Me,” Erin Soros, North Vancouver, BC

30th Annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers Winner Erin Soros "Please Don't Do This To Me." The Writers' Union of Canada logo.

The jury comprised of Doretta Lau, Tāriq Malik, and Ann Shortell noted, “’Please Don’t Do This To Me,’ marks the arrival of a luminous and vital voice in Canadian literature. Erin Soros dazzles with visceral imagery, combining the power of reportage with deft nonfiction craft, remarkable sentences, and emotional honesty. Such a brilliant voice may well threaten a reader’s equilibrium, even as it holds that reader rapt. Erin’s memoir illuminates an author who, through her unique style, constructs a compelling case against the traumas she has endured.”

A mad settler living in Vancouver, Erin Soros writes fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and theory. She researches trauma-induced psychosis and the psychiatric and police response to it. Recent essays appeared in carte blanche, Topia and Sociologica. Her poem “Weight” received The Malahat’s Long Poem Prize and was included in Best Canadian Poetry 2020. Her lyric essay “Cord” (The Malahat) received Gold at the 2021 National Magazine Award for One of a Kind Storytelling. Her poem “Shelter” (The Puritan) received Silver at the 2022 National Magazine Awards for Poetry. Her fiction has received the CBC Literary Award and the Commonwealth Award for the Short Story.

This year, 30 Union members donated their time and expertise to read 489 submissions and distill them into a long list of 126 stories. These stories went on to a second round of 29 readers who selected the finalists to pass on to the jury:


  • “The Madness East of St. George,” Jeff Cottrill, Toronto, ON
  • “Cigarettes and Iguanodons,” Chance Freihaut, Calgary, AB
  • “Fine Lines,” Sarah Gilbert, Montreal, QC
  • “Refresh,” Susan Goldberg, Thunder Bay, ON
  • “There's a Short Story About My Father I'm Planning to Write,” Geoff Inverarity, Vancouver, BC
  • “The Arms of Village,” Trent Lewin, Waterloo, ON
  • “We Celebrate The Rain,” Fareh Malik, Whitby, ON
  • “Games People Play,” Rowan McCandless, Winnipeg, MB
  • “The Golden Hour,” Adelle Purdham, Peterborough, ON
  • “Parasite,” Deepa Rajagopalan, Ariss, ON
  • “Lucky Ducks,” Madeleine Ritzker, Vancouver, BC

Doretta Lau, Tāriq Malik, Ann Shortell

Kimberley Alcock, Lynda Archer, Sean Paul Bedell, Kevin Burns, K.R. Byggdin, Judith Chopra, Genevieve Chornenki, Pam Clark, Kevin Craig, Suzanne Craig-Whytock, Deborah De Lange, Marjorie DeLuca, Virginia Edwards, Louise Ells, Colleen Fisher Tully, Dana Goldstein, Alyssa Gonzalez, Leif Gregersen, Nan Gregory, Terrie Hamazaki, Peggy Herring, Megan Hutton, Liz Johnston, Sandra Kasturi, Shelly Kawaja, Peter King, Jerry Levy, Leanne Lieberman, Joyce Thierry Llewellyn, Jennifer Londry, Alastair Luft, Andrew MacDonald, Jill Martin, Gael McCool, Danielle Mclaughlin, Ceilidh Michelle, Peter Midgley, Janet Miller, Mark Morton, Terry Murray, Shari Narine, Janet Nicol, Daniela Norris, Sofi Papamarko, Kamal Parmar, Lois Peterson, Concetta Principe, Heather Ramsay, Edeet Ravel, Lawrence Scanlan, Jocelyn Shipley, Avi Sirlin, Jennifer Spruit, Kathy Stinson, Jean Van Loon, Barbara Wade Rose, Ruth Walker, Sylvia Warsh, Jiaqing Wilson-Yang

The Writers’ Union of Canada (TWUC) is the national organization of professionally published writers. TWUC was founded in 1973 to work with governments, publishers, booksellers, and readers to improve the conditions of Canadian writers. Now over 2,600 members strong, TWUC advocates on behalf of writers’ collective interests, and delivers value to members through advocacy, community, and information. TWUC believes in a thriving, diverse Canadian culture that values and supports writers.

– 30 –

For additional information:
Kristina Cuenca, Program Manager
The Writers’ Union of Canada

Date: May 25, 2023