The Writers' Union of Canada is pleased to announce that Jill Sexsmith has won the $2,500 cash prize for its twenty-first annual Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers, for the best story under 2,500 words, with her piece "this is an epic love story." The Union will submit the winning story and the 11 other shortlisted stories to three Canadian magazine publishers for their consideration.
Jill Sexsmith has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia. Her work has appeared in various anthologies and magazines such as The Fiddlehead and PRISM International. In 2013, The Walrus named Jill an exciting new voice in Canadian fiction.
The Short Prose Competition, established 1993 in honour of the Union’s 20th anniversary, aims to discover, encourage, and promote new writers of short prose who are not yet published in book format, in order to provide opportunity and exposure to developing writers. This year, 17 Union members donated their time and expertise to read 415 outstanding submissions and distill them into a long list of 89 stories. These stories went on to a second round of 17 who selected the finalists to pass on to the jury: Mark Abley, Ranj Dhaliwal, and Erin Dunham.
"this is an epic love story” by Jill Sexsmith
The jury noted that “the author made good use of terse and colloquial language in crafting the story. The segmented and elliptical telling was an exceptionally creative way of communicating plot and character.” They praised the sure-handed poise of the storytelling, adding that the text “is full of luminous details… the plot is one of gradual heartbreak, told in a beautifully controlled way. The unusual use of the second person ‘you’ is dramatic and effective.”
- The Girl in the Vase, Chris Graham-Rombough, Sackville, NB
- No Roses in Roseville, Rena Graham, Burnaby, BC
- The Canal Duckling, J. Walker Hatherly, Victoria, BC
- Leap of Faith, Margo Karolyi, Burlington, ON
- The Man Limps Home, Matthew Lewis, St. John’s, NL
- The Dead Baby Club, Valerie McDonald, Toronto, ON
- Buckeye Jim, Pearl Myers, Revelstoke, BC
- The Clearing, James Osborne, Vernon, BC
- What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Nikki Reklitis, Ottawa, ON
- Butterfly as Metaphor, Heather Tucker, Ajax, ON
- When There’s a Puzzle in the Checkers Box, Sandra Ziemniak, Milton, ON
Mark Abley, Ranj Dhaliwal, and Erin Dunham.
READERS FOR THE COMPETITION
Anuli Ausbeth-Ajagu, Nancy M. Bell, Ann Birch, Yvonne Blackwood, Brenda Brooks, Edward Brown, Cullene Bryant, David B. Clark, Betty Cullen, Richard deMeulles, Cynthia d’Entremont, Ann Eyerman, Charles Foster, Nan Gregory, Mary Hagey, Jane Harris-Szovan, Betty Jane Hegerat, Crystal Hurdle, Ellen Jaffe, Bianca Lakoseljac, Lucy Leiderman, B.M. Lloyd, Colette Maitland, Anna Jean Mallinson, Jennifer Maruno, Terry Murray, Bernard Poulin, Judy Rebick, Patria Rivera, Deborah Seed, Marcia Sirota, Jim Smith, Ruth E. Walker, Sylvia Warsh.
The Writers' Union of Canada is our country's national organization representing professional authors of books. Founded in 1973, the Union is dedicated to fostering writing in Canada, and promoting the rights, freedoms, and economic well-being of all writers. For more information, please visit www.writersunion.ca.
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For additional information:
Nancy MacLeod, Membership Development & Fund Researcher
The Writers’ Union of Canada
416-703-8982 Ext. 226