The Writers' Union of Canada is pleased to announce that Mirabelle Chiderah Harris-Eze has won the $2,500 prize for its 28th annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers, for the best story under 2,500 words, with her piece dark. In addition, the Union will submit the winning story and the eleven other shortlisted stories to three Canadian magazine publishers for their consideration.
WINNER: "dark" by Mirabelle Chiderah Harris-Eze, Calgary, AB
The jury comprised of Madeline Coopsammy, Derek Mascarenhas, and Suzanne Methot noted, “This piece of short prose explores the intersections of race and class by inviting the reader into the day-to-day realities of a family, creating an atmosphere where the narrator struggles with societal racism and peer pressure. Strong dialogue and the narrator’s journey give readers a true sense of the hierarchies of contemporary Canadian society. The author’s artistic choices, such as point of view, make this a compelling read.”
Mirabelle Chiderah Harris-Eze is a 23-year-old Canadian-Nigerian-American with a penchant for chicken thighs, plantain chips, and Earl Grey tea. She loves writing stories about Chinook winds, and failure, and Igbo masquerades, and her work has been longlisted for the international Commonwealth Short Story Prize — twice. Mirabelle is currently working on her debut novel while pursuing a law degree. She believes that the jubilant, harrowing, and vast histories of the African diaspora deserve to be explored and engaged with.
This year, twenty-nine Union members donated their time and expertise to read 785 submissions and distill them into a long list of 166 stories. These stories went on to a second round of twenty-nine readers who selected the finalists to pass on to the jury:
Special mention goes to Zilla Jones who had three stories included in the final twelve.
- "The Last of Her Mountains," Tanya Bellehumeur-Allatt, Canton De Hatley, QC
- "Remember The Soup," Britta Boudreau, Prince George, BC
- "Across the Harbour," Madeleine Hart, Montreal, QC
- "Im Musa," Else Khoury, St Catharines, ON
- "The Water Between," Laura Manuel, Edmonton AB
- "Our Father, Who Art Asleep," A. L. Bishop, Niagara Falls, ON
- "864.79," Zilla Jones, Winnipeg, MB
- "Captured," Zilla Jones, Winnipeg, MB
- "How to Make a Friend," Zilla Jones, Winnipeg, MB
- "Emerge," Erin Soros, North Vancouver, BC
- "Fetch," Mitchell Toews, Rennie, MB
READERS FOR THE COMPETITION
Lynda A. Archer, Donna Barker, Janet Barkhouse, Joelle Barron, Leanne Lynn Baugh, Ann Birch, Astrid Blodgett, Colin Brezicki, Esmeralda Cabral. Maia Caron, Judith Chopra, Myrl Coulter, Deborah E. de Lange, Ann Eyerman, Vanessa Farnsworth, Lisa Fishman, Bruce Geddes, Carolyn Gossage, Gord Grisenthwaite, R.J. Harlick, Karl E. Jirgens, Susan Kastner, Diana Kolpak, Bianca Lakoseljac, Bonnie Lendrum, Kathy-Diane Leveille, Jerry Levy, Leanne Lieberman, Margaret Lynch, Renny DeGroot, Ozay Mehmet, Sarah Xerar Murphy, Terry Murray, Shari Narine, James Osborne, Kamal Parmar, Brigitte Pellerin, Daniel Perry, Karen Quevillon, Aimee Reid, Rick Revelle, Safia Saleh, Lawrence Scanlan, René Schmidt, Renée Sgroi, Jocelyn Shipley, James W. Smith, Susan Smith-Josephy, Shawn Syms, Craig Terlson, Joyce Thierry Llewellyn, Maureen Ulrich, Robin Van Eck, Anuja Varghese, Sylvia Maultash Warsh, Cristina Watson, Susan White, Alex Collingwood
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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 2,300 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.
For additional information:
Valerie Laws, Office Administrator
The Writers’ Union of Canada
Date: May 27, 2021