The Writers' Union of Canada
Press Release

The Writers' Union of Canada is pleased to announce that Sheilagh Guy Murphy has won the $2,500 cash prize for its 26th annual Short Prose Competition for Emerging Writers, for the best story under 2,500 words, with her piece “Lost: My Immortal Soul.” In addition, the Union will submit the winning story and the eleven other shortlisted stories to three Canadian magazine publishers for their consideration.

Sheilagh Guy Murphy is a Newfoundland writer, actor and producer. She has appeared provincially and nationally on stage, radio, television and recently short films. Her short stories and poems have received awards including the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Competition and the Atlantic Canada Short Story Contest. Sheilagh is currently working on a book of short stories.

The Short Prose Competition, established in 1993 in honour of the Union’s 20th anniversary, aims to discover, encourage and promote new writers of short prose who have published up to a maximum of one work in book format, in order to provide opportunity and exposure to developing writers. This year, twenty-one Union members donated their time and expertise to read 580 submissions and distill them into a long list of 119 stories. These stories went on to a second round of nineteen readers who selected the finalists to pass on to the jury: Peter Dubé, Norma Dunning, and Pamela Mordecai.


Lost: My Immortal Soul by Sheilagh Guy Murphy, St. John’s, NL

In “Lost: My Immortal Soul” author Sheilagh Guy Murphy offers readers a beautifully made tale of a girl’s encounter with both a Protestant “other,” and the deeply-held prejudices of the traditional Catholic community in which she lives. Narrated in the young protagonist’s credible and compelling voice, the story is unfailingly sensitive in its examination of how childhood can be simultaneously strange, frightening and illuminating while holding to a sharp but subtle sense of humour. “Lost” is laugh out loud funny and simply wonderful!


  • The White Stetson Hat, Dennis Allen, Red Deer, AB
  • The Clay Child, Chloe Burrows-Moore, Windsor, ON
  • Decay, Rhonda Collis, Cobble Hill, BC
  • Under Indigo Skies, Habiba Cooper Diallo, Halifax, NS
  • Ride the Reaper, Kate Felix, Toronto, ON
  • Now That You Are Here, Sandra Jensen, East Sussex, UK
  • Missing, Kirsten Madsen, Whitehorse, YT
  • Words to that Effect, Nola Poirier, Powell River, BC
  • The Choice, Carmen Wittmeier, Calgary, AB
  • Walls, Carmen Wittmeier, Calgary, AB
  • A Use for Marrow and Bone, Jenny Wong, Calgary, AB

Peter Dubé, Norma Dunning, Pamela Mordecai

Suzanne Alyssa Andrew, Lynda Archer, Clayton Bailey, Lucy Black, Per Brask, Rick Conrad, Myrl Coulter, Ann Eyerman, Kim Fahner, Vanessa Farnsworth, April L. Ford, Dayle Furlong, E. Graziani, Nan Gregory, Mix Hart, Victoria Hetherington, Catherine Lafferty, Zoe Landale, Jerry Levy, Daniel Lockhart, Mark Lovell, Steven Manners, Hugh McCracken, Jean Mills, Kagiso Molope, Terry Murray, Ken Murray, Ann-Maureen Owens, Kamal Parmar, Shawna Partridge, Bridgette Pellerin, Edeet Ravel, Trudee Romanek, Zoë S. Roy, Rene Schmidt, Deborah Seed, Susan Smith-Josephy, Rea Tarvydas, Irene Ternier Gordon

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. 

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For additional information:
Valerie Laws, Office Administrator
The Writers’ Union of Canada 
416-703-8982 Ext. 224

DATE: June 3, 2019