Five writers from across Canada made the 2021 CBC Nonfiction Award shortlist.
The finalists are:
The remaining four finalists will each receive $ 1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.
The five finalists had their work published on Radio-Canada books. You can read their stories by clicking on the links above.
This year’s finalists were selected by a jury made up of Jenny Heijun Wills, MG Vassanji and Tim Cook. They will also select the winner.
The long list was compiled by a team of writers and editors from across Canada. There were over 2,000 submissions in English.
The list of finalists for the Francophone competition was also unveiled. To find out more, visit the Radio-Canada Story Award.
Last year’s winner was writer Jonathan Poh of Burnaby, BC for his story Values ââVillage.
If you are interested in other CBC Literary Awards, on 2022 New CBC Award is open for submissions until October 31, 2021.
Know the 2021 CBC Nonfiction Award The English-speaking finalists below.
Alison Hughes has published 18 books, with translations into Korean, Dutch, Turkish and French. She was a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award for children’s literature – text and won the Children’s Writing Award from the Writers’ Union of Canada and the R. Ross Annett Award from the Alberta Literary Awards. Her short fiction was shortlisted for the Writers Union’s Short Prose Competition for Developing Writers and shortlisted for the 2011 CBC Short Story Award. She graduated in English and Law, works as an academic writing consultant and editor, and is currently working on a novel of interconnected stories.
Why she wrote Funhouse mirrors: âI spent almost a year in chemotherapy after being diagnosed with cancer years ago. The chemotherapy unit was fascinating – a place where strangers bonded and veterans counseled newbies, where people cried and laughed and raged and chatted, alternately incredibly stoic and at their very lowest ebb.
It was full of expectations and assumptions.
âIt was full of expectations and assumptions; sometimes it was as mundane as a Tim Hortons and other times it was filled with existential terror. This story covers a period of about 10 minutes of ‘interaction and observation on a particular day that I thought encapsulated some of these contradictions. “
Barbara Mackenzie is retired and lives in a small houseboat on Great Slave Lake, Northwest Territories. , director and executive secretary. She has written extensively through her work and has written three books. The most enduring and profound lessons she has learned relate to her deep symbiotic relationship with the earth.
I was inspired by those close-up observations of my surroundings necessary to survive in the powerful and sometimes difficult but still impressive North.
Why she wrote Northern Spring: âI was inspired by those close observations of my surroundings necessary to survive the powerful and sometimes difficult but always impressive North. This knowledge seems to require more than what my five senses and a limited English language can tell me, but the process of ‘trying to find the words is uplifting and inspiring. “
Chanel M. Sutherland is a writer and director of product marketing living in Montreal. She was born in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and moved to Canada at the age of 10. She holds a BA in English Literature from Concordia University. She is currently working on a collection of interconnected short stories that explore the complex relationships and experiences of living in a small Caribbean village.
Why she wrote Umbrella: âThe story comes from a lifetime of uncomfortable times when I remembered – whether with direct intentions or not – myâ otherness. âAs a black woman, racial microaggression is nothing new. for me, but somehow I’m still shocked when it happens. I tend to bypass those stray comments or behavior and bubble in silence. didn’t mean it that way “or” it’s just a harmless joke “.
I wanted to write a story that confronts racial microaggression head-on while removing the subtleties that it often hides behind.
âI wanted to write a story that confronts racial microaggression head-on by removing the subtleties it often hides behind. That’s why I chose to open with the line ‘Do you like being black?’ There is nothing secret about this statement, and some readers might find it shaking and uncomfortable, much like the victim of a racist act … with a football pitch crush. “
Lee Thomas is a Fredericton-based private practice therapist. They hold an Honors Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Brunswick and a Masters of Clinical Social Work from the University of Calgary. They were shortlisted for the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize for True trans. They are peer support volunteers, bossy dog ââparent, and occasional writer.
It wasn’t funny enough to tweet, so I wrote this instead.
Why they wrote My summer body: âWhen I came back to New Brunswick after graduating from graduate school, I had a series of extremely disappointing dates, even though I was at my peak. It wasn’t funny enough to tweet, so I wrote this instead. “
Sarah Van Goethem was born in Chatham-Kent, Ontario. Her novels have appeared in PitchWars and have been shortlisted for the Bath Children’s Novel Award and the CANSCAIP Children’s Writing Competition. She also writes short stories, one of which was nominated for a Pushcart Award, many of which are published in anthologies. Sarah is a nature lover, dark forest wanderer and vintage picker. You can find her at auctions, thrift stores, and most definitely breaking into anything that is abandoned.
Why she wrote A borrowed husband: “Love. How messy and unpredictable love is and not always easy. I like to hide behind fiction, but my mother always insists that I write my story. After the death of my first husband, I spent the following year writing a journey through mourning that no one has ever seen. In doing so, I learned that the more we love, the more we suffer.
I learned that the more we love, the more we suffer.
âI avoided writing this story for a while, because I knew it would hurt. But in the end, it’s also a love story. Just a different story than most people imagine. . I wrote it to the first wife because it’s her story, too. Just like my late husband, she holds a piece of that story that we all share. “