The Writers' Trust has announced finalists for the 2020 McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, honouring new and developing writers for the best short story published in a Canadian literary journal or annual anthology.
Celebrating its 32nd anniversary, the prize has a long history of highlighting the best in emerging Canadian talent, with now-household names such as Yann Martel, Alissa York, Saleema Nawaz, and Sharon Bala among the previous winners.
This year's winning author will take home a cash prize of $10,000, while each nominee will be awarded $1000. In addition, the original publisher of the winning story will receive an award of $2000.
The 2020 nominees are:
Lisa Foad for "Hunting" (published in Taddle Creek)
“In ‘Hunting,’ a gang of five motherless girls fight to survive in a dystopic city ravaged by the unchecked appetites of men,” said the jury. “Written in gripping, clear-eyed prose, the story is shot through with violence that is neither romanticized or gratuitous. In Foad’s masterful hands, each act is essential — and even beautiful — with an internal velocity that hurls itself towards a heartstopper of a final line.”
David Huebert for "Chemical Valley" (published in The Fiddlehead)
“In ‘Chemical Valley,’ the narrator’s remarkable voice is laced with dark humour while displaying a tremendous depth of feeling as he cares for his dying partner and navigates a dangerous workplace replete with unpleasant coworkers,” said the jury. “The attention to language is so meticulous that tragedy is imbued with an aura of beauty.”
Jessica Johns for "Bad Cree" (published in Grain)
“‘Bad Cree’ explores the truth inside a dream and the relationship between memory and grief,” said the jury. “The narrator searches for solace while meditating on conceptual forgiveness. With a dash of humour and a swift poetic hand, this is the kind of story that wakes you up in the middle of the night, purposefully and uncomfortably. Not with a question, but with an answer.”
The announcement wraps up a week of emerging writer awards, including the unveiling of finalists for the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award fpr Emerging Writers and the Dayne Ogilvie Prize for LGBTQ Emerging Writers. Winners for all three prizes will be announced on October 21 during an online event entitled "Writer's Trust Awards: Emerging Writers Edition".
For more information, visit their website.