This morning, CBC Books announced the 33-name longlist for their prestigious CBC Short Story Prize. One of the biggest short fiction awards in the country, and arguably the biggest open to any writer of any experience level, it has a history of spotting the writers who will go onto become household names in CanLit early in their careers. With past winners including the likes of Michael Ondaatje, Gwendolyn MacEwen, Camilla Gibb, and David Bergen, it's one of the most closely followed and anticipated prizes of the year.
The full longlist is practically a short story in itself, but it still represents only a tiny fraction of those who submitted entries: a total of more than 3,000 stories were submitted in English.
Several of the nominated writers are in familiar territory, having made it on to the longlist before, including Maria Lioutaia, Brenda Bowles, Trent Lewin, Will Richter, Angie Ellis, and Joanna Reid.
The 2021 CBC Short Story Prize longlist:
- The White Stetson Hat by Dennis Allen (Innisfail, Alta.)
- Utopia by Vincent Anioke (Waterloo, Ont.)
- Zugzwang by Shaelin Bishop (Victoria)
- The Museum of Empty Promises by Brendan Bowles (Toronto)
- Bedtime in Nunatsiavut by Raeann Brown (Wabush, N.L.)
- Kids in Kindergarten by Corinna Chong (Kelowna, B.C.)
- The Bubble by Bruce Cinnamon (Edmonton)
- Condo by Anahita Dehbonehie (Toronto)
- Strangers by Angie Ellis (Duncan, B.C.)
- Hybrid Tongue by Mena Fouda (Oakville, Ont.)
- Ten Gay Things by Kerry Galenzoski (Winnipeg)
- Splatter Pattern by Gord Grisenthwaite (Kingsville, Ont.)
- The New Parson of Petit-Wasmes by Dale Harris (Oshawa, Ont.)
- Take Me Home With You by Irehobhude Iyioha (Victoria)
- Habits by Katherine Jin (Oakville, Ont.)
- Titan Arum by Trent Lewin (Waterloo, Ont.)
- Black Sea by Maria Lioutaia (Toronto)
- Fed Up To Her Eyeballs by Mo Markham (Kitchener, Ont.)
- Tiny Sores by Krista Jane May (Ladysmith, B.C.)
- Patricide in Four Parts, with Intermezzo by Jennifer MacLeod (Israel)
- The Bloodhound by Tom McMillan (Edmonton)
- Deville at Home by Brooks McMullin (Prince Albert, Sask.)
- Stump by Miranda Morris (Hamilton)
- The Wedding by Ira Mulasi (Calgary)
- Conduct unbecoming of a Disney employee by Stephen Near (Hamilton)
- Leaving Moonbean by Ben Pitfield (Toronto)
- Sound is No Home by Erin Pryce (Magrath, Alta.)
- Vargas by Joanna Reid (Vancouver)
- Proverbs of the Lesser by Will Richter (Vancouver)
- A Suitable Tree by Jane Stevenson (Smithers, B.C.)
- Her First Palestinian by Saeed Teebi (Toronto)
- 西(Nishi) by Saya Watanabe (North Vancouver)
- Coconut Nui Mi by Sophia Wen (Toronto)
The shortlist will be announced on April 22 and the Winner will be announced on April 29. It's a significant reward for the eventual winner, with a $6,000 cash prize from the Canada Council for the Arts (a sum well beyond the vast majority of book advances in Canada), as well as the two week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The winning story will also be published on the CBC Books website. Four runners up will each get $1,000 and also be published online.
Stay tuned to Open Book for more news about the CBC Short Story prize as it becomes available, and congratulations to the longlisted writers.