Before the holidays, I served as a reader for the CBC Canada Writes short story contest (readers make the first round of cuts, after which the jury makes the final selection). Canada Writes is the Cadillac of writing competitions in Canada, so it was exciting to be involved. It’s been around for years, and some of the past winners have gone on to be huge names in CanLit, including Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields and Michael Winter.
I read a LOT of stories. It was both fun and daunting to realise the volume of submissions (it’s one thing to know it, it’s another thing to see your allotted portion of it sitting on your living room floor). So if you entered and didn’t end up the short list, don’t despair!
The CBC Books team put together interviews for each of us readers, and mine was just posted today. Click here to check it out. It was great to have a chance to talk about what I look for when judging a story and what, more generally, makes a fantastic piece of short fiction.
You can also check out the longlist for the competition. The winner will be announced March 26.