Victoria 2017 Flash Creative Nonfiction Contest Winners Announced

Canadian Authors-Victoria would like to congratulate the following writers in the Vancouver Island region whose stories were judged to be the best of the 82 entries in our 2017 Flash Creative Nonfiction Contest. We’re grateful to the Times Colonist for publishing the results and the top three winning stories in its August 8 edition. We’d also like to thank judge David Leach and all the writers who participated this year.


$100 First Prize: Lord, Lift Me Higher by Robert Harvey (Victoria)

$75 Second Prize: Sleep sister, sleep by Louise Doucet (Salt Spring Island)

$50 Third Prize: Summer Science by Dawn Pearcey (Victoria)

Honourable Mention: Sea Feliz by Janet Dunnett (Qualicum Beach)
Honourable Mention: What Happens After Old Age? by James Friel (Sooke)
Honourable Mention: Long Ago Man Found by Margo Malcolm (Victoria)

Judge’s Comments

There is a long tradition of short-short forms of what we now like to call “creative nonfiction”: the scene sketch, the parable, the micro-essay, the campfire tale and barstool anecdote.

Thanks to the diverse submissions to this contest, I hopscotched around the world in 250-word flashes, from the dangers of the Don Jail to the mysteries of Easter Island, from comic encounters to memories of loss and regret.

The winning essays brought to life real people in real situations as seen from unique perspectives and told with an attention to detail that rewards multiple readings. Each of these three mini-memoirs left me unsettled by the quiet emotional resonances that echo after the final line.

Lord, Lift Me Higher is a perfectly rendered city scene, with a step ladder at its symbolic centre, in which three strangers come together for a brief yet meaningful communion. Sleep Sister, Sleep stood out among many touching memorials for the lyrical, collective point of view of the “sisters” who sing a reader into family history and mourning. Finally, I admired how Summer Science experimented with the familiar forms of social media to explore with raw candour a fragmented sense of psychic identity.


Our judge David Leach is chair of the Department of Writing at the University of Victoria in British Columbia and the author of Chasing Utopia: The Future of the Kibbutz in a Divided Israel.








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