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Literary Triathlon

Literary Triathlon: Meet the judge

On Monday, July 30th at 12 p.m. ET the starter pistol will fire and Canadians will have seven days to give it their all and compete in the first ever Canada Writes Literary Triathlon
To compete, participants will have to submit three texts - each based on one of the three literary prizes Canada Writes bestows every year: Poetry, Short Story, and Creative Nonfiction. We will be revealing the parameters of the challenge on Monday, but for now we thought we would check in with our judge, sports writer and CBC contributor Bruce Dowbiggin.

Let’s find out what truths can be learned from writing about sports, and what kind of warm-ups he recommends you do for the challenge.

1. Tell us about yourself 
I live in Calgary and write a column on sports media/ business for The Globe and Mail. I have also written six books and have two more in the pipeline. I am also a contributor to CBC Radio and a number of other radio outlets.

2. When did you know that sports, and writing/talking about sports, was one of your main callings in life? 
When I was offered a job by TV Guide magazine. Prior to that I was going to be a playwright.

3. What's your proudest moment as a sports writer been so far? 
Any time I break a story or see hundreds of reader comments. Most recently that happened with my feature on CBC's Scott Oake who lost his older son to drug abuse.

4. What does great sports writing tell us about the human condition? 
Sports is life in microcosm. Passion, patience, control, imagination and the exhilaration of the crowd distil life into set pieces. The arts have proscribed endings. Sports is a new script every day.

5. What are some of the biggest challenges/pitfalls in sports writing? 
Becoming a fan of the teams or people you cover. You use root for the story, not the people.

6. What advice would you like to give to writers embarking on the Writing Triathlon Challenge? 
Finger pushups.

Bruce Dowbiggin's career includes successful stints in television, radio and print. A two-time winner of the Gemini Award as Canada's top television sports broadcaster for his work with CBC TV, Dowbiggin is also the best-selling author of five books, including Money Players (finalist for the 2004 National Business Book Award) and The Meaning of Puck: How Hockey Explains Modern Canada.

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