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Literary Triathlon

Literary Triathlon: And the gold medal goes to...

Judge Bruce Dowbiggin has tallied up his scores and awarded the coveted gold medal. Who is Canada's foremost Literary Triathlete?

Well, we've reached the finish line at the Canada Writes Literary Triathlon. Our judge, sports author and Globe and Mail columnist Bruce Dowbiggin, has entered his scores and we're ready to call the winners to the podium.

The Bronze medal goes to Ali Bryan of Calgary, AB. Read Ali's entry »

And the Silver goes to Jeff George of Tofino, BC. Read Jeff's entry »

Congrats, Ali and Jeff! You've both won coveted Canada Writes journals to pen your next masterworks.


And now, a big round of applause for the top spot on the podium: the Gold medal in the Literary Triathlon goes to Nisha Coleman of Montreal, QC. Read our Q&A with Nisha »

Here's Nisha's winning entry:

Poetry: Mileage 

is not always
a measurable

It can play tricks
make you think the world is crawling.

You were too young
to know your own velocity.

And I 
reckless enough 
to think I could actually keep up.

Short Story: Telltale Toes

Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for triathlon-shoes.jpgThe aura is animal. Thoraxes heave and lacquered muscles catch the sun.

He steps onto the track and smooths down his singlet—black, red and green for the skin, blood and land of Kenya. 

Wear these shoes, had said the man with sky coloured eyes, and next time you’ll be racing in stripes and stars. 

He’s wearing them now, but they pinch. They suffocate. As he approaches the starting block he slips them off and his bare feet spread over the warm porous ground. 

Curled in waiting, his toes know the truth about freedom.

Creative Nonfiction: The Great Race—A Haploid’s Journey  

Only one would achieve victory. The rest would face a certain death. 

There was no pacing, no rules or strategy, but I knew I was among the stronger swimmers as I thrashed ahead. We slid and jostled against one another, struggling to secure an advantage in the top two million. Someone slammed against me, thwarting my trajectory. Fueled with rage, I darted up and struck him on the side of the head as I shot past.

In the distance the opening of the tunnel was jammed with racers. I surged closer. With a jolt of speed I broke through the barrier and flung down the narrow passage. With the others now only a fraction of a tail’s-length behind, there was no room to relent. Exhaustion became elation as I pushed through the last millimeter stretch and plunged into the silky membrane.
Life would be mine.


Here's what Bruce Dowbiggin had to say about Nisha's entry: 

"I love an author’s unique use of the language, and the Gold winner has a confidence with words that impresses. There is a spare and economic use of image that also works. A nice interpretation of the themes that’s not too heavy handed. I liked the running shoe motif as both emotional and touching. Take a place on the podium!"

Thanks so much to all of you who participated in the first-ever Canada Writes Literary Triathlon. We were awed by the quality of the entries and can't wait to see what you have to bring to the next challenge we cook up!

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