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Where are they now?

Where are they now: Challenge winner Crystal Chan

As we approach the first anniversary of Canada Writes, we're checking in with our inaugural "Hall of Famers"—the winners of our first year's worth of writing challenges. Next up: Crystal Chan, the winner of our Edible Nonfiction Challenge held last January.

How's the writing coming along? Any new writing projects?

I’m always on the lookout for new writing projects, and try to write different stories for publications as much as I can.

How did winning the Edible Nonfiction Challenge affect your writing and your self-confidence as a writer?

I’m very happy and proud that enRoute's Ilana Weitzman picked my piece. The exercise reinforced one of the most important lessons I’ve learned time and time again as a writer, which is that you can evoke a lot in very few words.

Have you entered any other Canada Writes challenges since, or kept up with what's been going on?

No, but I do read the Canada Writes website regularly.

What about the CBC Literary Prizes? Have you thought about submitting?

I would like to sometime, but haven’t submitted anything yet.

The prize for winning the Edible Nonfiction Challenge was either an iPod Touch or a $200 gift certificate to one of enRoute Magazine's Canada's Best New Restaurants. You chose the gift certificate—did you put it to good use? How was your meal?

It was a great meal at Montreal's 400 Coups. It all ended with a deconstructed key lime pie that managed to be magical instead of fussy or trendy. I’ll definitely be back.

As a tried and true Hall of Famer, any advice for other writers wanting to take a Canada Writes challenge?

Use the challenge topics as writing prompts. They can help push you to write about topics that you might not otherwise. Just try something new and send it in!

Read Q&As with other Writing Challenge Hall of Famers:

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