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Announcing the longlist for “Close Encounters with Science”

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This November, we asked you to send us a true personal story of a close encounter you had with science and technology. We were looking for personal stories that gave us an insight into human nature and how changes in our understanding of the world have made a lasting effect on who we are. 

And you did not disappoint. We were bowled over by the truly wonderful stories you submitted, and we thank you for sharing them with us.

We enlisted the help of two readers to blindly review the 600+ stories we received. For this challenge, we wanted readers who had one foot firmly planted in the literary world and one in the scientific world. So it’s no surprise that the readers we chose are both research scientists as well as great novelists. Read our interviews with readers Beverly Akerman and Scott Fotheringham.

And so, without further ado… Here are the 29 stories on the longlist for the Close Encounters with Science writing challenge. 

The Red Devil” by Julie Achtermeier of Newmarket, ON
The Crystal Set” by Edythe Anstey Hanen of Bowen Island, BC 
Total Eclipse of My Heart” by Laurie Burns of Halifax, NS
The New Age” by Lyle Burwell of Gloucester, ON 
Racing Point of Light” by Rob Colter of Toronto, ON 
The MRI” by Shannon Falconer 
My First Experiment” by Odie Geiger of Vancouver, BC
Science as Language” by David Gosse of Ottawa, ON
Fallout” by Patricia Hamilton of Fort Smith, NWT 
Origin of the Species” by Sherwood Hines of Halifax, NS
The Year of the Bulb” by Sylvia Holt of Chemainus, BC 
I No Longer Remember” by Linda Hossie of Penetanguishene, ON
Salmon Run” by Elizabeth Ledwosinska of Montreal, QC
I.V. Liquid Plumber” by Robert MacKenzie of Clearwater, BC 
Monochrome” by Wayne MacPhail of Hamilton, ON
Firsts” by Kelly Marcon of Sudbury, ON
Seeing the World” by Yvette Menard of Comox, BC
Life Lesson” by Angela Mombourquette of Halifax, NS 
Fired” by Maggie Panko of Verdun, QC
Better Living Through Chemistry” by Tom Reynolds of Windsor, ON 
My Moment of Rebellion” by Myrna Rootham of Ottawa, ON
Shaken and Stirred” by Leah Seltzer of Manson's Landing, BC
Pumpkin Banana Cream Mousse Tart” by Sylvia Shawcross of Chelsea, QC 
The Latent Heat of Fusion of Ice” by Mo Srivastava of Toronto, ON
Something Happened” by Gwenellen Tarbet of Penticton, BC 
The Science of Recess” by Janet Trull of Ancaster, ON
Premature” by Johanna Van Zanten of Kelowna, BC
Close Encounters” by Caroline Woodward of Tofino, BC
Jacob Speaks” by Marcy White of Toronto, ON

Congratulations to all of you! And a big “thank you” to everyone who entered.

The next task is in the capable hands of CBC host and author Nora Young, who will select the winner of this challenge. That person will receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.

The winner will be announced on Canada Writes on Wednesday, December 5th. Stay tuned!

Read commissioned texts from our "Close Encounters with Science" series.

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