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Strong Beginnings

Announcing the winner of the Strong Beginnings Twitter Challenge

It was a Friday. And it was the first day of summer. But did that keep you from participating in our 10-hour Strong Beginnings Twitter Challenge? Not in the least.

We had close to 2,000 uses of #LuminatoCBC during the challenge and more than 1,500 entries. Thanks for making our challenge a success!

Yesterday we announced the finalists as selected by our readers. And today we announce the Grand Prize winner as selected by our judge, Michael Winter.

Said Michael Winter of the Tweets he read: 

“Some of these tweets were the full story—they would have won for shortest complete story. Others were good jokes. A few were profoundly philosophical and many were hilariously crass one-liners. The winner is a mix of authority and wonder -- a narrative voice that is saying to the reader: I know this world, and yet something new is happening. Come with me and let’s try to understand it. A sentence where you know where you are but you have no idea where you might end up. That’s what I was looking for in a winner.”

So with out further ado, the winner is…


Dominique Millette (@grokerati)

"There was no other way to tell her, Jim decided, and picked up his French horn. #LuminatoCBC”



We caught up with Dominique this morning and asked her to share a little about herself and her writing.


Post-Dominique Millette1.JPG
Tell us about yourself. Who are you and what do you write? 
I’m a writer, translator and editor. My stories vary from science fiction, which I seem to write more often in English, to my own brand of magic realism where different story-lines intersect across time, space and cultures. I also write classic narrative fiction.

We haven’t seen many people like you—you’re fluently bilingual and have published short stories in both English and French! How do you decide which story to tell in which language?
I don’t know. What seems to happen is that an idea pops into my head in a particular language, so I will follow it in that language.

Do you draw upon different skills or influences depending on which language you choose to write in?
My first novel had dozens of cultural allusions best understood from the perspective of someone raised as a Catholic—whether Francophone or Latin American. Conversely, my favourite short story in English, "Oomblaug Day", was about zombies—even though it was published in 1997, I still feel proud of it. It draws from American genre fiction, except my zombies had braiiiiinnnns and took over all the jobs to farm humans so they wouldn't run out of food.

You wrote four entries for the challenge. When you wrote them, did you have an idea of the story that would follow?
No. That’s the fun part.

Do you think you might write the rest of the story of Jim and his French horn?
Yes, with the right incentives.

What are you working on now?
My latest story was about the Maritimes. I’m hoping to submit it to the Room magazine contest.


Congratulations Dominique! You've won an iPad Mini.

Thank you to everyone who participated in our challenge! The next Canada Writes call for submissions opens July 1st.



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