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CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize

2014 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize: Announcing YOUR favourite

We published the five works on the shortlist for the 2014 CBC Creative Nonfiction Prize and asked you to vote for your favourite. Although the outcome of this vote will have no influence on who won the competition, the winner will receive bragging rights and the satisfaction of knowing that his/her submission was voted as the favourite among Canadians.

And the winner of the public vote is…

Sarah Habben, Where I Am From

Congratulations Sarah!

Here are some quotes about her story that we received from our online readers:

"Light touch, but rich in imagery. I especially liked the use of metaphor in describing Mother Africa, unique and devoid of cliché.  Felt she really captured the natural process of immersion of a child into a culture and her discovery of the fascinating elements which made up her home." 
    — Carolyn Manzer
"Sarah's story resonates deep within my very 'Army Brat' bones. Beautifully written, immediate, every word counts..." 
    — Sandi Madore
"Having also grown up in Africa it pulls at heart strings and brings back fabulous memories of my time there. Once having lived in Africa you carry it around in your heart forever..." 
    — Michele Toussaint

Well done, Sarah!

The four other shortlisted works had some equally passionate fans. Here's a sampling of comments we received.

"Very intense, very descriptive, very real. Combines the experience of lambing season on the prairies with the emotions felt by the young person experiencing the brutal realities of farm life/natural world for the first time and their realization that they are more capable than they knew and yet not quite ready to deal with it all." 
    — Lisa Buse
"I have never read a more moving or exquisitely crafted account of a mother's love and loss. The story is raw with grief, the longing for an alternate outcome palpable and gut-wrenching. Yet through it all, the writer maintains a grace and balance that belie the devastation of her heart. A transcendent piece of writing." 
    — Cynthia Stevenson
"... A powerful, beautifully written story that binds people and wildlife, reflecting a relationship and respect that transcends generations and reveals the intimacy between traditional users, the land and the other species they rely on for physical and spiritual sustenance." 
    — George Mercer
"Very real bits of internalized ambiguity of walking beside someone whose life is on a stopwatch. Effective juxtaposition of clinical information versus simply life with all its mix of emotion of responses continuing to unfold despite prognoses..."
    — Norah Mallory

Congratulations to all of our finalists! 


We'd like to thank all of you for taking the time to read the shortlisted works and vote for your favourite. As a special thank you, we entered all of your names in a draw for this sleek and handy Canada Writes journal. Congratulations William Dunbar! You've got one coming to you in the mail.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.

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