Writers' Trust of Canada reveals 2017 finalists for $10K Journey Prize for short fiction

Sharon Bala and Darlene Naponse are nominated for the annual prize, which identifies published stories from developing writers.
Darlene Naponse (left) and Sharon Bala are the finalists of the $10,000 Journey Prize. (Journey Prize)

The finalists have been revealed for this year's edition of the Writers' Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. The  $10,000 prize, now in its 29th year, recognizes new and developing writers for a short story first published in a Canadian literary journal. 

Each finalist will receive $1,000, with the winner taking home a total of $10,000.

The finalists are:

  • Sharon Bala of St. John's, N.L., for Butter Tea at Starbucks, published in The New Quarterly
  • Darlene Naponse of Naughton, Ont., for She is Water, published in The Malahat Review

The finalists were chosen by a jury composed of Grace O'Connell (author of the novel Be Ready for the Lightning), Ayelet Tsabari (author of the short story collection The Best Place on Earth) and Trillium Book Award winner Kevin Hardcastle (author of the short story collection Debris).

The finalists, announced on Sept. 14, originally included Richard Kelly Kemick from Edmonton, Alta. for his story The Most Human Part of You published in Maisonneuve magazine. Kemick was disqualified at the end of the month after a reader discovered "striking similarities" between his story and that of writer Amy Hempel's The Dog of the Marriage.

Past winners of the Journey Prize include Yann Martel, Alissa York, Saleema Nawaz and Yasuko Thanh. Last year's winner was Colette Langlois for "The Emigrants", which was published inPRISM international.

The winner of the Journey Prize will be announced at the Writers' Trust awards ceremony in Toronto on Nov.14, 2017.

Six other national literary awards, including the Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction and the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize, will also be presented.

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