Skip to main content
Skip to CBC accessibility page
CBC Global Navigation
CBC News Navigation
Quebec Writing Competition
Rules and Regulations
Thursday November 8, 2012
QWC Shortlist: Q&A with Willow Verkerk
Willow Verkerk's story "Manufactured" is one of the ten finalists for the Quebec Writing Competition. Read her story
Tell us about yourself.
My home is in Montreal just off of the Main. I travel frequently between Montreal, Victoria, my childhood home, and Leuven, Belgium where I am a doctoral student in philosophy.
What do you usually write?
For the past year I have been experimenting with short stories. I started writing a novel about five years ago.
Have you submitted to the competition before?
This is the first time.
How would you describe your story?
It is an exploration of the connections between desire and forgetting through the eyes of a nude dancer.
What compelled you to tell this story?
During my undergraduate degree at Concordia I wrote a paper on sex workers. I was fascinated by the women I interviewed. They were great storytellers: full of wit, sarcasm and provocation. My experience getting to know them made me want to try to tell their stories.
How long did you work on the story?
I wrote four drafts over the course of three months.
When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
About six years ago I remembered how much I loved telling stories when I was a child. My sister and I attended an art school taught by Victoria artist Millie Shapiro when we were little and my favourite activity was reciting stories to her daughter who would type them up. After becoming good friends with a number of writers and listening to them talk about their work, I remembered this and felt compelled to start writing.
What other writers inspire you?
Haruki Murakami, Paul Auster and Fyodor Dostoevsky are my greatest inspirations for fiction. Irina Egli, Lydia Eugene and Todd Swift are all Montreal writers who have inspired me through their friendship and literary talent.
Willow Verkerk is a Montreal-based writer and scholar. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Leuven in Belgium, specializing in the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. Willow has published several book reviews and has a forthcoming article, "Heroism in Sophocles'
Philosophy and Literature
) and book chapter, "Nietzsche's Cruel Offerings" (
Nietzsche's Therapeutic Teaching
, Continuum Press). She has traveled extensively and has taught English in Japan, where she is the co-founder of a retreat centre for foreigners interested in experiencing Zen temple life (
Photo credit: Jonathan Biedry
Stay Connected with CBC Montreal
CBC Global Footer
Kids' CBC Preschool
Kids' CBC Wonder World
Transparency and Accountability
Mobile Production Rentals
CBC: Get the Facts
Pitch a Radio or Audio Program
Program and Content Sales
Image Research Library & Still Photos
Newsletters & Alerts
Reuse & Permissions
Copyright © CBC 2013