Six Canadian authors are in the running for the 2011 Giller Prize, with one writer set to receive the coveted trophy and $50,000 at a glitzy gala in Toronto on Nov. 8.

Interviews: Giller finalistsThe

Founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994 in memory of his late, literary journalist wife Doris Giller, the annual award has become one of the country’s most prominent and lucrative fiction-writing honours.

Magazine journalist and short fiction writer Zsuzsi Gartner of Vancouver landed on the Giller short list for Better Living Through Plastic Explosives, a collection of dark, satiric and fantastical tales set in a bizarre, unnerving version of Canada’s West Coast.

In the video above, Gartner champions the short story format, talks about how the daily news inspires her fiction and reveals her goal: to entertain while also giving readers a punch in the gut.