Canada Writes·Writing Tip

Not sure how to start your story? Begin with an image

The 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize is now open. To inspire and support you along the way, CBC Books is publishing a writing tip each week.
An image can unlock your imagination. (Shutterstock/PopTika)

The 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize is open for submissions. You can submit your original, unpublished writing up to 2,000 words for a chance to win $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and have your work published on CBC Books. The deadline to enter is Feb. 29, 2020.

To inspire and support you along the way, we are publishing a writing tip each week on CBC Books. You can also subscribe to our writing tips newsletter for even more tips.

This week's tip is from 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize winner Jenny Boychuck.

"If all else fails and you can't find the door that leads you into your work, you can always start with an image. Begin with a door. Tell us what colour it is, and whether there's a brass knocker or a bell. Then show us inside."

Jenny Boychuk is a poet and writer living in Victoria. Her story Slow Violence won the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize. In 2018, she won the Copper Nickel Editors' Prize in poetry. She holds an MFA from the University of Michigan Helen Zell Writers' Program.

Victoria, B.C. writer Jenny Boychuk won the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize for Slow Violence, a story about transgenerational trauma, healing and reconciling past wrongs. 13:23

 

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