Literary Prizes

5 writers make the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize shortlist

Read the five works contending for $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. The winner will be announced on April 22.
The winner of the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize will be announced on April 22, 2020. (See individual author pages for credit)

Five writers have made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize shortlist.

The finalists are:

Each of the finalists will receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and their stories have been published by CBC Books. You can read their stories by clicking the links above. 

The winner will be announced on April 22.

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and will have their work published by CBC Books.

This year's finalists were selected by the jury, composed of David Bezmozgis, Alix Hawley and Rawi Hage. They will also select the winner.

The longlist was compiled by a panel of writers and editors from across Canada. There were more than 2,400 English-language submissions.

To see the finalists for the French competition, go to les Prix de la création Radio-Canada.

Krzysztof Pelc won the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize for Green Velvet.

If you're interested in other CBC Literary Prizes, the CBC Poetry Prize is currently open and accepting submissions until May 31, 2020.

Get to know the English-language finalists and read their work below.

Highballin' by Lyle Burwell

Lyle Burwell has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize shortlist for Highballin'. (Submitted by Lyle Burwell)

About Lyle: "I was born in 1951, the second child of a teenage mother and a 22-year-old local sports hero. Both of my parents were hardworking sober non-smokers. Mom's ambition was to never be dependent on anyone, Dad's ambition was to keep Mom happy. She divorced him when I was in Grade 8. My older brother and I stayed with Dad, our four younger siblings went with Mom. Dad is a teamster with a Million Mile pin, Mom was a professor with a PhD. I'm pretty much six of one, half dozen of the other."

Gibson by Brenda Damen

Brenda Damen has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize shortlist for Gibson. (Saje Damen)

About Brenda: "I have never entered a writing contest before. After I pressed the submit button, I felt something akin to terror. I am unpublished, but have been working on the same manuscript for 13 years, tentatively titled Third Trick. Many of the scenes in Gibson were lifted out of this longer work."

But Not to Call Me Back or Say Goodbye by Sarah Fulton

Sarah Fulton is a writer and freelance editor based in Oshawa. (Colin May)

About Sarah: Sarah Fulton works as a freelance editor and sometimes writer from her house, which sits in the farmland of north Oshawa, Ont., which she shares with her husband, two kids and too many animals to mention. Prior to moving to Oshawa, she was a high school English teacher in Simcoe County. Her work has been published in Room of One's Own, The Fiddlehead, Poetry WLU, the Toronto Star and has appeared on CBC Radio's The Sunday Edition.

I Am Aani Littlecrab by Julia Jenkins

Julia Jenkins is a writer from Nanaimo, B.C. (Gordon Lafleur)

About Julia: Julia Jenkins is a Vancouver Islander, growing up with oceans, forests, people and animals that inspire stories. She credits her schooling at Qualicum and the University of Victoria with shaping her creative writing. She has three sons, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. She learned to love stories by listening to her Gram read to her from infancy, poetry, stories and Gram's own penned children's fables. Now semi-retired, after spending much of her life in business, she is rediscovering poetry and stories hidden in a drawer.

Black-legged Kittiwake by Julia Zarankin

Julia Zarankin is a writer from Toronto. (Claire Sibonney)

About Julia: Julia Zarankin is a Toronto-based writer and lecturer to lifelong learners. She is the author of Field Notes from an Unintentional Birder, a memoir forthcoming with Douglas & McIntyre.

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