CBC Literary Prizes

A Girl Named Saywa by Suzanne Carson

Suzanne Carson has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for A Girl Named Saywa.

2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Suzanne Carson is a writer based in Kitchener, Ont. (Brent Bisaillion)

Suzanne Carson has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for A Girl Named Saywa.

About Suzanne 

Born in a seaside town in Northern Ireland, Suzanne moved to Montreal when she was 17 years old and hasn't stopped moving, travelling and exploring the world ever since. An avid people watcher and fan of humanity in general she draws most of her inspiration from immersing herself in other cultures. Daily life currently finds her in Kitchener, Ont., where a wide and varied array of humans and animals rely on her constant attention. Most days it feels like she lives in a zoo, but Suzanne reminds herself itʼs all good fodder for the writer inside.

Entry in five-ish words

Love is stronger than hate.

The story's source of inspiration

"The question of why we are born where we are, to the parents we are given and how that dictates our lives."

First lines

Of my life, during the two years of my captivity, I can tell you a few things: I wasn't beaten, I wasn't starved, I wasn't raped, I wasn't lonely. Yet one thing remained consistent in my days apart from my sweet mother, my mamay; I wasn't loved, and it left my young tender heart completely broken. The inner groaning of my soul was for Mamay. For all the things she wanted to give me. An education, a future, a chance to make my way through this life with some joy and freedom. I hadn't known much freedom in my life so far, all nine years. Poverty and desperation kept us in its grip. But I had known love. And the loss of that love left a wound so raw and painful it kept me alive, determined to escape.

About the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their story published on CBC Books


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