CBC Literary Prizes

A Quick Fix for Hunger by Clea Young

Clea Young has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for A Quick Fix for Hunger.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Clea Young is a writer from Vancouver, B.C. (Theodora Armstrong)

Clea Young has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for A Quick Fix for Hunger.

About Clea

Clea Young's stories have been included in The Journey Prize Stories three times and she has been shortlisted for the award twice. Her work has appeared in Event, Grain, The Fiddlehead, The Malahat Review, Prairie Fire and Room. Her first collection of stories, Teardown, was published in 2016 with Freehand Books. Clea completed an MFA at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, where she lives and works as the senior artistic associate at the Vancouver Writers Festival.

Entry in five-ish words

Threats real and/or imagined.

The story's source of inspiration

"I overheard the retelling of an incident — a stranger entering someone's home one morning, through her unlocked front door. The incident had dramatic potential I wanted to explore so I turned it upside down several times over and made it my own."

First lines

The woman let herself into the kitchen just before seven on Tuesday morning. I thought it was Rory coming home from her boyfriend's since Satan didn't bark. I'd been up most of the night worrying about her spending so much time in a house where four teenage boys paid the rent. They weren't in fact teenagers anymore, but barely. And did that make it any better? Rory was 17.

I hadn't locked the door after taking Satan out that morning. Like I said, I thought it was Rory; the brisk opening and closing of the door was done with a proprietary hand. I was on the couch scrolling through filtered realities on Instagram. I'd joined solely to follow Rory, which she knew, just as I knew she had another, private account where she posted truer photos of her life. My handle was @satan_says and my gallery exclusively chronicled the life of my geriatric black lab, sometimes ambling down a wooded path, often in my bed, tolerant of the coffee and newspaper I set on a tray beside him for effect. I wanted nothing more than a like from Rory or my sister in Calgary.

About the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week 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 work published on CBC Books.


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?