CBC Literary Prizes

Boston D.C. by Trent Lewin

Trent Lewin has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Boston D.C.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Trent Lewin is a short fiction writer from Waterloo, Ont. (Cassandra Lewin)

Trent Lewin has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Boston D.C.

About Trent

Trent Lewin is a writer of short fiction, mostly about strange situations and odd characters, but firmly grounded in the real world. He was shortlisted for the CBC Short Story Prize in 2014 for a story called Saad Steps Out — and was thrilled by the experience. Although he mostly focuses on short fiction, he is currently writing a novel about a girl who met an island. Trent lives in Waterloo, Ont., and can often be found in various coffee-production establishments or working on his blog.

Entry in five-ish words

Manitoban becomes Indian phone scammer.

The story's source of inspiration

"I got one of those calls — you know the ones. You owe money to the Canada Revenue Agency and if you don't pay quickly, you're going to jail. I finally talked to one of these callers and we had a conversation. I got to wondering what it would be like if someone from Canada took a job in India doing that — what would that mean about this person? About us? About these scammers?"

First lines

"Come work in the call centre with me," says the Indian boy.

"Saying that because you're drunk," I tell him. 

"Not at all." He chugs his beer. "Why does a broke boy come to India?"

"Have you ever been to Brandon, Manitoba? Ever experienced being the worst student in Brandon, Manitoba?"

"That's a place? Listen, you need a job. In the call centre, you could make good money because you don't sound Indian."

"Why would that be important in a call centre?"

He smiles and extends his hand. "My name is Raman."

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.

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