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