Dancing in the Rain by Coryn Urquhart
2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist
Coryn Urquhart has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Dancing in the Rain.
The shortlist will be announced on April 15. The winner will be announced on April 22.
Coryn Urquhart is a literature student at McMaster University. She grew up in Hamilton, Ont., and spends her time writing about trauma, mental health, sexuality and death. All those light topics.
Entry in five-ish words
It never rains, but pours.
The story's source of inspiration
"I went on one date with an old neighbour who worked as a corrections officer. While we were catching up, he told me that one of the inmates he was meant to supervise died while he was providing CPR. It wasn't so much the story itself, but the way he talked about it, that stuck with me. He told me he hadn't been sleeping, and that he'd been 'forced' to take time off work. He was so aloof about it, and when I asked if he was seeking counselling, he asked me, 'What for?'"
An excerpt from Dancing in the Rain
We're visiting my family and Sarah's embarrassed because she made pie and nobody's eating it. I told her not to bring food but she did it anyway. I feel bad, so I take two slices of it, but somehow that was the wrong thing to do, because she doesn't say anything to me the whole car ride home until I look at her and I say "what" and she says "your family is never going to like me until you give them a reason to" which feels like a riddle to me.
And I look at her and I say "Look, Sar, I don't know what to tell you" and she says "wow, shocking" and I stare at her and try to remember what it felt like the first time I ever saw her and why it feels so different from now. How come knowing more about a person makes you like them less?
The winner of the 2020 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.