CBC Literary Prizes

Easier Done Than Said by Laura Gohl

Laura Gohl has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Easier Done Than Said.

2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Laura Gohl is a writer from Whitehorse. (Alistair Maitland Photography)

Laura Gohl has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Easier Done Than Said.

The winner will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and will have their work published by CBC Books.

Four finalists will receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have their work published by CBC Books.

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 24. The winner will be announced on Oct. 1.

About Laura

Laura was born in Thompson, Man. She was introduced to the beauty of language at a young age and has been avidly reading and writing since childhood. Words and stories allowed her imagination to flourish and inspired a love of travel, connection and learning. This combination of passions eventually led her to a career in nursing in Whitehorse, where she lives with her daughter. This submission is the first time she has shared her writing. 

Entry in five-ish words

"Of things rarely spoken."

The story's source of inspiration

"There exists a tangible connection between many of us who've had intimate experiences with the child welfare system. This story is mine, but I know there are many with stories, with histories, of their own."

First lines

It's windy as ever in Winnipeg and the last fall of the millennium. This past summer, I moved out of my final foster home and began "Independent Living." I'm still a ward of Child and Family Services only now, I live alone. I am 17, in my fifth year of high school and about to have an abortion. My name isn't Jane, but you can call me that.

I work part-time at a market research call centre, conducting phone surveys on various subjects. For 20 hours a week, after school and on Saturdays, I sit in a cubicle, wearing a headset and cold-calling households. I swivel around in a cheap office chair, in a room full of people doing the same thing. We can't get full circle, because there's still no such thing as wireless headsets. We swivel, twirl our hair and go for smoke breaks, while green-screened computers generate a series of numbers connecting us to various people in Somewhere, America. 

About the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2020 CBC Nonfiction 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 the 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.

The 2021 CBC Short Story Prize is currently open for submissions. The 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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