CBC Literary Prizes

Fall of the High Flyers by Kelly Watt

Kelly Watt has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Fall of the High Flyers.

2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Kelly Watt is a writer from Rockton, Ont. (Courtesy of Kelly Watt)

Kelly Watt has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Fall of the High Flyers.

About Kelly

Kelly Watt's award-winning short fiction has been published internationally. She has published two books — the novel Mad Dog, a Globe and Mail notable book, and the mini travel companion Camino Meditations. She has lived in France, India and Mexico but currently makes her home in the Ontario countryside with her husband, a miniature schnauzer and four chickens.

Entry in five-ish words

Death in a Mexican parade.

The story's source of inspiration

"A spectacular parade I attended in San Miguel de Allende."

First lines

I dreamt of flowers before she died. Someone was dying in a hospital room so I went shopping for flowers. The sales clerk handed me a clutch of stiff fronds.

"Are they dead?" I asked.

"No, they're still alive," she said, "but just."

The call came a day later. Then I was on a plane to Mexico.

I never slept for long those first nights in San Miguel de Allende. I was tormented by the endless noise of the colonial city: firecrackers at odd hours, roosters next door. The bong of the church bells. There were so many churches, so many bells. I tried counting the ominous strikes but they never revealed anything to me, certainly not the hour. I woke up at four a.m. and crawled out onto the patio with a shawl around my shoulders and prayed to God, the angels, La Señora de Guadalupe, whomever would listen.

About the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, will have their story published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a 10-day 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 story published on CBC Books

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