CBC Literary Prizes

From Clay by Miles Steyn

Miles Steyn has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for From Clay.

2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Miles Steyn is a South African-born, Vancouver-raised writer, living and studying in Victoria, B.C. (Tracy Steyn)

Miles Steyn has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for From Clay.

About Miles

Miles Steyn was born in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, moved to Vancouver, B.C., at nine and has been back and forth ever since. His creative nonfiction has appeared in Existere, the Xanadu Anthology, Unsubscribe Magazine and Gold Literary Magazine. His essay Wire to the Sky was shortlisted for EVENT Magazine's creative nonfiction contest. Steyn is currently in the second year of his MFA at the University of Victoria. An immigrant, he writes about nationality. A brother without a sister, he writes about loss. A member of a biracial family, he writes about difference. He plans to further explore these themes in his thesis project — a literary travel memoir.

Entry in five-ish words

Shaping the dead from memory.

The story's source of inspiration

"My parents, who consistently find new ways of honouring my sister's life. I admire them for it, but didn't always. I wrote this story to understand why."

First lines

"My mother carved my sister out of clay. She called the process 'quality time.' And it was, in a way, the closest thing to quality time she'd had with her daughter in five years. She savoured it so much so that what started out as a small bust soon grew into a life-sized sculpture of my sister in her prom dress, the final home for her ashes."

About the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Nonfiction 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 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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