CBC Literary Prizes

Gábor by Elaine McCluskey

Elaine McCluskey has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Gábor.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Elaine McCluskey is an author from Dartmouth, N.S. (Andrew Vaughan)

Elaine McCluskey has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Gábor.

About Elaine

Elaine McCluskey is the author of two novels and three short story collections. She has been published in journals such as The Antigonish Review, subTerrain, The Dalhousie Review and Geist. Elaine was a Journey Prize finalist and placed second in the Fish Short Story Prize. She lives in Dartmouth, N.S.

Entry in five-ish words

Budapest flight takes a turn.

The story's source of inspiration

"The story was inspired by a conversation overheard on an international flight."

First lines

They were an unlikely pair of travellers: a minor middle-aged man and an elderly woman in a paisley cape. She had the air of someone who expected to be seated in the front row of funerals and weddings, no matter how tenuous her connection might be. He had an uneasy sniff.

They sat with their backs to their boarding gate, and unlike the novice flyers — the naïfs  with cardboard boxes and hard-sided Samsonite luggage, economy tickets to Deer Lake, N.L., they did not seem worried about missing anything. They seemed offhand.

Her day had started in Winnipeg, his in Toronto, where they now sat waiting. Her stillness felt like a statement, his a compromise. Across the tile airport floor in an unyielding plastic chair was a young Japanese traveller reading an iPad; next to him a tanned woman in Gucci flowered sneakers and a pink cardigan.

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.


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