CBC Literary Prizes

Georgie by Vicki McLeod

Vicki McLeod has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Georgie.

2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Vicki McLeod is a writer living in Nanaimo, B.C. (Wendy D Photo)

Vicki McLeod has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Georgie.

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 Vicki

Vicki McLeod is a writer, author, coach and entrepreneur. She is the author of four nonfiction books that explore being fully human in a technical world, and for nearly three decades she has coached leaders in organizations, governments and small businesses to create conversations that matter. A graduate of the Simon Fraser University Writers Studio, she leads retreats and workshops, writes poetry, personal essays and a newspaper column. You can find her on beautiful Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada, in pajamas, making something.

Entry in five-ish words

"Summer 1967: An unsettling revelation."

The story's source of inspiration

"I am interested in what takes place at the edges of things, particularly the territory of time, space and memory. I also wanted to explore the confusion and complexities of coming of age in an era of benign neglect — a time of massive social change, yet in my case far from the centre of things. The 1960s summers of my working-class childhood took place in a marginalized, remote landscape home to squatters, hippies, draft dodgers and cheap camping. It was there that I made the uneasy passage from childhood to girlhood, accompanied by an unusual cast of characters. Georgie was one of them." 

First lines

Dad pulls her closer, sighing beer into Georgie's platinum blonde wig. Her earrings swing into his cheek as they sway together. The rhinestones on her collar press into his chin. He wears a white t-shirt, snowy, underneath his buttoned shirt. The satin of her blouse shushes against his shirt. Their feet slide across the wooden floor. Leaning into one another, they waltz.

Around them, other couples bump and bend to the twang of the guitar and the beat of drum set. Their cocktails rest on cork coasters on a worn red terrycloth tabletop. Rye-ginger for him and rum n' coke for her. The glasses are beady with sweat. Tall chasers of cold beer stand by. Glasses clink and bottles roll. Patrons raise their voices, loud above the music. A woman shrieks, and hard laughter erupts from the men at the bar. Kuks Tavern is crowded tonight. It's the Northport Friday Night dance.

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.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now

In Partnership With


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.