CBC Literary Prizes

Ghost Writer by Colin Brezicki

Colin Brezicki has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Ghost Writer.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Colin Brezicki is a fiction writer and columnist from Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. (Rianna Douglas)

Colin Brezicki has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Ghost Writer.

About Colin

Colin Brezicki took up writing after teaching English in the UK and Canada. He has published two novels, A Case for Dr. Palindrome and All That Remains, which was recently a finalist in the Tucson Festival of Books fiction contest. His short stories have won the John Kenneth Galbraith Literary Award, the Literal Latté fiction contest and Bosque Fiction Prize. He has also published in academic journals and the Globe and Mail and is a regular opinion columnist for the Voice of Pelham.

Entry in five-ish words

When the Muse takes over.

The story's source of inspiration

"I was once given the unfinished manuscript of a writer friend who had passed away and briefly considered finishing it for him. I decided against it in the end, but the idea of exploring another person's creative domain intrigued me. Would it be all that different from exploring one's own? Fiction writers encounter characters who resist our intentions, we wrestle with conflicting voices and narratives and we have little control of the influences that shape our stories. So I wrote Ghost Writer to find out what happens when one muse collides with another."

First lines

Alan studied the manuscript, turning the words over in his head, listening for Harry Stinson's voice.

An orange moon hung low in the frozen sky, a paper lantern above the blue land. The air twanged with the chill, the valley lay outstretched like a corpse. 

These were Harry's words. For now.

His gaze shifted upwards to the framed photo on the wall opposite — his friend looking very dapper in his tux at the Publishers' Gala. The strong features further enhanced by a trim white beard. Narrow, piercing eyes. The smile almost strained, despite his award, like he sensed something impending.

Harry's death was a shock, of course, followed by Myra Stinson revealing her husband's 'bequest' so soon after — his wish that Alan Millard might finish his novel if anything should happen. "He intended to ask you himself, Alan — he so admired your work."

Her offer of their cottage at Echo Bay was the clincher. "He'll be right there with you."

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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