CBC Literary Prizes

In the Peace River Valley by Heather Simeney MacLeod

Heather Simeney MacLeod has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for In the Peace River Valley.

2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Heather Simeney MacLeod is a Kamloops, B.C.-based author of four poetry books. (Rebecca Frederickson)

Heather Simeney MacLeod has made the 2018 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for In the Peace River Valley.

About Heather

Heather Simeney MacLeod is the author of four poetry books and has been published widely in Canada and the U.S. Her work has also appeared in print in Britain, Ireland, France, Israel, Australia and New Zealand. She has a BA in creative writing from the University of Victoria, a M.S.Sc. from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in English and film studies from the University of Alberta. She lives in Kamloops, B.C., and is working on a novel.

Entry in five-ish words

A faltering coming-of-age.

The story's source of inspiration

"I have been working on a novel where one of the main characters finds herself pregnant as a teenager in a rural setting. I think that work of fiction began to remind me of my own predicament as a young girl in the Peace River Valley."

First lines

  "The second time I had sex, I fell pregnant. I'm using the British phrasing because that's what it felt like. I didn't get pregnant. I fell. I was living in northern B.C., uphill from the so-called downtown, working as a waitress in a 24-hour diner. My mom didn't like me using the car, so I walked everywhere with Lisa. She had dark, large eyes. She smoked and went through my closet and wore my clothes, which were too big for her. She was the first person I told: 'I think I'm pregnant.' We were in another diner (as much as a dive as the one I worked in). 'I might be too,' she said as if that would make it all okay."
Poet Heather Simeney MacLeod talks to Daybreak Kamloops about her longlisted story In the Peace River Valley.

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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