Literary Prizes

Jenny Boychuk wins the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The Victoria writer will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre. Read her essay Slow Violence now.
Jenny Boychuk is the author of the poetry collection Antonyms for Daughter. (Dean Kalyan)

Victoria writer Jenny Boychuk has won the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize for Slow Violence, a story about transgenerational trauma, healing and reconciling past wrongs.

As the grand prize winner, Boychuk will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity.

Slow Violence was chosen by the jury comprised of Harold R. Johnson, Elizabeth Renzetti and Mark Sakamoto.

"Slow Violence draws the reader into a world in which the desire for revenge is lost to the healing power of mercy,"  the jury said in a statement. "As is almost always the case, the perpetrator is a victim and his victim, also a perpetrator. This is a beautifully written story of grace. It is a story we all need."

The jury also chose the shortlist. The other finalists were Larry Gibbs for The Boondock Harvest 1966, Kathleen May for The Long Driveway, Tracey McGillivray for To the Uninitiated and Emily Stillwell for The Birthday Party. The finalists each received $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and had their stories published on CBC Books.

There were more than 2,200 English-language submissions to the prize in 2019. The longlist was chosen by a team of writers and editors from across Canada. The jury selected the finalists and the winner from a longlist of 31 stories.

Francis Ouellette is the winner of the French-language grand prize, Prix du récit Radio-Canada, for his story Berce-toi Raymonde.

The CBC Literary Prizes have been recognizing Canadian writers for 40 years. Past winners include Michael Ondaatje, Carol Shields, Michael Winter and Frances Itani.​

If you're interested in other writing competitions, check out the CBC Literary Prizes.

The CBC Short Story Prize is currently open and accepting submissions until Oct. 31, 2019.

Listen to Jenny Boychuk read Slow Violence

Victoria, B.C. writer Jenny Boychuk won the 2019 CBC Nonfiction Prize for Slow Violence, a story about transgenerational trauma, healing and reconciling past wrongs.