CBC Literary Prizes

Krzysztof Pelc wins the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize

Pelc will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a 10-day writing residency at the Banff Centre. Read his story, Green Velvet, now.
Krzysztof Pelc is an author and professor of political science at McGill University in Montreal. (Laura Schnurr)

Krzysztof Pelc has won the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize for his story Green Velvet. 

As the grand prize winner, Pelc 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

Green Velvet was selected by the jury comprised of writers Esi EdugyanIain Reid and Lisa Moore

"Told in clear, confident prose, Green Velvet is an elegant, beautifully-shaped story, lit with a wry humour that tilts unpredictably to melancholy. It's full of whimsy and insight," the jury said in a statement. "The chesterfield around which the plot twists — up the staircase, by rigid corners, tight spots and thresholds — into this family's new life is, by turns, a symbol of hope and one of doubt that eats away from the inside. The voice perfectly captures the desire for belonging, and all the ways such a desire can go unexpectedly wrong." 

The other finalists for the 2019 prize were Nada Alic for The Intruder, David Dupont for For Pari, Menaka Raman-Wilms for Black Coffee and Meg Todd for Green is the Colour of Calm. The finalists each received $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and had their stories published on CBC Books.

The jury also chose the shortlist. The longlist was chosen by a team of writers and editors from across Canada. There were more than 3,000 English-language submissions to the prize in 2019.

Jacques Lemaire is the winner of the French-language grand prize, le Prix de la nouvelle Radio-Canada, for his story Le ravin.

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 are interested in entering the CBC Literary Prizes, the CBC Poetry Prize is now open. The deadline to submit your original, unpublished poetry is May 31, 2019.

The 2020 CBC Short Story Prize will open in September and the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January.

Listen to Krzysztof Pelc read Green Velvet

2019 CBC Short Story Prize winner Krzysztof Pelc reads his winning story, Green Velvet.


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