CBC Literary Prizes

Lessons by Amy Chernikowski

Amy Chernikowski has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Lessons.

2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

(Trent Erwin on Unsplash)

Amy Chernikowski has made the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Lessons.

About Amy

Amy Chernikowski's fiction and creative nonfiction has been published in Lilith and other magazines. She lives in Regina with her husband and children. Amy writes under the name "Chernikowski," a name from her family's past generations, in order to write more honestly about difficult subjects.

Entry in five-ish words

Music teacher hits wrong note.

The story's source of inspiration

"For years I've been thinking about how weird and inappropriate my old guitar teacher was with me when I was a kid, especially because I have two daughters now. That feeling sort of came blasting out with this story, although I have fictionalized the events and characters."

First lines

The news was delivered with Stacy's first flowers, on Valentine's Day. Her mother brought the flowers in and put them in a vase on her dresser on top of a plastic placemat and abruptly said, "These are from Peter. He's going to start taking you out on dates." She turned to leave Stacy's bedroom and added, "He's always thought that if he had a daughter, he would take her out on dates to show her how she should be treated by men," and then she closed the door. And so the flowers started coming and so did the dates until it was decided that Stacy's time spent with her mother's boyfriend needed a different structure and the dates became guitar lessons and the flowers stopped.

About the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2018 CBC Short Story 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 10-day 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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