CBC Literary Prizes

Meet the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize readers

These 12 readers determined the longlist for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize.
Twelve readers from across Canada chose the longlist for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize. (Credits for all photos below)

Every year, CBC Books enlists the help of established writers and editors from across Canada to read the thousands of entries submitted to our prizes.

Our readers compile the longlist, which is given to the jury. The jury then selects the shortlist and the eventual winner from the longlisted selections. The 2021 CBC Short Story Prize winner will be announced on April 29, 2021.

The winner of the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity and have their work published on CBC Books.

Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and will have their work published on CBC Books.

If you are interested in entering the CBC Literary Prizes, the 2021 CBC Poetry Prize is now open.

Here are the 12 writers who served as readers for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize.

Dede Crane

Dede Crane is a writer living on Gabriola Island, B.C. (Josh Davidson)

Dede Crane is the author of five books of fiction and the co-editor of Great Expectations, which is a collection of essays about childbirth. Crane's latest novel, One Madder Woman, explores the life and times of Berthe Morisot, the sole woman among the original group of French Impressionists. Crane lives and writes on Gabriola Island, B.C.

Francesca Ekwuyasi

Francesca Ekwuyasi is a writer and multidisciplinary artist from Lagos, Nigeria. (Dario Lozano-Thornton)

Francesca Ekwuyasi is a writer, filmmaker and visual artist who was born in Lagos, Nigeria, and currently lives in Halifax. Her work explores themes of faith, family, queerness, consumption, loneliness and belonging. Her story Ọrun is Heaven was longlisted for the 2019 Journey Prize. Her debut novel, Butter Honey Pig Bread, was longlisted for the 2020 Scotiabank Giller Prize and championed by Roger Mooking on Canada Reads 2021.

John Gould

John Gould is a writer, teacher and editor living in Victoria. (Sandy Mayzel)

John Gould is the author of The End of Me — a collection of 56 sudden stories about mortality — and of two previous collections in the same form, including Kilter, a finalist for the Giller Prize. He has also written a novel, and published fiction in periodicals across Canada and abroad. A teacher, editor and arts administrator, he served on the editorial board of the Malahat Review, and taught creative writing at the University of Victoria. He lives on unceded Lekwungen territory in Victoria. 

Natalie Jenner

Natalie Jenner is a writer and an independent bookstore owner in Oakville, Ont. (Sarah Sims)

Natalie Jenner is the bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society, a fictional telling of the start of the society in the 1940s in the village of Chawton, England, where Austen once lived. Born in England and raised in Canada, Jenner has been a corporate lawyer, legal recruiter, career coach and, most recently, a bookstore owner in Oakville, Ont., where she lives. Jenner's debut novel The Jane Austen Societywill be translated into over 15 languages and was named one of Indigo's Best Books of 2020 and one of CBC Books top Canadian fiction of 2020.

Marc Herman Lynch

Marc Herman Lynch is a writer from Calgary. (Alicia Hoogveld)

Marc Herman Lynch is a first generation, French Chinese immigrant. He has a Master of Arts from the University of Calgary and is the president of filling Station magazine. His debut novel Arborescent was published in 2020. He lives in Moh'kins'tsis, otherwise known as Calgary.

Karen McBride

Karen McBride is an Algonquin Anishinaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation. (Sam Park Photography)

Karen McBride is an Algonquin Anishinaabe writer from the Timiskaming First Nation in the territory that is now Quebec. Growing up on the rez meant the bush was her backyard and that backyard became all manner of places: Middle earth, Hyrule, a world populated by zombies, and all things in between. She loves to write stories about truth and healing, but mostly about magic and myth. Her debut novel, Crow Winter, was shortlisted for the Ottawa Book Awards, the PMC Indigenous Literature Award and the Sunburst Award for Canadian Literature of the Fantastic. CBC Books named McBride a writer to watch in 2020

Laurence Miall

Laurence Miall is a writer living in Edmonton. (Rohan Quinby)

Laurence Miall has lived in Edmonton and Montreal, having emigrated from England to Canada at the age of 14. His first novel, Blind Spot, was published by NeWest Press in 2014. His short stories have been finalists in the Summer Literary Awards contest and the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers. He has been a freelance contributor of nonfiction for the Edmonton Journal and the Montreal Gazette. He is currently developing a work of nonfiction.

Kagiso Lesego Molope

Kagiso Lesego Molope is a novelist and a playwright from Ottawa. (Submitted by Kagiso Lesego Molope)

Kagiso Lesego Molope is a novelist and a playwright. She was on the IBBY list in 2006 for her first novel, Dancing in the Dust. She is the recipient of the 2014 Percy Fitzpatrick Award for Youth Literature in Southern Africa, the 2019 Ottawa Book Award and the 2019 Inaugural Pius Adesanmi Memorial Award for Excellence in African Writing. Her first play about the life of poet Maya Angelou was produced at Norway's Nordic Black Theatre in October 2019. Her books are read in middle and high schools across Southern Africa and in parts of Europe. Her books include Dancing in the Dust, The Mending Season, Such a Lonely, Lovely Road and This Book Betrays My Brother.

Morgan Murray

Morgan Murray is a writer living in Cape Breton. (Kate Beaton)

Morgan Murray grew up in Alberta, and he now lives in the backwoods of Cape Breton with his wife, cartoonist Kate Beaton, their baby, their dog, their cat and six chickens. He has been a farmer, a rancher, a roustabout, a secretary, a reporter, a designer, a Tweeter, a tour guide, a schemer, a variety show host and a student. His writing has appeared in places like The Scope, The Walrus, Newfoundland Quarterly and Echolocation. His short story KC Accidental won the House of Anansi Broken Social Scene Story Contest in 2013, and was anthologized in Racket: New Writing from Newfoundland in 2015. His first novel, Dirty Birds, was on the Canada Reads 2021 longlist

Hasan Namir

Hasan Namir is an Iraqi-Canadian author living in Vancouver. (Cathryn John)

Iraqi-Canadian author Hasan Namir graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Bachelor of Arts in English and received the Ying Chen Creative Writing Student Award. He is the author of God in Pink, which won the Lambda Literary Award for best gay fiction and was chosen as one of the top 100 books of 2015 by the Globe and Mail. He is also the author of the poetry book War / Torn and the children's book The Name I Call Myself (illustrated by Cathryn John), which CBC Books named one of the top picture books of 2020. Namir was also named a writer to watch in 2019 by CBC Books. He lives in Vancouver with his husband and child.

Dianne Warren

Dianne Warren is a writer and dramatist from Saskatchewan. (Don Hall)

Dianne Warren is a fiction writer who lives in Regina. She has won many awards for her work including Western and national magazine awards, the Marian Engel Award and the Governor General's Literary Award for fiction for her 2010 novel Cool Water. Her third novel and sixth book of fiction, The Diamond House, was released in 2020. She has been the editor of Grain Magazine and an instructor in the Banff Centre's writing programs, and is currently on the Humber College writing program faculty.

David Kingston Yeh

David Kingston Yeh is a writer, counsellor and educator living in Toronto. (Fehn Foss)

David Kingston Yeh is the author of A Boy at the Edge of the World and Tales from the Bottom of My Sole. He holds his Master of Arts in cultural sociology from Queen's University, is an alumnus of George Brown Theatre School and attended Advanced Post-Graduate Studies in Expressive Arts in Saas Fee, Switzerland. He works as a counsellor and educator in downtown Toronto. CBC Books named him a writer to watch in 2018. Yeh's short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines. He will be completing his third novel The B-Side of Daniel Garneau in 2021.

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