Montreal writer Chanel M. Sutherland wins 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize
The 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize is open for submissions until Feb. 28, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET
Sutherland's story was selected from nearly 2,000 entries.
Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sutherland moved to Canada when she was 10 years old. She's currently a product marketing director living in Montreal.
She wrote Umbrella because she wanted to confront racial microaggressions and remove the subtleties that these actions and comments often hide behind.
"Over the years I tried to figure out why that specific experience mattered so much — why it affected me and ultimately changed me. Because of it, I started paying more attention to the in-between of people's words and actions," Sutherland said in an interview with CBC Books.
"Writing Umbrella was a challenging experience because I had to restrain myself. There were so many emotions that I felt and connected to during the process, but I knew they would only oversaturate the story. That's why it is so satisfying to know that the jurors understood what I was trying to accomplish. This whole experience is like walking in a dream!"
"Umbrella is a story about race, gender and sexuality that is both familiar and unique, told with a restraint that characterizes its speaker in masterful ways. Here is a story about Black girlhood that bespeaks the ironic ways desire, belonging and acquiescence are, at times, inextricable. The result is a compelling, lively and informative piece that offers insight as it deploys literary skill from beginning to end," the jury said in a statement.
The four finalists for the 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize are Alison Hughes of Edmonton for Funhouse Mirrors, Barbara Mackenzie of Yellowknife for Northern Spring, Lee Thomas of Fredericton for My Summer Body and Sarah Van Goethem of Bothwell, Ont., for A Borrowed Husband.
They will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts.
The 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize is now open for submissions.
You have until Feb. 28, 2022 at 11:59 p.m. ET to submit your original, unpublished works of nonfiction, up to 2,000 words. There is no minimum word requirement.
You may submit memoir, biography, humour writing, essay (including personal essay), travel writing or a feature article.
The entry fee is $25, which covers the costs of administering the prize.