CBC Literary Prizes

Spud Life by Tracey Waddleton

Spud Life has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Tracey Waddleton.

2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Tracey Waddleton is a Newfoundland writer living in Montreal. (Twiggy Saint Skookum)

Tracey Waddleton has made the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Spud Life.

The shortlist will be announced on April 15. The winner will be announced on April 22.

About Tracey

Tracey Waddleton is a Newfoundland writer living in Montreal. Her work has been published in Riddle Fence, NQ and the Cuffer Anthology. She was a finalist for the NLCU Fresh Fish Award for Emerging Writers and recipient of the 2015 Lawrence Jackson Writers' Award. Her first book, Send More Tourists… the Last Ones Were Delicious, was published in July 2019. She is the inaugural recipient of the Quebec Writers' Federation Max Margles Writing Residency and is scheduled to spend a month writing in Dublin in August.

Entry in five-ish words

Attempts at connection via tuber.

The story's source of inspiration

"I came across potatoparcel.com, a website where you can pay — anonymously, if you wish — to have a message or photograph sent to someone on potato. I thought it was brilliant. I briefly considered switching all my correspondence to potato. That sparked the opening lines of the story and the rest followed."

First lines

I've decided to send all correspondences via potato. There's this website that will do it for you, 130 characters or less. More succinct than a tweet. I have to admit I like things that get right to the point. And who would ignore you? A potato would get my attention, for sure.

I can see the mail clerk, arms overflowing with potatoes, trying to figure out which one goes in which mail slot. Several would inevitably fall, roll out in all directions, and they'd be down on all fours searching under undusted office furniture, using rulers to drag them out all covered with debris, rinsing them off in the kitchen sink. All that hair buildup. Bits of paper and other forgotten corners of things. What a mess.

About the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and attend a two-week 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 work published on CBC Books.

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