CBC Literary Prizes

Strata by Laurie McCulloch

Laurie McCulloch has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Strata.

2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Laurie McCulloch is a writer based in Turner Valley, Alta. (Submitted by Laurie McCulloch)

Laurie McCulloch has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Strata.

The winner 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 will have their work published by CBC Books.

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

The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 24. The winner will be announced on Oct. 1.

About Laurie

Laurie McCulloch has a journalism degree from Carleton University, a graduate certificate from the Humber School for Writers and is a member of the Alexandra Writers' Centre Society in Calgary. Her work appears, or is forthcoming, in Woman's World, After the Pause... and Lily Poetry Review. She lives in Turner Valley, Alta.

Entry in five-ish words

"Love and motorcycles."

The story's source of inspiration

"My husband often tells the story 'the day Laurie learned to ride,' and I wanted to see if I could turn that story into a humour piece. Turned out I was also writing about our relationship."

First lines

muskeg (n. swamp or bog)
"Get out quick or you'll get sucked in" — Don O.

"If you want to spend time with me this summer you're gonna have to learn to ride."

This from a man I'd met two weeks earlier, the guy bent over my coffee table circling ads in the classifieds.

"Um," I said. Not: Who the hell do you think you are? Or: You know it's only February, right? Responses I thought of later when his ultimatum waved like a red flag the size of a four-bedroom house with two-point-two kids living inside.

I couldn't help myself, though. I peered over his shoulder at the ads for Kawasaki Somethings and Yamaha Or-Others, and said the only thing that came to mind:

"Ride what?"

Which is how I found myself, three months later, helping Don unload a couple dirt bikes from the back of his truck.

About the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize

The winner of the 2020 CBC Nonfiction 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 the 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.

The 2021 CBC Short Story Prize is currently open for submissions. The 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January. The 2021 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.

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