The Mouse by Gena Ellett
2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist
Gena Ellett has made the 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for The Mouse.
The winner of the 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, have their work published on CBC Books and have the opportunity to 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.
The shortlist will be announced on Sept. 22 and the winner will be announced on Sept. 29.
If you're interested in the CBC Literary Prizes, the 2022 CBC Short Story Prize is open for submissions until Oct. 31.
About Gena Ellett
Gena Ellett's writing has appeared in publications across North America. She was longlisted for the 2018 CBC Short Story Prize for her story Moody Park, won the 2018 Charles Lillard Founders' Award for Nonfiction and was nominated for a 2016 National Magazine Award for personal journalism. She was included in the 2018 RBC Charles Taylor Prize mentorship program as an emerging Canadian nonfiction writer. Ellett completed an MFA in creative writing at the University of British Columbia in 2017 and is currently at work on a novel. She lives in Vancouver with her dog, Lulu Belle.
Entry in five-ish words
"A stranger in my apartment."
The story's source of inspiration
"In the months following the end of a destructive relationship, a mouse took up residency in my apartment. As I tried to regain footing in a new reality, I saw parallels in searching for the signs of this new intruder and coming to terms with painful discoveries from the past."
I start to see it everywhere. Out of the corner of my eye, a dark grey feather sweeping silently across the floor of my studio apartment. I'd never realized how silent a mouse can be. I'm sitting in my bathtub with the door open and I see it scurry under the stove in the kitchen. Then again, the next morning, I watch it run behind the washing machine while I brush my teeth. It must weigh almost nothing, the total mass of its bones less than a bundle of matchsticks.
A small pleasure, watching it blossom during a pandemic summer, but now I feel betrayed as I imagine the mouse scaling the plant to get inside.
A wisteria vine has snaked its way in through one of my windows. A small pleasure, watching it blossom during a pandemic summer, but now I feel betrayed as I imagine the mouse scaling the plant to get inside. A reminder that something can be beautiful and wretched all at once.
About the 2021 CBC Nonfiction Prize
The winner of the 2021 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 2022 CBC Short Story Prize is currently open for submissions until Oct. 31, 2021. The 2022 CBC Nonfiction Prize will open in January and the 2022 CBC Poetry Prize will open in April.
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