CBC Literary Prizes

The Study of Hidden Animals by Ellie Sawatzky

Ellie Sawatzky has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for The Study of Hidden Animals.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Ellie Sawatzky is a fiction writer and poet from based in Vancouver, B.C. (Cheryl Laniuk)

Ellie Sawatzky has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for The Study of Hidden Animals.

About Ellie

Ellie Sawatzky is originally from Kenora, Ont. Her writing has appeared in Room, Prairie Fire, Little Fiction, The Matador Review, The Puritan, EVENT and elsewhere. She won CV2's 2018 Young Buck Poetry Prize and was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize for her short story The Stones. She holds an MFA from the University of British Coulmbia's creative writing program and is the author of the poetry chapbook Rhinocerotic . She lives, writes and borrows dogs in Vancouver.

Entry in five-ish words

Stepsiblings search for home/Sasquatch.

The story's source of inspiration

"I read an article a few years ago in Reader's Digest called Searching for Sasquatch: The Curious Lives of Cryptozoologists by Suzannah Showler and learned that cryptozoology means 'the study of hidden animals.' The last line of the article stayed with me: 'We go looking in order to assure ourselves that there's still something left to find.' It made me think of the power of the human imagination, the way it drives us forward in pursuit of the invisible."

First lines

"Your son is lucky to be alive," the doctor said to Al and Mom in the hallway.

Red has flipped Al's station wagon in the middle of an intersection. He'd been speeding and ran a red light.

It was 1993, and I had just turned 12. Mom and I had been living with Al and Red in Vancouver for almost two years, the longest we had ever lived in one place.

I stood in the doorway of Red's hospital room, looking in at the twin shapes of his feet, long and broad, at the end of the bed. The only injuries he'd sustained in the accident — incredibly — were some bruises and a concussion, but because he'd hit his head, the doctor wanted to observe him overnight. There was psych evaluation scheduled for the morning. The reason for this, the doctor said, was that the accident did not seem as though it was entirely accidental. Red had been stone-cold sober. 

About the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize

The winner of the 2019 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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