CBC Literary Prizes

Unrequited Love by Carla Powell

Carla Powell has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Unrequited Love.

2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist

Carla Powell is a writer from Liverpool, N.S. (Carla Powell)

Carla Powell has made the 2020 CBC Nonfiction Prize longlist for Unrequited Love.

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 Carla

Carla Powell has lived in four provinces, one territory and two countries and is currently calling an old Victorian house her home in Liverpool, N.S. Life started in the Badlands, born to an English teacher mom and a coalminer father, in Drumheller, Alta. After being educated at the University of Calgary, Carla's career life took her from hospitals and universities to national charities and museums. Her story The Road to Machu Picchu Starts at 385 lbs was shortlisted for the 2017 CBC Nonfiction Prize.

Entry in five-ish words

"We never really know anyone."

The story's source of inspiration

"Parents are such formative forces in our lives. As I age, I see my parents reflected back at me and I draw comparisons. Mother-daughter relationships can be especially fraught with emotion and challenges and certainly my mother presented me with many. But, now, I see her through different eyes and I have more compassion for her journey. I also find my mother's story fascinating in the era of social media where people over-share versions of their lives online with absolutely anyone that will follow along. She didn't share. She didn't need validation from me or anyone else. The idea that we can live our lives for ourselves only, seems to be a radical thought. She died with secrets, and she was okay with that."

First lines

"Fresh Meat!" she yelled, at the top of her lungs.

My shoulders crept up around my ears and I looked sheepishly across the road. Standing before me was a little Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in lady with a big grin on her face.

"FRESH MEAT!" she yelled again, pointing high above her head in my general direction. She leaned in with a conspiratory whisper, "winter's comin', you gotta find yourself someone to keep you warm!"

And off she went, shuffling down the middle of the road chuckling to herself.

Welcome to Dawson City.

Apparently, I was meat.

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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