CBC Literary Prizes

Untethered by Diane Carley

Diane Carley has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Untethered.

2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist

Diane Carley is an author from St. John's, N.L. (Sarah Martin)

Diane Carley has made the 2019 CBC Short Story Prize longlist for Untethered

About Diane

Diane Carley lives and writes in St. John's, N.L. In 2018, she was longlisted for PRISM's Jacob Zilber Prize for short fiction and for Exile Quarterly's Carter V. Cooper Award for emerging writers. Her short stories have appeared in The New Quarterly, Riddle Fence, subTerrain and Other Voices. She has completed a collection of short stories and is currently working on a novel. 

Entry in five-ish words

Forced intimacies and errant balloons. 

The story's source of inspiration

"I don't usually respond well to writing prompts. But this one mentioned balloons, which immediately conjured up the image of a hot air balloon flying low over a house and the unsettled feeling that would generate. From there, I started exploring the ways in which an unwanted closeness might disturb one's equanimity and whether that might be a good thing or a bad thing."

First lines

A steady rhythm of whooshes broke through the early morning calm.

Lexi walked to her living room window and gazed outside, where a scattershot army of inflated fire hydrants, belugas and liquorice and lemon striped bumblebees, swarmed across the sky.

Heading out her front door, and around the side of the house, she followed their flight path towards the field behind her place. One rainbow-striped teardrop balloon passed so close, she could see the bursts of flames shooting into the air, and she could hear the propane burner's exhalations, like the exaggerated breaths of a yoga instructor.

When she reached her backyard, she found a collapsed tangle of fabric hanging from the branches of her tree, and a large wicker basket lying on the ground in a bed of broken boughs and a scattering of leaves.

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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