Books

Short fiction from Norma Dunning, David Huebert, Alix Ohlin among works shortlisted for 2022 ReLit Awards

The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses. The 2022 prizes are celebrating its poetry, short fiction and novel awards in the month of May.

The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses

Books by Norma Dunning, left, David Huebert, Alix Ohlin are among the 15 titles shortlisted for the ReLit Awards in the short fiction category. (Emily Weisz, Robert Russell, Emily Cooper)

Short fiction by Norma Dunning, David Huebert and Alix Ohlin are among the 15 books on the shortlist for the 2022 ReLit Awards.

The ReLit Awards honour the best Canadian books published by independent presses.

Similar to last year's announcements, the 2022 prizes are celebrating its poetry, short fiction and novel awards in the month of May. The prize is known for releasing long shortlists.

The prize was first founded in 2000 by Newfoundland filmmaker and author Kenneth J. Harvey. The ReLit Awards are now being managed by Harvey's daughter, Katherine Alexandra Harvey. 

Winners receive the ReLit Ring, which is comprised of four moveable dials that each have the alphabet engraved on them. The ring was designed by Newfoundland jewellery designer Christopher Kearney.

Inuk author Norma Dunning is on the shortlist for Tainna: The Unseen Ones, a collection of six stories that each focus on a contemporary Inuk character to explore themes such as homelessness, spirituality, death, displacement, loneliness, alienation and community connection. Tainna won the 2021 Governor General's Literary Award for fiction.

The Edmonton-based Dunning is also the author of the short story collection Annie Muktuk and Other Stories, which won the 2018 Danuta Gleed Literary Award, and the poetry collection Eskimo Pie: A Poetics of Inuit Identity.

David Huebert's short story collection Chemical Valley is among the shortlisted titles. Named after a region in Sarnia, Ont., with a large number of plants and refineries, many of Huebert's characters in Chemical Valley make their living from the petrochemical industry but also see the impacts of climate change. 

Chemical Valley is also on the 2022 shortlist both for the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction and the Thomas Raddall Atlantic Fiction Award.

Huebert is the Halifax author of two poetry collections and two works of fiction. His first collection of short stories, Peninsula Sinkingwon the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award and was shortlisted for the Alistair MacLeod Fiction Prize. He won the 2016 CBC Short Story Prize for his story Enigma.

Alix Ohlin's short story collection We Want What We Want is also on the shortlist.

We Want What We Want gathers stories of characters who want something — whether bad or good for them — and start to change as they decide to go after the object of their desires. It explores relationships between parents and their children, co-workers, lovers, distant cousins and people who primarily connect over social media.

We Want What We Want was a finalist for the 2021 Atwood Gibson Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and is a 2022 B.C. and Yukon Book Prizes finalist.

Ohlin is a writer from Vancouver and the current chair of the creative writing program at the University of British Columbia. Her other books include the novels Inside and Dual Citizens, both of which were finalists for the Scotiabank Giller Prize.

Each week, the long shortlists for a particular genre will be announced on Monday, and the winners for that year will be announced on Friday.

The first week of May will be poetry, the second week will feature short fiction and the third week will feature the novel category.

The poetry nominees were announced on Monday, May 9 with the winner announcement happening on Friday, May 13.

Here are the short fiction titles long-shortlisted for the 2022 ReLit Awards:

Category: Short Fiction

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