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5 Montreal writers named CBC/QWF featured columnists for 2022

CBC Quebec and the Quebec Writers' Federation are pleased to announce our 2022 featured columnists. They are: Dinu Mahapatuna, Magdalena Olszanowski, Mike O'Brien, Naomi Goldberg and Sharen McDonald.

Stories inspired by theme of awakening

CBC Quebec and the Quebec Writers' Federation are pleased to announce our 2022 featured columnists. (CBC)

CBC Quebec and the Quebec Writers' Federation are pleased to announce our 2022 featured columnists. They are: Dinu Mahapatuna, Magdalena Olszanowski, Mike O'Brien, Naomi Goldberg and Sharen McDonald.

The CBC/QWF "Indelible Ink" initiative is an opportunity to give up-and-coming writers a voice on our website as well as to hear from a broad range of perspectives from new voices.

Applicants were asked to submit a 600-word non-fiction personal essay (in English) based on the theme of "awakening." A selection committee had the difficult task of narrowing it down to the following five winners:

Mike O'Brien

Michael O'Brien is writing about what it takes to look beyond the horizon of COVID. (Submitted by Mike O'Brien)

Mike O'Brien is a Montreal writer with a focus on philosophical, political and ecological issues. His work has appeared at 3QuarksDaily.com and the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival. He is also an occasional educator, moderator, editor, photographer and stage performer.

Naomi Bénéteau Goldberg

In her piece, Naomi Goldberg examines how to find happiness with the smaller things in life. (Submitted by Naomi Goldberg)

Naomi Bénéteau Goldberg is a writer, an avid reader, a home chef and a community worker. She holds a graduate diploma in journalism from Concordia University. She lives in Montreal.

Sharen McDonald

Sharen McDonald is exploring the feelings that arise after moving into a retirement home. (Submitted by Sharen McDonald)

Sharen McDonald's life has always been linked to education and a love of words. She is a teacher, librarian and public-speaking and debating coach. Her writing ranges from non-fiction to poetry. Over seven decades, she has found laughter and kindness to be the best travel companions on the journey of a lifetime.

Dinu Mahapatuna

Dinu Mahapatuna is writing about her time working at a long-term care home during the pandemic. (Submitted by Dinu Mahapatuna)

Dinu Mahapatuna is a first-year student studying English literature and creative writing at Concordia University. Her writing credits include being shortlisted for The Walrus's Youth Short Story Competition, The Malahat Review's Open Season fiction contest and the QWF's College Writers Award (always the bridesmaid, never the bride). You can find her previous literary publications in SPACE Magazine, The Plant newspaper and the Soliloquies Anthology, but you will likely not find her outside of school.

Magdalena Olszanowski

Magdalena Olszanowski is writing about her relationship with her mother. (Submitted by Magdalena Olszanowski)

Magdalena Olszanowski is a Polish-born writer, artist and educator in Montreal. She received her PhD in communication studies from Concordia University. Her work can be found in journals such as Feminist Media Studies, Visual Communication Quarterly, n+1 and nomorepotlucks. 

Past winners of this CBC/QWF initiative include Monique Polak, Sarah Lolley, Joshua Levy, Emira Tufo, K.B Thors Caroline Vu, Bronwyn Averett, Kasia van Schaik, Isobel Cunningham and Caitlin Stall-Paquet.

CBC Quebec always welcomes pitches for First Person essays. Please email povquebec@cbc.ca for more information.

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