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Five writers named CBC/QWF Writers-in-Residence for 2021

This year, we have selected five writers. They are: Caroline Vu, Bronwyn Averett, Kasia van Schaik, Isobel Cunningham and Caitlin Stall-Paquet.

Winning stories inspired by theme of 'light and dark'

CBC Quebec and the Quebec Writers Federation are pleased to announce our 2021 writers-in-residence. (CBC)

CBC Quebec and the Quebec Writers' Federation are pleased to announce our 2021 writers-in-residence. This year, we have selected five writers. They are: Caroline Vu, Bronwyn Averett, Kasia van Schaik, Isobel Cunningham and Caitlin Stall-Paquet.

Now in its sixth year, the CBC/QWF residency is an opportunity to give up-and-coming writers a voice on our website and increase their profile in the community.

Past winners include Monique PolakSarah LolleyJoshua LevyEmira Tufo, and K.B Thors.

'Light and Dark'

This year, we asked all applicants to submit a 600-word non-fiction personal essay based on the theme of "light and dark." This theme inspired the winners in different ways.

For family physician Caroline Vu-Nguyen, storytelling happens every day as she "listens to patients rather than just treating their symptoms". (Marc-Antoine Zouéki)

Family physician and award-winning novelist Caroline Vu approached the theme from a personal angle. For Vu, storytelling happens every day as she "listens to patients rather than just treats their symptoms" and she wanted to show that in her story.

Writer and translator Caitlin Stall-Paquet's story touches on the light and dark of loss. (Hamza Abouelouafaa)

Writer and translator Caitlin Stall-Paquet, whose story touches on the light and dark of loss, said this story is more personal than some of her other recent writing.

As someone who grew up in the Eastern Townships, Stall-Paquet is honoured to be recognized by the anglophone writing community in Montreal and is excited to work with an editor at CBC who has experience with personal stories.

Writing through the pandemic 

The pandemic has taught Kasia van Schaik to find beauty in the everyday. (Danielle Riome)

The pandemic has an impact on the writers-in-residence in different ways. For McGill PhD candidate and creative writing teacher Kasia van Schaik, it has taught her to find beauty in the everyday, including the views from her window, which play a role in her story. 

Isobel Cunningham story explores her decision to downsize and move. (Isobel Cunningham)

Isobel Cunningham explored her decision to downsize and move during the pandemic in her story. Doing so was a way to explore the challenges she faces and the expectations she has for her move. Cunningham, who found her love of words in Wales where she was born, said it is especially meaningful to be recognized in this way in her longtime home of Montreal.

Bronwyn Averett's work appears at carte-blanche.org and The Temz Review. (Submitted by Bronwyn Averett)

Bronwyn Averett, whose work appears at carte-blanche.org and The Temz Review, said "we're living through such an extraordinary time." Averett is originally from Atlanta and believes that the "thoughtful reflections this series has always cultivated are more important" this year maybe more than ever. 

Over the coming months, essays by our five writers-in-residence will be published on our website.

CBC Quebec always welcomes  pitches for point-of-view essays. Please email povquebec@cbc.ca for more information.

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