The winners and finalists in the 2015 islands Short Fiction Contest were announced at an event in Nanaimo on Thursday, April 23rd.
First-place winner in the Adult category was Judy LeBlanc of Fanny Bay, BC for her story “Senanus Island,” of which judge Robert Hilles remarked: “This is a powerful story that conveys the tragic repercussions of an argument between a husband and wife during a kayak trip . . . It will keep readers engaged until its harrowing last sentence.”
Second-place in the category went to Carol Gall of Heriot Bay for her story “Chicken Soup,” while Craig Spence of Victoria won third-prize for “A State of Repose.” Hilles also awarded honourable mentions to Harold Macy of Courtenay for “Nightingale,” Antony Stevens of Nanaimo for “10:15 Departure,” and Irene Wende of Nanaimo for “The Other Side.”
In the Youth (ages 13 to 18) category, the first-place winner was Taelon Pinto of Nanaimo for “The Wilting Flower.” Second-place was awarded to Skylar Gruys of Nanaimo for “The Magician,” and third-place to Rebecca Snow of Parksville for “Ethereal.”
The Junior (12 and under category) was won by Sara Lewis of Nanaimo with her story “Rueben, Not Susanna.” Uma Lilly McIninch Terweil of Salt Spring Island won second-prize for her story “The Whisperer,” while third-place was awarded to Isabela Martin of Salt Spring Island for “That Rooster.”
All three first-place winners were present to read their stories at the event, which was also attended by other finalists and writing fans from throughout the region. A record 122 entries were received this year, and over $2000 in cash and prizes was distributed.
The contest, open to writers on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands, is co-sponsored by the Nanaimo Arts Council, the Vancouver Island Regional Library, and the Vancouver Island University Department of Creative Writing and Journalism. It is made possible by financial support from the Government of British Columbia and The City of Nanaimo.
The winning entries will be posted on the websites of both the Nanaimo Arts Council and the VIU Creative Writing Department. Judge Robert Hilles’ comments on each of the three Adult prize winners follow.