Okanagan short fiction contest shortlist revealed

The Okanagan Short Fiction Contest has once again revealed a wealth of creative talent from the Okanagan region. Sponsored by UBC Okanagan, Okanagan College and the Central Okanagan Foundation, the annual contest received 95 entries this year and the field has now been narrowed down to 10 authors. Their work has been sent on to a final judge who will pick three winners to be announced June 12.

“Although we had fewer entries than previous years, the quality was unbelievably high,” says Nancy Holmes, Creative Writing professor at UBC Okanagan. “We had at least 30 stories that were worth reading and re-reading. It was perhaps the toughest competition we’ve ever seen."

The writers shortlisted are: Brian Fisher of Coldstream, Chris Fleck of Kelowna, Gord Gresenthwaite of Kelowna, Shandell Houlden of Kelowna, Jane-Marie James of Kelowna, Murray Mason of Penticton, Shane McDougall of Kelowna, Chris McMahen of Armstrong, Matthew Parisien of Kelowna, and Calvin White of Salmon Arm.

Some of the shortlisted writers are currently studying creative writing -- Fleck, Houlden and Parisien are all UBC Okanagan students; McDougall, McMahen and Fisher have studied creative writing with Okanagan College writer John Lent.

The 10 shortlisted stories are sent on to a final judge, who remains anonymous until the winners are announced. Winners will be announced at 7 p.m. on Monday, June 12 at Doc Willoughby’s (353 Bernard Ave.) in downtown Kelowna and everyone is welcome to attend.

The winners will read from their work, along with the final judge. First-prize winner will receive $500, second $200, and third $100. Winners and runners-up will also receive chapbooks of the winning stories, and excerpts from the winning stories will be read on CBC Radio One this summer.

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