Creative Non-Fiction Contest Winners
Our 2018 creative non-fiction contest was judged by Stacey May Fowles. Here’s how she describes the winning works:
It was an incredible pleasure to judge the 2018 creative non-fiction contest, with so much incredible talent on offer and every piece on the longlist shining in its own distinct way. In the end, despite the skill apparent in every work I had the opportunity to read, three pieces shone the brightest for me. “Roping It In,” the contest’s honourable mention submission, is an example of truly inventive sports writing, as quick-footed as its subject matter, dancing back and forth between literary references and boxing rings with grace and ease. “The Things I Didn’t Know,” the second-place winner, is a profoundly affecting meditation on the perils and importance of identity. Distinctly lyrical and beautifully poetic, the weight of its narrative is outpaced only by the moving weight of its prose.
But it was “Escape Velocity,” this year’s first-place essay, that ticks every box for me, doing all of the things I believe great non-fiction should do. Beyond the obvious skill and craft in storytelling on display, this piece pulls you into the unexpected, generously inviting you into a milieu you might not have thought to consider, and in doing so reveals familiarity and vital broader truths. With clean, direct, well-rendered prose, this story provokes empathy and human connection and encourages understanding, all while being deeply personal and finely told.
Congratulations to our winners, and thank you to everyone who entered. Read “Escape Velocity” and “The Things I Didn’t Know” next, and read the honourable mention “Roping It In” by Justina Elias at roommagazine.com.