More than 90 entries received in annual writers’ competition

A Kamloops writer has won first prize in the Okanagan Short Story Contest. Katherin Edwards won the $500 first prize and a week’s residency at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre for her story Pellucidity.

In the Canadian tradition of stories about uncanny events in the woods, Edwards’ story is a poignant tale of friendship and coming of age in a young girl’s encounter with mortality and a dazzling but terrifyingly deep British Columbia lake.

Second prize was won by Kelowna resident Jocelyn Tennant for her story Red. This is a gripping tale about a 19th-century pioneer woman alone with her child in a Kootenays blizzard, struggling to cope after a bear attacks the livestock on her remote farmstead.

Third prize was won by Raven Faith Jones of Kelowna for her story Know You As You Feel You Know Me, a searing monologue that challenges the cool complacency and outright hostility enacted in the everyday encounters of Aboriginal people with the legacy of colonialism.

The short-list of 12 finalists was selected by UBC’s Creative Writing faculty from more than 90 entries.

During the reading last week at the downtown Kelowna branch of the Okanagan Regional Library, judge Marie Clements praised all the short-listed authors for their creativity and talent.  Edwards and Tennant read excerpts of their winning stories and Marie Clements read an excerpt of Jones’s story, as she could not attend the announcement event. Clements, UBC’s Writer-in-Residence, also read from her own work.

“Literary contests are a valuable encouragement to emerging writers,” says Nancy Holmes, Creative Writing professor at UBC Okanagan. “There is no doubt that this contest, in its 17th year, fulfills this goal for our region.”

The Okanagan Short Story Contest is an annual event sponsored by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the Central Okanagan Foundation, and Kelowna’s Capital News and is open to all residents of the Southern Interior.