Skip to content

Island writers make long-list for 2021 CBC Short Story Prize

Krista May and Angie Ellis among 33 finalists selected out of over 3,000 entrants
Saltair-based writer, Krista May. (Janet Kelly photo)

A pair of mid-Island writers have been long-listed for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize.

Krista May of Saltair and Angie Ellis of Duncan are among the 33 writers chosen out of more than 3,000 entrants.

May’s story Tiny Sores was inspired by a trip to Thetis Island.

“I met a little girl on the ferry. She was with her mother — she had a big bag of storybooks and she wandered over to where I was sitting, took a book out of her bag, and started to show it to me. Her mother didn’t call her away or say ‘don’t bug the lady’, that’s so rare these days because everybody is stuck in their cell phones or tablets. There was something about that whole trip that was kind of magical for me,” May said.

This isn’t May’s first competition. She placed second in the 2018 Sheldon Currie Fiction Prize competition and second in the 2019 Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition. She has also been shortlisted for the 2020 Pulp Literature Raven Short Story Contest and The Fiddlehead’s 2020 Fiction Contest.

May is working on a short story anthology. Many of her stories take place in small Canadian towns and are based on her life experiences.

Before arriving in Saltair, May lived on Saltspring Island and in the Ladysmith/Chemainus area. She moved to the area from Manitoba in 1988 to be with her family and spent seven years in the Annapolis Valley of Nova Scotia.

May did not make the short-list for the CBC Short Story Prize, but she says she’s happy she was even chosen at all. Only the stories of shortlisted writers were published by the CBC so that longlisted writers have the opportunity to publish their work elsewhere.

Ellis, the recentrecipient of a writing grant from Canada Council for the Arts was also in the running with her book Strangers.

“Angie Ellis lives on Vancouver Island where she is finishing her first novel,” said the announcement. “Her work has been nominated or listed for Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions and the William Faulkner - William Wisdom competition.”

This is her second time being long-listed for the CBC Short Story Prize. The winner receives $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, a two-week writing residency at Banff Centre of Arts and Creativity and will be published on CBC Books website, will be announced on April 29. Four runners-up will receive $1,000 prizes and will also be published on CBC Books.