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April 24, 2014- Shelley Wood Wins 16th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest

A story that weaves in and out of the lives of three people over many years has won Shelley Wood of Kelowna first prize in the Okanagan Short Story Contest for her original piece of writing, Leave-taking.

Wood’s submission topped 121 entries in the Okanagan Short Story contest, sponsored by UBC’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the Kelowna Capital News and the Central Okanagan Foundation. Entries were judged by UBC Writer in Residence Gerry Shikatani, and creative writing faculty members. Shikatani praises Wood’s Leave-taking, about three lives intersecting, dividing and converging to form the basis of a very finely constructed story. “Written in a seductively cadenced prose, it slips us in and out of their lives over the decades, in vivid vignette-like episodes that move us fluidly through the narrative,” Shikatani said in his critique. “The diction is beautifully textured in a gentle drama that leaves us wondering how each character will move on.” The winning $500 cash prize includes a one-week residency at the Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre. Woodhaven’s rustic setting of whispering pines, trails and meandering wildlife offers an inspiring atmosphere for artists and writers to relax, work without distraction, and discuss their projects. Second prize was won by Glenna Turnbull and third prize by Brittni Mackenzie-Dale.

The popular writing contest is sponsored by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC's Okanagan campus, the Kelowna Capital News, and the Central Okanagan Foundation.




LAST YEAR- UBC student wins 15th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest

Feather in his cap for Creative Writing major

Stringing words together to create a powerful story is what Joe Dermo likes to do. He also hopes to make a career of it one day. So the third-year UBC Okanagan student, who majors in Creative Writing, was thrilled to win the 15th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest. More than 163 stories were submitted for the annual competition, organized by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC's Okanagan campus. Erín Mouré, Award-winning Canadian poet and essayist, announced Dermo’s win at a public reading at the Okanagan Regional Library. Mouré is the sixth annual Writer in Residence at UBC Okanagan. All writers in the Southern Interior of British Columbia —east of Hope, west of the Alberta border, north of the U.S. border, and south of William’s Lake — were invited to enter their original, unpublished works of fiction. Dermo wrote his 1500-word winning story, Salmon at Night, last semester for a creative writing course at UBC Okanagan.

“It’s about a man's jaded outlook on the trivialities of sex and romance,” explains Dermo. “He's aware of the unattainable expectations formed around love that we as a society have created, and is thus a passive and disinterested figure in his own sex life.”

Dermo, a Kelowna resident is awarded $500 for first place. Second-place winner Andrew McMonagle, from Winlaw, won $200, while third-place winner Vernon’s Jade Hignett was awarded $100. Shortlisted authors were Shauna Mosbeck, Marissa White, Carlo Da Ros, Cassandre Campeau-Bouthillier, Bhupinder Jaswal, Brandon Shalansky, Katherin Edwards, and Shelley Wood. Dermo, who was at the Feb 12 reading, calls the win a major step for his career goals.

“It was overwhelming to hear my name in first place,” he says. “I came to Kelowna three years ago with the goal of learning from the vibrant writing community in the Okanagan. Winning this contest doesn't just reflect on me, but also on the professors and classmates who have trained me and helped me along the way."

The popular writing contest is sponsored by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at UBC's Okanagan campus, the Kelowna Capital News, and the Central Okanagan Foundation.




Photography Copyright © 2006 Nancy Holmes