Earlier this week it was announced that ‘To Have to Wait,’ a short story of mine that appeared in The Malahat Review‘s Winter 2011 issue, will be included in this year’s Journey Prize Stories anthology, and will be a contender for the $10,000 Journey Prize a little further down the road. Here is some information on the prize from the McClelland & Stewart website:
The $10,000 Journey Prize, now known as The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, is awarded annually to an emerging and developing writer of distinction for a short story published in a Canadian literary publication. This award is made possible by James A. Michener’s generous donation of his Canadian royalties earnings from his novel Journey, published by McClelland & Stewart in 1988. The Journey Prize itself is the most significant monetary award given in Canada to a developing writer for a short story or excerpt from a fiction work-in-progress.
The winner of the Journey Prize is selected from among the stories that appear in the current volume of The Journey Prize Stories, published annually in the fall by McClelland & Stewart.
For over a decade The Journey Prize Stories has established itself as one of the most prestigious anthologies in the country, introducing readers to the finest emerging Canadian writers from coast to coast. It has become a who’s who of up-and-coming writers, and many of the authors whose early work has appeared in the anthology have gone on to distinguish themselves with acclaimed collections of stories or novels, and have won many of Canada’s most prestigious literary awards, including the Governor General’s Award, the Trillium Award, the Chapters/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and The Giller Prize.
Previous winners of The Journey Prize include Yann Martel, Alissa York, Jessica Grant, Yasuko Thanh, and Timothy Taylor. Other writers that have appeared in the anthology are: David Bergen, Michael Christie, Michael Crummey, Craig Davidson, Emma Donoghue, Charlotte Gill, Elizabeth Hay, Steven Heighton, Lee Henderson, Annabel Lyon, Pasha Malla, Alexander MacLeod, Lisa Moore, Heather O’Neill, Rebecca Rosenblum, Sarah Selecky, Madeleine Thien, and M.G. Vassanji.
All in all the Journey Prize, and inclusion in the Journey Prize Stories anthology, is regarded as a sort of holy grail for emerging writers in Canada. It’s an honour just to be included in the anthology, and I’m not gonna lie to you, if I won it I’d probably drink a beer or twenty.
I have to thank The Malahat Review for publishing ‘To Have to Wait,’ the staff at McClelland & Stewart and The Writers’ Trust of Canada, who run the Journey Prize, the jury that selected the story (Michael Christie, Kathryn Kuitenbrouwer, and Kathleen Winter), and my agent Meggie Macdonald at Transatlantic Literary Agency, who has championed my work for nearly two years and is working hard to get a novel sold. I also want to thank Leah Chamberlain for editing my work before any journal editor or publisher laid eyes on it, and Cort McMeel, who published an excerpt from my near-finished second novel in Noir Nation, and who continuously supports my work with profanity laced emails and calls for literary revolution.
Below is the link to the facebook page for The Journey Prize, where they are announcing each one of the included stories on a regular basis. Keep an eye out for further updates, and maybe go ahead and ‘like’ the announcement of ‘To Have to Wait.’ Thanks to everyone for their support.