The Journey Prize Stories 27


1989: Holley Rubinsky for “Rapid Transits”

1990: Cynthia Flood for “My Father Took a Cake to France”

1991: Yann Martel for “The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios”

1992: Rozena Maart for “No Rosa, No District Six”

1993: Gayla Reid for “Sister Doyle’s Men”

1994: Melissa Hardy for “Long Man the River”

1995: Kathryn Woodward for “Of Marranos and Gilded Angels”

1996: Elyse Gasco for “Can You Wave Bye Bye, Baby?”

1997 (shared): Gabriella Goliger for “Maladies of the Inner Ear” Anne Simpson for “Dreaming Snow”

1998: John Brooke for “The Finer Points of Apples”

1999: Alissa York for “The Back of the Bear’s Mouth”

2000: Timothy Taylor for “Doves of Townsend”

2001: Kevin Armstrong for “The Cane Field”

2002: Jocelyn Brown for “Miss Canada”

2003: Jessica Grant for “My Husband’s Jump”

2004: Devin Krukoff for “The Last Spark”

2005: Matt Shaw for “Matchbook for a Mother’s Hair”

2006: Heather Birrell for “BriannaSusannaAlana”

2007: Craig Boyko for “OZY”

2008: Saleema Nawaz for “My Three Girls”

2009: Yasuko Thanh for “Floating Like the Dead”

2010: Devon Code for “Uncle Oscar”

2011: Miranda Hill for “Petitions to Saint Chronic”

2012: Alex Pugsley for “Crisis on Earth-X”

2013: Naben Ruthnum for “Cinema Rex”

2014: Tyler Keevil for “Sealskin”

Copyright © 2015 by McClelland & Stewart

“Renaude” © Charlotte Bondy; “Last Animal Standing on Gentleman’s Farm” © Emily Bossé; “The Wise Baby” © Deirdre Dore; “Maggie’s Farm” © Charlie Fiset; “Mercy Beatrice Wrestles the Noose” © K’ari Fisher; “Red Egg and Ginger” © Anna Ling Kaye; “The Perfect Man for My Husband” © Andrew MacDonald; “Achilles’ Death” © Madeleine Maillet; “Fingernecklace” © Lori McNulty; “Lovely Company” © Ron Schafrick; “Moonman” © Sarah Meehan Sirk; “Cocoa Divine and the Lightning Police” © Georgia Wilder

All rights reserved. The use of any part of this publication reproduced, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, or stored in a retrieval system, without the prior written consent of the publisher—or, in case of photocopying or other reprographic copying, a licence from the Canadian Copyright Licensing Agency—is an infringement of the copyright law.

Library and Archives of Canada Cataloguing in Publication is available upon request

The lines quoted and parodied on
this page
are from the poem “We Real Cool” by Gwendolyn Brooks, from
The Bean Eaters
by Gwendolyn Brooks.

Published simultaneously in the United States of America by McClelland & Stewart, a division of Random House of Canada Limited

Library of Congress Control Number available upon request


Cover design: Leah Springate

McClelland & Stewart,
a division of Random House of Canada Limited,
a Penguin Random House Company



The $10,000 Journey Prize is awarded annually to an emerging writer of distinction. This award, now in its twenty-seventh year, and given for the fifteenth time in association with the Writers’ Trust of Canada as the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize, is made possible by James A. Michener’s generous donation of his Canadian royalty earnings from his novel
, 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 this year’s Journey Prize will be selected from among the twelve stories in this book.

The Journey Prize Stories
has established itself as the most prestigious annual fiction anthology in the country, introducing readers to the finest new literary writers from coast to coast for more than two decades. It has become a who’s who of up-and-coming writers, and many of the authors who have appeared in the anthology’s pages have gone on to distinguish themselves with short story collections, novels, and literary awards. The anthology comprises a selection from submissions made by the editors of literary journals from across the country, who have chosen what, in their view, is the most exciting writing in English that they have published in the previous year. In recognition of the vital role journals play in fostering literary voices, McClelland & Stewart makes its own award of $2,000 to the journal that originally published and submitted the winning entry.

This year the selection jury comprised three acclaimed writers:

Anthony De Sa
is the author of the fiction collection
Barnacle Love
, a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Toronto Book Award, and the novel
Kicking the Sky
. He attended the Humber School for Writers and Ryerson University. He lives in Toronto with his wife and three children.

Tanis Rideout
is the author of the novel
Above All Things
and the poetry collection
Arguments with the Lake
. Her work has been shortlisted for several prizes, including the Bronwen Wallace Memorial Award for Emerging Writers and the CBC Literary Awards. She has an M.F.A. from the University of Guelph. She lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Carrie Snyder
is the author of the novel
Girl Runner
, which was a finalist for the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, as well as two books of short fiction:
Hair Hat
, a finalist for the Danuta Gleed Award for Short Fiction, and
The Juliet Stories
, a finalist for the Governor General’s Literary Award. She lives in Waterloo, Ontario.

The jury read a total of ninety-six submissions without knowing the names of the authors or those of the journals in which the stories originally appeared. McClelland & Stewart would like to thank the jury for their efforts in selecting this year’s anthology and, ultimately, the winner of this year’s Journey Prize.

McClelland & Stewart would also like to acknowledge the continuing enthusiastic support of writers, literary journal editors, and the public in the common celebration of new voices in Canadian fiction.

For more information about
The Journey Prize Stories
, please visit


Anthony De Sa, Tanis Rideout, and Carrie Snyder

PRISM international
The Impressment Gang
Taddle Creek
Lovely Company
Plenitude Magazine
Maggie’s Farm
The Fiddlehead

About the Contributors

About the Contributing Publications

Previous Contributing Authors


When you’re handed ninety-six short stories—a record number of submissions for the Journey Prize—and given a limited amount of time to read, ponder, and form opinions about them, it’s hard not to feel overwhelmed and underqualified.

So as jury members we each came up with a plan of attack. We made schedules and swore to read two short stories every morning in order to meet the deadline. We sat down with twenty, thirty, forty pages and several cups of coffee and tried to put everything out of our heads: what our fellow jury members would think of a certain story, what they’d think of any one of us for saying we liked it; what should a Canadian short story look like; what are the criteria for good, for better, for best.

We read and we read and we read.

We slipped into the stories themselves and started to think about what themes, what places, what ideas are preoccupying Canadian writers. Sure, there are lakes and cabins, but there’s also the apocalypse and politics with both capital and small
’s. There are strange characters and seemingly ordinary ones. There are wrestlers and ghosts—sometimes together in the same story.

Eventually, even those thoughts went away; once we were sucked into a story, all those questions and concerns simply evaporated. It was when we found ourselves longing to talk about a character, or a moment, or a scene, or thinking about a story or a setting while washing the dishes, that it became clear: we’d found it. We found what makes good, better, best—and we hoped the other jury members did too.

But we knew our individual experiences of a story wouldn’t necessarily be corroborated by another’s experience of the same story. So we were sweating (just a bit) the face-to-face meeting with our fellow jurors, where we’d be obliged to defend our personal favourites. Coming together as a jury forced us to formulate criteria with which to evaluate our choices—forced us, too, to question our assumptions about what ingredients make for a good story. How important, for example, is polish and technical skill? Of course, structural integrity should never be discounted; and yet, and yet. What about the rough stone that knocks a hole in your chest? What about the piece that rambles but pleases the senses?

Does the size of the story matter? Does the depth and ambition of the story matter? Does originality trump a classically elegant construction?

Other books

Come Not When I Am Dead by R.A. England
Friends by Stephen Dixon
Charged by Kerri Ann
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead
Unknown by Unknown
Desde Rusia con amor by Ian Fleming
MB01 - Unending Devotion by Jody Hedlund