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November-December 2012

1st place, fiction: Shuffle Gods

Katie Lynes

The rules would save them, of that he was certain. Sixty percent certain, anyway. Parthi dipped a wooden spoon in the pot simmering on the stove. Nadia had asked for Indian, and though it wasn’t his favourite food—the smells reminded him of glittery childhood festivals—he wanted to please her. As he stood stirring the masoor […]

Writing Mr. Wong

Susan Crean

Susan Crean’s decision to write about her family servant and dear friend Mr. Wong takes her on a journey that reveals just as much about the ever-shifting nature of multiculturalism and identity in Canada as it does about Wong’s life It’s a brilliant Friday morning in August, 2011 just past nine o’clock, and the sidewalk […]

Fare Well: 1st place, creative non-fiction

Donna Besel

“Strip mine your memories,” said Jake, my writing teacher. So I did. And found that, even after forty-two years, the last sight of my mother’s face still haunts me. She lay, cocooned in pillows, dressed in a silk blouse and dark wool suit. Her cheeks glowed like marble, bloodless and cool. Her hair, combed and […]

Elect them all

David Weisz

Remember When Stephen Harper promised to reform the senate? More than five years later, that promise is a mess Stephen Harper’s ire towards the unelected Canadian Senate is longstanding and well-documented. A statement on his 2004 campaign website read, “Stephen Harper will cease patronage appointments to the Senate. Only candidates elected by the people will […]

2nd place poetry: Opening the Door

Gillian Wallace

You can’t draw your knife against the future, argue with a window that hasn’t shut, carve fault lines through a saint’s faint heart or stop walls with a can of paint. Tracing the outline of Catharina’s tired rim on the moon, you know colliding with a galaxy, a leaf, a feud will break the sea […]

2nd place creative non-fiction: Unfelled: A Naxal Encounter

Richard A Johnson

1. On a mountain road deep in the Indian jungle, a pair of tree trunks blocks the passage of a jeep. Inside, a wary driver and a terrified cameraman, both town dwellers hired by a local non-governmental organization to ferry us into the district of Kandhamal—the Kashmir of southern India, for its verdant highlands swathed […]

2nd place fiction: Knock on Wood

Will Johnson

Darby called me from the police station early in the morning. Her voice sounded tiny like a bird when she said Daddy I need you to come get me. Any father can tell you the way that feels when your child is in trouble and your blood gets hot. They say in emergency situations the […]

2012 Great Canadian Literary Hunt: 3rd place poetry winner

Dan MacIsaac

Layer Freakbird crammed with debeaked broilers into a battery cage 24/7 above a conveyer belt running eggs & shit out of sight. Transgenic mutant, all our sci-fi fantasies of star voyages, extraterrestrial traffic & galactic superpowers are reduced to you, hormone-pumped, gene-spliced producer of engineered food – ovoid fodder fried in greasy spoon diners sunny-side […]

3rd place creative non-fiction: State Controlled Paprika

Rita Bozi

“State controlled paprika.” I’m having a sarcastic moment with a tin, the colour of robin’s egg blue. I’m enamoured with this rectangular container, its edges rounded, its paint worn and its body slightly dented. I clutch the tin and feel something unexplainable. Under its smooth folk art exterior, outside of its practicality, and under its […]

3rd place fiction: Man, Woman and Child

Shawn Syms

Kate liked to flirt with the letter carrier even though she suspected he was gay. She appreciated a challenge, craved variety. His portly build and short stature reminded her of Al Waxman from King of Kensington, only the new mailman was terminally shy. His trim beard and baby face conjured Maher Arar’s chubby younger brother. […]