CBC Short Story Prize

Hi all.  Made the short-list for CBC’s short story prize – grand prize winner to be announced later in March.  You can read the story, see a photo!, and read a short interview here:


I think there’s a voting mechanism, so if you like the story and are of a mind… I’d highly appreciate it.  Words really can’t express how I feel right now.  I’ve never submitted anything before, so this is all new – but awesome.  Thanks so much CBC!Banner-ShortStory


Dream hard, rage hard.

165 thoughts on “CBC Short Story Prize

    1. Well, I somewhat knew it was coming Mark, they’d arranged the interview and stuff earlier… but still unreal. Definitely not a normal Monday. Now if you should feel like voting… have it, sir.

  1. Now just like I said to Aussa when I voted for her in the BlogHer awards, this better be worth all the spam I’m about to get man… Great stuff bud. Congratulations.

    I’m not sure if you’d posted that piece on your blog before? But if so, I missed it. Great writing and very moving. My latest effort is about wanting to have a threesome with two Aussie bloggers! I don’t they give you any prizes for that do they..?

    1. Sorry dude, hopefully not too much spam, but I would appreciate the vote if you liked the story. No, never posted this before, I write some pieces for blogging, some for myself, this is one of the latter I guess.

      A threesome with two Aussie bloggers, eh? Dude, your stuff is meant for some late night reading with the missus… I’d totally give you a prize if I could, hopefully a Canadian shout-out will do for now.

      1. Oh for sure man. I already voted. Apparently it won’t affect the result but you could still be crowned Canada’s most popular blogger!

        Love that you read my stuff with the wife by the way.

    1. I just read, commented, and voted. This is a marvelous piece Trent…absolutely loved it. You delivered what that stunning photo promised. Bravo my friend. And all the very best luck…though you have already won.

      1. I feel so… I don’t quite know how to describe this, sitting at work as I am. The work side never meets the writing side, really, so there’s no one to share with here – but I’m glad I can share with you and everyone else in the out here.

        Isn’t that photo unreal? That guy is a Toronto photographer, I ran across his work a while ago. He takes the rooftopping phenomenon to amazing levels… he has some breathtaking photography.

        1. It gives me vertigo just looking at it…but stunning it is! And I’m glad you can share this side of you here too…it’s important to be able to I think.

    1. Thanks so much Elyse. Glad you liked the story.

      I’m going to have to share your nickname for me with my wife… I keep telling her I’m trendy and all, but she never believes me…

      1. I can’t remember why I started calling you that — I am sure it was something to do with what a trend-setter you are. Positive.

        1. Welfare cheques, here we come… oh wait, I dunno if you have those down there. But you could make a good living north of the border – just have to withstand the cold.

      1. You’re welcome! Can we vote more than once?

        We actually fly back today. The last few days have been pretty rainy, which has let me catch up on blog reading 🙂 It’ll be good to be back!

  2. This is amazing!!! And to think this is your first contest. Wow!! I’m really impressed with your story (commented)! Of course, you have my vote. I hope you win!!! It’s great to see your photo, too. I feel like I’m meeting you for the first time. Good luck, Trent. I’m sending out my positive vibes into the universe.

    1. Amy, thank you! Yah, first time releasing anything anywhere, I don’t even remember why I did it. Thanks for voting, and yes that’s me, and yes I’m horribly embarrassed. Thanks for the reblog and the positive vibes.

      Now you owe me another draft of your story, right?

      1. That’s just dizzying that you did this on your first contest. Later, I’ll say “I knew him when….” My pleasure to spread the word. I FB’d you, too.

        Keep pushing me on that one! Yes.

  3. Wow. Congratulations! How can you stand to be doing regular work “stuff” right now? And you were interviewed. It’s like you’re famous. And great pic by the way. The world finally knows who Trent Lewin is … well, at least what he looks like 🙂

    The story was superb. You have a very unique style that captures the reader from the first word. Oh, and I voted too. They made it sound like it was only for Canadians, so I don’t know if it counted.

    Wine and scotch all around!

    1. Wasn’t easy, Jennifer. Yah I’m feeling a bit famous, honestly. And yeah that’s me, there goes the anonymity. But I like my blog friends, so no worries.

      Glad you liked the story, and thanks for voting. Wine and scotch whenever you wish – although I thought you liked gin or vodka or something, no? What does one drink at Mardi Gras, by the way? Those big sugary hand grenade drinks?

      1. You were probably going to have to let the anonymity thing go anyway. It’d be hard to be a best selling author and have no one know what you look like.

        I like wine and champagne the best. But I make vodka and gin drinks too. Scotch, no. I was just being nice since I know you like it.

        For Mardi Gras it’s a lot of vodka/cranberry drinks at Molly’s and sometimes we mix our own vodka drink in the hotel room and carry it around in a backpack. We’re too cheap to pay for too many drinks at the bars. Although, my husband loves the Old Fashioned drinks at the Sazerac bar and I like the Carousel bar. I’ve never touched a hand grenade, thank you very much.

        This year we did shots of Baileys from a shoe – you know, because of Old Gregg.

        1. I liked my anonymity… but I like this better. No doubt.

          You just made me really thirsty for a drink… when I’m still at work (8 pm!). And counting. Grrrr, this is really the time for office liquor, but I got none.

  4. Reblogged this on Amy Reese Writes and commented:
    Congratulations to Trent Lewin! His short story has been selected for the shortlist for the CBC Short Story Prize. His story is one of five chosen from 3,200 entries. His story is brilliant! You must read. Although voting has no bearing on who is chosen as the winner, I’m sure it can’t hurt. Go check it out and vote.

    1. Thanks Guapo – I was hoping you’d remark on my incredible handsomeness too. Throw a guy a bone. This is the one and only photo of me out there anywhere.

  5. What a wonderful story! So many senses invoked. I cast my vote (even though I’m not Canadian–hopefully that’s okay; it seemed to take 🙂 ).

  6. There is no other more deserving of something like this. Congrats and kudos to you! I will hoist a beer or two soon in your honor.

        1. Ha! Well played. Well, we would gladly take you off the train as you motor along on the residency, and there would of course be much indian food waiting for you.

          1. Train from Sacramento to Toronto would take about 64 hours of time on the train, about 13 hours on layovers in Chicago, Buffalo, and CBN (which I can’t figure out what Canadian city that might be) before arriving in Toronto. $500 for a regular seat, almost $1,000 for a sleeper.

            May have to rethink this.

            1. Yikes! 64 hours? That seems way too much. But lots of stops I guess. CBN I believe stands for the Canadian border… they make you detrain (I hate that word), inspect your papers, and then make you get back on.

              Buffalo is about 1.5 hours from Toronto, right across from Niagara Falls pretty much.

              1. That makes sense.

                50 hours of it is Sacramento to Chicago. That is a trip I would love to take. Heck, I’d like to take the rest of it as well, but unless I flew back, that would be a whole heck of a lot of hours sitting on a train. Which, of course, is the whole point of the residency, isn’t it? Something tells me they won’t be giving away trips that are that long.

              2. Sounds unlikely… I guess you could always build on the trip they do give. When do you expect to hear back about the residency?

              3. No idea and, to be honest, I have no idea if my application was successfully submitted. Hitting the submit button takes one back to their blog piece about the residency without any confirmation of successful submission and there is no email confirmation either. There have been a lot of comments on the blog from other people who have had the same experience and Amtrak has not responded to the questions. Very frustrating.

  7. Congratulations, Trent! I read your story, and I have to say–wow! Raw and gritty and powerful, and also heartbreaking. Well done. And look at you–a proper writer in your own right!

  8. Congratulations!!! To make it to top 5 out of 3200 is beyond impressive!
    And I feel like I won something, too, because I finally know what you look like, and I got to read your award-winning story.

    1. Cheers, X. Feels odd having a photo out there. I always believe it’s about the writing, not the writer. My wife took that photo. She is digging this whole thing. She’s also the person that suggested I blog. I don’t remember why I listened to her. Maybe because she’s smart.

      1. And is a good photographer – I thought that picture was done by a professional photographer.
        Does your wife ever regret suggesting that you start blogging? It’s good for the development of writing skills, finding readers, etc. – but it has to take a lot of time which has to come from somewhere.

        1. I’m glad she pushed me to do this. Most of my writing is for self-consumption. Blogging made me think about actual audience. As you might be able to tell, I still write as though I’m talking to myself, at least at times. I have many bad habits.

          I just try to make time. I’m going to write anyway, some of it goes on the blog, some doesn’t. I don’t sleep much… that’s irritating.

            1. I think the thing I’m most grateful for is the people I’ve met in the blogging world. I certainly think blogging has allowed me to try different writing bits and pieces, and I appreciate that, but not so much as the people – the funny ones, the serious ones, the profane ones, the proud ones, the damanged ones, all of them. This really is a good place, and these are good people in my opinion. I’m glad to be here, and if my wife hadn’t pushed me (she didn’t push that hard, but I would never have thought to try myself), it wouldn’t have been. I’m aware and fully know that what I write is not really compatible with blogging in general, it’s not what most are here to read – I’m still mortified sending out an 1800 word story and expecting that people will read it, cause honestly I don’t have the time or patience to read things that long. It may not be the right venue for what I want to write, how I want to push the writing, but I’ve learned to enjoy the voices of other people as much as I do the ones in my head. I don’t know if that makes sense, but it’s as close as I can get.

    1. Thank you my friend, and thanks for the reblog. Much appreciated. I’m trying to keep myself level over this whole thing, but the excitement just keeps bursting out.

  9. Reblogged this on merlinspielen and commented:
    Trent has been short-listed in this contest. Down to 5 wonderful short stories. And I have to say Trent’s story is my favourite! There is a link to the contest and an opportunity for you to vote on the stories. Go read the stories!

  10. Though the vote will not earn you the prize, it will at least earn you bragging rights, but more importantly personal satisfaction, for a story that has a witty and sharp turn from a slow start into the crux of the story without unnecessary delay and a mix of humourous with ironical view into humanity’s issues -both the big and the small.

  11. I’m sorry I didn’t see this till now. Congratulations! You absolutely deserve it. I voted for you, buddy. Beautifully written. It made me feel sad and free all at once. Thank you for sharing and good luck!

  12. Hey Trent I read your short story the other night and have been meaning to comment about it. I love it a boy trying to escape from his life at home and who also feels the need to help the little neighbor girl. Very sweet and touching, Well done
    So when do you find out who wins the contest?

  13. Hi Trent, I was just checking in to see if you won. I’m guessing from your comments that you didn’t. Don’t let that discourage you. Being in the top five is still a huge stepping stone for furthering your writing career and it’s still an honor! And remember reading/writing is subjective. Not everyone is going to love everything, but someone loved it enough to get it in the top 5.

    1. No big deal Jennifer, I was disappointed in a big way but as you say, getting that far is really cool. This just makes me want to try harder.

        1. I have yet to read the winning story. I still don’t know how any of this happened. First time submitting to anything, and it was a throwaway piece I wrote in about an hour in a scotch bar. I don’t understand this writing thing. Which is why I keep coming back for more.

            1. I just wanted to win. But I got over it. And damn if I won’t outwrite myself ten times over in the future, I despise losing and I hate it when I don’t write good. Make sense? could be the wine talking. Probably.

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