Creative Non-Fiction Contest 2022: The Winners

Drumroll, please! Here are the three winners of our 2022 Creative Non-Fiction Contest, as chosen by judge Luna Ferguson. A big congratulations to these three writers! Here is what Luna had to say about their works:

First Place: Clink Canoe, by Sydney Roberts

Sydney Roberts (Məlidi) is Kwakwaka’wakw; Ligwilda’xw/ Weiwaikum on her mother’s side and Kwakiutl, Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw, Tlingit as well as Scottish on her father’s side. She grew up on the traditional territories of the Ligwilda’xw, practicing culture and language. For the last five years she has resided on unceded Squamish, Tsleil-waututh and Musqueam territories, recently graduating from UBC with a Bachelors of Education with a specialization in Indigenous Pedagogy.

I was absolutely compelled by this piece. Its energy pulsed from its pages. The narrative is multilayered, and with each layer, the writer’s creative workings brings the reader closer to the story. This piece is fresh, innovative, and visually rich with words written by a beautiful storyteller. I found myself wanting more, but knowing that the end would come on its final page. I truly felt that this writer fell into the page as they wrote this piece, and I’m honoured to have read it. It will stay with me. Fantastic work. Please keep writing, sharing and telling your stories. – Judge Luna Ferguson

Second Place: the word for melancholia, by Katie Brewer Ball

Katie Brewer Ball is a writer based in Western Massachusetts. They are currently working on a novel about arctic ice islands and teen theater queens in the year 1997. Their writing has been published in Little Joe, Bomb Magazine, Dirty Looks, ASAP/Journal, Artforum, and by BOFFO and ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. Brewer Ball teaches Performance Studies at Wesleyan University.

As someone who has a background in both academic and non-fiction. I wasn’t looking for a piece that merged both, but “a word for melancholia” is just so provocative in its approach to telling its story. It is deconstructed but yet constructed. The writer establishes a sense of chronology, yet in creative and enchanting ways. I loved the use of theory, and the pondering of what’s been said by others while the writer offers their own cogent and creative stories to tell, theorize, and leave on the page. Well done! – Judge Luna Ferguson
Ceilidh Michelle is an author from rural Nova Scotia based in Montreal. Her first novel, Butterflies, Zebras, Moonbeams, published by Palimpsest Press, was shortlisted for the Hugh MacLennan Award for Fiction. Her second book, a memoir called Vagabond: Venice Beach, Slab City and Points In Between, was published by Douglas & McIntyre in September 2021. Michelle has contributed to Maclean’s Magazine, Saltwire, Entropy, and Broken Pencil, among others.
I found this piece left an important impression. I could feel the passion of the writer’s voice on the page. It is authentic, driven by their own experience, and it is critically relevant for the times we are in. The Tower will absolutely not hold. It’s a call to action coming from stories that sound an alarm about our current state. I really enjoyed the interplay of temporal experiences and reflections. Beautifully written, and a necessary read! – Judge Luna Ferguson

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You’ll find Sydney and Katie’s winning entries in Room 46.2, to be published in June of 2023. You can read Ceilidh’s piece via the link above. Our heartfelt gratitude to our judge, Luna Ferguson, for sharing with us their time and expertise this summer, and for being so prompt and thoughtful in their comments. We are truly grateful.

Thank you to everyone who shared their work with us, we hope to read more of your writing again soon. In case you missed the earlier announcements, you can find the longlist and shortlist here. Our Creative Non-Fiction Contest opens each year in April.

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Cover of Audacity, featuring artwork "Guts" by Gaby D'Alessandro (a split torso with guts spilling out in muted browns, greens, and reds)

ROOM 45.3 AUDACITY
Edited by Molly Cross-Blanchard
Assistant Edited by Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros
Shadow edited by Ellen Chang-Richardson and Michelle Ha

In This Issue: Gwen Aube, Georgina Berbari, Brandi Bird, Alex Maeve Campbell, Karmella Cen Benedito De Barros, Ellen Chang-Richardson, Megan Cole, Molly Cross-Blanchard, Kayla Czaga, Gaby D’Alessandro, Petranella Daviel, Kate Finegan, Marlowe Granados, Hannah Green, Michelle Ha, Kendra Heinz, Eileen Mary Holowka, Barbara Hranilovich, nic lachance, Isabella Laird, Angélique Lalonde, Elene Lam, Khando Langri, Tin Lorica, Merkat, Mridula Morgan, Em Norton, Moses Ojo, Sandy Pool, Maezy Reign, Josephine Sarvaas, Sarah Totton, Preeti Vangani, Christine Wu, Lucy Zi Wei Fang, Eugenia Zuroski

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