Fiction Contest 2023: The Winners

We are so excited to bring you the results of this year’s Fiction Contest, judged by Heather O’Neill. The wait is finally over: here are this year’s winners!

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FIRST PLACE: Eggshells, by Rebekah Skochinski

Rebekah Skochinski is a writer based in Northwestern Ontario. She is currently working on several projects all at once, including a novel that takes place along a river. Her writing has been published in Grain, The New Quarterly, Taddle Creek, and The Humber Literary Review, among others.

I found the writing in this story so vibrant and funny. It was also a story that took so many risks with language and content. Eggshells captures the stream-of-consciousness thoughts of a little girl who is going to visit her Baba from the Old Country. The ways the cultures clash and the ways in which the little girl internalizes her grandmother’s rituals and gifts, is a crafty little wonder. — Judge Heather O’Neill

SECOND PLACE: Gangnam Station, Exit 10, by Lee Kyung Min

Lee Kyung Min is a writer and translator. She was born in Seoul, South Korea and grew up in Austin, Texas. Currently, she is a senior at Princeton University, pursuing a major in Comparative Literature and a minor in Creative Writing. Her work has been acknowledged by the Bread Loaf Translator’s Conference, Texas Book Festival, the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, and more. You can find her next projects on her website!

This story built a whole city for me. I was following along with the protagonist as she travelled the subway in Korea. All the simple details made it noisy and smelly and messy and colourful. Her trip is juxtaposed with the recent murder of a woman. And soon all the women in the subway, ordinary and unremarkable as they might seem, are moving in the same direction. — Judge Heather O’Neill

 

THIRD PLACE: Seasons Change, by Melissa Ren

Melissa Ren is a Chinese-Canadian writer whose narratives tend to explore the intersection between belonging and becoming. She is an editor at Tales & Feathers, the winner of the WriteHive Sponsored Writer Award, and a grant recipient of the Canada Council for the Arts. For more information, visit linktr.ee/MelissaRen or follow @melisfluous on Twitter and Instagram.

This story was so elegant and perfect. There was not a spare word. In this small story, a relationship between a man and woman is explored in a shattered time frame. The reader is confronted with the breakup of a relationship, followed by the infidelity that caused it and then the touching meeting of future spouses. It leaves you altered by the ways in which we lose love. And how although it cannot be helped, we toss our most precious people away, always looking for freedom. It is so non-judgemental, it seems observed by an angel. — Judge Heather O’Neill
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Rebekah and Kyung Min’s First and Second place winning pieces will be available to read in print, in Issue 47.2! Melissa’s piece is available to read on our website now, via the link above.

As always, we are hugely grateful to everyone who shared their writing with us and our judge. We hope that we get to read your work again in the future: be it for a contest, for a print issue, or for a website feature. We hope you keep writing, and keep submitting.

A special thank-you to this year’s wonderful judge, Heather O’Neill, for her time, effort, and care with this year’s contest submissions. We are so grateful to have such a notable Canadian visionary be part of our contest!

The featured image on this post are of the winners listed above. From left to right: Rebekah Skochinski, Lee Kyung Min, and Melissa Ren.

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