We’re Celebrating the
SHORT WORKS PRIZE
online this year with this announcement
to all Award Recipients and Honourable Mentions!
The Alvin A. Lee Award for Creative Non-Fiction:
Margaret Nowaczyk: Room for More
“The essay is restrained yet vulnerable, skillfully-constructed, focused and insightful.” – Juror comment
Laura Sergeant: Landscape of Freckles
“The language in this essay is marvellously specific and compelling.”
– Juror comment
Anuja Varghese: Stop Rewind
“This essay marries hard truths with a captivating story.” – Juror comment
– JUROR: Sally Cooper
The Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd. Award for Poetry:
Jennifer Tan: Geraniums and A Black Cat
“Beautiful in its movement. This poem invites the reader to glide cat-like through each stanza, coming face to face with the hidden truths and deep desires that lurk beneath the mundane surface of everyday life.”
– Juror comment
Lishai Peel: In the Flower Garden
“Transports the reader on a fascinating journey through moments, seasons and memories, while grappling with the ever-shifting realities of identity, time and place. I like this poem because it reminds me that poetry – at its core – is magical.” – Juror comment
– JUROR: Leo Dragtoe
The Hamilton Public Library
Freda Waldon Award for Fiction:
Margaret Nowaczyk: Yours to Keep
“The specificity and detail of Nowaczyk’s prose make this magical realist story sing. Line by line, the author knits Polish folklore and the trials of complex, well-drawn characters as they confront the everyday horrors of miscarriage and infant loss. Nowaczyk doesn’t shy away from darkness — rather, she skillfully plays in the shadows. A beautiful piece.”
– Juror comment
Anuja Varghese: Chrysalis
“Follows a woman’s inner metamorphosis as she finds herself pulled between two men, two cities, the past and her possible futures. With masterful pacing and lyrical prose, Varghese explores grief, death, sex, love, and motherhood in beautiful detail. A delightful read.” – Juror comment
– JUROR: Jaclyn Desforges
The Redeemer University Award for Fiction:
Lis Jakobsen: Forgiveness in the Circumference
“This Hamilton based story takes a circular look at two older school mates reconnecting. The sentence structure is strong, with a very natural flow. The characters are believable and that can be difficult in such a short work. The author does this very well with phrases like, “swaggery blond boy” and this, “…which explained the hollows in his face.” Great job!”
– Juror comment
Taylor Wilson: Waking Up
“There is a compelling forward motion in this story about the past. The tension is very well developed and consistent throughout. Suspense works well here too. You don’t really know where the story is going until you get there. Great idea!” – Juror comment
Kathy Rupcic: The Directions for the Day
“Clearly a lot of thought went into each word choice in this quite short short. Well done! Zontag is a compelling and very unique character. The use of time throughout is also really effective here.” – Juror comment
JUROR: Denyse Terry
Hamilton Arts & Letters Award for Poetry:
Violet Arenburg: Sorrow’s Cruel Disfiguring Touch
“The effective formatting that underpins ‘Sorrow’s Cruel Disfiguring Touch’ makes this compelling poem even better. Really stood out.” – Juror comment
Marnie Saskin: Between Two Summers
“There’s a lot here! ‘Between Two Summers’ just stays with me and deserves the Honourable Mention.” – Juror comment
JUROR: Denyse Terry
Hamilton Arts & Letters Award for Creative Non-Fiction:
Carol Greene: Systemic Vulnerability
“Growing up, coming out, nursing shortages, elder abuse: so many current issues in an impressively smooth piece. This is a compelling story that the author allows to unfold without getting in the way of it; an excellent example of how confidence in the writing (and readers) can elevate every element of a story. Excellent tension throughout.” – Juror comment
Ming Ma: In-between Desires
“With touching simplicity and strong stand-alone lines, this short graphic story is a delight.” – Juror comment
JUROR: Denyse Terry
The Rotary Club of Hamilton AM Young Writers Awards:
Rand Amer: Clouds Aren’t As Soft As You Think – George Floyd
Rochelle Rosales: for bees (Poetry)
Oyinloluwa Aderibigbe: The Age Old Conundrum (Poetry)
Ruth Ann Bos: Forest Fire (Poetry)
Morgan Faragher: Noctis or Nix (Fiction)
Ben Hemsworth: The Sunbathers (Fiction)
Hannah Rosales: When I Find You (Fiction)
Illyria Volcansek: One Hundred and Twenty-Two Seconds (Fiction)
YOUTH HONOURABLE MENTIONS:
Franklin Gaydos: The Tome Runners (Fiction)
Ian Will: A GAY TEENAGE DREAM (Fiction)
Sarah Walker: Servitude (Fiction)
Simon Versteeg: Wetness (Fiction)
Natalie Begley: Debris (Poetry)
Olivia Walker: On The Sandy Shore (Poetry)
– JUROR: Hamilton Arts & Letters magazine
The Gillett Reminiscence Awards for Memoir Writing:
Simone Rotstein: Healing Through Writing
Laurie Reece: Letter to My Little Brother
Shannon Chartrand: Double Vision
Jennette Lukasik: Brandon 1970’s
Judy Mendelson: I Fell in Love with a Nerd
– JUROR: Jeff Griffiths
Congratulations to all who have been Recognized with a Short Works Prize this year!
AND GREAT THANKS to our SWP Sponsors
and Community Partners!
The Short Works Prize for Writing is presented in Partnership by Hamilton Arts & Letters magazine and the Hamilton Public Library. Many thanks to McMaster University, Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd., James Gillett, Redeemer University, The Rotary Club of Hamilton AM, the City of Hamilton, and The Hamilton Spectator!
Meet our 2020 SWP Jurors!
Sally Cooper writes novels, creative nonfiction, screenplays and short stories. She has published three acclaimed novels, including With My Back to the World (Wolsak & Wynn, 2019) and the linked short story collection Smells Like Heaven (2017). Her essays have been longlisted for the Edna Staebler Personal Essay Contest and the Short Works Prize.
Leo Dragtoe is a Hamilton artist, musician and writer. His work has appeared in Time and Place Quarterly and Hamilton Arts and Letters magazine. His poem Everybody In (a sonnet to Isolation courtesy of Covid-19) was recently featured as part of Hamilton Arts Week 2020, and presented at the Art Gallery of Hamilton for HA&L’s 12th Anniversary event. Leo was our SWP Mystery Guest last year when we were able to celebrate the SHORT WORKS PRIZE at the Hamilton Public Library. His heart beats in rhythm and poetry runs in his veins.
Jaclyn Desforges is the author of a picture book, Why Are You So Quiet? (Annick Press, 2020), and a forthcoming poetry collection with Palimpsest Press. Jaclyn is a Pushcart-nominated writer, and winner of the 2018 RBC/PEN Canada New Voices award, the 2019 SWP Hamilton Public Library Freda Waldon Award for Fiction, the 2019 SWP Judy Marsales Real Estate Ltd. Award for Poetry, and the 2020 Hamilton Emerging Artist Award for Writing. Her first chapbook, HELLO NICE MAN, was published by Anstruther Press in 2019. Jaclyn’s writing has been featured or is forthcoming in Room Magazine, THIS Magazine, The Puritan, The Fiddlehead, Contemporary Verse 2, Minola Review and others. Jaclyn is currently writing a collection of short fiction with the generous support of the Canada Council for the Arts. She lives in Hamilton with her partner and daughter.
Denyse Terry is a writer and editor living in Hamilton’s Corktown neighbourhood. Past publicist with the Hamilton Fringe Festival. Bill Dunphy writing in The Hamilton Spectator described Denyse’s story BOOM as a, “lyric essay, with Terry finding echoes and after-images of explosions throughout her search of Hamilton’s history and her own family’s past.” Denyse is SWP’s most experienced juror and says that the many submissions to the OFF-THE-RADAR categories “are rich, varied, honest and frankly, inspiring.”
Jeff Griffiths’ short fiction has been published in various literary journals across Canada. He teaches Creative Writing, and Memoir Writing for Mohawk College’s Writing for Publication program. He also facilitated writing groups for Older Adults for the Hamilton Public Library. He twice won the Hamilton Arts award for short fiction, was short listed for the Fiddlehead 2017 short fiction contest and placed first for Subterrain’s 2018 short fiction contest.
The Short Works Prize Awards Celebration will not take place at the Hamilton Public Library this year due to Covid-19.
Note to all Award Recipients and Honourable Mentions: Your SWP Awards Certificate will be sent to you by the Hamilton Public Library.
Send HA&L a photo of yourself with your SWP Certificate and we’ll tweet it @ShortWorksPrize ! Email your photo to: HAL@HALmagazine.com
Follow SWP on Twitter: https://twitter.com/shortworksprize
Many thanks to ALL who participated in SWP this year!
The Short Works Prize for Hamilton-area authors was founded by Hamilton Arts & Letters magazine, Bryan Prince Bookseller, and the Hamilton Public Library in 2014.