A writer who spent his teenage years on Campbell River has won the 2023 CBC Short Story Prize.
Will Richter, who now lives in Vancouver, will receive a $6,000 award from the Canada Council for the Arts for his winning short story, “Just a Howl.” This story was selected from over 2,300 entries. The story has been published on the CBC Books website, and Richter will have the opportunity to participate in a two-week writing residency at Artscape Gibraltar Point in Toronto.
Richter is a writer living in Vancouver. He spent his youth on Campbell River on Vancouver Island. He attended Timberline Secondary School in Campbell River and has a BA in English Literature from Simon Fraser University.
His stories have appeared or are forthcoming in various Canadian and American literary magazines, including Arts & Letters, The Fiddlehead, Fiction International, subTerrain, The Threepenny Review and Witness. His short stories “Far Away” and “Proverbs of a Little Man” were shortlisted for the 2019 and 2021 CBC Short Story Awards, respectively. Will also wrote and co-created several comic shorts for Düsseldorf, Germany-based Rogue Wave Comics. He is currently working on a collection of short stories and a novel.
Competition judges Kim Fu, Norma Dunning and Steven Price said Richter’s story “was ostensibly a propelled interrogation room story.
“‘Just a Howl’ slyly asks pointed and timely questions about the state of literature and literary culture. Here, books are at once staid and inert relics of a subculture, beautiful and contemplative in a polarized age. Fortress, probably neither, and – quite literally – a weapon of violence,” the jurors said. “The author questioned ‘she’s been defending metaphor, empathy, introspection, and a clever turn of phrase,’ as did the reader. The jury found this clever story unexpected, accomplished, and secretly funny, and unanimously wanted to see What does this writer do next.”
Richter said he was “completely shocked” by the news.
“I’ve followed and contributed to the CBC Short Story Awards competition for years, and winning it was very exciting and inspiring. I really want to thank all the judges who saw something in my story,” he said.
The first runner-up will receive a $1,000 prize from the Canada Council for the Arts. They are Clara Chalmers’ story “Dear M” from West Vancouver, Helen Han Wei Luo’s story “Eel Soup for Growing Children” from Vancouver, and Nicholas Ruddock from Guelph, Ontario. “Marriage” and “Bird Emergent” by Katie Welch from Kamloops.
CBC Books also announced that Annabelle Lehouillier has won the Grand Prix de France for “Les notes de novembre”.
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