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Pandemic Postcards – Winners Announced

The WGA is thrilled to announce the winners of our 2020 Pandemic Postcards Contest! We invited Alberta authors to share 250 word stories of what inspires their writing during this pandemic, and what they might write on a postcard from home. The winners will receive the following prizes as well as publication in an upcoming electronic chapbook.

Congratulations to all of the winners!

First Prize: $500 – “Full Tank” by Rachelle Pinnow (Calgary)

Jury Comments: “This story wonderfully evokes many of the pre-COVID pleasures that we took for granted, paying exquisite tribute to the tactile nature of roaming to new places, of meeting new people. The author renders in clear, vibrant language a nostalgia, not only towards the past, but also for the future, however uncertain, of a return to what is impossible in the present circumstances: those campfire nights, passing food and drink between friends, a time when “essential” could just as easily have alluded to the pull of sentiment rather than a fight for survival. Full Tank is a beautiful snapshot of longing that radiates with beauty, fragility, and the ever-present need to connect with others, for that simple reassurance of “your warm hand on my bare knee.” 

Second Prize: $250 – “Wild Child” by Laura Manuel (Edmonton)

Jury Comments: “With well-crafted sentences and sharp imagery, Wild Child offers an unexpected and fresh approach to the global pandemic. In a short space, the author gives us a strong sense of the young character who has carved an envious and wondrous space in our locked down world. Wild Child beautifully captures a child navigating the world on her own terms, unfettered by the constraints now imposed on us.”

Third Prize: $150 – “”City of Cats” by Bruce Cinnamon (Edmonton)

Jury Comments: “The author of City of Cats surprises and delights from the opening with an expectation of magic. The Norwegian Forest Cat becomes the wise traveller purring and cuddling by day, but by night! Oh, he’s is not confined by any pandemic! He becomes a wanderer and an adventurer in the strange, dream-lit, surreal night filled magical realism and joy. Defying all rules of human engagement with the city, the cat makes us want for that kind of freedom, that kind of returning to home after a good time away. City of Cats wakes us up to the uninterrupted world of the urban animal.”

Honourable Mentions: $25 

  • “Season of Loss” by Joan Crate (Calgary)
  •  “Hypothermia” by Bret Crowle (Hanna)
  • “Hello from the bunker” by Suzanne Johnston (Calgary)
  • “Time Warp” by Janice Kenyon (High River)
  •  “A moment in pandemic” by Josephine LoRe (Calgary)
  •  “Birthday Cake” by Kim Mannix (Sherwood Park)
  •  “Little Gifts” by Silvia Pikal (Calgary)
  • “A letter to my school Teacher” by Sharmila Pokharel (Edmonton)
  • “Could This” by Michelle Spencer (Pincher Creek)
  • “Noticing Noticing” by Mary Vlooswyk (Calgary)
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