Okanagan Short Story Contest shortlist announced

UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) is pleased to share the finalists of the 2021 Okanagan Short Story Contest.

The Okanagan Short Story Contest awards the best new short stories by fiction writers in the Southern Interior of British Columbia: east of Hope, west of the Alberta border, north of the US border and south of Williams Lake. Past winners have gone on to publish with Penguin Random House, Arsenal Pulp Press, and NeWest Press, as well as numerous magazines and journals nationally and internationally.

A total of 140 short story entries were submitted for the adult category, and 82 stories for the high school category.

“We were blown away by the number of submissions this year,” says FCCS professor Nancy Holmes. “It goes to show how many new and emerging writers we have in the region.”

Shortlisted authors: adult category

  • Steven Defehr – Kelowna, B.C.
  • William Arndt – Kelowna, B.C.
  • Chris McMahen – Salmon Arm, B.C.
  • Kathryn Gamble – Kelowna, B.C.
  • Kelly Fosbery – Westbank, B.C.
  • Carol Zuckerman – Kelowna, B.C.
  • Jorie Soames – Kelowna, B.C.
  • Cliff Hatcher – Kamloops, B.C.
  • Cheyenne Bergenhenegouwen – Vernon, B.C.
  • Kristin Burns – Vernon, B.C.
  • Tressa Ford – Nelson, B.C.
  • Daniel Tracy – Kelowna, B.C.

Shortlisted authors: high school category

  • Alexandra Murphy – Vernon, B.C.
  • Erika Vanderluys – Summerland, B.C.
  • Gulbag Singh – West Kelowna, B.C.
  • Paris Phillips – Kelowna, B.C.
  • Courtney Westfall – Kelowna, B.C.
  • Judy To – West Kelowna, B.C.
  • Ainsley Dempsey – Kamloops, B.C.
  • Sierra Pardoe – Nelson, B.C.

Fun facts about a few of our finalists: Chris McMahen won the contest in 2010. Kelly Fosbery is a current UBCO student. Carol Zuckerman is our 2020 winner and a UBCO MFA alumna. Jorie Soames took second place in our 2020 contest. Kristin Burns is a UBCO MFA alumna. Daniel Tracy is a UBCO alumni, and Sierra Pardoe is the sister of our 2018 high school winner, Bethany Pardoe.

FCCS is offering cash prizes to the top three stories—$1,000, $400 and $200; the first prize winner also wins a one-week retreat at The Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in Kelowna. The top story by a high school student receives a cash prize of $200. Co-sponsors of the contest are FCCS, TD and the Central Okanagan Foundation.

The winners of the Okanagan Short Story Contest will be announced at a virtual event by our contest judge, Frances Greenslade, acclaimed Canadian author and English professor at Okanagan College. The event will take place on Friday, April 16, 2021 at 7 p.m. To register, go to fccs.ok.ubc.ca/short-story