January 22nd, 2021

Judging begins for Bridge Prize winner

By Kalinowski, Tim on February 5, 2020.

Lethbridge Herald

A local jury is culling through Bridge Prize applicants from across the country to choose the short stories which represent the best of the best student writing Lethbridge and Canada has to offer.

The Bridge Prize was launched in March 2019 as a student short story fiction-writing competition to be awarded every second year. Open to any student registered in a Canadian post-secondary institution at the time of the submission deadline, its focus is to celebrate excellence in the literary arts, to nurture aspiring student writers and to support the transition between student writing and professional literary art. This is the first year (2020) the Bridge Prize has been offered.

A total of 340 manuscripts were received, representing 61 post-secondary institutions from nine provinces, as of the submission deadline on Jan. 20.

“It was exciting to watch the submissions pour in as we approached the deadline, and to see the diversity of colleges and universities represented across the country,” says Dr. Shelly Wismath, dean of the University of Lethbridge’s School of Liberal Education. “Having the Bridge Prize housed in the School of Liberal Education speaks to the U of L’s commitment to a broad integrated education based on engagement in the communities around us, from local to national to global. Our local jury is eager to start reading, to winnow down to a long list to send on to the main jury.”

Each story now enters an evaluation process led by a local jury comprised of campus and community-based academics and cultural leaders who will read the stories and select a top 10 to be forwarded to the main jury by May 30. Thomas King, author and former U of L faculty member, heads the main jury. Other jurors include author and comedian Charlie Demers, University of Calgary faculty member Aritha van Herk, The Walrus publisher Shelley Ambrose, and Leslie Hurtig, artistic director of Vancouver Writers Fest. They will assess the selected stories and arrive at a winner alongside three additional finalists in August. The winners will be announced in September.

The Walrus and Munro’s Books in Victoria, B.C., also co-sponsor The Bridge Prize. The winner of the competition will receive $7,500, while the three finalists will all earn $1,000. All four winners also receive a $200 gift card courtesy of Munro’s Books.

For more on The Bridge Prize visit go.uleth.ca/thebridgeprize.

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