Here are some highlights of past CNFC Events and Contests.
For links to nonfiction prizes and contest websites, scroll to the bottom of this page.
Stranger Than Fiction Cabaret, Toronto, May 25, 2011
“It was a smash success. Standing room only, excellent readings, great venue.”
“A literary cabaret mounted by the Creative Nonfiction Collective drew a star-studded, standing-room-only crowd to Harbord House in Toronto . … the real story, and the hint of things to come, was the audience. It included Toronto writers Susan Crean, Erna Paris, Leon Rooke, Christopher Moore, James Adams,Ted Barris, and Brian Fawcett. This preliminary event left no doubt whatsoever: The Tribe is gathering in force at the Centre of the Universe.”
Well, thank you very much, Ken, for this rave review. I can only say Ditto and Thank you for your part in the proceedings as such an enthusiastic renderer of your narrative prose. You had our full and admiring attention.
It’s true what Ken says: it was SRO before we’d even started (and I thought that was Leon Rooke standing at the top of the stairs). Maggie Siggins hosted, there was a bar and food break between sets not to mention the din of scores of writers chattering, books were sold, and we welcomed into our ranks the amazing young writer Andrew Westoll whose reading was a stunning punchline to the whole evening.
Once again, the Cabaret style reminded us what an astonishing array of voices, tones and subjects this genre represents, as we heard, for example, a pensive reflection on an old photograph (Grady), an ode to a stubborn hollyhock (Simonds), a reminiscence about the late Paul Quarrington (Gillmor), a rueful anecdote about the perils of being a hippy hitch-hiking in the late 1960s (Jackson), Scottish-Canadian humour (McGoogan), the drama of escape from fascist France (Sullivan) and, lastly, the unforgettable introduction to the character known as Tom (a chimp) who had somehow survived the biomedical experiments he endured before rehabilitation.
The evening went without a hitch thanks mainly to the hours of organization and admin that Board member Ann Atkey put in to secure us a (free) venue that proved to be the perfect venue, a bookseller (the tireless Ben McNally), the design of fabulous-looking posters, brochures and bookmarks (the printing of which, at no cost, we are indebted to Board member Cathy Ostlere) and a rolling video showing the designs projected on a screen behind the readers. We also distributed brochures promoting Lynda Baxter’s new company, promoting authors, and enthusiastic young people from the Literary Review of Canada gave out free copies of their journal. And Sue Olding sat at the entry to the room with a big coffee can into which people pitched their donations which we then distributed to the writers/readers (@$30 ea.)
With the last word of the evening, and as prez of the CNFC, I encouraged Toronto-area nf writers to plan another Cabaret, for the Fall season….You know who you are….
It will be interesting to see if we do indeed get new members to confirm Ken’s and my impression that last night’s Cabaret, to launch the CNFC in Toronto, was a triumph.
Post Card Winners
In 2006, the Edmonton International Literary Festival rebranded itself as the country’s first and only literary festival dedicated exclusively to writers and books of literary nonfiction, mainly Canadian. The line-up is an invigorating blend of the hot new books and books revisited for their continuing importance.
Event Magazine, Non-Fiction Contest
Canada Writes Nonfiction Contest
Fourth Genre, Michael Steinberg Essay Prize
Malahat Review, Creative Non-Fiction Prize
Prism International, Non-Fiction Contest
Room Magazine, Annual CNF Prize
British Columbia’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction
Charles Taylor Prize for Literary Non-Fiction
Edna Staebler Award for Creative Non-Fiction
Governor General’s Literary Awards
River Teeth, Nonfiction Book Prize
Writers’ Trust Non-Fiction Prize