Short story contest winners 2023

Alison Braid Woodhaven Residency

Alison Braid of Summerland, took first place at the 25th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest for her short story “Two Day Summer”.

At an event held in April of 2023, contest judge Corrina Chong had this to say about Alison’s work: “Upon reading the very first sentence of “Two Day Summer,” I knew I was in the hands of an expert. Every sentence of this story is beautifully crafted, the characters are richly drawn, and the conflict is layered with delicate precision.”

As part of the top prize, we offer a one-week retreat at The Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre. Alison stayed at Woodhaven in the studio suite for a week in July of 2023, and said that she loved the tranquility of the area and the dedicated time away from distractions to work.

“Having the beautiful window was the highlight of my stay. I wrote most days on the bench, looking out at the trees,” she added.

Braid also said that she can see herself coming back to the studio for more time to work uninterrupted.

“Thank you for such a wonderful experience. I think it’s an incredible bonus to have as a prize along with the cash award – making space and time for your work is so difficult, and Woodhaven did exactly that.”

Read the intro to the story, The Young Boxer , that Braid started writing while at the Woodhaven retreat.

Alison Braid’s work has been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year Contest, and The Bridport Prize in Flash Fiction. She is the author of the chapbook Little Hunches (Anstruther Press, 2020.) She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is currently working to finish a collection of short stories, titled Look Both Ways & Other Stories.

(image: Left to right: Jason (Darian Detta’s brother who accepted the award on his behalf), Kristen Burns, Alison Braid, and Corinna Chong. Not pictured: Madeleine van Goudoever)

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