Prince Albert author Brooks McMullin has been selected as one of five finalists for the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize as announced Thursday. McMullin was nominated for his short story Deville at Home.
The shortlist was selected from among 33 selections on the longlist announced last week, the longlist was selected from almost 3,000 English-language submissions.
McMullin was honoured to be selected for the longlist.
“It’s an affirmation that you have a hunch about your writing and you don’t know if it’s good, it must be good in some way if it can reach this …stage,” McMullin told the Herald at the time.
In addition to McMullin, shortlisted stories include Kids in Kindergarten by Corinna Chong (Kelowna, B.C.), Stump by Miranda Morris (Hamilton)●Leaving Moonbeam by Ben Pitfield (Toronto) and Her First Palestinian by Saeed Teebi (Toronto).
A university lecturer of literature and composition, McMullin writes short stories, novels and screenplays. He was a runner up in the annual 2012 CBC Short Story Prize for the Canada Writes Program, with “Pax,” and was a quarter-finalist in 2006 Zoetrope screenwriting contest for feature-length script, Coal War. McMullin was born and raised in Cape Breton.
A team of writers and editors compiled the list. The jury then selects the shortlist and the eventual winner from the readers’ longlisted selections. The 2021 jury is comprised of Soubankham Thammavongsa, Craig Davidson and Lee Maracle.
In the story Wayne Deville is one of five new teachers who begins a teaching job in a northern Alberta town and all of them fail to fit in. Deville, a veteran of duty in Bosnia, the Middle East and Somalia, fails because he has PTSD.
In a release, McMullin explained that he has tutored ex-military college students who have told him stories. Those stories stayed with him and helped to create Deville’s experience.
The concept for the story came from a shelved novel called The New Teachers.
The winner will be announced on April 29.
The winner of the 2021 CBC Short Story Prize will receive $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts , have their work published on CBC Books and will have the opportunity to attend a two-week writing residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
Four finalists will each receive $1,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and have their work published on CBC Books.