The New West LitFest 2019 short story competition shares stories of loss, grief and healing.
For the past 3 years, Darychuk Law has sponsored a Short Story competition as part of LitFest New West. This year, partnering with the Arts Council of New Westminster and the New West Hospice Society, they presented a short story competition focussing on compassion and sharing stories about loss, grief and healing. The hope of this competition was to help open the community to dialogues about these difficult issues.
The first prize in the 2019 Darychuk Law Short Story Competition in the Adult category went to Chelsea Comeau, with her story “SOLACE”, while the top spot in the Youth category went to 17-year-old Anika Schreiber for her story “Eleanor”.
Chelsea Comeau is a freelance writer and editor whose work has appeared in Freefall, CV2, and Room magazine. She was awarded honourable mention in the 2018 CV2 2 Day Poem Contest, and the 2018 CV2 Young Buck Poetry Prize. Her poem “The Paddlewheeler” was nominated by Room magazine for a Pushcart Prize.
“SOLACE” shares the story of a grieving family who connects with a stranger and gains an unexpected source of support in their time of need. The narrator and her mother are visited by the police officer who discovered the tragedy and who is still grappling with the impact it had on his own life. Linked by trauma, the three find solace in their connection.
Anika Schreiber is a seventeen-year-old student at Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam, BC, whose passion for literature and fine art has led her to pursue a career in creative writing. She loves swimming and high fantasy novels, and is eager to learn more about the captivating world of writing.
The story “Eleanor” revolves around the untold stories and the relationship between two very different generations. The narrator, having spent a childhood begrudgingly visiting a grandmother that she neither understood nor cared for, discovers her grandmother’s journal after her passing. Although it’s too late for her to reconnect with her grandmother, she sees beyond the memories of her own youth and finally gains an understanding of her grandmother’s puzzling life.