Nanaimo writer Greg Brown has been shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize for emerging Canadian writers. (Photo courtesy Denisa Kraus)

Nanaimo’s Greg Brown a finalist for $10,000 Journey Prize for emerging writers

Brown had two stories up for this year’s Writers’ Trust/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize

Nanaimo author Greg Brown is a finalist for the $10,000 Journey Prize for emerging Canadian writers.

On Sept. 12, the Writers’ Trust and McClelland and Stewart announced the three-person shortlist for the annual award, which honours the up-and-coming writer with the previous year’s best short story first published in a Canadian literary journal.

“It was a really unexpected surprise to wake up to,” Brown said.

“Being shortlisted is a total thrill.”

Brown is nominated for Love, a “sombre” drama about a death in a family published in the Vancouver journal Pulp Literature.

Brown says he feels like he’s on a bit of a roll, as earlier this year he won a writing prize through UBC’s creative writing journal Prism International, but he said he’s keeping his recent success in perspective.

“On some level I’m also aware of the fact that a lot of this is pretty fleeting and I kind of just want to enjoy the excitement of it now without worrying about really where it could go or not go, as the case may be,” he said.

Brown is up against New Westminster-based writer Shashi Bhat, whose story Mute appeared in The Dalhousie Review, and Hamilton, Ont.-raised Liz Harmer, whose story Never Prosper was published in The New Quarterly. Each finalist receives a $1,000 prize for making it this far.

Brown was first informed he made the original 12-person long list on his 35th birthday, calling the nomination “a delicious birthday surprise.”

Brown was the only writer to have two stories nominated. All 13 pieces will appear in the anthology The Journey Prize Stories 30. Brown said that’s an honour in itself.

“Truthfully, the writers who have been featured in the story anthology are some of the writers who I’ve looked up to for almost my entire reading life, so it feels impossible, unreal and just totally thrilling,” he said.

The winner will be named at the Writers’ Trust Awards in Toronto on Nov. 7.

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