Announcing the judge for the 2017 carte blanche/CNFC contest

This year’s carte blanche / CNFC creative nonfiction contest judge is Andreas Schroeder.

Not only is Andreas a prolific writer and a voracious reader, he’s also a veteran nominee and past winner and judge of several writing and book awards.

Carte Blanche is one of Canada’s most substantial literary magazines, and its annual CNF competition always attracts editors’ special attention due to its outstanding submissions. But this year’s longlist was so impressive, and its three finalists so totally neck-and-neck, I may have to consult King Solomon for a few suggestions.”

Watch for the shortlist announcement on Friday, March 24. The winner will be revealed at the 2017 CNFC Conference, May 5 and 6 in Vancouver.

Andreas currently holds the Rogers Communications Chair in Creative Nonfiction at the University of British Columbia (UBC Creative Writing). To date, he has published an impressive 23 books. He has been a finalist for the Governor-General’s Award (Shaking It Rough, 1976), the Sealbooks First Novel Award (Dustship Glory, 1984), the Arthur Ellis Award for Best Non-Fiction (Cheats, Charlatans & Chicanery, 1998), and the BC Book Prizes’ Ethel Wilson Fiction Award (Renovating Heaven, 2008). He won a National Magazine Award in 1990, a Stephen Leacock Award in 1997, and a Canadian Association of Journalists’ Best Investigative Journalism Award in 1991.

Announcing the 2016-17 carte blanche / CNFC contest long list

carte blanche and the Creative Nonfiction Collective Society are pleased to announce the long list for our 2016-17 creative nonfiction competition:

“To the Lighthouse” by Kelley Jo Burke (Regina, SK)
“Doing Better” by Ann Cavlovic (Gatineau, QC)
“Life and Good Fortune” by Patti Edgar (Calgary, AB)
“Darkroom, Daydream” by Matthew Hollett (St. John’s, NL)
“The Unicycle in My Garage” by Barb Howard (Calgary, AB)
“Heavy Wait for Silence” by Lee Kvern (Okotoks, AB)
“A Chaotic Jumble of Infinite Possibility” by Joshua Levy (Montreal, QC)
“Zion’s Children” by Susan Scott (Waterloo, ON)
“The Wedding Rings” by Norah Wakula (Hamilton, ON)

Congratulations to everyone who made the long list and a big thank you to all who participated!

Thank you also to competition readers: Nicole Breit, Lorri Neilsen Glenn, and Gregory McCormick.

Watch for the short list announcement on Friday,  March 24, 2017.

The winner of the competition will be announced at the 13th Annual CNFC Conference, which will be held in Vancouver from May 5 – 6, 2017.


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2017 CNFC Conference registration is now open!

Our annual members conference takes place May 5 to 6 in Vancouver, BC.

Register today!

Early bird rates (by March 31): $100 ($80 for students)

Regular rates (April 1 to 21): $125 ($80 for students)

Last day of registration is April 21.

The conference fee includes the following:

Friday, May 5:

CNFC Gala Dinner and Literary Cabaret

Saturday, May 6:

Keynote lecture featuring Deborah Campbell

An in-conversation session with Hal Wake and Joy Kogawa

Three concurrent member-led workshop sessions featuring Andreas Schroeder, Ruby Swanson, Betsy Warland, Crystal Chan, Myrna Kostash, Julie Salverson and Ellen Bielawksi.

Plus: Plenary discussion featuring CNFC founding members, coffee break, members book table, and a lunch-hour CNFC annual general meeting.

Read the full 2017 program details.

Note: You must be an active CNFC member to attend the Annual CNFC Conference. Memberships are only $50 ($25 for students). Find out how to join today!

UPDATE: A limited number of tickets are available to members and non-members wishing to attend JUST the Saturday morning of this year’s conference in Vancouver. Find out more.

Accommodations Continue reading

How to Host a Literary Cabaret in Six Easy Steps

(photo credit: Elsie Neufeld)
(photo credit: Elsie Neufeld)

Do you miss seeing and talking to your fellow creative nonfiction writers in the long months between conferences? Do you want to develop more awareness of great nonfiction in your own town? The CNFC can help you create your own literary cabaret evening right where you are. We have a modest fund to help with promotion, including the design and distribution of digital flyers or posters, and can contribute toward venue rental, if need be.

Over the past few years, CNFC members have held successful cabarets in Montreal and Calgary and offer the following tips on how it’s done. Thanks to Julija Sukys who wrote the original instructions after hosting the fabulously successful Montreal cabaret, Stranger Than Fiction, in 2013.

Essentials

    1. Find a venue with a sound system, food and drink, and sufficient space for people to sit, mingle, buy books. Encourage everyone to eat and drink to support your venue host.
    2. Send out a call for CNF readers. You may want to invite one or two well-known writers. Decide in advance what your optimum number of readers is — six to eight is a neat number that doesn’t overwhelm the audience. Let them know what the time limit is and that you’ll need to keep them to it. Ask them to send their bios well in advance of reading.
    3. Ask a local bookstore to come and sell the authors’ books. If that’s not an option, ask a friend to help you with the sales and ask the authors to bring their books to the event.
    4. Work with the CNFC to create promotional material. CNFC has a small budget for this.
    5. Send the poster out far and wide, including to your local library. Send a brief notice of the event to your local media as a PSA. Address it to the local “event listings” in your local paper or community notices at radio stations.
    6. Take lots of pictures and write a blog about it for our website.

Additional suggestions:

    • Have a break in the middle so people can buy more drinks and food.
    • Emcee the event yourself. Introduce each reader and hold up your hand (or have some other gentle signal) to let them know when their time is up.
    • Plan something fun — like door prizes. You can ask readers to donate a few books and then think of some fun quiz questions.
    • Optional: Charge a small cover fee at the door then distribute it to the writers at the end of the evening.

And the winner of the carte blanche/CNFC contest is…

Congratulations to Nicole Breit for her essay “Spectrum”!

nicole-breit-photoNicole Breit is a poet and essayist who lives and writes in the suburbs of Vancouver. She was nominated for the Malahat Review 2016 Open Season awards, the 2015 Room poetry prize and the 2015 PRISM International CNF contest. Her debut poetry chapbook, I Can Make Life, was a finalist for the 2012 Mary Ballard poetry competition. Her work has been published in carte blanche, Exhale and other print and online publications.


Spectrum (excerpt)

RED

The wild strawberry flush across my chest, her cheeks. An illicit kiss in her basement suite.
Five years in, we start counting: two eggs bled away casually every month.
Then, six months of flirting, negotiations. Two hopeful women. A captivated man.
Cosmopolitans. Our red leather couch under mistletoe and holly berries. Jazzberry cartoon hearts radiate around all of us.
“Please don’t break our hearts,” I say.
“I won’t.” His scarlet cape promise. The last time we see him.
A year and a half later the rouged Costco employee, white hair rolled into a hairnet, hands out samples. Lights up, says “Such a beautiful baby!” and asks again, “But really, who’s the real mother?”
My girlfriend — the birth mother — looks down at her kid-size cup of tickle-me-pink sauce and says flatly, “This tastes terrible.”

You can read the rest of the winning essay in the next issue of carte blanche. Stay tuned!


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