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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CNFC/carte blanche 2016 contest shortlist

The CNFC and carte blanche are pleased to announce its 2015–2016 creative nonfiction contest shortlist.

The winner will be announced on April 23 in Banff, Alberta at the 12th annual CNFC conference.

The shortlist was selected by contest judge, Deni Béchard.

“Spectrum,” by Nicole Breit

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.

“Through the Damascus Gate,” by Jane Finlay-Young

jane-finlay-young-photoJane Finlay-­Young was born in England’s Lake District, and has spent most of her life in Canada. She is a published author of both fiction and non­fiction. She has just completed a memoir, Certain, about her foray into Orthodox Judaism, and is also writing the screenplay for her first novel, From Bruised Fell (Penguin, 2000). She lives in Halifax.

 

“Cannot predict now,” by Lezlie Lowe

Leslie LoweLezlie Lowe is a freelance print and broadcast journalist and journalism educator based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. She recently completed the manuscript for her first book, No Place To Go: Answering the Call of Nature in the Urban Jungle. It’s about public bathroom access. Yes. Really.

 

Congratulations to our three finalists and thank you to everyone who participated!


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