Shortlist for 2018 WordsThaw Prize

WordsThaw Prize Shortlist Reading 2018

We're excited to announce the shortlist for our inaugural WordsThaw Prize!

Contest judge Arleen Paré selected six shortlisted candidates (poetry and text). The finalists are listed below; Arleen's comments are in italics.

On March 8, the finalists will read their pieces at a special gala, where the winners will be announced thereafter. The winners, one in each category (poetry and micro-text) will take home $500 each. The winning entries will be published in UVic’s student newspaper, The Martlet, the week of March 22.


Zoe DickinsonZoe Dickinson, "Skipping Stones"

It is unusual for such a short poem to be submitted to a poetry contest, unless it’s a haiku contest, let alone be selected for the shortlist.  But this poem has such pizzazz, such a crisp tone, such human relevance, that it deserved this recognition.

Zoe Dickinson is a Victoria-based poet and bookseller with a Master in Library and Information Science from Dalhousie University. Her two favourite places are the library and the beach.


Anne MacleanAnne Maclean, "Mt. Warburton Pike, Saturna Island — or Perspective"

What I enjoyed about this poem was the careful topographical detail, the issue of borders, boundaries, in the midst of the vast coastal geography. 

Anne Maclean’s poetry has been published in not enough night, the online journal of Naropa University’s writing program. She works as a legislative editor in Victoria. 


Christine SchrumChristine Schrum, "The Joke's on You"

This poem exhibits interesting construction, the point of it suddenly upon us as we read to the final line – unexpected.

Christine Schrum’s poems and creative nonfiction have appeared in EVENT, Grain, McSweeney's, Smithsonian Magazine, The Atlantic, and other publications.


Terra HawkTerra Hawk, "Milk and Cookies"

The gentle rendering of domestic, maternal detail is very appealing.  The writing seems effortless.  And then the surprise. 

Terra Hawk is a writer of the whimsical, macabre and bizarre. Her writing accomplishments to date include GVPL’s 2017 Tiny Story Contest winner, as well as poetry published in Victoria Verse’s anthology, Epiphany Kitchen.


Bethany ScholfieldBethany Scholfield, "Teeth or Tires"

This piece of microtext stands out mainly for the writing itself, the use of language.  Phrases like “buses are so naked here. . “ and “It’s raining hard now. The fat pellets stream down the window behind my seat like tears, . . .” offer a certain appealing sensuousness. 

Bethany Scholfield is an aspiring writer, and a first-year student at the University of Victoria. She can safely say that in her nineteen years, she's never been so simutaneously honoured and petrified. 


J. D. ZapfJ. D. Zapf, "I remember everything I've ever broken"

First, I liked the title.  I liked the reverence and the kindness in this piece, deftly rendered, not sentimental or overwrought.  I enjoyed this piece for its honesty too.

J. D. Zapf is a Canadian writer born in Merritt, British Columbia. His work has been published in The Malahat Review, No Fun City, and online.