2018 Constance Rooke CNF Prize Winner: Rowan McCandless

The Malahat Review congratulates Rowan McCandless on winning the 2018 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize. Her entry, "Found Objects," was chosen by final judge Lynne Van Luven.

Rowan McCandless will receive publication in the Malahat's Spring 2019 issue, and of course, the grand prize: $1,000!

Of McCandless's story, Van Luven said: Found Objects gains the reader’s interest immediately by choosing an unexpected, yet brilliantly apt, format for a story of betrayal that is all too tragically familiar.  By employing archeological field notes to unearth, separate and understand a horrendous event in her past, the author allows readers to see her experience from a new perspective.  In so doing, she bares colonialism and exploitation in stark analytical terms and brings a new reckoning into the memoir.  The young girl’s pain becomes all the more haunting when contained in such an impersonal format.  The author’s skilled use of irony makes the underlying personal experience even more disturbing.  This is truly  — as it should be — a timely and devastating work of creative nonfiction.


Rowan McCandless

Congratulations to Rowan McCandless, winner of the 2018 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize!

Rowan McCandless writes from Manitoba's Treaty 1 territory. Her short story “Castaways,” originally published by Prairie Fire, was long-listed for the 2018 Journey Prize. In 2017 her lyric essay “A Map Of The World” won Room’s CNF Contest, and she was long-listed for PRISM international’s CNF Contest. She placed second in Prairie Fire’s 2016 Fiction Contest and Room’s 2015 Fiction Contest. Her work has appeared in Skin Deep: Race and Culture magazine and is forthcoming in the anthology, Black Writing Matters: Reflections on Contemporary Canadian Life and in The Fiddlehead. Discover more at

An interview with Rowan McCandless on her CNF Contest win will appear in the January 2019 Malahat lite e-newsletter.

"Found Objects" will appear in the Malahat's Spring 2019 issue (#206).

Finalists for the 2018 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize:

Jeremy Andruschak, "A Guide for Canadians Imprisoned Abroad"
Danny Jacobs, "Rooms"
Elaine McArthur, "Queen Bee"
Brad Aaron Modlin, "The Summer of the Commune, and Some of the Summers Before That"
Jeannine Pitas, "Honeymoon"

The Malahat Review congratulates all its entrants, and thanks them for their ongoing support of our literary contests and endeavours!