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Thursday, October 20th

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WCDR 2016 Phoenix Short Story Contest Winners

Judged by Alissa York

1. (Winner) “Burnout”
By Linda Kingston
“Burnout” is a beautifully balanced story told in an unforgettable voice. Only a truly light touch could produce this narrative of grief, loss and violence that shimmers with humour and hope.

2. “After School”
By Steve Lloyd
The world of “After School” is deftly drawn, with each character brought to life in a few assured strokes. A nuanced evocation of one boy’s angst, this story offers up a fresh take on the suffering born of unrequited lust.

3. “Eternity”
By Elizabeth Girard
“Eternity” explores a loss of mythic proportions via the perceptions of a dutiful child. Through an accumulation of heartbreaking detail, we enter the claustrophobic embrace of a family in crisis, and confront the twin forces of death and birth.

4. “The Steps You Take”
By Vera Constantineau
“The Steps You Take” is funny and frightening in equal parts. A portrait of recovery told in a natural, confiding voice, this story picks a path through the minefield of sobriety, carrying the reader along for the ride

5. “Mahogany Red”
By Kathy Stinson
A tense and troubling story, “Mahogany Red” ushers the reader inside a family with violence at its heart. Life on this particular farm is anything but bucolic, yet the woman of the house endures Her strength, along with a brave streak born of desperation, shapes the narrative’s exhilarating turn.

The Writers’ Community of Durham Region congratulates the top 20 finalists of this year’s Phoenix short story contest and all other participants. This year’s finalists are:


After School Steve Lloyd
Birds of a Feather Derek Mascarenhas
Bittergreen My Life Sarah Van Goethem
Burnout Linda Kingston
Constellations Bill Zaget
Eternity Elizabeth Girard
Full Time Steve Lloyd
How Merrill Got Her Groove Back Maaja Wentz
Mahkenuk Maureen Curry
Mahogany Red Kathy Stinson
Out of the Ashes Lynda Allison
Phoenix Elaine Jackson
Seven Ravens Jessica Moore
Summer Apples Sally Moore
The Fortunate Man Ann Rocchi
The High Way Sally Moore
The House from Turk’s Cove Alison Dyer
The Steps You Take Vera Constantineau
U-Bahn Sylvia Chiang
You Lift Me Up Margaret Alexander

PHOENIX – WCDR Short Story Contest



Final Judge – Award-Winning Author Alissa York



1st Place $750

2nd Place $500

3rd Place $250


Submission Deadline date:  Sunday, November 29th, 2015

If you have already entered the contest, you may revise your submission and resend before the deadline to without penalty or additional fees. Submission Fee – $20 


The 2015 WCDR’s Short Story Contest, PHOENIX, will offer 20 longlisted entrants the opportunity to have their work read by lauded Canadian author, Alissa York. Submitted stories need not mention a Phoenix, but must echo a theme or image that represents either the mythological phoenix or what it represents.

Before you send your work, make sure that it follows our submission guidelines stated below:

  • You must be 18 years of age or older to enter the WCDR Short Story Contest.
  • Fiction only, please. Works of poetry or non-fiction will automatically be disqualified.
  • Entries must be original and unpublished elsewhere. This means that an entry must not be under consideration elsewhere for publication or broadcast, accepted elsewhere for publication or broadcast, or entered in any other contest. Work that has appeared on the Internet is considered published and is ineligible.
  • Judging is blind. Entries should not identify the contestant. You will identify yourself on a separate form when you submit your story or stories. Any contestant who identifies themselves on their entry will automatically be disqualified.
  • Submission to the contest must be follow the standard contest format: 12 point, serif typeface (such as Times New Roman), double spaced, with 1-inch margins on either side. File formats accepted: .doc and .docx.
  • The maximum word count is 2,500 words. Any entries longer than 2,500 words will automatically be disqualified. There is no minimum word count.
  • The Contest opens at noon on Saturday, March 21, 2015, and closes at midnight on Sunday, October 25, 2015.
  • International entries are welcome.
  • An entry consists of one story. The entry fee is Cdn$20 for Canadian entries, and US$30 for international entries. Contestants may enter as many times as they like, but each entry attracts the same entry fee.
  • Entries received after the contest has officially closed will be ineligible. In the event of late submission, your submission fee will not be refunded.
  • A single writer may only win ONE prize.
  • Contest winners will be contacted directly, either by email or by telephone.
  • Winners will be announced at the WCDR’s March Roundtable, Saturday, March 12, 2016 (and online that same day).
  • No entries will be returned.
  • The submission fee is non-refundable.
  • By entering this contest you agree to grant WCDR (and its sponsors) first publication rights to the entry. Short-listed stories will be included in the contest anthology.  This right is automatically waived if your entry does not make the shortlist.

**Members of the 2015 WCDR Short Story Committee are ineligible to enter.




Contest is now closed! Good luck to all entrants!