Gabriola Island writer shortlisted for CBC Non-Fiction Award for second time – Nanaimo News Bulletin
A writer from Gabriola Island is back on the long list for the CBC Non-fiction Prize with a rewritten version of a story she last submitted to the competition four years ago.
On September 15, CBC unveiled the long list for this year’s Non-Fiction Award and among 28 writers from across Canada is Gabriola’s Libby Gunn for her short story, White fish. The grand prize includes $ 6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week writing residency at the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, which Gunn says would be a “fantastic” opportunity.
“Just so you don’t have to prepare food and worry about cleaning the house…
This is the second time Gunn has been shortlisted for the award as an earlier version of the same story, titled Whitefish harvest, was on the long list in 2017.
“I guess this story wants to be told. [It] obviously has some impact, ”Gunn said. “And I was actually pretty excited because sometimes I write things and then I’m not that attached to them, but this one, in a way, is one of the stories I keep coming back to. and I keep reworking and I’m really quite connected to myself. “
In White fish, Gunn documents the traditional Délı̨nę First Nation whitefish harvest on the shores of Great Bear Lake in the Northwest Territories, and how a fisherman connects the ritual with his family and the land.
“I’ve always been very interested in hunting, trapping and fishing,” Gunn said. “In fact, I am in total awe of the people who lived, survived and prospered in the North, period. So I always really wanted to learn everything I could about it.
Gunn has lived in the Northwest Territories for almost 30 years, including Délı̨nę, a community accessible by air of 400 people. The fisherman in her story is a friend of her and invited her to observe the whitefish harvest.
“I just thought it was such an amazing event on so many levels that I really wanted to share it with people’s permission,” she said.
In 2017, Gunn’s story was all about the whitefish harvest. In the 2021 version, Gunn goes on to tell a side story about his own connection to generational land. Gunn grew up in Winnipeg and spent the summers at his grandparents’ cottage on the Lake of the Woods, just across the Ontario border. After being away for 40 years, she recently bought land there and was able to reconnect with her family.
“I spent a lot of time wondering, ‘OK, why is this story really important to me? Why do I always come back to this particular story and want it to go somewhere and share it with people? ‘ She said. “And I realized that it really was a connection to the land and the family… and this story of mine kind of weaved into the story I had written about whitefish fishing. . “
The list of CBC Non-fiction Prize finalists will be announced on September 22, and the winner will be announced on September 29.