And the Winner is…

The judges for the Fiction side of the Voice Writing Contest have provided their selections, so I can tell you who the winners are, and over the next few weeks, display their work as well as some of the other pieces that were submitted for the contest.

But before I do, I’d like you to meet our fiction judging panel, and give to them the thanks and kudos they deserve for being willing to spend some of their time helping out the Voice and AU students.

The Fiction side of the contest received over 30 entries, and reading carefully through all of them were Dr. Angie Abdou, Ms. Heather von Stackelberg, and Ms. Barbara Lehtiniemi.

Dr. Abdou is Associate Professor of Creative Writing at Athabasca University. She has published eight books (short fiction, novels, academic work, and creative nonfiction). Her first novel The Bone Cage was a finalist on Canada Reads. Her most recent book, a memoir called This One Wild Life, just debuted on the Canadian bestsellers list.  And if you follow book news at all, you’ll see that This One Wild Life is getting great reviews from all over the place.  If the name sounds familiar it’s because we reviewed her previous book, Home Ice, here at The Voice Magazine, and the take-away from that is it’s definitely a book worth getting.  Personally, I couldn’t be more proud that she agreed to do us the honour of looking through AU student writings.

Our second judge, Heather von Stackelberg makes her living teaching about Artificial Intelligence. She has also taught about the barriers to creative expression, and she won the Journal of Integrated Studies 10th anniversary fiction contest, which was published earlier this year.  In addition to that, she has her BSc in Botany, a BPA in Communication studies, and, of course, her MA in integrated studies.  A well-rounded background, you must agree, and a huge thank you to her for adding to our judging panel.

Finally, we have our own Barbara Lehtiniemi, a freelance writer and photographer from Ontario. She’s a graduate of Athabasca University, having completed her Bachelor of General Studies degree in 2018. Her articles have appeared in several publications, including The Voice Magazine, The Review newspaper, Macleans, The Ontario Dealer, and, most recently, Chicken Soup for the Soul: Making Me Time.  She also still keeps up to date with what’s going on at AU, and is a great help to me collating our events, scholarships, and other short news things that keep you informed about what’s happening at AU.  I don’t think I can thank her enough for all the things she does for The Voice Magazine, and helping to judge this year’s collection of fiction entries is one more thanks I need to add to the list.

But let’s be honest, you want to hear who the winners are, right?

In first place, and the winner of a $500 Amazon Gift Certificate is Catherine Victoria Moise, with her story Stray Dogs.

And in second place, and the winner of a $250 Amazon Gift Certificate is Blythe Appleby, with her story titled Northern France, 1905.

But that wasn’t all.  The panel noted that they wanted to give an honourable mention to the story In Repair, by Kent Provost.

Congratulations to both the winners and the honourable mention, and we’ll be spotlighting their work as well as the work of a few of the other entrants over the coming weeks!