The University of Victoria, on behalf of The Malahat Review, is pleased to announce that this year’s recipient of the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction is Lisa Bird-Wilson for her short story, "Counselling," which appeared in the Malahat's Indigenous Perspectives issue (#197). Her story was chosen by award judge, Lisa Moore.
Established in honour of the celebrated Victoria novelist’s contribution to Canadian letters and to the University of Victoria, the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction recognizes the excellence of The Malahat Review’s contributors by awarding a prize of $1000 to the author of the best short story or novella to have appeared in the magazine during the previous calendar year. The winner, selected by an outside judge, is announced prior to the publication of The Malahat Review’s Spring issue.
Of Bird-Wilson's story, Lisa Moore says: "In 'Counselling' a Métis woman visits her counsellor and comes on to him. It soon becomes difficult to know for sure who is counselling whom. Consider the loud, over-the-top laugh of her first-person narrator, desperate and vulnerable. The fresh rendering of female sexuality, unabashed, full of hunger and dangerous need. The power imbalances between men and women articulated with sharp complexity. The glass-shattering honesty in the voice, the half-hidden anguish that sears the page. Spare writing, sparing no one. The audacity of Lisa Bird Wilson’s writing—brave, taut, exacting—leaves the reader altered. This story made me catch my breath, made my heart flip-flop in my chest."
Lisa Bird-Wilson is a Saskatchewan Cree-Métis writer whose stories have appeared in periodicals and anthologies across Canada. Lisa’s fiction, Just Pretending (Coteau Books, 2013) won four Saskatchewan Book Awards, including the 2014 Book of the Year, and was a finalist for the national Danuta Gleed Award. Her poetry book, The Red Files (Nightwood Editions, 2016), was recently shortlisted for two Saskatchewan Book Awards.
Lisa Moore has written two collections of short stories, Degrees of Nakedness and Open, and three novels, Alligator, February and Caught, as well as a stage play, based on her novel February. Lisa’s most recent work is a young adult novel called Flannery. She has studied conceptual art at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. She teaches Creative Writing at Memorial University in Newfoundland. Lisa has written for the magazines Canadian Art, Walrus, and Elle, as well as the Globe and Mail, the National Post and the Guardian. Alligator and Caught, and her short story collection Open were nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her novel February was long-listed for the Man Booker Prize and won CBC Canada Reads in 2013. She is also the winner of the Writer’s Trust Engel Findley Award for Fiction and the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for the Canada/Caribbean region.
For more information about the Jack Hodgins Founders’ Award for Fiction and how you may support it through a donation, please email The Malahat Review.