Calling All Emerging Writers
Emerging writers who have yet to publish their fiction in book form (a book is defined to have a length of 48 pages or more) are encouraged to send us short stories of 3,500 words or less. One winner will take home the $1,000 prize!
This year's judge is Mehdi M. Kashani. Look for an interview with him in our March Malahat lite!
Entry fee is discounted and comes with a complimentary one-year print subscription:
$25 CAD for Canadian entries
$30 USD for entries from the USA
$35 USD for entries from elsewhere
Full contest information on the Malahat Review website.
Queer Perspectives Issue Interview with Neil Smith & Simon Boulerice on Fiction
Malahat Review volunteer and past Publicity Manager Patrick Grace talks with Neil Smith (translator, right) and Simon Boulerice (original author, left) about "The Mascara Kid," which consists of two chapters from Boulerice's novel L'enfant mascara.
PG: Do you try to stay as close to the original text as possible, or do you allow yourself freedom to move and write within varied types of syntax, punctuation, and diction?
NS: I do take liberties, provided they’re justified. [...] [T]he two languages use gender differently. French often specifies gender in nouns (l’enseignante/l’enseignant), pronouns (elles/ils), adjectives (belle/beau), and some past participles (venue/venu). Words like “spouse,” “vice-principal,” and even “they” are gender-neutral in English but not in French. The title of the second chapter in English is “Joy Epstein Has a Wife,” whereas its original French title literally translates as “The Vice-Principal Loves a Woman.” To add gender to vice-principal, I simply stated her name.
PG: Les programmes comme SOGI visent à établir les espaces inclues et ouvertes pour les élèves de toute identité et orientation sexuelle. Cela ne veut pas dire que l’intolérance n’existe plus; d’ailleurs, l’homophobie est toujours endémique dans plusieurs régions. Comment est-ce que la situation pour les ados trans était différente en 2008 comparée à 2018?
SB: Je suis parti d’un fait divers qui a véritablement eu lieu à Oxnard en février 2008. Raconter cette époque, pourtant près de nous, révèle le chemin parcouru. Il y a dix ans, la question de la transsexualité (ou de manière plus ample : la question trans) ne faisait pas partie des sujets d’actualité. C’était obscur, alors que 11 ans plus tard, il y a pratiquement des ados trans dans toutes les écoles de l’Amérique du nord. Raconter ce meurtre et cette histoire d'amour à sens unique est, pour moi, un travail de mémoire nécessaire.
Read the rest of Neil and Simon's interview on the Malahat website.
Queer Perspectives Issue Interview with Cooper Lee Bombardier on CNF
Malahat Review Editorial Assistant Kyra Kristmanson talks with Cooper Lee Bombardier about research, revisions, and what it means to be "real" in his essay, "Half as Sensitive."
KK: There is an extensive list of scientific details in this piece, tucked between anecdotes of a much more personal nature. Did that juxtaposition develop organically, or was it orchestrated during your writing process?
CLB: I conducted some formal research on the alligator experiments and originally wanted to write up a more traditionally journalistic feature on the Experimental Animal Farm. I even tracked down the lead scientist, who is now in his 90s, to interview him about the EAF. I spoke with him on the phone. At some point I started to weave my research with these other experiences and observations, from work, from life. The very first iteration of the essay was deemed unsuccessful by a workshop leader, but I felt so compelled by it and reluctant to let it be less weird than it wanted to be. But with each draft, I actually brought in more and more personal revelation. Whenever I teach or participate in a workshop setting, that’s actually something I often find myself advising to other writers: I always want the author to be more present in the piece as a narrator/character. I tend to be more drawn to and trusting of that kind of narration.
Read the rest of Cooper's interview on the Malahat website.
Queer Perspectives Issue Interview with John Elizabeth Stintzi on Poetry
Malahat Review volunteer and past Publicity Manager Patrick Grace talks with John Elizabeth Stintzi about their time living in Jersey, jumping between fiction and poetry, and writing about their gender journey in their poem, "Hale-Bopp."
PG: In “Hale-Bopp,” the narrator finds comfort in a cactus during a time of isolation. Why is this the narrator’s “time of dying,” and why is this their “horror room”?
JES: “The time of my dying" was referring to the deep isolation that I—the "speaker"—was going through at the time, when I was questioning and finally coming to terms with my non-binary identity. Specifically when I realized that I'd reached a point in my questioning where I concluded—most broadly—that I didn't fit within the binary, when I reached this point where I’d realized this true thing about me and could no longer slip back into believing otherwise. Which is pretty overwhelming. There are several evocations "dying" could carry here, but in a literal sense my "suicidality"—a term my therapist used—was at a pretty high watermark. The "horror room" is really just the specific and acute isolation of that little bedroom in Jersey, a recurring setting to many of the poems in my manuscript. Which was never quite the same after Hale-Bopp.
Read the rest of John's interview on the Malahat website.