2015 Constance Rooke CNF Prize Winner: Tessa Maria Liem

The Malahat Review congratulates Maria Tessa Liem, of Montreal, Quebec, on winning the 2015 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize. Her entry, "Rice Cracker," was chosen by final judge Jane Silcott from 180 entries, our biggest CNF Prize draw to date. Maria received $1000, a book prize package of nonfiction books worth over $100, and her memoir will be published in the 2015 Winter issue.

Of Liem's story, Silcott said: The author’s meditation on blood and belonging and on the language we use to parse and measure ourselves unfolds as a deft weave of reflection and experience. A meeting, a boat ride, and a parting form the narrative bones of this piece, and through that simple architecture, the writer hangs questions imposed from without about the provenance of her (or his) eyes, hands, teeth. From the crudeness of an office pool to guess the author's race to an uncle’s loving observation, a quiet urgency underlies this writer's voice (that runs so smoothly, it’s like reading one long thought unfurling); and one senses that the shape of a life hangs here—in the space between questions and indeterminate answers. A beautifully considered piece: driven by quiet emotion, delivered through art and craft.

Maria Tessa Liem

Congratulations to Maria Tessa Liem, winner of the 2015 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize!

Maria Tessa Liem was born and raised in Alberta then raised some more in Toronto where she earned a B.A. in Linguistics and English Literature at the University of Toronto. Her poetry has been published in Soliloquies and Petal Journal and she is currently doing an MA in Creative Writing at Concordia in Montreal.

Jane Silcott’s debut collection of essays, Everything Rustles, was a finalist for the Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize in the 2014 B.C. Book Prizes. Her writing has appeared in several literary magazines including Eighteen Bridges, Geist, subTerrain, The Malahat Review, enRoute, CV2, and The Utne Reader, and has been recognized by the CBC Literary Awards, Room Magazine, the Creative Nonfiction Collective and the National and Western Magazine Awards.

Read an interview with Maria on her winning memoir, conducted by Malahat volunteer Jack Crouch.

"Rice Cracker" will appear in the Malahat's Winter 2015 issue (#193), a special themed issue dedicated entirely to works of creative nonfiction.

Finalists for the 2015 Constance Rooke Creative Nonfiction Prize:

Kim Aubrey, "Witness"
Danny Jacobs, "Ghostly Transmissions from John D. Rockerfeller"
Emily McKibbon, "A Love Everlasting"
Cyrus Samii, "My Friend Mustafa"
Meg Stainsby, "Afloat"

The Malahat Review congratulates all its entrants! Thank you for your support.