Home > Contests > The 2017 Creative Nonfiction Contest Winners!

We received so many amazing pieces of writing for this year’s contest. We’re excited and honoured to announce the winners of this year’s Creative Nonfiction Contest, as selected by Alicia Elliott! You can read all three pieces in our Winter issue 56.2, so be sure to pick up a copy!

Grand Prize Winner

“Between a Rock and a Hard Place” by Gwen Benaway – Toronto, ON

Gwen Beneway PicGwen Benaway is of Anishinaabe and Métis descent. She has published two collections of poetry, Ceremonies for the Dead and Passage, and her third collection,Holy Wild, is forthcoming from BookThug in 2018. A Two-Spirited Trans poet, she has been described as the spiritual love child of Tomson Highway and Anne Sexton. In 2015, she was the recipient of the inaugural Speaker’s Award for a Young Author and in 2016 she received a Dayne Ogilvie Honour of Distinction for Emerging Queer Authors from the Writer’s Trust of Canada. Her poetry and essays have appeared in the Globe and Mail, CBC Arts, Maclean’s Magazine, and many other publications across Canada.  


First Runner-Up

“Autobiography of an Iceheart” by Kai Pyle – Minneapolis, MN

Kai Pyle Pic

Kai Minosh Pyle is a Métis and Anishinaabe writer and language advocate who lives in the Dakota homelands in occupied Bde Ota Otunwe. They are currently pursuing a PhD in American Studies at the University of Minnesota on the subject of Anishinaabe two-spirit histories. 





Second Runner-Up

“It Pays to Increase Your Word Power” by Erin Soros – Toronto, ON

Erin Soros (1)

Erin Soros has published fiction and nonfiction in international journals and anthologies, including the Iowa Review, Short Fiction, ELQ, Geist, and enRoute. Her stories have appeared on the CBC and BBC as recipients of the CBC Literary Award and the Commonwealth Award for the Short Story. She lives in Toronto.





Alicia Elliott (@WordsandGuitar) is a Tuscarora writer living in Brantford, Ontario, where she worries she may one day die. Her writing has been widely published – most recently by Room, Maisonneuve, Grain, The New Quarterly and The Malahat Review. She has a monthly column with CBC Arts, and her essay “A Mind Spread Out on the Ground” won Gold for the 2017 National Magazine Award. She’s currently working on a collection of short stories and dealing with the fact that her only daughter is nearly a teenager.