Tyler Keevil's Writing Room

'Memory is the way we keep telling ourselves our stories - and telling other people a somewhat different version of our stories.' - Alice Munro

Tyler Keevil is an award-winning writer from Vancouver, Canada.  He is the author of three novels - Fireball, The Drive, and No Good Brother - and the short story collection, Burrard Inlet.

'Sealskin' Wins The Journey Prize 2014

Tyler is in Toronto till the end of the week, but we at his publicity team have been urging him to send us some kind of commentary or thoughts on his big news.  For those just checking in, last night at Toronto's Glenn Gould Studio Tyler was announced as the winner of The 2014 Journey Prize, awarded annually to the best Canadian short story by an emerging writer of distinction.  Tonight Tyler is crashing at the Rex Hotel & Jazz Bar, from where he sent us this missive…

"It’s been an amazing experience, from start to finish.  I came over to Toronto not knowing a single person in the Canadian publishing scene, but everybody here has been incredibly warm and welcoming.  The Writers’ Trust put on a dinner for the nominees the night before the ceremony, so people got to know each other.  And the ceremony itself had a brilliant atmosphere – exciting but not tense or competitive.  It’s been wonderful to meet the other nominees for the various awards: fellow Journey Prize finalists Clea Young and Lori McNulty; Cary Fagan, who won the Vicky Metcalfe award for Children’s Literature; and Miriam Toews, winner of the Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, who is an inspiring person, a breathtaking writer, and a new hero of mine.  As for winning The Journey Prize, I’d convinced myself it wasn’t going to happen, so the announcement came as a total surprise.  I didn't really have an acceptance speech prepared – it was pretty much impromptu – but the crowd was with me, laughing and supportive.  I said it on the night, and I’ll say it again now: I read the Journey Prize Anthology of nominated stories on the flight over, and the quality of the work is just so impressive.  My fellow finalists were equally deserving, and could easily have won, and the wide range of stories on the longlist demonstrate the depth and versatility of short fiction writing in Canada.  I’m grateful and humbled to be part of that, to be contributing to that ongoing tradition.  As I mentioned to the Quill and Quire, several past Journey Prize nominees have been big influences on my writing – people like Steven Heighton, and Murray Logan, my old teacher at UBC – and I never imagined, I never dared dream, I would be in that company."

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