Students, Grad, Instructor Among CBC Literary Award Finalists

February 15, 2011 - News Release

Two students, a graduate and an instructor in the University of Guelph's MFA program in creative writing are among the finalists for the 2011 CBC Literary Awards, one of Canada's largest and most prestigious literary competitions.

The long-listed finalists in three categories — creative non-fiction, poetry and short story — were announced Monday.

Second-year master’s student Kilby Smith-McGregor is a finalist in both creative non-fiction and poetry categories for The Infinity Pool and Body Temperature. Last year, she won the RBC Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers, administered by the Writers' Trust of Canada.

Mathew Henderson was long-listed in the poetry category for his work Oilfield Poems. A second-year student from Prince Edward Island, he writes about working in the oilfields of Alberta.

Cassie Beecham, a 2010 MFA graduate, is a short-story finalist for Fedor, and Karen Connelly, a sessional instructor in the program, is among those vying for the creative non-fiction prize for Four Partial Views of Palestine and Israel.

"This is fabulous news for the students and for the program, and a testament to the very high quality of work being produced by our MFA students, the next generation of Canadian writing talent," said Catherine Bush, associate program co-ordinator for the creative writing MFA.

Five short-listed candidates in each category will be named Feb. 28, and the winners will be announced March 24.

Founded in 1979, the CBC Literary Awards have helped launch the careers of some of Canada's most successful authors, including U of G English professor Janice Kulyk Keefer. Other previous winners include internationally acclaimed authors Michael Ondaatje and Carol Shields.

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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