Over the past six years, the Cuffer Prize has attracted a range of writers, from well-established authors such as Joel Thomas Hynes and Chad Pelley, to new, up-and-coming talent, such as Samuel Martin, who go on to write books to great acclaim.
This year is no different. About 175 entries were received for The Telegram and Creative Book Publishing's literary prize, by a mix of veteran and unheard of writers, and were judged blindly to form a 10-person shortlist.
"This year, in particular, I was really glad to read entries from so many established authors. It speaks to the Cuffer Prize's legitimacy and prestige. It's come a long way in six years," said Telegram associate editor Pam Frampton, who oversees the contest.
The Cuffer Prize celebrates non-published short-story writing by local authors, and entries are limited to 1,200 words or less. Stories must be set in Newfoundland and Labrador, and the top prize is $2,000. This year's judges are writers Russell Wangersky, Jessica Grant and Joan Sullivan.
Like second-place winner Joshua Goudie in 2012, this year one author made the short list twice: Randy Drover, for the stories "In Camera" and "The Grace."
Last year's Cuffer winner, Wanda Nolan, made the short list again with her story, "Providence," while Pelley - who has won the first-, second- and third-place prizes in previous years - made the list for "Where to Look." Eva Crocker, daughter of famed local novelist Lisa Moore, came third in 2011, and has made the short list again this year with "Skin and Mud."
Others who made the list are:
> Kerri Cull for "The Musher";
> Carmelita McGrath for "Three-Minute Egg";
> Jeffrey L. Pardy for "Mall Tree";
> Tracey Waddleton for "Home Again with the Fire Out"; and
> Aley Waterman for "A Summer Without Parks."
The 2013 Cuffer Prize will be awarded during a public gala event at Bally Haly Country Club Nov. 21, at which time "The Cuffer Prize Anthology Volume V," a compilation of some of the best submissions from 2012, will be launched.