2017 Journey Prize Finalist

Journey Prize Stories 29

Sharon Bala
“Butter Tea at Starbucks” 
Published in The New Quarterly 

Sharon Bala, The New Quarterly, 2017 Journey Prize

About the Story

Sharon Bala’s “Butter Tea at Starbucks” burns as bright and fierce as the unnamed, immolated martyr whose image provides its thematic backbone. Following two Toronto sisters from a Tibetan background, the story explores the conflict between Tibet and China through the lens of a new baby, an interracial marriage, and an office rivalry. Tense and expertly plotted, the story is also packed with rich, sensory detail. This is writing that wades, unafraid, into complexity and controversy, but which is nuanced enough to wrangle finely drawn, utterly human characters to moments of aching vulnerability, confused pain, and unexpected joy. Bala takes big risks and reaps big rewards in this unforgettable story.

-2017 Journey Prize jury Kevin Hardcastle, Grace O’Connell, and Ayelet Tsabari

About the Author 

Sharon Bala lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Her debut novel, The Boat People, will be on shelves January 2018. Sharon is a member of The Port Authority, a St. John’s writing group. Her short stories have been published in Hazlitt, Grain, PRISM international, The Dalhousie Review, The New Quarterly, Room, Riddle Fence, and in a collection called Racket: New Writing Made in Newfoundland. Find her online at sharonbala.com.

About the Magazine

The New Quarterly, 2017 Journey PrizeThe New Quarterly publishes Canadian short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction by both emerging and established writers that explores both the craft and the writing life. The magazine first debuted, staple-bound, in 1981, thanks to the efforts of then writer-in-residence at the University of Waterloo and Newfoundland writer Harold Horwood, with financial help from pioneering journalist Edna Staebler, and the inimitable Farley Mowat. The magazine’s home is now St Jerome’s University, a founding college of the University of Waterloo.






Woodcock Fund



Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing


September 19 for books published between June 20 and September 18, 2018


Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction
and Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize


July 18 for books published between May 16 and Sept 30, 2018


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