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Statement on 2017 Journey Prize Finalists

The Writers’ Trust of Canada/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian writer for the best short story previously published by a Canadian literary publication.

Recently, the Writers’ Trust of Canada and McClelland & Stewart were made aware of questions about Richard Kelly Kemick’s story “The Most Human Part of You,” one of the stories that had recently been announced as a finalist for the 2017 Journey Prize. After careful review, M&S has serious concerns about similarities between Mr. Kemick’s story and Amy Hempel’s story “The Dog of the Marriage.” Because of these concerns, Richard Kelly Kemick is no longer eligible for the Journey Prize and his work will not appear in The Journey Prize Stories, the anthology whose contents represent the longlist for the competition.

Our jury will now select the 2017 winner of the Journey Prize from the two remaining finalists previously announced: Sharon Bala’s “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and Darlene Naponse’s “She Is Water.” The winner will be announced by the Writers’ Trust of Canada on November 14, 2017, as part of its Writers’ Trust Awards event in Toronto.

The print edition of The Journey Prize Stories will be published on October 31, 2017, and the ebook edition will be available on October 3, 2017.

For almost thirty years, the Journey Prize and its associated anthology have introduced readers to the next generation of great Canadian authors. This is the first time the Journey Prize has encountered this problem with any stories included in the Journey Prize anthology.

McClelland & Stewart values its long-standing partnership with the Writers’ Trust of Canada to promote the Journey Prize and the emerging writers it highlights. All of us at M&S and the Writers’ Trust are deeply saddened by this.

We look forward now to celebrating finalists Sharon Bala and Darlene Naponse, two exciting new writers who represent the best and brightest of CanLit’s future.


For more information, please contact:

Jared Bland
Publisher, McClelland & Stewart
Vice President, Penguin Random House Canada

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