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Squamish writers make CBC Literary Awards finals

Jude Goodwin and Cathryn Atkinson selected from among thousands of entries

Two Squamish-based writers have earned the accolades of their peers as finalists of the CBC Literary Awards, 2009.

Jude Goodwin and Cathryn Atkinson were among 80 finalists announced Tuesday (Feb. 16) from among thousands of English and French entries in three categories: short story, poetry, and creative non-fiction.

Literary Awards Host Shelagh Rogers will unveil the English-language winners, with first place taking $6,000 and second place taking $4,000, on Thursday, March 18 on Q with Jian Gomeshi.

"I'm very excited," said Goodwin. "Quite proud, actually."

Well known local poet, Jude Goodwin, was thrilled to see she made the shortlist for the CBC's annual literary competition announced Tuesday morning, February 16. Goodwin's collection, Flat is True, was one of 27 works short-listed in the poetry category, selected from more than 1450 submissions. This is the second time Goodwin has been short-listed in the contest, the first beingin 2003.

Goodwin, chair of the Squamish Writers Group and a runner-up in the Sea To Sky Literary Contest, has been published in a variety of journals and anthologies. She has been writing all her life but became a working poet in 2002 when encouraged by an online poetry professor.

You can hear Goodwin read some of her poems on Saturday, Feb. 27 at the Squamish Arts Council building in Pavilion Park as she joins other poets and writers from the Squamish Writers Group in a literary showcase from 7 to 9 pm. Both spoken word and some music will be featured.

Jude Goodwin's poetry can be read on her website at

Atkinson was selected for her story The Nonsense of Waiting.

"I am thrilled to make it this far in the competition," she said.

At the centre of The Nonsense of Waiting is a 92-year-old woman, Millie, on an end-of-summer visit to her childhood home in a small B.C. town. There, she has a chance encounter with Death between birthday cake and family spats.

This is the first time Atkinson, former editor of The Chief, has entered the CBC competition, which started in 1979.

A record 2,100 short stories and over 1,400 poems were entered by deadline last November. Previous winners of the short story category include Michael Ondaatje, Robert Munsch and Carol Shields.

A journalist, editor and photographer in both Canada and London, her play Bumpershines won the du Maurier Playwriting Challenge at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in 2000.

She recently completed a film script based on the story and is currently writing her first novel, The Elaho Quartet, a satire that revolves around friendship, love, greed, hate, the world financial crisis and the 2010 Winter Olympics, set in the Whistler ski resort, London and New York City.

Atkinson is the news and features editor of She also occasionally freelances and is the executive editor of Brackendale Writers & Editors, a professional writing service that specializes in co-writing and editing fiction and non-fiction books and scripts.