2022 Winners

Congratulations to all 2022 Short Grain Winners!


1st prize ($1000)
P.J Worrell, Swift Current

2nd prize ($750)
Anthony Purdy, Kingsburg

3rd prize ($500)
Trent Lewin, Waterloo

Honourable Mention

“The Instructions”
by Jessica Leeder

“The Lakeweed Girl”
by Kristin Burns


1st prize ($1000)
Lindsay Cavanaugh, Toronto

2nd prize ($750)
Tamsyn Farr, Wakefield

3rd prize ($500)
Jody Baltessen, Winnipeg

Honourable Mention

“At the Shrine in St. Laurent”
by Elena Bentley

“If someone asks, where does he live”
by Sandra Campbell

Judges' comments

Sean Michaels

Fiction Judge’s Comments

Congratulations to everyone who entered this year’s Short Grain competition and thank you for sharing your work. Prizes are a shitshow: writers should not mistake one person’s taste for a verdict on what is or is not worthy. But these were my favourites: three fine stories by three talented writers. What drew me to these works was their authors’ distinctive, expressive voices—that’s more important to me than a story’s structure or engineering. “Titan Arum” is loose and lightfooted, moving with an agility that reminds me of Mikhail Bulgakov or Richard Van Camp. “Spoons” is strange and sinister, a work of weird fiction with real emotional stakes. And the winner, “Sandra’s Bird,” benefits from both a steady hand and occasional fireworks: mature and sensitive, but gleaming intermittently, like a smouldering coal.


Sheri Benning

Poetry Judge’s Comments

The news is not good. The news is like an orchestra tuning in the pit, a building cacophony of noise: Climate catastrophe. War. Pandemics. Rising populism. “What are poets for, in such an age? / What is the use of poetry?” asks Lawrence Ferlinghetti in Poetry as Insurgent Art. “The state of world calls out for poetry to save it,” Ferlinghetti adds. But how can the poem provide rescue? I think by attending to the particular, and by tracing connections, the poem gives sensible form to the hitherto inchoate, arranges the noise into music. In “She / A Bird,” a daughter “observes the continent of her of her dad’s shrinking body” and as readers we understand the immensity of such a loss. In-between-ness is given voice in “Unlocking” as the speaker makes snow angels “… the heat/will touch me—the cost of getting closer.” And finally, in “Blessing for Mushroom Picking,” we are blessed by the truly holy: soil, pine needles, “the sheath of fungal tissue massed beneath the bolete pushing through.”

Our Funders

Grain is grateful to its funders: Sask Lotteries, Canada Council for the Arts, and the financial support from its private donors.
Grain is published by the Saskatchewan Writers' Guild.