HHSS alum shortlisted for prestigious writing honour

Haliburton Highlands Secondary School graduate Joshua Wales is joining three other Canadian authors in being shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

Wales was selected for his work of fiction, Mass Effect.

From a Twitter post, Writers’ Trust of Canada said it was “Emotionally rich and at times uncomfortably funny, ‘Mass Effect’ by JoshuaWales is a heartbreaking, character-driven story about the perplexing humanity that life-altering experiences can reveal in us.”

Wales is a palliative care physician and writer in Toronto. He previously won the 2020 Peter Hinchcliffe Fiction Award.

The four Canadians shortlisted include Vincent Anioke, Cara Marks and Ian Stewart. They are part of a group of 25 writers shortlisted for the 2021 Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

The prize is awarded annually for the best piece of unpublished short fiction by authors who are from one of the 54 Commonwealth countries.

Fifty countries are represented this year with 6,423 entries.

There will be five regional winners.

One for each Commonwealth region, which is Canada and Europe, Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific. An overall winner will be selected from these five regional winners.

Each regional winner will receive close to $4,300 and the overall winner will receive close to $8,600.

On May 12, the regional winners will be announced. The overall winner will be announced on June 30.