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About the Prize

The Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize recognizes the year’s best short story by an emerging writer first published in a Canadian literary journal or anthology. The prize is supported by James A. Michener’s donation of his Canadian royalty earnings from his novel Journey. In association with the prize, McClelland & Stewart annually publishes The Journey Prize Stories anthology, a collection of the longlisted stories. The winner is announced at the Writers’ Trust Awards in Toronto.

2019 Winner

Angélique Lalonde


Jury Citation

"Angélique Lalonde’s 'Pooka' is a contemporary classic. After a failed attempt at online fame, Pooka, a carpet collector and sculptor, must reconsider his artistic practice and its relationship to his mental health. Deftly weaving explorations of identity, isolation, and displacement with colourful and unexpected imagery, Lalonde tells a powerful story of life on the precipice. There is fear here, and an inescapable loneliness, but there is also a celebration of resilience that utterly defines this moment in literature, and society in general. Told in clean, efficient prose, Pooka’s story is both universal and deeply personal, with surprising twists and moments of dark humour that make it truly unforgettable."

—2019 Journey Prize Jury Carleigh Baker, Catherine Hernandez, and Joshua Whitehead

2019 Finalists

2019 Longlist

Sarah Christina Brown for “Land of Living Skies”

published in PRISM international

Kai Conradi for “Every True Artist”

published in The Malahat Review

Francesca Ekwuyasi for “Ọrun Is Heaven”

published in GUTS Magazine

Jason Jobin for “They Would Pour Us into Boxes”

published in EVENT

Hajera Khaja for “Waiting for Adnan”

published in Joyland Magazine

Ben Ladouceur for “A Boy of Good Breeding”

published in PRISM international

Angélique Lalonde for “Pooka”

published in PRISM international

Michael LaPointe for “Candidate”

published in The Walrus

Canisia Lubrin for “No ID or We Could Be Brothers”

published in Brick

Samantha Jade Macpherson for “The Fish and the Dragons”

published in The Fiddlehead

Troy Sebastian / Nupqu ʔak·ǂam̓ for “Tax Niʔ Pik̓ak (A Long Time Ago)”

published in The Walrus

Leanne Toshiko Simpson for “Monsters”

published in Release Any Words Stuck Inside of You


Our 2019 jurors have worked hard to select the best Canadian short stories of the past year.

The Journey Prize Stories 31

From its first edition in 1989, this celebrated annual fiction anthology has consistently introduced readers to the next generation of great Canadian writers. With settings ranging from Thailand and war-torn Vietnam to a tiki bar in the Prairies, the thirteen stories in this collection represent the year's best short fiction by some of our most exciting emerging writers. Get your copy.

“I owe a lot to the Journey Prize. An agent, a book deal. A renewed faith in my work. All signs that seem to say I’m on the right track.”

— Yasuko Thanh

2009 Journey Prize winner