A creative writing student at UBC Okanagan has won the 15th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest, besting more than 160 other submissions.
The winning essay, “Salmon at Night”, was written by Joe Dermo last semester as part of a creative writing class.
“It’s about a man's jaded outlook on the trivialities of sex and romance,” explains Dermo.
“He's aware of the unattainable expectations formed around love that we as a society have created, and is thus a passive and disinterested figure in his own sex life.”
Dermo, a third year creative writing major, received $500 for first place and calls the win a major step for his career goals.
“It was overwhelming to hear my name in first place,” he says. “I came to Kelowna three years ago with the goal of learning from the vibrant writing community in the Okanagan. Winning this contest doesn't just reflect on me, but also on the professors and classmates who have trained me and helped me along the way."
Second prize went to Andrew McMonagle from Winlaw, and Jade Hignett of Vernon rounded out the top three.
The contest offered all writers in the Southern Interior of British Columbia — east of Hope, west of the Alberta border, north of the U.S. border, and south of William’s Lake — to enter their original, unpublished works of fiction.