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Okanagan College English prof up for literary prize
Okanagan College English professor Jeremy Lanaway’s short story Downturn has been nominated by The Fiddlehead literary journal for the Journey Prize long list.
The $10,000 prize is awarded annually to an emerging Canadian writer for a short story or excerpt from a fiction work-in-progress by the Writers’ Trust of Canada and McClelland & Stewart.
“Downturn relates an encounter between a banker and a pool-cleaner,” said Lanaway. “It’s an exploration of the broad idea of the personal challenges economic downturns can create for people, and how life circumstances can quickly change through events that are completely out of our control.
“It’s an imagining of going from being comfortable to being in need because of external occurrences, a topic that was on my mind because of world events.”
Lanaway grew up in Vernon and attended Okanagan College before moving to Vancouver to complete his studies, including a master’s degree in creative writing from UBC. He taught in Hong Kong, and still works for Pearson Education (Hong Kong) as a senior editor and writer of high school level English textbooks.
He has been teaching English literature at Okanagan College since 2010 and has also instructed courses in creative non-fiction and editing for the college’s writing and publishing diploma program.
“The college has proved a great environment for me as an author,” said Lanaway. “Many of my colleagues are also active writers. It’s a supportive, encouraging and inspirational atmosphere.”
Lanaway’s writing covers a diversity of genres and topics. He is currently working on a collection of short stories, but also finds the time to pen editorial copy as the hockey writer for The American, an established arts and culture magazine catering to the expatriate community in the U.K. In addition, he is marketing a completed novel that has received good feedback, and has another novel in the works.
Downturn appeared in the spring, 2013 edition of The Fiddlehead, Canada’s oldest extant literary journal. Published in New Brunswick, the journal is best-known for being the first to publish many of Canada’s most famous writers and editors.