Short Stories

Journey Prize Finalist

Holy cow. My story, “Chemical Valley,” first published in The Fiddlehead, has been named as a finalist for the Writers’ Trust McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize! The story is up against Lisa Foad’s “Hunting” and Jessica Johns’ “Bad Cree.” I’m looking forward to reading both those stories, and all the other finalists, when I get my hands on The Journey Prize Stories 32. The winner will be announced on October 21, during an online Writers’ Trust event.

Here’s what the jury had to say about my story:

“In David Huebert’s ‘Chemical Valley,’ the narrator’s remarkable voice is laced with dark humour while displaying a tremendous depth of feeling as he cares for his dying partner and navigates a dangerous workplace replete with unpleasant coworkers. This is a complex story about love, death, and grief set in a contemporary Canadian community plagued by petrochemical-induced diseases and environmental ruin. The attention to language is so meticulous that tragedy is imbued with an aura of beauty. Each exquisite sentence in ‘Chemical Valley’ produces a sense of wonderment as the narrative crescendos to its harrowing conclusion.”


— 2020 Journey Prize Jury (Amy Jones, and Doretta Lau, and Téa Mutonji)

I feel enormously fortunate, and I’ve got many people to thank. First, I’m hugely grateful to all the hard-working staff and volunteers at The Fiddlehead, where this story was first published, and particularly to Fiction Editors Mark Anthony Jarman, Clarissa Hurley, and Gerard Beirne, and to Editor Sue Sinclair. I’m also hugely thankful to The Writers’ Trust of Canada, McClelland & Stewart, and Editor Anita Chong for making the Journey Prize happen and giving an opportunity to young writers. I’m also grateful to James A. Michener, who inaugurated the award by donating the Canadian royalties of his 1988 novel, Journey.

This whole thing is a big deal for me as “Chemical Valley” is the title story of a new collection I’ve been working on for some time now. Getting closer and closer to book meets world–can’t wait!

PS Review & Best Canadian Stories 2018

Somehow back in April I missed this lovely review of Peninsula Sinking from Jeremy Gilmer at The East. It’s one of the most thorough and thoughtful reviews the book has received. Gilmer describes the stories in PS as “rooms full of wonder that will play tricks of light with our hearts and heads,” adding that there “are forests behind this first sight of treeline, and I welcome the dark journey.”

In other recent news, I’m quite tickled to have a story included in Best Canadian Stories 2018, edited by Russell Smith. The volume features stories by some writers I’ve long admired, including Lisa Moore, Stephen Marche, and Lynn Coady. There’s talk of a Toronto launch on November 15th and I, for one, can’t wait to nervously skulk the outskirts of this crowd.

Atlantic Book Awards Shortlist

What a thrill! Peninsula Sinking got shortlisted for two Atlantic Book Awards: the Jim Connors Dartmouth Book Award and the Alistair MacLeod Prize for Short Fiction. This means I get to go to a gala (which means I have to buy a new pair of dress shoes). I’ll also be doing a reading at Garrison Brewery on Wednesday May 9th. Needless to say I’m thrilled for this little homecoming excursion, and to be among such fine company on the ABA shortlists. When I think of recognition, I think of people back home. Maybe I’ll toss a copy of PS off the harbour to celebrate.

Book Cover and Launch!

I’m really excited to reveal the super snazzy new cover (thanks Biblioasis!) of my short story collection, Peninsula Sinking, which is launching this September. Can’t wait to get my hands on this bad boy! I’ve just finished working over the proofs and should be getting advanced copies before too long. I’ll be launching the book in Hamilton, Toronto, London, and Windsor, alongside fellow Biblioasis authors Kevin Hardcastle, Alejandro Saravia, Cynthia Flood, and Pino Collucio–super excited to read all of their new books! Here are the dates and times for the book launches:

Tuesday, Sept 19 @ Bryan Prince Books in Hamilton (Doors 6:30 PM, Readings 7:00 PM)
Wednesday, Sept 20 @ The Garrison in Toronto (Doors 7:00 PM, Readings 7:30 PM)
Thursday, Sept 21 @ Attic Books in London (Doors 6:30 PM, Readings 7:00 PM)
Friday, Sept 22 @ Biblioasis in Windsor (Doors 7:00 PM, Readings 7:30 PM)