We're all busy over here at Geist, picking our way through the heaps of postcard stories that have flooded into our office this year for our 6th anuual Little Literary Postcard Contest. Thanks to everyone who submitted. We've come across tons of interesting stories, trends, and even duplicate F. Scott Fitzgerald entries!
One of the great things about this contest is it's unique ability to tap into the collective Canadian literary conscience, even if for short time. Some years we find several entries written in a child’s voice. Does that mean we are longing to see the world through young eyes again?
We always get provinces and territories because, you know, the only thing we love more than Canada is traveling around it. Oh, except bears and fish. You’ve hit the jackpot with a postcard of a bear eating a fish. ( We received one this year, true story!)
Sisters were big in 2009. People wrote about them, as them, and for them. They’re telling us stories of hardship and rejection. They’re telling us about family and about simpler times. We’re learning about loss and dignity and all within the limits of a very short story.
Above all, the undeniable trend in so many entries is death. It’s been this way before and it will be this way next year. It makes you wonder, if you had only a postcard’s worth of time to tell a story, why write about death?
When we think of postcards, we think about little snapshots of time and places, people and memories, not that far removed from, say, eulogies or obituaries. Sure it sounds dark, but not when we find a whimsical shot of a zoo, or a colourful day at the park clipped to the top of these stories. People in Canada aren’t just dying, they’re being remembered fondly.
Our data is by no means hard evidence of a collective infatuation with the afterlife, but it certainly helps us at Geist know what Canadian writers care about. Every year brings something new. Who knows, maybe this year death will finally win that $250.
Check out some past winners!