Wednesday, October 04, 2017

Maisonneuve short story withdrawn as Journey Prize finalist because of "striking similarities"

A short story"The Most Human Part of You", published in Maisonneuve magazine by Richard Kelly Kemick is no longer a finalist for Writers Trust/McClelland and Stewart Journey Prize. It will no longer be included in the Journey Prize anthology, said publisher Jennifer Varkonyi in a statement published by the magazine.
"The story was removed from consideration for the prize after striking similarities between his story and "The Dog of the Marriage" by Amy Hempel were discovered.... Maisonneuve is deeply distressed by the discovery of similarities between the two stories. Given the circumstances, Maisonneuve has removed the short story from our website, and the issue in which the story originally appeared will no longer be available."
The Writers Trust and McClelland and Stewart issued a joint statement that said, in part
"Recently, the Writers’ Trust of Canada and McClelland & Stewart were made aware of questions about Richard Kelly Kemick’s story “The Most Human Part of You,” one of the stories that had recently been announced as a finalist for the 2017 Journey Prize. After careful review, M&S has serious concerns about similarities between Mr. Kemick’s story and Amy Hempel’s story “The Dog of the Marriage.” Because of these concerns, Richard Kelly Kemick is no longer eligible for the Journey Prize and his work will not appear in The Journey Prize Stories, the anthology whose contents represent the longlist for the competition. 
"Our jury will now select the 2017 winner of the Journey Prize from the two remaining finalists previously announced: Sharon Bala’s “Butter Tea at Starbucks” and Darlene Naponse’s “She Is Water.” The winner will be announced by the Writers’ Trust of Canada on November 14, 2017, as part of its Writers’ Trust Awards event in Toronto."
A second story selected by the jury from a longlist for the Journey Prize anthology has also been withdrawn. The Unitarian Church's Annual Young Writer's Short Story Competition, published by The New Quarterly, won Kemick his second-straight gold medal at this year's National Magazine Awards. 

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