Langley writer in the race to win an award for her non-fiction book – Aldergrove Star

A Langley writer is one of the finalists for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s (CBC) 2022 non-fiction award, which is presented jointly by CBC, Canada Council for the Arts, and Banff Center for Arts and Creativity.

Susan Cormier, a Metis writer from Langley has been nominated for her book, Advice to a New Beekeeper.

Cormier has won and been shortlisted for awards such as Arc’s Poem of the Year, SubTerrain’s Lush Triumphant and the Federation of BC Writers’ Literary Writes.

Her writing has appeared in publications such as Atlantis Women’s Studies Journal, B&A New Fiction, West Coast Line and several anthologies including Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poets and Against Death: 35 Essays on Living.

By day, she is a beekeeper and co-owner of CR Apiary in Langley, BC By night, she is the producer of Vancouver Story Slam – Canada’s longest-running live monthly storytelling competition, established in 2004.

She is currently writing 53 Wolves, a modern fairy tale-based essay response to the #MeToo and #NotAllMen social movements.

Talking about her inspiration to write the book, Cormier said, “bees are viewed as a beautiful enigma, a quasi-mythical species governed by a natural magic. By extension of this, beekeeping is assumed to be a simple pastime, rather than an intense combination of physical labor and scientific learning. As a result, many novice keepers struggle under the steep learning curve, and need to rely heavily on educational tools such as mentors, books, clubs, and instructional classes.”

Cormier believes there is “indescribably” great beauty and magic in beekeeping, which exists in the interactions between the bees and a knowledgeable, insightful keeper.

The winner will be announced on Sept. 22.

In addition to a cash prize of $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts, the grand prize winner will receive a two-week writing residency at Banff Center for Arts and Creativity, and their work will be published on the CBC Books website.

The work of the other four finalists will be published on the CBC Books website and each will receive a $1,000 prize from the Canada Council for the Arts.



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