rabble blogs are the personal pages of some of Canada's most insightful progressive activists and commentators. All opinions belong to the writer; however, writers are expected to adhere to our guidelines. We welcome new bloggers -- contact us for details.

rabble.ca editor is CBC Literary Awards finalist

Please chip in to support more articles like this. Support rabble.ca today for as little as $1 per month!

Squamish-based writer and journalist Cathryn Atkinson has been named as a finalist in the short story category of the 2009 CBC Literary Awards for her story "The Nonsense of Waiting."

"I am thrilled to make it this far in the competition," Atkinson said.

The CBC Literary Awards are Canada's only literary competition celebrating original, unpublished works in both official languages. There are three categories in English and three in French: short story, poetry and creative non-fiction.

At the centre of "The Nonsense of Waiting" is a 92-year-old woman, Millie, on an end-of-summer visit to her childhood home in a small B.C. town. There, she has a chance encounter with Death between birthday cake and family spats.

This is the first time Atkinson has entered the CBC competition, which started in 1979.

A record 2,100 short stories in English were set in for the deadline last November, more than a third of the 6,000 entries submitted for all six categories. Previous winners of the short story category include Michael Ondaatje, Robert Munsch and Carol Shields.

Atkinson was born in England and raised in Winnipeg. She lived and worked in the U.K. from 1988 to 2003. A journalist, editor and photographer in both Canada and London, her work has appeared in The Globe and Mail, The Guardian, The Observer, The Financial Times, The New Statesman, Elle, Time, AFP, The Vancouver Sun and many other media outlets. She was a staff editor on the Comment desk at The Guardian newspaper in London from 1999 to 2003.

Atkinson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from The University of Winnipeg, and a Master of Theatre Arts in playwriting from Goldsmiths College, part of the University of London. She has won five journalism awards, including a national U.K. Press Award in 1996.

Her play "Bumpershines" won the du Maurier Playwriting Challenge at the Winnipeg Fringe Festival in 2000. She recently completed a film script based on the story.

She is currently writing her first novel, The Elaho Quartet. It is a satire that revolves around friendship, love, greed, entitlement, the world financial crisis and the 2010 Winter Olympics, and is set in the Whistler ski resort, London and New York City.

Atkinson is the news and features editor of rabble.ca. She also occasionally freelances and is the executive editor of Brackendale Writers & Editors, a professional writing service that specializes in co-writing and editing fiction and non-fiction books and scripts.

For more about the CBC Literary awards visit their website.

Thank you for reading this story…

More people are reading rabble.ca than ever and unlike many news organizations, we have never put up a paywall – at rabble we’ve always believed in making our reporting and analysis free to all, while striving to make it sustainable as well. Media isn’t free to produce. rabble’s total budget is likely less than what big corporate media spend on photocopying (we kid you not!) and we do not have any major foundation, sponsor or angel investor. Our main supporters are people and organizations -- like you. This is why we need your help. You are what keep us sustainable.

rabble.ca has staked its existence on you. We live or die on community support -- your support! We get hundreds of thousands of visitors and we believe in them. We believe in you. We believe people will put in what they can for the greater good. We call that sustainable.

So what is the easy answer for us? Depend on a community of visitors who care passionately about media that amplifies the voices of people struggling for change and justice. It really is that simple. When the people who visit rabble care enough to contribute a bit then it works for everyone.

And so we’re asking you if you could make a donation, right now, to help us carry forward on our mission. Make a donation today.


We welcome your comments! rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and encourages discussions which develop progressive thought. Our full comment policy can be found here. Learn more about Disqus on rabble.ca and your privacy here. Please keep in mind:


  • Tell the truth and avoid rumours.
  • Add context and background.
  • Report typos and logical fallacies.
  • Be respectful.
  • Respect copyright - link to articles.
  • Stay focused. Bring in-depth commentary to our discussion forum, babble.


  • Use oppressive/offensive language.
  • Libel or defame.
  • Bully or troll.
  • Post spam.
  • Engage trolls. Flag suspect activity instead.