Nanaimo writer Julia Jenkins’s story I am Aani Littlecrab was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize. (Photo courtesy Gordon Lafleur)

Nanaimo writer Julia Jenkins’s story I am Aani Littlecrab was longlisted for the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize. (Photo courtesy Gordon Lafleur)

Nanaimo author up for CBC Short Story Prize

Julia Jenkins makes award longlist for ‘I am Aani Littlecrab’

Nanaimo author Julia Jenkins is at work on her first novel and its first chapter has already gained national attention.

Last week it was announced that Jenkins is one of 32 writers from across Canada to make the long list for the 2020 CBC Short Story Prize for her story I am Aani Littlecrab, which was adapted from the first chapter of her in-progress book of the same name.

“I’m really thrilled and I had a feeling, because it is a very different story, that it would be up there,” Jenkins said. “I really thought it would get some notice and it has and so when it did I’ve just been ecstatic ever since.”

The story takes place in the pre-contact territory of the Tlingit people on the modern-day Alaska panhandle and follows a girl who is seriously injured after falling into a fire pit.

Jenkins said she’s long been curious about West Coast First Nations and as a child growing up in Qualicum Beach she familiarized herself with many of their stories.

“I always wondered what was here before I got here because I realized by the time I started school that we hadn’t been here very long…” she said. “I collected a lot of stories, not formally but just wondering and keeping track, until a story started to bubble up.”

Jenkins said she drew from her previous knowledge when writing I am Aani Littlecrab, but she also did additional research to ensure her details about the setting and way of life were accurate.

The book also looks forward. The epilogue follows Littlecrab’s descendants into the late 21st century and foresees an imagined future where Alaska is heavily populated by climate refugees.

“The Tlingit people do survive,” Jenkins said. “Because actually they have far better skills at surviving than we do.”

The winner will be announced on April 22. The grand prize is $6,000 from the Canada Council for the Arts and a two-week residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Four runners-up each get $1,000 and, along with the winner, will have their stories published on

Jenkins said the Banff Centre residency would be a valuable experience. She said writing is a solitary endeavour and there is a need to listen to, relate to and share with other writers.

“That opens up your mind and your heart and your spirit,” she said. “And I think I would become an even better writer and certainly it would move me along with the book tremendously.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

The memorial site for double-murder victims Nellie Williams and Fran Shurie, located in Charles Hoey Park, will be allowed to stay for another two months after the City of Duncan changed its policy on temporary memorials. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Duncan allowing memorials to murdered pair stay longer

Policy change related to memorial for double-homicide victims in city park

An Island Health graph showing COVID-19 cases in the central Island by local health area between Dec. 27 and Jan. 23. (Island Health image)
Central Island’s COVID-19 case spike shifting, says Island Health

Cowichan Valley has seen the highest number of cases, but Nanaimo and south Island seeing upticks

The Pachena Bay shoreline in 2013. (Twitter/Ateachersaurus)
This week in history: 9.0 magnitude quake struck under what is now called Vancouver Island

According to First Nations elders, the 9.0-magnitude quake in 1700 CE kick-started a tsunami

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Victoria police will be making numerous arrests throughout the day Jan. 27 as part of its #VicPDWarrantWednesday project. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Numerous arrests today part of Victoria police #WarrantWednesday project

VicPD says arrests part of warrant enforcement project

The barge sank again on Jan. 8 and is still resting under water. (Bill McQuarrie photo)
Refloating of sunken Port McNeill barge to resume in early February

This will be the second attempt at recovery after poor weather conditions caused barge to re-sink

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Worker at Swartz Bay terminal on Monday, January 20, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Former BC Ferries employee alleges he was fired because of his race

Imraan Goondiwala has been granted a BC Human Rights Tribunal hearing

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Victoria police are seeking a young woman suspected of spitting on a bus driver in October 2020. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Young woman sought after ‘spitting assault’ on Victoria bus driver

Suspect became irate after bus came to a sudden stop

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.

Most Read