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Winners announced for Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest
Okanagan College Media Release

Jesse Frechette Nov 2014A high-speed story of loss by Penticton campus Associate of Arts student Jesse Frechette took the top prize at Okanagan College’s Three-Hour Short Story Contest.

“The judges loved ‘Lost Control’ for its confident and original narrative voice, which kept us fully engaged in the story to the very end,” said Okanagan College English professor and contest judge and organizer Corinna Chong. 

“The writer created an impressively complex conflict; the story artfully develops the narrator’s struggle to come to terms with the loss of his father, which rises to the surface as he drives his father’s old Camaro faster and faster down the highway. We were also impressed by the story’s ending, which has a powerful impact but also resists wrapping the conflict up too neatly or artificially,” she says.

The judging panel, which consisted of Chong and fellow Okanagan College professors and writers Kerry Gilbert, Jeremy Lanaway, Hannah Calder, and Francie Greenslade, felt this year’s entries were very strong and exceptionally creative. 

“The competition was fierce, which made the job of judging difficult but exciting,” says Chong. “Many students came out of the contest with excellent stories that we hope they will continue to work on.” 

The Three-Hour Short Story competition is an annual event held at each of the College’s four campuses and is open to students in Grade 11 and 12, and those attending Okanagan College. 

Writers have three hours to create a story using College computers and are not able to access any pre-written material or anything online. Students also have to incorporate a mystery phrase – this year’s phrase was “soggy bread” – into each of their stories. 

Four prizes of a $250 tuition credit were handed out to a winner at each campus. The regional winners were: 

Kelowna – “Run-Run-Run” by Sarina Bouvier (Kelowna Secondary School)

Vernon – “Time Moves Quickly” by Daniel Reich (Okanagan College)

Penticton – “Lost Control” by Jesse Frechette (Okanagan College)

Salmon Arm – “A Small Victory” by Kyle Phillips (Okanagan College)

As the grand prizewinner, Frechette also received an additional $250 tuition credit, which made the total of his prize $500 to use toward his College fees. 

Originally from Edmonton, Frechette currently lives in Summerland and is pursuing his Associate of Arts degree at the Penticton campus. He plans to finish his Bachelor of Arts degree and ultimately hopes to go to film school back east.

Read all the winners’ stories at www.okanagan.bc.ca/3hourwriting.