Student winner of Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize announced

This year’s winner of the Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize for best short story is Sarah Solomon, a student in the Department of French Studies at the Keele campus, for her story – “Le Rendez-vous avec Mol’Hier”.

Solomon received the award last week, April 8. Her story will be published in Virages, a prestigious Franco-Ontarian short-story Journal. The evaluation of the short stories was done anonymously by a four-person jury. The jury members included well known Franco-Ontarian writers, Marguerite Andersen, laureate of the Canadian Trillium Book Award Didier Leclair and Dominique Millette, as well as York University Professor Lélia Young, chair of the adjudicating committee.

From left, Didier Leclair, Lelia Young, Sarah Solomon and Ross Bilous
From left, Didier Leclair, Lelia Young, Sarah Solomon and Ross Bilous

“Sarah’s short story was well structured and full of humor. Her story plays with time and culture (confronting the 17th and 21st centuries) with the purpose to make us laugh and think at the same time,” says Young. “The title of her creation, ‘Le Rendez-vous avec Mol’Hier,’ which is a play on words on the name of the renown French playwright from the classical period Molière, indicates the challenge Sarah put in front of her.”

The event, attended by many students, featured literary readings by Leclair, who, in addition, read an excerpt of Solomon’s story. The event was also a celebration of Francophone Week.

The organizing committee, chaired by Young, included Ross Bilous and Anne-Sophie Troit, with the support of Department of French Studies (DFS) Chair Dominique Scheffel-Dunand in the Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, as well as Sylvia Waterman-Anderson, Yvonne Masso and the participation of Glendon College DFS Chair Aimé Avolonto.

The Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize is an annual French-language short story contest that celebrates writing produced by York students. Each year, the best short story is awarded a prize of $150 and the writer is celebrated during a special event hosted by the Department of French Studies in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. The contest was open to all undergraduate, masters and doctoral students enrolled in French studies.

More about the Micheline Saint-Cyr Prize

The prize was created by Lélia Young in 2002 during her role as president of the Société des écrivain-e-s de Toronto (la SET). She established the award to honour the memory of the French-Canadian poet and artist Micheline Saint-Cyr, who died in 2002. Saint-Cyr founded La Chasse-Galerie in Toronto (1968-1980), organized Toronto francophone writers in 1984 and served as the coordinator of the literacy centre, Alpha-Toronto, from 1988 to 1996. The award celebrates Saint-Cyr’s many contributions to Franco-Ontarian culture and community. In 2004, the Department of French Studies became the partner of la SET for the awarding of the Prix Micheline Saint-Cyr to recognize the creativity of its best students on an annual basis.