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PhD student wins fiction prize

Submitted on Sunday, September 25, 2022

“I think at some point, I realised that if I was going to live the life I wanted, I had to be fine with the idea of being a disappointing daughter,” says a character in Chido Muchemwa’s prize-winning story. (Photo by Tanya Shereni)

PhD candidate and writer Chido Muchemwa (above) was awarded the University of Lethbridge’s Bridge Prize earlier this week, taking home $7,500, the largest cash prize for student writing in Canada. Muchemwa’s  short story, If It Wasn’t for the Nights, beat out almost 200 other entries, first with a jury of 30 local readers and then with the main jury of authors, artists and educators.

“I’ve only written one new story in the two years since my Baba died. This is it. A story about music and grief as a common language,” Muchemwa wrote on Twitter last spring. “But like all good stories, it had a mind of its own and grew into a story about mothers and daughters.”

Muchemwa, who was born in Zimbabwe, has a a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Wyoming and a Master of Science in Information Studies at the University of Texas. She began her PhD work at the Faculty of Information in 2019.

Muchemwa’s award-winning story can be read here.