A chilling tale of insatiable man-eating monsters that lurk behind trees, love that ends tragically and the relationship between art and the artist are seamlessly interwoven in “Wendigo,” first-place winner in the Toronto Star 2016 Short Story Contest.

Winning author Katie Bryski, 24, is “thrilled” that a fantasy story has been recognized as part of the literary corpus. “It’s validating and wonderful,” says the Toronto resident whose “perpetually hungry, cannibalistic spirits” dwell in French-Canadian legends and native lore — where the mere mention of wendigo creatures make even the most courageous recoil.

“This story posits that art can be a fork of cannibalism as well,” she says. “Emotionally starved, our two characters become wendigo in their own well. Though a loving send-up of artists, it is in no way autobiographical.”

Wendigo was among almost 2,000 submissions to the 38th annual contest, considered the largest in Canada and one of the most lucrative in North America. The announcement was made Thursday at the Yorkville branch of the Toronto Public Library. Bryski receives $5,000 and paid tuition for the 30-week creative writing correspondence program at the Humber School for Writers, valued at about $3,000.

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Winner of 2016 Toronto Star Short Story Contest – Short Stories News

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