07/22/2013 01:46 EDT | Updated 09/20/2013 05:12 EDT

Mohan Srivastava wins Canada Writes competition

Toronto's Mohan Srivastava is the winner of CBC's Canada Writes competition this year for his piece about an impromptu game of Scrabble with three Eastern European women learning English.

Srivastava will be awarded $6,000 and a writing residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts for his story, The Gods of Scrabble.

The father of three, and geostatistician by trade, started writing when he was 50 years old. He began by writing for a small audience: individuals he knew.

Last year, Srivastava made his first attempt to reach a wider fan base by submitting a piece to the 2012 Canada Writes contest. When it was not longlisted, Srivastava focused on reworking it and eventually submitted a different story for this year's competition.

He said it was "utterly amazing" to be shortlisted this year, adding that the experience "gives me hope that I might yet be a 'real' writer."

The winner of the creative nonfiction prize was determined by authors J.J. Lee, Ross King and Jan Wong.

The jury selected Srivastava's piece from five finalists.

The four other finalists were:

- Terri Favro of Toronto for Icarus.

- Matthew Hooton of Victoria for This Tongue.

- Jenny Manzer of Victoria for The Boy with the Galloping Heart.

- Linda Rosenbaum of Toronto for Wolf Howling at Moon.

All five finalists' stories can be read on the Canada Writes site.