Youth Writing Contest

Announcing the 2017 Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest!

Grab a pen and start writing!

The Vancouver Writers Fest's annual youth writing contest offers youth writers and opportunity to see their work in an esteemed magazine and receive a cash prize!

The contest is open to all students enrolled in grades 8-12 in British Columbia. Contestants can submit either poetry or fiction. 

The contest will be judged by authors Carrie Mac and Dina Del Bucchia.

Contest opens: Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Contest closes: Tuesday, September 5, 2017 at 5:00pm PST

The Rewards: 

  • First Prize in each category: $300 cash + publication in The Claremont Review 
  • Second Prize in each category: $200 cash

The Rules:

  1. The contest is open to all writers aged 12 - 18 as of September 5, 2017 who are attending a school in British Columbia.
  2. Entries will be accepted for previously unpublished work in each category: Poetry (any style): 500 word limit; Creative Short Fiction: 1,500 word limit
  3. Entries will be judged blind. Please do not put your name on your story or poem in the file you have uploaded or in the file name.
  4. There is a $5 entry fee for each short story or poem you enter in the contest, payable online through PayPal.
  5. We will accept entries in MS Word Document or PDF formats. Please use standard margins, 12-point font and double spacing.
  6. Winners will be selected by a panel of professionals from the publishing and book industry.
  7. Entries must be uploaded and payment confirmed by 5pm on Tuesday, September 5, 2017.
  8. Winners will be announced by Monday, October 16, 2017

Submit your entry 


Congratulations to the winners of the 2016 Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest! 

After much deliberation, our judges, Susin Nielsen and Ellen Schwartz, awarded prizes to the following entries:

  • 1st Place - Short Story: "Hero" by Jessica Klein, Grade 12 at Burnsview Secondary  
  • 2nd Place - Short Story: "Birthday" by Zoe Jones, Grade 11 at Stratford Hall 
  • 1st Place - Poetry: "things i've learned from school" by Gabrielle Bonifacio, Grade 12 at Byrne Creek Secondary School
  • 2nd Place - Poetry: "Chrysalism" by Vanessa Harrison, Grade 12, St. Michaels University School  

Click on the name of each entry to read it online.