Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest

2014 Spreading the Word Youth Writing Contest Winners

First Place

  • Short fiction: "Myrmidon" by Kayla Zhu, Grade 9 student at Eric Hamber Secondary School in Vancouver
  • Poetry: "Jesus' Shrink" by Lila Mooney, Grade 9 student at Burnaby Central Secondary School

Second Place

  • Short fiction: "This Planet's Beauty" by Anna Stead, Grade 11 student at Sutherland Secondary School in North Vancouver
  • Poetry: "Department Store" by Kasey Boyle, Grade 12 student at St. Michael's University School in Victoria

Honourable Mention goes to

  •  Myron O'Laocha, Grade 8 student at Alcuin College, for his short story "Peter's Oak"

First prize in each category is $300, with a second prize award of $200. The prize winners, selected by a panel of publishing and writing professionals, will be published in The Claremont Review, a magazine that showcases aspiring young writers.

The winning submissions were judged blind by teacher and author Cathleen With and children's author and poet Robert Heidbreder. Here are their comments on the winning entries:

  • "Myrmidon":
    This was my first choice the minute I read it--Atwood would be proud of this new voice in writing.
    Myrmidon clearly, carefully and coolly leads us into an emotionally-charged world through the voice of a 'humanoid servant.'
    It is topical, thoughtful, effective and well-written.
  • "Jesus' Shrink":
    I laughed out loud at this funny twist on one of life's more studied leaders. The title alone had me giggling for days after. A poem filled with unique ideas and emotions.
    With rich description and a haunting, unsettling setting, Jesus' Shrink captures the burden  of everyone, human and divine.
    We come to grasp the spirit of Jesus the man just as we come to understand how he share ours.
  • "This Planet's Beauty": A lovely twisty story. I loved the way I gained perspective in this story, the point of view created more questions in my mind about our universe.
    Active language, a strong plot and a startling ending make This Planet's Beauty a well-constructed, evocative piece of fiction.
  • "Department Store": This department store wasn't any I've ever walked through--ironic, deft writing that left me challenging my sometimes consumer tastes. An insightful, fluid poem.
    A poem in 10 letters: A quick staccato rhythm (like the movement of shoppers in a store), brief lines of fleeting images (like items on a shelf) and ten letters only (like the limits of a shopping experience) enliven this well-conceived poem. It alerts us to ourselves and others with freshness and energy.

The Youth Writing Contest is sponsored by: